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1945 Article on the Jeep Demonstration

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images, Old News Articles

A July 19, 1945, article in the Dayton Herald, out of Dayton, Ohio, covered the jeep demonstration at Charles Sorensen’s farm. Two things about the article stuck out to me. 1) I was surprised to learn that there had been no sales price shared with reports as of the demonstration. 2) The reporter who wrote the article noted that the most interesting piece of equipment was the John Bean Haymaker, which apparently never became a Willys-Overland Special Equipment item, at least not one of which I’m aware. I did find a brochure from a few years later that covered the John Bean Haymaker (see the cover at the bottom of this post).


July 19, 1945, Dayton Herald out of Dayton, Ohio.

What the above article doesn’t mention is that Willys-Overland had hoped to build 20,000 jeeps over the remainder of 1945, at least according to an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer on July 18th:


July 18, 1945, News Messenger out of Fremont, Ohio.

So, why wasn’t the company able to see the 20,000 production figure and instead produced only 1824 CJ-2As? One big factor was that Warner Gear had gone on strike for 12 weeks, stopping production of transmissions that Willys-Overland needed to complete the jeeps. There were probably other reasons as well, but had W-O been able to produce over those 12 weeks what they subsequently manufactured throughout 1946, the company could have come very close to the 20,000 production figure for 1945. In other words, there likely would have been a lot more VECs!


December 22, 1945, Daily Times out of New Philadelphia, Ohio.

One of the ripple effects of the strike was that W-O was unable to enter the South American market as quickly as it had hoped, as this October 23, 1945, article highlighted:

Clipping from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette -

October 23, 1945, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In reference to the top article, this 1951 brochure demonstrates that John Bean continued to improve its Haymaker product into the early 1950s. More of this brochure can be seen on eBay.



4 Comments on “1945 Article on the Jeep Demonstration

  1. Bill Norris


    I was doing research for the next Dispatcher and found the OPA gave pricing permission for the Jeep on July 30.

    We are running an article on Jeep Day for the 75th anniversary.


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