Chuck Lutz wrote:BRC MA GP PROTOTYPES
Michael, I don't disagree with your definitions. I realize "prototype" and "pilot model" have been used interchangeably in government contract documents. I won't quibble with that fact. But I still see a slight distinction that may elude government contract agents. Personally, I think of prototype as the very first vehicle (or whatever) of a new type which is built for moving the design from paper to metal as proof of concept. I regard the very first Bantam 1/4 ton 4X4 as the prototype jeep. To me, pilot models are the next very small batch (6-8 or so) built for testing the design (or variations of a design) in the field. The difference in names I see arises from the fact that once a vehicle type (like the jeep) has been proven successful, then future development does not require another prototype. Instead, new variations of a proven vehicle design will be built only as a small number of pilot models (such as the MC-38 jeeps) for field testing before large scale production begins. I regard all 69 BRC-60s (the only exception to my 6-8 number rule), the Ford Pygmy and Ford Budd, and the 2 Willys Quads (2WS and 4WS) as pilot model jeeps.
Due to their large quantity production, the BRC-40, Ford GP and Willys MA are all pre-standardized jeeps in my book. I don't have copies of the Bantam contracts, so have used BRC-60 and BRC-40 as the common names by which most MV collectors recognize the Bantam quarter-ton 4X4 vehicles to which those terms refer.
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