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El Dorado Jeepherders Jeep Club

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

In 1945, a movie called the Jeep-Herders was released. Not long after that (most likely between 2 to 6 years), several folks formed the El Dorado Jeepherders jeep club in the Placerville area of California. My assumption is that the name of the club came directly from the movie.

The internet claims that the El Dorado Jeepherders is the oldest jeep club in existence, however I could find no dates to confirm this. One claim puts the club’s roots in early 1950. By the early 1950s, there were several clubs in existence in the West, including the two earliest that I know of: the Yakima Ridge Runners and the Hemet Jeep Club. A copy of the club’s original bylaws can be found on eBay. Here are pics of them:


eldorado-jeepherder-bylaws1 eldorado-jeepherder-bylaws2 eldorado-jeepherder-bylaws3

The El Dorado Jeepherders club eventually died, but recently a group of folks got to gather to resurrect the club name. A thread on Pirate 4×4 mentions this and one response on the thread by David Thomas included this image of some early placards:


In the 1980s, a reader named Mike was a high school student in Placerville. He writes, “El Dorado High School in Placerville had a great metal shop program. In 1983 or 1984 we had a club called the El Dorado Iron workers. We would get metal project jobs from the community and work on them after school. The money we made was used to fund our shop. Our teacher was a jeeper as well as most of the club members. One of our projects was to cast up these emblems for the El Dorado Jeep Herders , our local Jeep club. The one I have pictured was a reject, so instead of it going back into melted aluminum for a recast I hung onto it.”


Mike’s aluminum emblem.


Now, how does the Eldorado Jeep Club relate to the Gold miner ornament that we’ve seen on some of the California jeeps? Well, thanks to JoeB’s suggestion for a google search phrase, I stumbled onto the best history of the gold miner ornament that I’ve seen thus far. It was a member of the El Dorado Jeepherders who first began selling them.

More on the miners here.


Example of the bronze placer miner hood ornament.


Stepping backward a few decades, in 1958, another Jeepherders club was started in Albuquerque, New Mexico, called the Albuquerque Jeep Herders. They used plates similar to the El Dorado club. Today, the Albuquerque based club is  known as the New Mexico 4-Wheelers. has some old photos of the club.



4 Comments on “El Dorado Jeepherders Jeep Club

  1. dan c clayberger

    I am looking for someone with working knowledge about replacing the 6 cyl. eng. in my l995 Jeep Wrangler either with a “6” eng. with more horsepower or a small V-8 eng. Please have them e-mail me at,.,.,.,.



  2. Laurie

    I have an old bronze plated minor hood ornament.
    is there a central place that I could advertise. thanks

  3. David Eilers Post author

    Hi Laurie,

    I’d be happy to post that for you. Feel free to email me at Send me some pics, your price, a description and your location. If you have additional questions, feel free to ask!

    – Dave

    David Eilers

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