Bill shared the video below from Jack and Doreen Shakespeare. Together, the couple recount their 1958 journey in a late 40’s wagon from Australia to England. The trip took them 114 days. Fortunately for us, they filmed much of the trip. It’s a great story.
I’ve been compiling a list of jeep adventures. These are just some that I’ve documented. There’s few more to add to the list, but this is good for starters. If you know of others, let me know.
- Bantam BRC in 1940: The earliest documented trip occurred September 29th, 1940. That was the day the very first jeep—the original Bantam BRC constructed in only 49 days—was driven 270 miles from Butler, Pennsylvania, to the testing ground in Holabird, Maryland. It was an amazing accomplishment given the newly designed vehicle had been barely assembled, let alone tested.
- Wolf Blint in 1945: Near the end of World War II, Wolff Blint escaped fighting on the eastern front by driving across Europe to Paris. He documented his story in his memoir, By Jeep To Freedom. The book is out of print and difficult to find.
- Soldier and Bride Return from Europe circa 1945: An unconfirmed event, the story unfolds with a U.S. soldier marrying a woman in Europe following WWII. Somehow, he is able to secure a jeep. Together, the pair drive to a port in France or Germany, have the jeep shipped to America, and then drive the remainder of the route to the man’s hometown in Illinois.
- Ben Carlin in 1948-1958: In 1948, Australian Ben Carlin began a trek around the world by heading east over the Atlantic Ocean in a modified 1943 Ford GPA (a jeep made to float over water) named ‘Half-Safe’. Over the succeeding ten years, Ben and Half-Safe traveled 50,000 miles over a period of ten years. His exploits filled three books, each book covering his voyage in different ways. Half-Safe can be seen in action in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-Gqi-RlbO0
- Helen & Frank Schreider in 1954-1955. Helen & Frank Schreider first jeep ended in a failed attempt to cross Panama in a Willys wagon when their jeep was beat to death as they drove across a long train trestle. For their 1954-55 attempt, they purchased and customized a Ford GPA, naming it La Tortuga. Starting in Alaska, the pair traveled all the way to South America. Subsequently, they wrote a book called 20,000 Miles South: A Pan American Adventure in a Seagoing Jeep From the Arctic (A nearly identical version is published under the name La Tortuga). They also filmed some of their trip and toured the United States giving lectures about their experiences.
- Three Boy Scouts Travel 44,000 Miles in 1955: Dubbed Operation Pineapple, three Sao Paulo Boy Scouts—Hugo Vidal, Charles Downey, and Jan Stekly—drove from South America to Alaska and back as part of their effort to attend the 8th World Scout Jamboree in Canada. The CJ-3B Page has an excellent overview of their trip.
- Dorothy Rogers & Louise Ostberg in 1955-1956: Dorothy and Louise were two college professors from New York who met while traveling in Europe. They successfully circumvented Africa in a jeep wagon. Dorothy later wrote a book about their adventure called Jeopardy and a Jeep.
- Joe Ceurvorst in 1956: Joe wrote a book called Africa in a Jeep about driving around the northern part of the African continent.
- Roy Follows and Noel Dudgeon in 1958: Joe and Roy were two Colonial Police officers fighting Chinese Communists near the end of the Malayan Emergency. Ready to head home, the pair bought a Willys MB in February of 1958, then begin a long journey home full of obstacles, broken parts, encounters with unfriendlies and more. Their tale from Singapore to the United Kingdom unfolds in their book about the trip: The First Overland: Four Wheels and Frontier.
- Jack & Doreen Shakespeare in 1958: Jack and Doreen drove their early wagon from Australia to England. Lucky for us, they filmed their trip. You can relive their adventures on youtube.
- Helen and Frank Schreider in 1960: Ready to his the road again, Helen and Frank rebuild a second Ford GPA that they use to float the Ganges River in India. Their five month 1960 India adventure from the mouth of the Ganges to its source filled forty-two pages of the October, 1960, issue of National Geographic.
- Helen and Frank Schreider in 1960-1961: On the heels of their India trip, the Schrieders, again with National Geographic support, tackled the breadth of Indonesia, a 17,000 island archipelago, going to places and completing a trip that few, if anyone, has replicated. Their 4,000 mile trip lasted a year. Their ability to shuttle between islands and over land took them to places no vehicles had gone. Helen and Frank wrote two subsequent articles for National Geographic (May 1961 & August 1962) and a second book, the Drums of Tonkin: An Adventure In Indonesia. They went on to work regularly for National Geographic, though their jeeping days ended.
