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  • Car suspension

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  • Willys MB

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    The Willys MB and the Ford GPW, both formally called the U.S. Army "Truck, ton, 4×4, Command Reconnaissance", commonly known as Jeep or jeep, and sometimes referred to as G503 are light, off-road capable, military utility vehicles that were manufactured during World War II (from 1941 to 1945) for the Allied forces. The jeep became the primary light wheeled transport vehicle of the United States Military and its Allies in World War II. It was also the world's first mass-produced four-wheel drive car, manufactured in six-figure numbers. About 640,000 units built, constituting a quarter of the total U.S. non-combat motor vehicles produced during the war, and almost two-thirds of the 988,000 light vehicle class produced, together with the Dodge WC series, outnumbering those by almost two to one. According to author Charles K. Hyde, "In many respects, the jeep became the iconic vehicle of World War II, with an almost mythological reputation of toughness, durability, and versatility." Not only did it become the workhorse of the American military, as it replaced the use of horses and other draft animals (still heavily used in World War I) in every role, from cavalry units to supply trains, but improvised field modifications also made the jeep capable of just about any other function GIs could think of. The jeep was considered such a valuable piece of equipment that General Eisenhower wrote that most senior officers regarded it as "one of the six most vital" U.S. vehicles to win the war. Moreover, General George Marshall called the squared-off little car "America's greatest contribution to modern warfare." In 1991, the MB Jeep was designated an "International Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark" by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. After WWII, the original jeep continued to serve, in the Korean War and other conflicts, until it was updated in the form of the M38 Willys MC and M38A1 Willys MD (in 1949 and 1952 respectively), and received a complete redesign by Ford in the form of the 1960-introduced M151 jeep. Its influence however, was much greater than that—manufacturers around the world began building jeeps and similar designs, either under license or not—at first primarily for military purposes, but later also for the civilian market. Willys trademarked the "Jeep" name, turned the MB into the civilian Jeep CJ models, and Jeep became its own brand. The 1945 Willys Jeep was the world's first mass-produced civilian four-wheel drive car. The success of the jeep inspired both an entire category of recreational 4WDs and SUVs, making "four-wheel drive" a household term, and numerous incarnations of military light utility vehicles. In 2010, the American Enterprise Institute called the jeep "one of the most influential designs in automotive history", and its "sardine tin on wheels" silhouette perhaps even more instantly recognizable than the VW Beetle.

  • Leaf spring

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    A traditional semi-elliptical Hotchkiss leaf spring arrangement. On the left, the spring is connected to the frame through a shackle. A leaf spring is a simple form of spring commonly used for the suspension in wheeled vehicles. Originally called a laminated or carriage spring, and sometimes referred to as a semi-elliptical spring or cart spring, it is one of the oldest forms of springing, appearing on carriages in England after 1750 and from there migrating to France and Germany. Alvis 1928 Humber 1935 Independent front suspension by semi-elliptical springs Mercedes Benz 230 W153 1938 Leaf spring on a German locomotive built by Orenstein-Koppel and Lübecker Maschinenbau A leaf spring takes the form of a slender arc-shaped length of spring steel of rectangular cross-section. In the most common configuration, the center of the arc provides location for the axle, while loops formed at either end provide for attaching to the vehicle chassis. For very heavy vehicles, a leaf spring can be made from several leaves stacked on top of each other in several layers, often with progressively shorter leaves.

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