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And the Packing Continues . . .

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

Over the past year, thanks to the pandemic and my Mother-in-Law’s health issues, we’ve traveled less. This has left more money to purchase vintage jeep documents. I purchased enough that I got behind on organizing them, so packing has been a good excuse to spend the past two days restructuring the binders so everything can fit.

There are binders of company brochures, 3rd party special equipment brochures, magazine articles, dealer newspapers, catalogs, and ads. This effort has been fueled by reader donations and ad revenue, along with gifts of from readers, so thanks to everyone out there! I see myself as the temporary custodian of these. My hope is to donate this collection in the future so others can benefit later. Much of the information on that table has been published on eWillys.

The binder on the lower right contains issues of Kaiser-Willys News, Willys News, and Jeep News produced from 1953-1963. I’d estimate I have roughly half of the issues produced. It also contains a couple issues of the mid-1950 Globe-trotter magazines (I believe there were more than 20 plus issues of those produced ..  a guy in the midwest told me a few years ago he had two dozen or so he wanted to sell, but wanted $1000 for them; I couldn’t justify that on my budget at the time). 
catalogs-and-binders1

The set of binders shown below houses only domestic jeep-related brochures produced by Willys-Overland and Willys Motors (so roughly 1945-1962 … so, for example, there are no spec equipment brochures in those binders). I’d call this the core of my collection as I’m attempting to get all of these I can, including revisions to certain brochures (see next two posts). Unfortunately, some of the early brochures do not fit into the 8″x11″ binders, so I also have some large portfolio binders to house them (and large print ads, some posters, and other items) as well.

catalogs-and-binders2

One goal of this collection had been to write an advertising history of Willys-Overland/Willys-Motors/Kaiser-Jeep, which showed the progression (and missteps) from the jeep as a 4-in-1-tool, to a jack-of-all-trades utility vehicle(s), to jeeps-as-a-fun toys, which the journey is the reward.

Part of the reason for making the smaller history posts over the years has been to write such a book in small parts; well, that and to determine if there was anything to write about. Because of this approach, there is plenty I can assemble from the site posts at this point to create a book framework, but there is still much more work to be done on that type of book.

At this point in life, I don’t want to write a book and simultaneously run the website, since for me that’s a 7-day a week proposition. Because, once I start writing, my head is so busy with ideas, and the need to write them down, that I can’t not write. I become obsessive, which is really the only way I can get big projects done (perhaps others can multi-task better?). After SLAG, which was two solid years of research and writing, I had to take a long break as I was mentally exhausted.

So, will a book arise out of all this? I’d say it’s a strong maybe, with a litany of qualifiers (Ann’s health, demand of the new home and property, and others). Whatever happens, I’ll keep collecting these brochures …

Somehow, this short post became a long one … how does that happen? Was I avoiding packing? Maybe …. Well, back to packing!

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Happy New Year, 2020!!!

• CATEGORIES: Features

Happy New Year everyone!

The biggest event for me in 2019 was Dad’s passing; he had a good run. Last year at this time he was pretty sick; so, we knew what would happen, just not when. Now, this time, it’s Ann’s mother who is in that same situation. We know what’s going to happen, but not when. It’s just that time of life for us.

2019-03-12-dad-daivd-hospital-lores

Dad in the foreground, a few days before his death. Me in the background grabbing some zzz’s. Yep, I was a big help!

EWILLYS: 

I mentioned last year that eWillys, as we know it, might change in April of 2020. I have pushed that date back to January 2021. My goal with those changes is to free up more of my time for other projects. Moreover, during this last year, it feels like prices have really skyrocketed on 1940s-1960s jeeps of all types; the variety of jeeps feels like it has declined as well. Deals are less frequent, which means providing daily content has become more difficult.

