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Jeeps @ the California Automobile Museum

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPW (Ford MB), Museums

The California Automobile Museum (location) in Sacramento has at least three. I have been there yet, but it might be a potential stop on our California tour in March. The M-38 and CJ-2A were photographed by Jack Snell in August of 2013 (more great jeep photos by Jack in his photo stream).

This 1951 M-38 looks good:

Cal-Auto-Museum-m38-2 M-38 @ the California Automobile Museum

Cal-Auto-Museum-m38-1 M-38 @ the California Automobile Museum

This 1945 VEC CJ-2A looks very good:



The museum also has a 1943 GPW which was photographed and posted here along with other images from the museum. Below is the photo of the GPW:





11 Comments on “Jeeps @ the California Automobile Museum

  1. mmdeilers Post author

    I’ll make it a priority to stop by this museum. Maybe I can determine the tire brand in person.

  2. Steve E.

    This is a “must stop” attraction for you, Dave and Ann! And it’s only a stones throw from the freeway just South of historic Old Sacramento. I strongly suggest you also visit nearby Sutter’s Fort, which was a hub of many gold miners and historical figures traveling during the middle 1800’s.

    For those interested who don’t know about the California Automobile Museum:
    Edward Towe (pronounced like “plow”, lived 1914 to 2012) founded a Ford Musuem in Deer Lodge, Montana. (I find it interesting that he married a young lady named Florence Tow, in 1935.) In 1986, he expanded his collection to the capital city of Sacramento, CA. In 1997, he gave up control of the museum, then soon included vehicles other than Fords, and it was renamed the Towe Auto Museum. In 2009, the museum changed it’s name again to the California Automobile Museum (CAM). There are a variety of historic cars and trucks on display. I especially like the full scale dioramas depicting scenes from the past.

    Every month CAM invites a car club to display their automobiles. The Kaiser Frazer Club was invited to display a few of our cars in March 2013. CAM is open 7 days a week, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
    Sacramento is still a hub of transportation as it was in the Gold Rush Days. I don’t expect anyone to hop on a plane for the weekend, but if you are traveling through the middle of California, it would be worthwhile to stop at CAM.

    **Steve E.**

  3. John Hartman

    As long as you guys are talking tires, are those old style, military?, in the last pictures any good for anything or are they used for the nostalgic look only?
    Thank you

  4. mmdeilers Post author


    I’ve never jeeped with them, but I can’t imagine they would be better than subsequent treads. Most of the forum responses recommend the tires only for display, parades, and short drives.

  5. Steve E.

    John, I’ve never tried Non-directional Tires off road either, but I’m told by the old timers that they were excellent in the mud. I can’t imagine them being any good in snow. I had an original spare NDT tire on my ’57 Willys Wagon years ago. I’ve only had one flat, and I used that old spare tire. Boy was it noisy. I can’t imagine running all four NDT’s on the highway because of all the racket.

    They must have been good tires off road because the military used them in every size vehicle. They also were commonly used on Dodge Power Wagons in the 1950’s, which used 9.00 x 16″ NDT’s. I’d like to learn more about the history of Directional Tires, as on the M-38 above.

    **Steve E.**

  6. Robert Anderson

    I have used directiona tires on a couple of old Willys.
    I put NOS on a CJ2A that I used a lot on the farm, and they preformed very well in mud, as well as snow. In the few times we had on the farm to “Play” I had some bottom muck ground, and my kids friends would bring over a large assortment of 4WD vehicles and get them burried in that muck….I never got that CJ2A stuck, but can’t just say it was the tires, as it was light….and I knew how to drive it in those conditions….
    I can’t say that they were better or worse, as it would be difficult to do a fair comparrison.

  7. Steve E.

    That’s a good testimonial right there, Robert, that shows that a stock Willys with original “Old School” tires will go more places than most vehicles. “A V-8 breaks traction, not makes traction,” a quote from an old timer I once met. I also agree that 90% of four-wheeling is operator skill. Man has to know his vehicle’s limitations. (Almost a quote from Clint Eastwood.)

    **Steve E**

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