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Early Warn Manufacturing Co. History

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images, Old News Articles • TAGS: .

This May 1957 Willys News article provides some interesting history about the Warn Manufacturing Company. Apparently there was some early resistance to using the first generation of the warn hubs, because jeep owners felt they’d purchased their jeeps for the four wheel drive capability. The initial hubs turned the jeeps into two wheel drive, which some owners felt defeated the whole point of owning a jeep. However, through education and marketing, the Warn folks slowly turned naysayers into advocates.

1957-05-willys-news-warn-article copy

From a 1995 Field & Stream Magazine article:


These were the first locking/unlocking hubs Warn developed. These were advertised as early as October of 1953 in the Popular Mechanics:



6 Comments on “Early Warn Manufacturing Co. History

  1. gordon West

    Not necessarily related, but I saw a motorhome towing a flat fender on the freeway last week and noticed that there were free-wheel hubs on the rear axles, too. Seems like a good idea, but I have not ever seen it before.

  2. Idaho Todd

    Mrs. Warn?! The son and both daughters?! This is a fabulous article and an even better story. I love it! This is exactly what this country is made of. I didn’t know the origins of warn’s beginnings. I will have a new found love and respect when I get out and “lock ’em in”. Thanks for the history lesson.

  3. mike

    I’m old enough to remember this controversy, in 1962 my dad had a 1950 CJ3A and didn’t see a need for them. By the mid 60’s he had a change of opinion, his 1960 wagon had Warn hubs. This was a big deal back then; kind of like you weren’t a REAL MAN if you used hubs. Crazy but true story.

  4. Marty Tilford

    Gordon, my dad’s website sells the full float kits for early jeeps. He is the only one left that makes them and sells them. You can go to and see them.

  5. Steve E.

    Marty, or anyone in Jeepsterland, do you know if anybody still sells an AMC Model 20 rearend freewheeling kit? (Not a Dana 44.) Warn used to make them. I had never hear of them until now. A friend of mine bought a kit and installed it many years ago, and he likes them. He want’s another one.

    **Steve E.**

  6. Marty Tilford

    Steve, my dad does not currently make those kits. He has thought about offering them but there is not much call for them. You can contact him and ask about them.

    I was talking to him about some other ones for my jeep and he said thats he’s looking into adding more kits to his product line.

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