General Eisenhower’s jeep set to fetch up to £150,000 at online auction
PUBLISHED: 11:55 15 July 2020 | UPDATED: 11:55 15 July 2020
Cheffins / US National Archives/Picryl
A jeep given to General Eisenhower after he masterminded Allied victory in the Second World War – and driven during his term as US president – is for sale at an East Anglian auction.
The 1944 Willys-Overland Military Jeep is expected to fetch up to £150,000 when it goes under the hammer at Cheffins’ Cambridge Vintage Sale, based at Sutton, near Ely, which will take place online on July 20-22.
It was presented to General Dwight D “Ike” Eisenhower by the National Trust for Scotland in 1946, along with the keys to an apartment in Culzean Castle, in recognition of his strategic brilliance as supreme allied commander during the war, overseeing D-Day and other crucial operations which secured victory in Europe.
Eisenhower, who would later become the 34th president of the USA from 1953 to 1961, visited the apartment on the estate in Ayrshire several times, including while in office, and used the jeep as his rural runaround when he was in the UK.
The jeep was last auctioned in April 1978, when it was purchased by the current owner, a collector from Buckinghamshire, who demonstrated it at shows and memorial celebrations including the 2005 anniversary of D-Day at Culzean Castle, where Eisenhower’s granddaughter Susan was photographed at the wheel.
Now, still in full working order with 33,000 miles on the clock, it has been given a pre-sale estimate of between £120,000 and £150,000.
Auctioneer Jeremy Curzon said: “Something like this comes along once or twice in your auctioneering career. We’ve already had Winston Churchill’s Land Rover in 2012 – and now we’ve got Ike’s jeep, which is a real coup.
“The really interesting thing about this jeep is that Ike considered Culzean Castle to be his second home and this was the vehicle he used whenever he was here. He used to drive down to the village and get his paper and his loaf of bread in this jeep.”
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The July auction is expected to be a major event for eager vintage vehicle collectors and enthusiasts, as it is the firm’s first since the lockdown and the first to accept bids solely online or by proxy.
Cheffins chairman Bill King said: “There is significant pent-up demand in the market and we anticipate there to be a number of itchy fingers on keyboards as buyers from across Europe and further afield race to add to their collections.
“The Eisenhower Jeep in particular is set to pique peoples’ curiosity, especially following VE Day celebrations earlier this summer.”
• Viewing days at the Sutton saleground are offered on July 17 and 18 before online bidding opens on July 20 until July 22. For more information see the Cheffins website.
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