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Charles is Hunting for His Dad’s ’42 GPW

• CATEGORIES: Features

UPDATE: Charles mentioned the story of his father’s drive from Florida to Ohio in a post two days ago. Yesterday, he sent me a photo and article related to that adventure. I’ve typed out the article, as it is a little hard to read.



2,000 Miles And 38 Quarts of Oil Later

MARILYN CARLTON (Medina County Gazette)
December 21, 1970.

“Ohio or Bust” is what the sign on the back of the age Jeep (1942) said when two young men on leave left Jacksonville, Fla.

Airman Steve Brookover, 20, who has been in the Navy two and one-half years, and Airman Denny Kellham, 19, stationed at Cecil Field, took a lot of ribbing when they decided to come home on leave in the jeep.

Steve said “The guys started betting right away that we would never make it.”

“They called it ‘Kell-Brook Folly'” he added.

The four cylinder jeep has no heater, only half a canvas top and no back at all. It took 38 quarts of oil to make the trip and averaged only 35 miles per hour.

It was 57 hours after they left Jacksonville before they arrived at Hinckley, where Brookover’s parents live. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Roland Joy.

The airman spent 42 hours of the 51 driving, 15 hours in a steady rain. “I think it must ahve been the Monsoon season in Georgia,” Brookover joked.

The men admitted to some trouble with a slipping clutch when coming over the mountains and they ran out of gas on Interstate 71 — just nine miles from the Medina exit.

Brookover said they bought the Jeep about six months ago “just to run around in.”

“They wouldn’t let us bring it on the base, so we worked on it in town on our time off. I guess they thought it might be a hazard at Cecil,” Kellham added.

Future plans of the two Navy men do not call for a trip back in the kell-Brook Folly — they plan to fly back Jan. 3. They leave Jan. 5 on a Meditarranean cruise aboard the USS Forrestal for six months. They are in Attack Squadron 81.

Airman Kellham has been in the Navy a year and a half and hails from Toledo. His mother, Mr. Evelyn Kellman presently lives in Indiana.


Original post Aug 6, 2018 – Charles is looking for his Dad’s 1942 GPW. He writes, “My dad had a 42 gpw he bought during his time in the navy in the Vietnam years. He actually drove it from Florida to ohio during leave with my future moms cousin (also in the navy)and on that trip he met my mom for the first time. A jeep brought them together. He let it go sometime in the 70s but still always talks about it.”

He provided me with a serial number of GPW535301. That number has not been registered on the G-503 Database, but it appears higher than it should be, especially for a 1942. If anyone has any additional insights, he would welcome them. I suggested he add a post over at the G-503 site.



25 Comments on “Charles is Hunting for His Dad’s ’42 GPW

  1. Mike

    Good luck you’ll need it, almost impossible to do, state motor vehicle records are not available to the public.

  2. Jeff

    The best way to find vehicles is u use car fax if it’s registered with correct serial number u will find it.

  3. mike Finegan

    It is my impression that car fax only traces vehicles 1990’s and up. Vintage vehicles such as a 1942 Willys our not even a consideration. I could be wrong, just don’t want to get anybody’s hopes beyond exceptions.

  4. David Eilers Post author

    Based on some quick research, Carfax only tracks vehicles after 1980. 1981 was when the modern VIN was instituted.


    while your at it — can you find my old 1956 continental mk II ?? — I stupidly sold it back in 1988 — for cheap — now they are worth — MUCHO DENERO ~

  6. Jeff

    Ok ur right next idea if u have a friend that is in law enforcement ask them to run the serial should be able to do it nation wide. Next idea hire a recovery company to do a search for u shouldn t cost to much. Also u can fill out a affidavit form at the dmv to do a record search at least u can in my state

  7. Mike

    Jeff, I think you have been misinformed big time. A police officer could loose his job doing this for a friend,against the law. A Recovery Co. Does not search for long lost vehicles, this is another term for Repro man, Re possessor. State motor vehicle agencies only do a records search if you can prove you presently own the vehicle.

  8. Bob in nc

    Good morning.
    With help from Dave and the rest of the folks here you got a fighting chance to find it if it’s still alive. Good luck.

  9. TJ Kistner

    Having a friend in law enforcement do it is a risky move for an officer. Where I worked in Oregon, our system permanently records each inquiry, and can trace it to the terminal from which the inquiry was made, and show who was signed on there. There have been people jammed up and have lost their jobs over it. Such as people running a plate on a car and contacting the owner, asking to buy the vehicle. Only to have the owner complain to the PD about how the officer got their info. I can remember a time when we first got car computers, guys would run plates for various reasons, such as “Bed checks”, to see who was spending the night at a dispatchers place, or their ex wife or husband, etc. Funny then, but not now. Years ago when I was first hired, there was a terminal at the PD that was permanently logged on, and therefore “anonymous” as far as tracking. Not to say it doesn’t happen all the time, but I would not do it.

  10. Charles Brookover

    Thanks for the help. Hope any of you guys that have a GPW will check your numbers. Like Dave mentioned it doesn’t appear to be the correct serial number by the records. I guess if you took either the first or last number off it might make it a 42.?

    Guess dad eventually sold the jeep for $200.


  11. Doug in Ohio

    Not a complete GPW,but I did buy a GPW hood a few years ago in that area of Ohio near Lodi I believe.I have not recovered any hood numbers yet.doubtful it is from the GPW being sought after.I know that it is not close to either of my GPW serial numbers.


    hello — i’m searching for that girl I met at a harvest moon birthday party back in 1983 — Garberville , California — she was like a goddess , or was it just the drugs ?? — I don’t know , I been sober for 30 yrs now — she could have been a diablera~ for all I know — so if anybody sees an extremely comely hemp maiden in the southern Humboldt county quadrant — -please message me ?

  13. Mike

    Neal, judging from the above comments, the odds are in your favor, not a sweet young thing anymore, but I”m sure she’s still around. As for the 1942 Jeep, keep dreaming. Reality or Illusion, take your pick.

  14. Bobby Miller

    Have no idea where the Jeep is but was stationed with Steve at Cecil Field. I do remember the trip & am hopeful that Steve is alive & well. If so , please give him my email address. We cut a dollar bill in half & we each took a half so if we ever met up again it would be applied towards a pitcher of beer. Still have it somewhere. I still have a picture of the Jeep somewhere. Need to do some digging.

  15. Charles Brookover

    Hey Bobby,

    Yeah dad’s still here and well. I’ll forward your email to him. I’d like to see that picture of the jeep.
    Guess he sold it somewhere near Cleveland for a couple hundred bucks. Doubt I’ll find it but thought Id try.

  16. Bobby Miller

    Charles, sent you a couple of emails. Hopefully you got them. Included another picture of the Jeep. Let me know

  17. David Eilers Post author

    Sent me a couple of emails?

    If they were to me, I did not receive them if it was to me. My d@ewillys account is still down. Files need to be sent to for the time being.

    – Dave

  18. Bobby Miller

    Guess I did not make it clear. Sorry. I sent the emails & photo attachments to Charles. Would like to mail the physical pictures. He or his Dad should have them.

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