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Tropical Motors St. Thomas, VI, ‘Jeep’ Gala Keychain on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

Were the original Gala key chains encased in Acrylic like this? Maybe the dealer ones were? Price of this is $99, but seller will consider offers.

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“Rare Vintage Jeep Gala Tropical Motors St. Thomas V.I. Acrylic Keychain in Excellent Used Condition. My Father obtained this keychain while working in fleet sales for Willys in the Carribean and Central & South America in the 50’s and early 60’s. Measures approximately 1″ in diameter x 1/4″ thick. A must have for the Jeep Gala Surrey owner!!!”

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4 Comments on “Tropical Motors St. Thomas, VI, ‘Jeep’ Gala Keychain on eBay

  1. colin peabody

    The back of the key chain holder shows it was came through the Tropical Motors company in St. Thomas Virgin Islands. We know that the early Galas were exported to tropical resort areas like the Virgin Islands, Acapulco, Hawaii through the Willys Overland Export Corp. for use by rental companies and resorts in those areas. Even though Hawaii was a brand new state when the “Gala” was introduced in late 1959, shipments of Galas to Hawaii were still handled by Willys Overland Export Corp. Here in the continental US the same vehicle was marketed by Willys Motors Corp., as the Surrey. Our late friend Bruce Agan and I had numerous conversations regarding the name terminology at the time, company memos that described both vehicles in nearly identical terms and the advertising that came after 1961, when the Gala name was dropped from the advertising of these vehicle, with the Surrey becoming the prominent name. Paperweights with the same picture were made available to various rental agencies in Hawaii to advertise the Gala. The front had the caption ” DOUBLE YOUR VACATION FUN WITH A ‘Jeep’ Gala. The backside of the paperweights contained the rental agency name, location of the agency and telephone number. The one I have was from the Hertz System Licensee, Paschoal’s Gray Line in Maui at both the airport in Kahului and at the Maui Palms Hotel lobby in Kahului. The paperweights were just under 4 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick, weighing about 1 lb. I suspect the keychain went with a Jeep when it was rented out.

  2. David Eilers Post author

    Thanks Colin! I’ve been hoping to see a few more gala brochures or items pop up on eBay, but they remain scarce.

  3. colin peabody

    I made an offer of $50, was declined, 60, declined, 75, declined so I can’t make any more offers, but I am not going above 75. I will be happy with the paperweight that I have.

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