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Early Jeep News, WO Sales News, and Salesbuilder

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UPDATE: Matt provides some insightful comments in posted comment at the bottom. Per his comment, I added a small blurb that (I hope) clarifies that the Jeep News issues discussed below were more consumer-oriented, similar to The Willys War News, rather than dealer-oriented periodicals like the WO Sales News and Salesbuilder. Still, it would be interesting to get more WO Sales News issues and compare the content to the Jeep News issues to see if there is any reuse of content, which would suggest some kind of coordination between those two periodicals. That the Jeep News seems to have stopped about the same time the Salesbuilder launched is also curious, but perhaps just a coincidence?


L to R News Periodical Covers –>1945 The Willys War News, 1945 The Willys News, 1946 Fergason’s Jeep News, 1947 WO Sales News, 1947 Milt. Henry’s Jeep News, 1947 Russ Borg’s Jeep News, 1948 WO Sales News, 1948 Salesbuilder, 1948 Cristie’s Jeep News

I sent Barry Thomas the following information the other day. He found it very interesting, so I thought I would republish (and fix the errors, ugh) the info here. If anyone can add to this or correct it, I’d appreciate it!

Here’s a history I’ve assembled about the transition from The Willys War News to Willys-Overland’s Salesbuilder.

July 1945: During WW2 Willys-Overland launched The Willys War News (probably in 1942). The last issue appears to have been July 1945:

Sept. 1945: As far as I can tell, the next issue was also labeled The Willys War News, but with WAR X’d out in red. It is marked Volume 1, No. 1, suggesting it was the beginning of something else. (It’s unclear to me how many additional issues of The Willys War News were published.

1946: My best guess is that W-O launched WO Sales News in 1946 as a dealer marketing periodical. I don’t have any 1946 issues, but a 1947 issue (below) claims to be Volume II, which likely makes Volume I published in 1946, though how many issues were produced I don’t know.

1946: A magazine, more consumer facing than the WO Sales News, was launched in 1946 called Ferguson’s Jeep News Volume 1 No. 1, but there’s no information (that I have spotted) in the first issue indicating who was producing the magazine: Given the proper use of apostrophes around the name ‘Jeep’ , there could have been some influence by Willys-Overland behind it, but I can’t say for certain.

Importantly, Matt notes in the comments below that he has a Volume 1 No. Jeep News issue with the name C. Denigers, so there was some kind of marketing program likely used to assigned names to the top of these issues. But, who was overseeing such a program isn’t your et clear.

Jan 1947: Willys Overland publishes WO Sales News Volume II No. I. Printed on the cover of the bottom page is “January 1947”, which suggests to me the intent to publish this as a monthly periodical:

1947: Jeep News Volume 1 No. 3 was published, but this time it was Milt. Henry’s name at the top, replacing Ferguson: I explain in the post link why I thought this was published in 1947.

1947: The next issue of Jeep News Volume 1 No. 4 has Russ Borg’s name headlining the issue:

Jan 1948: The next issue of WO Sales News that I have is WO Sales News Volume III No.1, published January 1948:

July 1948: The first issue of Salesbuilder appears in July of 1947 as Volume 1 No. 1. I don’t yet have this full issue:

Why the name change from WO Sales News to Salesbuilder? There was a short blurb on google announcing this change published in the 1948 Volume 22 of “Tide”, a marketing and advertising publication, but I can’t find much more info than the screen shot I grabbed (to get to this link, google “salesbuilder jeep news”, then click on the “books” search tab:


Also, about this time, Willys Overland was undergoing a marketing shift, pushing out the “Willys” brand in favor of “Jeep”, a discussion I have documented on eWillys. The company would reverse this trend in 1951 with the introduction of the Willys car and the Willys Makes Sense marketing campaign, also documented on that link above. Both issues are also discussed as part of the Willys Makes Sense Ad Campaign Post.

1948: The last issue of Jeep News (that i know of) shows Cristie’s as the headliner of Volume 1 No. 6. I believe it appeared in 1948 based on pics of two “Lefty” CJ-2As photos in the issue.

Salesbuilder would run throughout 1953, when Kaiser Purchased Willys-Overland’s Assets. To the best of my knowledge, the name was switched to Kaiser Willys News (Unless there was something else between Salesbuilder and KW News that I haven’t seen). .



2 Comments on “Early Jeep News, WO Sales News, and Salesbuilder

  1. Matt Hovey

    Dave, I believe the ‘Jeep’ News issues were marketed for the consumers rather than the dealer employees like the WO Sales news. Im not sure if they really fit into the sales news timeline. The ‘Jeep’ news contains more information on farming and how the Jeep can be used to help with certain tasks. On the back cover they usually offered a “free demonstration on your farm” aimed at farmers instead of dealers. I believe they were handed out at dealers as a marketing tool specifically for farmers. All of the ‘Jeep’ News issues I have seen were labeled as C. Denigers, Nate Learner, Ferguson’s, Christie’s, Milt. Henrys and Russ Borg’s. These seem to be either dealerships or companies that worked with dealerships that owned and operated Jeep equipment for demonstration purposes.
    It’s also interesting to note that these issues were printed and then labeled with any of the names listed above. For example I have a ‘Jeep’ News Vol 1 No 1 that is labeled for C. Denigers instead of Furguson’s like the one you posted. My Vol 1 no 2,3,4,5 and 6 are all labeled as Nate Learner. I have not seen a Vol 2 so it is possible they only made one Volume. It would be very interesting to find literature that offered these Jeep news issues to dealers. It must be in a dealer marketing binder somewhere.
    Another thing to point out is all of these dealer names are located in rural parts of the country. Perhaps these issues were made only for dealers that offered farm demonstrations? I sure am tempted to mail in for a free demonstration!

  2. David Eilers Post author

    Matt, thanks for sharing that information! I agree, these likely were more consumer than dealer facing and should have (and will) made that more clear.

    It’s interesting to hear that your issues have a different company at the top. My guess is that this means the companies were sponsors, but perhaps capable of sponsoring regionally?

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