1/4-Ton Amphibian Truck
Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII

Standardized in February, 1943, yet rarely seen in combat photos, the 1/4-ton amphibian truck was Ford Motor Car Company's dual-use version of the omnipresent jeep.

Nicknamed the "seep," this little truck had many of the characteristics of the jeep, only wrapped in a waterproof hull. It could carry a crew of four or a payload of 800 pounds (including driver and assistant), reach 55 mph on land and a more leisurely 5.5 mph on water. Towing capactiy was 1,000 pounds, just like the jeep.

Development of the vehicle began following Pearl Harbor, in the new Office for Scientific Research and Development. The designer, Rod Stephens, was a designer and builder of racing yachts, one of which won the Americas Cup in 1937! He and his team went on to design the DUKW.

In plastic, this vehicle is represented by the early 1/35 Tamiya kit, as well as a 1/72 version from Academy.

Scott Taylor provided these excellent views of the seep "Ike's Invasion Taxi" at the World War II Vehicle Museum in Hubbard, Ohio.


Modeling the U.S. Army in WWII © 2002—2007 Timothy S. Streeter