Welcome to willys-mb.ru!

Welcome to willys-mb.ru! This site is devoted to the legendary automobile Willys MB. This very automobile is considered to be the best vehicle of the World War II as well as the soviet tank T34, storm trooper Il-2 or fighter Me-109.
It is easy to use, reliable and effective. The car-soldier.
This site is of informational character. Here you will find information about the history of this automobile, its production and modifications. Those, who want to buy or restore a Willys and those simply interested in war history, will find a lot of interesting information here.
Hope that you will find the information, presented on these pages useful and interesting.

You are welcome with any questions or comments.

The Roots of my Passion for Willys MB

Some interests remain interests forever, some become hobbies, some grow into professions. And some become a passion. My interest for WWII jeeps is one of the latest.
My love for Willys started in the eighties. As you understand now it is almost impossible to denominate the exact year when I became fond of everything connected with the WWII.
So. The beginning of the eighties. The USSR. I was still a little boy, who had just started school. Certainly I liked the classes, but the weekends were far more interesting. It was the time when my father put aside his work and took me, my younger sister and my best friend to the Museum of War History or to the Museum of Revolution. That was just what I wanted! Tanks, guns, air-plains, cars… And we could not only look at but even touch all these wonderful things. In addition we watched a lot of movies about the WWII and listened to my Dad’s stories. And my Dad was an officer!
Here is where it all started.
The Siege of Leningrad, the Brest fortress, guerillas, infantry, pilots. Machineguns, rifles… I can go on for hours. For me and my friend all this was very interesting. My sister also seemed to understand….
And suddenly a small quick automobile with courageous soldiers flashed in this information flow. The car immediately attracted my attention by its simple form and amazing proportionality. It seemed to have been drawn with a ruler. And this mysterious name – Willys… It was the only thing I knew about this car.
Time passed by… The interest for the period of history, connected with the World War II didn’t fall. On the contrary, now I had the opportunity to “touch” the part of history in reality, not only in dreams, looking through the museum window.
That is when my interest for Willys rose again. I wanted not only to find out everything about this automobile, but to become an owner of one of them. I knew that after WWII there were a lot of cars in the country and that some of them were in private property, mostly in the ownership of war veterans.
And one day I got evidence that there are some cars in private property. It was during the celebration of the Victory day in the central park. The sight I was lucky to see was unforgettable! Just imagine…. An area in front of the park entrance. Inside the fenced territory there are cones. And one of the veterans in the uniform of WWII with medals and decorations is showing what is now called “master class” in his Willys. His skills and virtuosity bewitched me. It seemed so easy, I thought that I could drive the same way too… And now, getting into my Willys I understand how difficult it is to override this car. It takes years to form these skills and acquire the techniques.
Now I knew exactly the way the car looked and what it could do when treated with love and care. But months passed before I turned back to the Willys topic.
I started collecting more and more information, not always reliable and true, but as people say: negative result is also a result. The principle of the search was simple: everything connected with Willys, everything that could be read, seen, touched, all was interesting!
The more information I collected the more I wanted to possess a Willys. The search spread and now covered the whole ex-USSR. I took each car as the last chance. Dozens of times I was ready to buy a “totally original” Willys, dozens of times I was ready to buy it partly and restore myself, dozens of times I was sure that that car was the last one I could find…. I can’t tell exactly what prevented me from giving way to the tempting purchase. It must be my destiny that protected me from a rash step. Now, being a happy owner of a Willys, I watch the photos of the cars I was offered. I won’t have the heart to call them a Willys! Of course I realize that during the USSR period it was important that the car worked, nobody cared for restoration and the accordance to the original. As a result there were hundreds of so-called hybrids, that is to say the car had the body plus documentation of a jeep, but all the rest was God-knows-what, inherited from the previous owners. And such cars were passed as the legendary Willys!
Take for example the story about the new, in crates jeeps for 50$! I heard it myself in Russia! Note that there is an article devoted to this topic on the pages of this site! Have a look!
As time passed, I got more and more information… I learnt about the Willys’s “twin brother” Ford GPW, then about his “son” – Hotchkiss M201 and then about other models of Ford, Willys and Bantam. Even now Willys has descendants, designed by Wrangler…. Have a look! They are just grandsons!
The last two years of search were the most active. I’ve collected tones of information from books, photos, instructions…. All the info was thoroughly examined. Finally I was ready to put my knowledge into practice. The only thing I lacked was the car itself. And I longed for having it!
The chance to buy a jeep came rather quickly. As people say, Seek and you will find. In the end of 2006 Viatcheslav and Liudmila Lehn’s company “Collection Cars” was selling one. The decision was made! To buy! The only thing I needed was to wait until the car would arrive from Europe.
To tell the truth, I felt nervous. I had a chance not only to put my theoretical knowledge into practice, but to “touch” the history! I was buying a dream, a world legend. A restored Hotchkiss or other modification wouldn’t satisfy me. The only thing I wanted was a true Willys!
The car arrived in March 2007. Each inch and millimeter of the car was examined; every detail was taken into account. Not a single bolt, not a single marking was left without attention. Frankly speaking I am still not sure if that car was an original Willys. By that time I knew that in Europe there are many restored models of Hotchkiss which look just as Willys and that it is very easy to get confused. Though there are still some differences which can help to distinguish Willys from Hotchkiss. But we’ll turn to this topic a bit later on the pages of this web-site.
So I wasn’t 100% sure in the car. Many details were confusing, I had doubts. Finally I decided to refuse the offer.   
Having once again discussed all the details with Viatcheslav and having provided him with all the necessary information, I started to wait. I should be very grateful to Viatcheslav – the number of cars he had examined, the number of telephone consultations we had hold with the potential sellers, the number of photos he had made is beyond imagination! It is worth a separate story! But I was patient and my patience was recompensed. The car I finally bought was exactly what I wanted, not just a Willys but a car with the restoration documentation and the resolution of the collection cars committee! My dream came true!

Since that time I am the happy owner of Willys MB!