M201 CANVAS HOOD

Most people tend to associate the M201 with a plastic hood but this design was not introduced until about 1970, several years after the production of jeeps had ceased. M201s left the factory with canvas seat covers and a canvas hood similar but not identical to the original WW2 design.
At each corner of the hood was a strap used to both secure and tension the canvas to the footman loops mounted on the tubular windshield cross-member at the front and the hoop at the rear. To prevent the canvas tearing under the tension at the stitching the strap was sewn onto a piece of quite thick waxed leather which was in turn stitched to the canvas.

The arrangement at the front is shown opposite and the arrangement at the rear below.

The canvas used was a fairly typical French army green rather than American Olive Drab colour. (Sahara models were fitted with a sand coloured hood) It is rare to find an original canvas in good condition, most were either replaced by the later plastic type or became bleached by sunlight.

The design included a turn buckle arrangement along the whole length of each side. The purpose at the rear is obviously to attach rear side screens but one can only assume that similar roll up or roll back screens could be fitted at the front as an alternative to more traditional opening doors.

The arrangement at the rear of the jeep (shown below) included securing straps and a flap through which the jerrycan strap could pass. When not in use the hood was removed from the jeep, folded and stored under the front passenger seat.
The example that I have managed to acquire also has a couple of interesting non-standard features. The first is that it has been fitted with what appears to be a rear window kit. This consists of two metal frames, one inside and one outside between which the clear vinyl window (larger than the original) is held. The parts are held together and secured to the canvas by a series of small nuts and bolts. It is a well made and designed kit that could be fitted in any workshop without the need for specialist sewing facilities. It is difficult to tell from photographs whether the original factory fitted canvases had a transparent vinyl 'window' or just a 'hole' like the original WW2 design. Either way this kit produced a larger vision panel than the original.
The second non-standard feature is a second flap in a rather odd position. The canvas underneath the flap has been reinforced by second circular patch of canvas (you can just make out the outline) presumably designed to be cut to allow something (I don't know what) to pass through the canvas to the outside. Can anybody out there help solve this puzzle?
A canvas windshield cover to compliment the hood was produced for the French Army although I have yet to see a photograph of one actually in use. It is pretty similar to the original WW2 design but opens wider to accommodate the windscreen wiper assembly and bonnet stand-off brackets.
 

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