- Harold Stephens in the mid-1960s: Harold drove around the world in a CJ-5 and Toyota Landcruiser. He wrote about his experience in Who Needs a Road? Harold went on to become a travel author.
- Dorothy Rogers & Louise Ostberg in the mid-1960s: In the late 1950s, Willys Motors introduced two Forward Control jeep trucks called the FC-150 & FC-170s. Dorthy and Louise thought the latter would make a great vehicle to tour the world. So, they bought one and set off on their second major jeep trip. Dorothy later wrote about their experiences in Highways Across the Horizon.
There’s a bunch of information inside this. I’m not sure how much jeep information there is or not.
“Purchased from an estate sale of a Vietnam veteran that was a mechanic there…as the story goes. This binder is in very good condition for it’s age. No breaks or signs of visual wear. It is packed full, as seen in the last picture, of all different types of service type manuals from the mid 60’s to early 70’s as best as I can tell. There are some Willys, Chrysler, Ford, Jeep, Renault, Chevrolet, tons of other service information. So much information that would be impossible to list it all. All pages are also in very good condition. Very interesting piece of history!”
This one is listed as a 1945 ….
Model: CJ 4WD
Stock #: WA1181
Engine: 8 Cylinder”
Nick’s got this late column shift 2A for sale.
“This is a rare 1946 column shift CJ2A. I have a title.
The Jeep is serial #35221 and complete with a proper “go devil” l-head engine mated to a T90 transmission. Along with the body tag I have the 3 original dash tags. The previous owner stated the engine ran with an external gas tank. I hooked up a battery and with a spray bottle of gas, and I had it running for a few seconds.
-new battery terminals (not pictured)
-new key switch
I’ve never owned a column shift and did not attempt to get the Jeep driving due to a lack of time. Things I know it will need: clutch linkage connected, passenger rear axle nut, oil filter gasket. All four tires are dryrotted but hold air well. It rolls and steers very easy. Body is rough as seen in the detailed pictures. Front frame horns have been repaired but as a whole the frame is sturdy. With all the column shift linkage intact, it’s a great restoration candidate.”
UPDATE: Still Available.18
(01/07/2016) Looks nice.
“Frame off restoration – 2300 Ford Engine – original drive train except for rear end (highway gears). Air conditioner, power steering and tilt steering wheel. Mickey Thompson wheels – bucket seats with new interior – jet coated headers with stainless steel exhaust tubing and muffler..”
UPDATE: Still Available.
(01/10/2017) Has a few modifications.
“1953 Willys Jeep CJ3a. Zero rust! 3 speed manual, runs good. Brand new tires and wheels, new top. Engine and trans recently gone through. Black on black. Zero bondo, solid body and frame. 4×4”
UPDATE: Still Available.
(09/16/2016) Looks perfect for cruising around the Boise area.
“1949 Willys Jeepster
The car starts and drives down the road
This car has all the original equipment.
4 cyl flathead engine and standard drive train.
All new body paint with a couple small dings.
Interior floor and sides were painted as well
All new interior seats and side panes.
New steering wheel with all horn button parts.
I have the original wheels, tires and moon hubcaps.
I have the convertible top frame and a new cream colored top for it
I have all the frames and side curtains to enclose the car.”
UPDATE: Still Available.
(12/09/2016) Listed as a 1949.
“49 Willy’s jeep tons of fun ”
UPDATE: Still Avaialble.
(05/06/2016) The seller’s bucket is overflowing … just not sure why (first sentence of last paragraph.
“The 1944 Ford GPW offered for sale here has been restored on top of what was a very solid and rust free chassis and tub. The hood and fenders have slight imperfections which indicate to me that the sheet metal is original as well. I purchased this GPW earlier this year from the estate of a Willys collector, restorer and enthusiast. I chose this one of the four MB/GPW’s available because of its originality and condition. There was a museum quality one in olive drab and Army livery but it was beyond my price threshold.
