The Jeffrey Quad was one of the most used trucks in World War One. It was designed by the Thomas B Jeffrey Company in Kenosha, Wisconsin in the USA. The Jeffery was developed as a result of a visit by the US Army Quartermaster Corps to the Thomas B. Jeffery factory at Kenosha, Wisconsin in 1913. It was 2-ton four-wheel drive vehicle, with drop-side tray and a 2-seat cab. The truck was fitted fitted with a 4-cylinder Buda side-valve motor of 4.87 litres. The gearbox had four forward ratios plus reverse. It had steering on all four wheels, which gave it a very small turning radius of just 8.5 meters. All wheels were braked, and it was said that the truck could be brought to a standstill from its top speed (about 20 mph) in its own length. Production of the truck started in 1913, with a peak of 11.490 Quads delivered in 1918.
The four wheel drive and general "excellence" of the truck on the rough, unpaved roads and in muddy conditions, soon made it very popular by several armies. The first to use it was of course the US Army and the US Marine Corps, but it was soon adapted by the armed forces of France and Britain, who used it both as a general transporter, tow vehicle and ambulance.
The French Army also used it as so called Portee Vehicle: instead of towing the famous 75mm gun, the gun was loaded onto the rear platform using special ramps. The reason for this solution, was that the gun, with its spoked tree wheels, was not suitable for high speed towing, and also, that the four-wheel drive truck could traverse terrain where the gun itself often got stuck. It soon proved a very useful improvisation, giving the artillery a mobility never seen before. By the end of the war 33 portée Regiments had been formed by the French Army.
Because of its popularity, the Jeffrey Quad was manufactured in large numbers, including license production by Hudson, National, and Paige-Detroit. The Jeffrey company was sold to the Nash Company in 1916, which produced the Quad under the name of Nash Quad.
Images were taken at the 2009 anniversary of the U.S. Army’s Cross-Country Motor Transport Train of 1919 by F-J Harmych.
(Click here for an explanation of the 1919 event) The final image is of the Nash Quad’s owners in period uniforms. The following video shows the restored truck starting and running.