“MANILA (AFP) — The rugged Willy Jeep has been given a new lease of life by a small factory in Manila reproducing the iconic World War II vehicle for a growing international market nostalgic for the past.
The company, MD Juan, exports about 95 percent of its output to collectors mainly in the United States and Europe who still treasure the veteran vehicle said to have been the backbone of the US army during World War II.
Plant manager Roberto Cruz says American collectors want their jeeps as authentic as possible — complete with imperfections and outdated materials such as wood and rubber instead of more durable plastic.
“The purists, they want it correct to the smallest detail,” he told AFP.
“If you make the body too nice, they don’t like it. They ask, ‘where is the spot weld part here?'” he said.”