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Hanson Mechanical: Jeep Restoration and Education — Westminster, Md

• CATEGORIES: Features, Women & Jeeps

Merlin from Hanson Mechanical emailed me today thanking me for posting his restored MB for sale.  It turns out, his old Willys restoration shop has quite a story.  What fun this site is to manage sometimes as unexpected stories continue to turn up, unexpectedly.  Thanks for sharing Merlin! You can contact Merlin through his website if you need some work done.

I will let Merlin tell it, “A small group of graduates from the high school I used to teach at found me after I took another job and they have put an extensive amount of time into my business just to help me and to learn more about Jeep restoration.  They range in age from 18 to 22 and it is wonderful knowing individuals that age are interested in learning restoration, welding, brazing and leading.  They have whole rants dedicated to their hatred of Bondo :).  So far they have restored and electrified a 1955 Metropolitan, restored my father’s 1956 Porsche, refurbished the Kaiser/ Willys MB, inventoried Major Barton’s workshops (read about Major John Barton here), and now are working through an endless line of MB’s and GPW’s.

One, named Vlad, from Belorus, knows all the metal details quite well now and evaluates anything we look at rescuing. He considers doing lead work on a Jeep a relaxing experience.  Vlad’s girlfriend, Kelsey, is an artist who helps with anything she can and is an extraordinary individual. “Izzy”, who used to manage my school theater stage crew, is our computer and organizational whiz. My main mechanic, John Ingram, is a former music teacher who specialises in restoring Rolls Royces at the RR museum in PA.  He evaluates every Jeep mechanically and is responsible for our decision to refurbish the one with the Kaiser 6 (truly an early hotrod).

They are an eclectic crew (who often play things like Swedish techno music in the background) who are dedicated to preserving our mechanical past, and doing it right.  I am beyond impressed with the group of them and thankful that they are so dedicated.  Anything that promotes the business brings them more work and thus makes them happy and helps pay for college.  Vlad’s five year old brother told me that he dreams of working for me by age 10, and he often comes out with Vlad and finds ways to help.  I hope someday there is enough business that they can run the shop for me while I keep teaching.

In the Jeep section are original archives from Aberdeen Proving Ground. The same goes for every other section as we search out original archival materials for all vehicles in my dwindling collection.  We also will be republishing Major Barton’s book on Jeep tools through, prceeds will go to his daughter’s college fund.”

Below are some random images of jeeps, the kids, and some from the history section.

Below are a couple stills from a Jeep Film.


2 Comments on “Hanson Mechanical: Jeep Restoration and Education — Westminster, Md

  1. Bill

    Would like to hear more about the connection with John Barton…..I always wondered what happenned to the stuff he had collected. John was one of the good guys and is still highly missed.

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