The Nuffield Lightweight Jeep was produced by the Nuffield Mechanization Ltd of Birmingham, England.
Wolseley Motors Limited was founded in early 190o’s by the Vickers, Sons & Maxim (armaments) company. Wolseley’s car production grew rapidly after the Great War, by 1921 it was the largest motor vehicle manufacturer in Britain. But this did not last because in 1927 the company went into receivership. The company was purchased from the now named ‘Vickers Limited’ by William Morris (Lord Nuffield) the founder of Morris Motors Limited. Wolseley Motors Limited now became part of Morris’s personal property, in 1929 the company began the development of aero engines. The aero department was kept separate when in 1935 Wolseley then became a subsidiary of Morris Motors Limited. The aero engine section was to become Nuffield Mechanization Ltd and remained the personal property of William Morris.In 1935 Lord Nuffield was approached by the British government and asked to establish a research department to improve the British armed forces vehicles. Among the vehicles looked at was the very successful Jeep. The US government were testing a number of lightweight Jeeps about this time. Something that could be easily transported by air and carry two soldiers with a payload of some 500 lbs.Work started on the Nuffield Lightweight Jeep it was a shortened version of the standard Willys Jeep. The front bumper and supports were removed, and the same at the rear. The standard Willys Go Devil engine was retained but with some modifications. They included the oil filter and air filter and the carburettor which were changed, so that the bonnet could be made lower to give the vehicle a lower profile.New bodywork was fitted to the Nuffield Lightweight which retained the look of the original Jeep. The Nuffield used the standard Jeep windscreen. The Nuffield performed well in testing and proved a very good lightweight vehicle. But it was felt that at this stage of the war the vehicle was not needed and it never put into production.Nuffield Mechanization Ltd built a version of the American Liberty V12 aero engine. This engine was used in British tanks before and during the second war. They also produced over half of the Bofors anti-aircraft guns built in Britain during WW2. Also being involved in the development of agriculture machinery during the war the first prototype Nuffield Universal tractor was produced in May 1946.