The Forward Control Jeep FC-150 and FC-170 models were trucks produced first by Willys and then later by Kaiser Jeep from 1956 to 1965. These trucks were also assembled in other international markets and the layout featured a cab-over-engine or forward-control design.
These trucks were designed by Brooks Stevens, an industrial designer from Milwaukee, WI. Brooks even designed two luxury van versions of the Forward Control Jeep, one for him and one for Henry J. Kaiser. It’s too bad these beautiful vehicles didn’t go into production.
The FC-150 version of the production Jeep had a short 81-in. wheelbase. The larger FC-170 had a 103-in. wheelbase. There was also a heavier duty FC-170DRW model, as well as FC-180 and FC-190 concepts. Forward-Control Jeeps were turned out with all types of bodies from pickups and flatbeds to fire trucks. Good sales the first year inspired many ideas, but the popularity of these trucks dropped off quickly and only about 30,000 were built in total.
Mark Turner, the CEO of Daystar Products International brought a customized 1958 FC-170 to SEMA 2016. ”This vehicle was built to be driven,” he said. To date, Turner’s BOTB ’56 Jeep FC-170 has been on many trips, including one down to the southernmost part of the United States—Key West, FL.
Daystar Products is based in Phoenix, AZ, and sells exterior and interior truck accessories, chemicals and lubricants, hardware and fasteners, lighting systems and aftermarket suspension components. The Jeep was built to showcase many of the company’s wares.
The restyling of the lime green-and-white Jeep embraces both hot rodding and off-roading. The Jeep uses specific parts that can handle both jobs. Under the hood lives a late-model 5.7-liter HEMI engine that supplies power to a transfer case and a transmission that’s suitable for use both on and off road.
The Jeep also features 17-inch Vintique wheels wrapped in Interco tires. Inside, modern amenities such as air conditioning, leather seating and cruise control help define the Jeep as a dual-purpose vehicle that’s completely “at home” at a Hot Rod-Arama or a Jeep Jamboree. In fact, with the growth of the truck niche at SEMA, it’s just about the perfect vehicle to bring to that show.
Article courtesy Speedville.