Updated 20 january 2008

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DATAPLATE RESEARCH
 GLOVE BOX DOOR WITH ORIGINAL DATAPLATES    GLOVE BOX DOOR WITH REPRODUCTION DATAPLATES

To make a prefect reproduction dataplate you need more than a production capacity. A good feeling for proportion and a technical background in combination with a knowledge in lettering is very important. And as an owner of a WWII jeep, I wanted to give my project of reproducing dataplates, that extra touch and attention to detail, which turned out to be indispensable in order to succeed. To be as accurate as possible I have acquired original dataplates, just for studying the correct material, production methods and letter styles. The fonts used 60 years ago are not the same as those in use today. I have redrawn these fonts in detail to be sure of a 100% accurate  reproduction..

The metals used are carefully studied and chosen to be as close as possible to the ones used for 
original dataplates. For example after mid 1942 Willys changed from brass to zinc. The metal brass was destined to have a more important part in WWII history (ammunition). So instead of Brass Willys started to use zinc, which was a less expensive metal. A remarkable fact is that the Willys originally used zinc dataplates for their pre-production series, the Willys MA. The other pre-productions Jeeps, the Bantam BRT and Ford GP, all had brass data plates..                              plates

Most Willys MB reproduction dataplates (for the mid '42 to end of prod. MB's) are made of aluminium instead of the correct metal, zinc. Furthermore the techniques used are often not correct. Repeatedly reproduction companies use a letter-press or silk-screen print technique. Both of these are incorrect, because the proceed used in WWII, was an etching technique. This technique gives that special appearance which is so recognizable on the original dataplates.

 

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