On top of that, it’s getting more of a challenge to find new content for ‘feature’ posts. I’ve built a pretty substantial collection of brochures/magazines/books/misc and, from that, have been able to generate new content over the years. But, there are fewer and fewer items on eBay that I don’t already have, so locating rare items takes more time and money. For example, I know there are other mid-1950 Willys News magazines that remained undocumented and more than twelve mid-1950 Globetrotter magazines (maybe as many as twenty of them) that would be of interest to everyone. But, I’ll keep at it.

globetrotter-magazine

This excerpted pic is from the July/August 1955 issue of Globe-trotter magazine.

Currently, there are 53,726 posts on eWillys. While I will add approximately another 4000 posts this year, I also plan to be cutting much of the dead weight throughout the year; these are posts that provide no useful insights, modifications, or other aspects that might be interesting to me or readers.

2019 TRAVEL:

For the first time in seven years, we didn’t take an eWillys trip that lasted longer than a month. Dad’s illness (and frequent trips to Seattle) combined with tight finances kept us around home. On the positive side, the summer in Pasco was perfect temp wise––like Goldilocks porridge, not too hot and not too cold––so I spent a good deal of time pouring through Ernie Pyle’s old columns next to our garden-pond area (Ann’s flowers and plants were beautiful this year).

summer-2019-backyard

Summer 2019 Backyard courtesy of Ann (well, she selected the plants, while we dug).

I found Ernie’s account of pre-WWII America fascinating (he traveled all over the US between 1935-1941). Then, when he finally got the chance, he traveled with troops from the frontest of the front lines to the most removed troops far in the rear performing critical, but often forgotten, roles. I believe his columns provide a comprehensive, perhaps unequaled look at why the behind-the-scenes military operations are so important to fighting conflicts.

The one major two-week trip Ann and I did manage to accomplish was a fast trip to Pennsylvania and back during early July, to deliver Rusty the DJ-3A to its new owner. We were very lucky to leave after the rains finally subsided in the Midwest, but before the heat arrived on the East Coast. It was a wonderful to be on the road again, even if it only lasted two weeks.

rusty-lores

Rusty the DJ-3A all ready for his trip east in July of 2019.

LOST BISCUIT: As for work on Biscuit, that’s come to a halt again. Time is proving difficult to find, and will so for at least the next year. So, I plan to sell Biscuit (and all the trimmings); I just hate to see it sit there. Meanwhile, I’ll keep Patterson and fix some of his small issues. Then, in two years, I’ll have the money to buy another flattie.   Continue reading

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Volume 1, Issue 1 of The Willys (War) News

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old News Articles • TAGS: .

The photo below shows the cover of a rare edition of The Willys War Newspaper. Published on September 28, 1945, this appears to be both the last issue of The Willys War News and the first issue of The Willys News. I base this on three facts: 1) the word ‘war’ is scratched at the top,  2) the small explanation at the bottom of the front page and 3) the publishing date.

Searches of “The Willys War News” yielded the following:

The Willys War News, Vol. 3, No. 3, May 19, 1945 http://www.utoledo.edu/library/canaday/HTML_findingaids/MSS-072.html
The Willys War News, Vol. 1, No. 10 in 1943 (8 pages) http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/vintage-1943-jeep-willys-overland-war-238396381

Based on those clues, I would estimate that there were were at least 24 editions IF there were 10 issues in 1943 and 10 issues in 1944 and at least 4 issues in 1945. Anyone know of other examples of this? This seems as rare as the Globe Trotter Magazine.

This was sold today on ebay. The buyer has agreed to let me scan this document and share it. So, look for more info in the future.

1943-the-willys-war-news-vol1-issue1

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1955 Willys Globe Trotter Magazine on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features, Magazine

Steve alerted me to this magazine.  Has anyone else seen other copies of this magazine?

“original factory magazine , 8.5 x 11 , 16 pages , this is the July August 1955 issue of Willys Globe Trotter factory magazine . It was printed by the Willys Jeep Export Division , it shows dozens of Jeep vehicles around the world and has an interesting 2 page article on the atomic test in Nevada in 1955 and the many Jeeps that were used after the test .”

View all the information on eBay