Saturday, July 8, 2017

Ideal Army DUKW - When Is A Duck Not A Duck? When It's A Seep


Our last post of the Ideal 'DUKW' left me a little perplexed. The toy is listed in the reference books as a DUKW (called The Duck), and the toy is often listed and sold as a DUKW but it didn't look right to me. I'm no expert in miltary vehicles but I just knew I'd seen pictures of the real thing somewhere else. It didn't take long for on-line searches to reveal the truth. First of all, the real Duck is bigger and has two sets of rear wheels vs. the one set seen on the Ideal toy. Designed in 1942 the Duck was built by GMC and met with great success during the war as an amphibous/land hauler of personnel and supplies. Seeing continued service all around the country in the Pos-war years it is often used as transport for tourists by sight-seeing companies. I remember riding a DUKW on the Wisconsin Dells as a kid. What fun! Mystery solved Scooby Doo! Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina

Here's a few pics of a real Duck (DUKW) courtesy Wikipedia.


So, what exactly is our toy made by Ideal? Turns out it's a representation of Ford's GPA (G=Government, P=80" Wheelbase, A=Amphibious). Known as the Seep (Sea Jeep) production started in 1942 and it turned out not to be quite as successful as the Duck. It had many deficiencies among which it was considered too slow on land and had poor seagoing characteristics on open water and most Seep's ended up going to Russia under the Lend-Lease program. You'll notice in the next few photos (also courtesy of Wikipedia) that this is an exact match for Ideal's version.

 Look at the bow of the Seep and you'll notice that the folding apparatus I mistook for a canopy (and misidentified as a tow bar in my reference book) is actually a hinged cowling. When entering the water the cowling is folded over to the forward position to shield the headlights. When back on land it was folded in the rear position to allow the headlights to be seen.

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