To Top

Howard & Ora Boyd’s Jeep Trip to South America

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images, Old News Articles • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

A photo from the May 30, 1959, issue of the Eugene Guard showing the FC-170 “EL Borrego” with the Boyds.

UPDATE: This series of articles was first published in 2015. I’ve updated with several additional articles and photos.


(First published February 15, 2015) This interesting collection of news articles captures Howard & Ora Boyd’s 1958 trip in an FC to South America. The first article was published prior to the trip. The second was published during the trip. The third was published following the trip. I was only able to find one photo and it was poor at best. It may have been that the Boyd’s got the idea from the Schreiders, who did nearly the same route three years before them.

Howard Boyd died in 1993, but Ora Boyd lived until 2009, dying at the age of 106, meaning she was born around 1903. Living much of their lives near Eugene, Oregon, according to her obituary their year-long jeep trip was one of her all-time favorite memories. The obituary was published in the Talent, Oregon, Historical Society newsletter, so I’ve written them to see if we can learn more.

1. This October 31, 1958, EugeneRegister-Guard article discusses trip preparations. The Boyds had a custom camper built for their FC (though no articles mention the model of the vehicle — it looks to me like an FC based on the pic below). They named their jeep “El Borrego”.

2. November 09, 1958 Eugene Guard .. brief article:


3. December 14, 1958, from the Eugene Guard:


4. One February 15, 1959, the Eugene Register-Guard published an article that updated readers on the Boyd’s progress.


5. May 05, 1959, Eugene Guard:


6. May 30, 1959, in the Fremont Tribune:

1959-05-30-fremont-tribune-boyd-trip1-lores 1959-05-30-fremont-tribune-boyd-trip2-lores

7. A similar trip-ending article was published in the Eugene Register-Guard reported on May 31, 1959:

1959-05-31-eugene-register-guard-boyds-SoAm-trip1 1959-05-31-eugene-register-guard-boyds-SoAm-trip2

8. On February 27, 1960, the Eugene Guard published a short blurb indicating a film had been produced about the Boyd’s trip.




13 Comments on “Howard & Ora Boyd’s Jeep Trip to South America

  1. Peter B.

    I came across this story just by chance. I was hoping to find an email address to write to you about it, but this will have to do.

    I am familiar with that jeep and the people involved, they were my adopted grandparents. Howard and Polly Boyd, were from Talent Oregon, a tiny town between Medford and Ashland. They took that jeep around south America twice and the last time I saw that jeep it was on the day of Polly’s funeral at the family’s old tree farm.

    Unfortunately when the Family sold the tree farm, they left a ton of stuff including the jeep. I think my aunt still has the rug my grandma is holding in the last picture. My grandma loved that rug and used it as a bed spread.

    I wish I had stuff I could show you from the trip, but their family pretty much dumped it all, and it’s a real tragedy since they kept so much of the history until my Grandpa died. Menus from restaurants, a wall map marked with each stop and charting the course they took, over 1,000 photos, actual Inca artifacts taken from burial sites (They were very much in to Archaeology and history and this was before the preservation movement of course). All gone.

    The Jeep looked more like a truck, in fact I am almost positive it was an FC-150. It was an awful pea green color and the cabin they built was long gone. They worked that jeep for years on the family tree farm, it was still running as of the date they sold the farm.

    There was a story of my grandparents sitting at a river, the river bed was too soft to ford so they sat on the bank of the river for hours and threw rocks in to the water until they felt the riverbed would hold up for the crossing. While this was going on, a guide they had picked up had gone ahead to the next village. After they crossed they came to the village and they noticed everyone kept running out to see them and kept cheering when they would pass. Well it turned out the guide noticed Howard had a striking resemblance to President Eisenhower, so he raced around the village ahead of my grandparents and told the people that the President was coming. The villagers showered my Grandparents with gifts and food all the while Chanting “Ike! Ike! Ike!”

    The second trip around South America they took after they both retired, that trip is where they met my dad and his family in Colombia. After a friendship was established my dad came to live with them. But that’s my dad’s story to tell.

    There are a few mistakes in the article, for example, Grandpa did not hunt, he was a pacifist, after his experiences serving in the navy during WW1 he refused to kill, but while he was not afraid to use a gun, he only ever loaded his shotgun with rock salt. Grandma on the other hand was a crack shot with a shot gun and had no issue shooting to kill, but she avoided hunting for my grandpa’s sake.

