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Sterling Manufacturing’s Jeep Trailer

• CATEGORIES: Features, trailer

UPDATE: Check out Richard’s Sterling Trailer here.

Most of us are familiar with the post WWII trailers like the Bantam & Spen trailers, but one most people don’t know about is the Sterling trailer built in Canada by the Sterling Machine and Manufacturing Company. I *think* the company was located in Hobart, Ontatrio, on the isthmus between Georgian Bay to the north and Simcoe Lake to the south.

Only a handful of these trailers have been photographed. The topic came to my attention thanks to Glenn, who spotted a Kijiji ad in a CJ-2A Page thread for the trailer.  It appears to be the 2nd production model made. Here’s the info:

Vintage 1947 Willys Jeep trailer:
This is a unique item if you are into old Jeeps. It is serial number 2!!! It was built in 1947 by Sterling Machine in Owen Sound, Ontario for Willys Jeep. The serial number plate is original untouched and shows it as number 2. 

A little research into Sterling is they produced Civilian and civil service equipment for Jeep, and much of their business was concentrated on fire service. It appears this trailer may have originally been painted red, so it may have been sold as fire dept. equipment. 

This trailer is in need of restoration, but is still usable. Up until recently it was used as a utility trailer by my father-in-law. Lots of surface rust, but structurally it is still very restorable.

1947-sterling-machine-trailer-canada1 1947-sterling-machine-trailer-canada2 1947-sterling-machine-trailer-canada3


The best threads about this trailer are at the early CJ-5 site and at the IH8Mud site. One of the big differences between the early trailer above and the later trailer are the fenders, which change from  the extended type shown above to the more bantam-like fenders. Here’s an example:



This is a vintage photo of a Sterling Trailer that appeared on Facebook.


Sterling Machine didn’t only do trailers. The CJ-3B page highlights there production of Fire Jeeps:

Sterling also received a Canadian patent for “Sawing attachment for jeeps and tractors” in 1951:

Finally, it appears George Hindman owned/controlled/bought Sterling Machine. His grandson Paul Evans mentions Sterling building ‘fire trucks’ there.

So, if anyone has more insight into Sterling Machine and Manufacturing, please let me know.


13 Comments on “Sterling Manufacturing’s Jeep Trailer

  1. Cort Henderson

    I have been trying to figure out what type of trailer I have. It has the angled top rails like these, but the side uprights of a ben hur. No data plates, nothing that tells me the manufacturer.

  2. mmdeilers Post author


    I can see why you are confused. I just looked through this great trailer thread:
    and didn’t see any trailer that looks like yours. Your does seems like a cross between the Ben Hur and the Sterling.

    Maybe what you have is a Sterling prototype or early model that was based initially on the Ben Hur??? After all, I believe the Ben Hurs were made before the Sterlings. Also, it seems like the Sterling #2 shown above is a cut down version of what you have. And, what you have maybe is a modified Ben Hur? Surely is a neat trailer either way!

    – Dave

  3. Cort Henderson

    Dave, thanks for checking it out. The more old paint I knock off the more I like it. The original axel has removed and replaced with some weird front end. Once I find the maker, I’d like to get a real axel with the correct tires.

  4. Dean Puzon

    I found one of these trailers and am in the process of getting to match up to my YJ. It does not have a data plate and had some extra metal and ramps added to it. I would love to add some photos and get some help on the hubs.

  5. David Eilers

    Hi Dean,

    Email your pics to and I’ll take care of the rest. I’m not sure how much help I’ll be on the hubs, but you never know 🙂

    – Dave

  6. Francisco R.

    I just recently bought an old Knox trailer (1946) and I am in the process to restore it but one of my leaf springs it’s broke and I couldn’t find anything about it in the internet.


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