With the exception of the light blue paint (my son suggested it might be a Navy Jeep), the Pirelli Scorpion tires and 12 volt conversion this little GPW is completely stock. It came to me with a brand new canvas top that was still in a plastic bag. Opening it, unfolding it and installing it inside my shop made the whole place smell like a musty old army surplus store!
Equipped with what I believe to be its original drivetrain this GPW is powered by the Willys “Go Devil” 134 cubic inch iron head flat four designed to produce 60hp and 105lbs of torque delivered through the correct T84 three speed transmission and working two speed transfer case to drive the correct front and rear Dana axles and Warn locking hubs. The truck starts right up and idles cold with a little choke from the original one barrel Carter carburetor. It warms up quickly and runs cool with good oil pressure. The gas gauge is the only instrument not indicating. Steering, shifting and braking (four wheel hydraulic drum system) all work as they did when the rig was new, which is to say these are raucous, rough and tumble vehicles that offer little in terms of ergonomics, comfort or safety. Top speed was claimed to be 65mph although I can’t say I have gotten it much over 50mph but I do enjoy a casual cruise around the neighborhood and in the parade line (so long as I can avoid going in and out of that seriously low first gear).
I am going to guess that this car wasn’t driven much at all before I purchased it. I was impressed to see how readily it came to life but not really surprised because so much of it looks freshly restored. The motor is smooth, sounds good and has ample compression. It might grind a bit on a lazy shift and it does have a few weeps and drips after a day’s work but so do a lot of 72 year olds I know.
I fully admit to being a shameless car flipper. As such I have experienced a good percentage of my “bucket list” cars. I can tell you that this car attracts a lot of attention and draws people from walks of life far and away from the average car enthusiast. I have had the privilege of listening to memories of veterans that span the spectrum of emotions evoked by this little Jeep; from saving a life as a getaway vehicle in Korea to saving some sanity as a surfboard hauler in Vietnam. I have watched teenage girls give compelling (and as yet unsuccessful) arguments as to why their parent should buy them this car. One guy offered to store it for me in the foyer of his business. He didn’t want to drive it he just liked looking at it. Everyone loves the GPW.
Now, my bucket floweth over and it is time to move the GPW. This vehicle is located in Rowlett, Texas and is offered as is where is with no warranty implied or otherwise. Texas residents may be subject to sales tax and licensing fees. If the ad is up, it is for sale.”
UPDATE: Still Available.
(08/21/2015) Not a great paint job, but it appears solid otherwise.
“1958 Willys Jeep Truck – Clean title
The drive train has been maintained as a daily driver for the past 3 years. It is licensed and inspected.
This has NOT been re-powered. It is all original and easy to get parts for.”
It runs (with an inline 6).
“Has a Lil rust on the bottom side. It has a 1963 ford falcon straight six with a original jeep transmission 3 speed. This is a running driving jeep. Probably will have to trailer home because top speed is about 40 miles per hour. Headlights work horn works. 4 wheel drive works. Everything works. Wheels like nobodys fucking business. I just used it to run up in the hills cause I live 10 min from the hills and to take the girlfriend on a date down on main street. Really nice Lil toy. I have a cummins and toyota now so I don’t use it anymore. It’s time to let someone else have fun with it now”
Runs and drives. Steps have been replaced and the side patched.
“I have a 1952 Willys M38 Military Flatfender Jeep. Has a L-head (flathead) 4 cylinder in it, motor was rebuilt several years ago at Glenn Joiner and Son in Winter Garden. Has a rebuilt transmission that was just done a couple months ago. Runs and drives but has a leaking hard brake line so pedal is spongy. New hoses and shoes all the way around. Custom Stainless Steel gas tank. I also have a windshield and frame (not pictured) but the glass has a crack in it. Also have the rear bumper and tail lights but they are currently sitting in the back of the jeep along with a tow hitch. Fun little jeep to drive on the weekends or take camping. Has a clean title. ”
Maybe some value here?
“I have a 1946 willys jeep body for sale. Comes with body ,frame, and windshield frame. Has good hood that’s worth the asking price. Has original tailgate, gauges, finders etc. Also have a vin plate so you could file for lost title. Body has some rusted through places and bondo places on right side. Will part out if needed. ”
Listed as a 1944, it isn’t. Looks more like an early 1950s to me based on the transmission cross member.
“1944 Willy’s Jeep Motor and Trans asking $100.00.”
No engine, but there may be parts value here.
