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Jeep License Plate Topper Tractor Power **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

UPDATE II: This sold for $455.

UPDATE: This topper has reached $229.83 with several hours to go. There’s some concern that this plate topper is not really vintage. Read through the comments to see some valid issues with this topper.  There are certainly fakes on eBay, indicated by the comments of some buyers of these toppers.

One of my concerns about the topper is that no dealer is mentioned. I would expect a dealer name to be included if this were a dealer-created topper. But, then, if the seller went to all this trouble to create this topper, you’d think they would have added the dealer associated with the ad below.

I spent some time looking at other 1940s era license plate toppers. The shape and design of the one below seems consistent to me with some others shown on Google Images. But, then, are the ones shown on Google also fakes? I just don’t know.

Still, I like the piece. If you purchase it, but then determine it is fake, complain to eBay:

“If the merchandise is fake, report the listing to eBay and let them take action to enforce their policies. … Your purchase is covered by the eBay Guarantee, which entitles you to receive your money back if the item you receive doesn’t match what is listed. The seller has three days to respond”

Since the seller is claiming this topper is vintage, if they lied, they have no recourse. eBay will likely refund your money and not expect you to return the item (Unfortunately, some buyers are scammers themselves and use this very tactic to get free stuff).


Maury spotted this CJ-2A topper eBay a few days ago. It’s already at $122.50 (and will likely go higher) with just over a day to go (as of this writing). It’s a really neat piece. I expect this will hit several hundred dollars.

The “Truck Utility Plus Tractor Power” wasn’t a tag line that was used very often. In fact, the only documentation that I can find for it was on an ad for Willys-Overland dealer Caver-Wiggens on May 23, 1947. I have found other ads from that dealer from 1947, but can find no evidence that phrase was ever used again. Whether Caver-Wiggens was responsible for the plate topper or not I can’t say for sure, but it is a possibility. Below is the 1947 ad (from this page):


View all the information for the plate topper on eBay

“The Universal Jeep Metal License Plate Topper Sign. Nice topper some wear but great condition overall.”

Here’s the license topper itself. you can see the design is the same that appears in the ad, including the square bolt heads on the windshield.

jeep-tractor-power-license-plate-topper1 jeep-tractor-power-license-plate-topper


11 Comments on “Jeep License Plate Topper Tractor Power **SOLD**

  1. SE Pennsylvania Steve

    Do you think this is genuine? The design almost looks too good to be true, and we’ve all seen metal signs distressed to artifically age them. I do love it though and wish I could buy a reproduction.

  2. matt clark

    I think PA Steve is on to something about it being a reproduction. Other items listed appear to be reproductions and look at the ebay seller’s feedback with dissatisfied buyer’s commenting that they bought items that weren’t original. Buyer beware.

  3. SE Pennsylvania Steve

    For a long time I used to search ebay for “license plate topper jeep” and I only would occasionally find a plain Willys dealer topper, text with no picture. Dave, have you ever seen a topper like this one before?

  4. Colin Peabody

    If you look closely at the two rust marks at the license plate screw slots, the centers of those rust marks don’t line up with the ends of the slots. That means the screw or bolts holding the topper to the plate wouldn’t have lined up the slots, in my opinion!

  5. Barney Goodwin

    I agree with the comments. I don’t trust it either. And, to add to Colin’s comment, even if the bolts aligned with the slots, the position they are in would be a motorcycle! Run!

  6. Barry

    I’d love to have one too. If it is a repro, it is going to be interesting to see how soon a stash of those will be “found” and available to the buying public. I can’t imagine the seller could resist for long at the way the bidding is going. I’d be happy to buy a repro, but not at those prices.

  7. David Eilers Post author

    Good comments all.

    Steve: Do I think this was made in the late 1940s? I don’t know for sure. It is possible, given the other toppers I have seen from this era. You can see my updated comments on the post.

    Some of the other toppers of this era have similar slots, but how many of those examples are fake I couldn’t say.

    As I mention in my update, if it is fake, tell ebay. They will likely return your money in full.

    To me it looks like it *could* have been aged using the aging process we are seeing with many “vintage” signs on eBay.

    As Barry noted, we’ll know for sure if it is fake if another one of these appears for sale. Hopefully, the buyer of this will report back with an update.

  8. Colin Peabody

    If this is a true and real item, i am wondering why there are no rust marks on the back where the washers and nuts holding it to the plate would have been in contact with the factory license plate holder or the front bumper. I have one of those Willys Service signs that is a fake, and I knew it was when I ordered it, but it has rust like appearances in several places on the front, but the back is plain. I think this one is not vintage but maybe “vintage looking!”

  9. Matt in CT

    No doubt a fake. Still a great design by whoever decided to copy the advertisement. But whoever is paying that much should know that its by no means antique

  10. David Eilers Post author

    Real or not, this topper sold for $455! It looks like someone came in at the end of the bidding and put in a big bid.

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