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Craig’s Pic of the Week: Unusual Jeep Train

• CATEGORIES: Craigs Pic of the Week, Features, Postcards • TAGS: .

For his Pic of the Week, Craig forwarded this unusual train built on a jeep platform that was featured in a 1964 issue of Jeep News.

I found an example of the above train-jeep being used at Africa, USA, though the details were slightly different.  These pictures come from

I’m wondering if this jeep train out of St. Augustine, FL, isn’t a custom version of the above platform.  You can see the older St. Augustine Jeep Trains here.


7 Comments on “Craig’s Pic of the Week: Unusual Jeep Train

  1. DJ Bill

    I wonder if they used a 2WD chassis for that.. Seeing the baby moon hubcaps on the front wheels makes me wonder…The DJ wasn’t geared as slowly as a CJ in four low, but four low would be unsuitable for hard surfaces such as the one shown in the picture.. They would definitely want to gear it down as much as they could to keep the speeds down . The Fantastic Caverns jeeps were all automatics, which lets the drivers go nice and slowly…

    Dave have you found any factory pictures of the chassis being assembled or any spec sheets?

  2. DJ Bill

    There is a guy on the 2A page, I think, who has a jeep formerly used by one of the big circuses, had a plywood body originally. Dave you might want to track him down and see what all pictures of special body jeeps he has dug up in researching his jeep. It was a 4WD if I remember right.

  3. mmdeilers Post author

    Thanks Bill. I will look into that. In a couple days I have a post about Kam, an elephant who initially drove a modified MB in a circus. Then the circus switched to a modified Land Rover.

  4. Dan H

    I’ve seen a lot of Jeeps used in people movers like this one. They were made to look mostly like trains. But I have seen banana’s, Mini Semi tractors, space ships, dragons, any idea you could have. Most were easy streamline fiberglass design. These were used to take customers from parking lots to the entrance. Fiberglass bodies put right onto a Jeep frame. All of the ones I’ve seen over the years were 4 wheel drive. I didn’t crawl under them to make sure the front drive shafts were still hooked up but you could see the transfer case stick in the cab area. I’m sure they liked running them with the transfer case in low range.

    For trains ( trains run on steel wheel not rubber tires) Willys motors were used in a wide range of Amusement park trains. The largest was Allan Herschell. All of their 24″ Iron Horse trains used Willys motors from 1961 to 1968. I’ve seen both f and L head 134’s, 226 and later trains had a 230 OHC. The Allan Herschell museum has documents showing an agreement with Willys to use their engine during that time frame. They could have been using them earlier without a factory provided engines.

    In these trains only the engine was used. Most have a T90 using only 1st gear and reverse going to gear box that has dual output so you can run multiple sets of drive trucks at low speed. Instead of a clutch a Hydro-Sheave is used. I still see running examples being used all day every day at amusement parks.

    Willys motors were also used to power Allan Herschell rides. I’ve seen carousels using them. There were other rides also. These were factory models. I’ve seen a lot of rides converted taking a chassis with no body. Turn the rear axle on it’s side and the wheel changed to a pulley or gear to run the ride. The best I’ve seen was a model A Ford where you still sat in the seat of the car and shafted the car using the clutch.

    The biggest amusement park in the country still using gas engines to power rides is Knoebels Park in PA. The only change is the engines run on propane today.

  5. mmdeilers Post author

    Bill .. btw … I did track down that jeep on the 2A page. It was the former lilliput jeep of the Ringling Brothers Circus rather than a train of some kind.

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