“1957 Willys CJ5 ALL COMPLETE EXCEPT NO MOTOR HAS SOME RUST IN FLOOR BOARD BUT IS VERY REPAIRABLE. HAVE CLEAN TITLE IN HAND. MUST SELL WILL POST MORE PICS LATER TODAY.”
Nice looking original Converto airborne trailer.
“This is an original as found 1944 Converto Airborne dump trailer. This is perfect for pulling behind a military jeep. This has the original reinforced combat wheels as well as the original factory tires. Of course the tires are rock hard. There is NO rust through anywhere. This is the most solid one I have ever seen in un-restored condition. This is a true barn find…well van body find. There is some very minor light pitting in the bed which is expected for it’s age. It rolls around just fine. It dumps and has as you can see the linkage for dumping. This is a surplus item from the TVA in the 50’s and has been in storage ever since. If you want a beautiful Converto that will be a piece of cake to restore look no further. This is in museum condition. They don’t get any better than this. QTM Parts”
Looks like there is value here.
“Have for sale 100% complete chassis for 48 willys truck 4×4 motor trans transfer case..was running when body was pulled will run.
Came from Nevada no rust on frame.
Make cash offer possible trades. Under cover out of the weather.”
No pics provided.
“I have a 1948 Willys Jeep cj2a for sale. I have done a frame off restoration. The jeep has a new tub, original fenders, new hood, tailgate, exhaust, carb, exhaust manifold and wiring and much more. This jeep is still a 6 volt system with all new gages and everything works. It has the military tires all five and is painted black under coating thru out. It does need for the drive train to be sealed just from sitting so long which I have and the emergency brake and cable to be installed which I have all the parts. It had approx. 62,000 when I got it and runs great. It has been kept inside a shipping container. I will include pictures soon but if you like to see it please call.”
UPDATE: Still Available.
“I’m selling an original body that came off a late-war Ford GPW Jeep. This is what they call an ACM2, or composite tub, so it would also be correct for your late-war Willys MB.
There’s no rust on the hat channels, no rust holes on the floor, toolbox compartments, fuel sump or pioneer indents. There are no repairs and no bondo. However, there are some minor holes, “character” dings, bends, and bruises that will need some attention. Overall, the body is in great shape! I’ll try to post some photos this Saturday, but you’re also welcome to come look at it in person.
Asking $1500 Sure you can spend a bit more and get a pretty reproduction, but who wants that?! With a bit of work, your WW2 Jeep will be original, not a replica, and it will be more valuable in the long run.”
It’s a big project.
“1948 willys panel sitting on a 77 ford bronco frame, 9″ rear end high pinion dana 44 front end, new c6 trany, 73 460 motor, dove heads, rv cam, I have a ton of parts that go with it..”
UPDATE: Still Available.
(11/14/2016) Worth a look. There could be parts value at the very least.
“Set up for a V8 Chevrolet Automatic. Has normal rust. Pure nostalgia! Some of the pictures are the refinished product from the internet. Mine is the one with rust. A great winter project!”
UPDATE: Still Available.
“I have a good, pretty much rust free tub, 2 sets of fenders, a grill, one frame that the tub is on [has been modified somewhat but could be brought back easily] rancho springs, steering column, a hood that has been cut for a scoop, another frame that is rusted out at behind the rear springs but has front and rear ends, a trans and transfer case in it and a cowl but the rest of the body is gone and it has a column and box, a ford 2300 [set up for propane but not installed] later ball joint front end with no axles or outers. Pictures to come later. Also, if you pay my full asking price I WILL INCLUDE A TITLE FOR A 1945 CJ2A. But only if you pay full price and that is not negotiable at all. I also have a Ford 2.3 liter that was going to go into this project, it was propane powered and low hours, I will include it for an extra 300..”
Usually we only see these photo from the outside of the jeep.
“You are bidding on an original press photo of Reno NV US Air Borne Troops Load Jeep in Curtiss Commando. Photo shows US Air Borne Troops Load Jeep in Curtiss Commando plane. Photo measures 7.25 x 9.75 inches and is dated 7/29/1943.”
“1943- Willys MB jeep rolls off a landing barge and onto a specially built wire net road at an Atlantic coast training base for Army and Navy amphibious forces. Photo measures approx. 8″ x 10″”