    But the article did bring back a lot of memories.

    Anyhow, Thanks for sharing that story, I wish I could offer you more, you should have my e-mail, if you are interested I could try to get more stories, but unfortunately most of their kids are getting along in years of have passed on so, I might not be able to dig up much more.

    Thanks again.
    Peter B.

  2. David Boyd

    Howard and Ora (Polly) were my grandparents. Peter (Pedro) is my foster Uncle. The Jeep was an FC170 that they named “el Borrego” (the mountain goat). I drove that Jeep all over the tree farm, it was a strange old beast and we almost always drove in 2nd gear in low range. When I was quite young we would drive up in the hills after dinner and look for animals drinking from the ponds and my grandmother’s favorite finding shaggy mane mushrooms. The truck was a light forest green, kind of metallic finish. It had two spare tires, one under the bed, one outside the box. They also had space for 3 military style gas cans in front and back of the fenders. As a “cabover” the cab was cramped, the steering wheel was huge and laid close to horizontal which helped when maneuvering without power steering. Gramps had a carpet on the engine cover for the dog to sit/stand on and all the dogs loved to ride in that truck. My grandparents sold the farm in 1989 and the Jeep along with it. Not sure if my Dad has any pictures, he is now 89 and quite healthy. He has a scanner and a PC and knows how to use both, I’ll see what he has. Thanks for posting the articles!

  3. David Eilers


    Thanks for sharing those memories! It’s always great to find these old atravel rticles and to see them come to life as family members discover them and share their stories. If I can be of any help in any way, please feel free to ask …

    – Dave

  4. Gary Vincent

    I am grateful for the stories of the Boyd’s trip. I met them after first making friends with Pedro Antonio Banderas. Pedro was a guest speaker in Spanish class at Crater High (Central Point) in 1963. The stories
    of their trip have stayed with me all these years. Pedro enhanced my learning Spanish, a lifetime gift!
    I last saw Pedro, his wife, and Polly and Howard at their home in Talent in the early 70’s.

    I live in Bend and would welcome any contact for Pedro or his family.

  5. David Eilers

    Hi Gary,

    Thanks for sharing those memories! I’ll see if I can hunt down additional articles on (which I didn’t subscribe to in 2015 when I originally posted this story.

    – Dave

  6. David Eilers

    I have located some additional articles and pics, along with an article noting that a film was made of their trip. I will update this post later today and add an additional comment at that time.

    – Dave

  7. Gary

    Hi Dave,
    Thank you for putting this together. I watched the first 16mm movie (two reels) at the Boyd’s home.
    Their hospitality and enthusiasm for all the people and cultures south of our border was catching.
    One scene comes to mind, of the jeep bogged down down up to the axles in red mud, surrounded by
    verdant jungle.

  8. Danelle McCracken

    Thank you Dave for posting this. Howard and Ora Boyd were my great grandparents. I have very fond memories as a child visiting the tree farm and taking a ride through the property in the back of their Jeep. We LOVED it and always asked for more. This article brings back memories of them and their Jeep. Miss them dearly.

  9. David Eilers

    I’m glad folks are enjoying this bit of Boyd family history. It’s amazing the stories buried in old newspapers! I’ve experienced this with my own family histories …

    – Dave

  10. William (Bill) Grant

    Bill here, their oldest grandchild. I remember vividly my grandparents, the ranch, and El Berrago Trepador (the climbing mountainsheep). I flew out every summer to stay and we spent a couple of weeks traveling Oregon in El Berrago Trepador with them and Tuffy. Surprisingly there are many places to visit and we never ran out of places to find.

    Howard and Polly were my favorite people and I loved and cherished them. Oh how I am jealous of my mother and Bud having been raised by them. They were a grand couple!

  11. The Joker

    theres a lot of old willys in oregon , hiding — i bought a complete willys chassis , 51 station wagon , 250 bucks a few months ago — then i spotted a non-willys gem , 1990 f150 4×4 long bed , with the best engine ever made , 300 straight 6 , od auto , exactly what i was looking for — it was hiding on a ranch next to famous hall of fame rocker STEVE MILLER’s ranch — i yelled through the woods when i bought it ” hey space cowboy ? you out there ? “

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe without commenting