Why did you start this website?
In December 2006, 15 years after selling my last jeep and 22 years after building it in 1985, I decided to build myself another one. The first time I built one, I used my jeep club contacts to acquire parts and put it together. This time I decided to use Craigslist to acquire as many parts as possible as an excuse to meet other jeepers from all over the west to better understand how jeeping, jeeps, and jeep issues have changed since I stopped being involved. As I searched for good deals on parts, I discovered there was no useful resource that highlighted parts, jeeps, or good deals. So, ewillys was born.
I saw my ad and I didn’t intend for it to be here. What do I do?
Believe it or not, your advertisement on ebay and craigslist is replicated by many different websites. Some do this automatically. In contrast, I pick and choose ads, mostly in the hope that a seller and buyer can get together and obtain what they need. Please feel free to contact me if you want your ad taken down or changed. I’ll be happy to add any photos if you’d like as well.
What can I do to make my jeep seller faster?
Here’s a few pointers:
- Most importantly, know what you have. If you have a CJ-2A for sale, check to see if it is an early CJ-2A, as these are prized by purchasers. If you don’t know, but want to know more about your jeep, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Take pictures. People will call all kinds of non jeep vehicles jeeps, so buyers often skip over ads without pictures. If you have problems uploading pics to craigslist, feel free to contact me and I’ll add them to ewillys and then you can direct potential buyers from your craigslist ad to ewillys via a link.
- Take good pictures. Pictures are important (see #2). Good pictures are even better. A picture of the dashboard area, the driver’s side and the passenger sides are very helpful for determining the value of a jeep. Good light and non blurry pictures are very helpful in improving the picture quality.
- Clean the jeep. If you can wipe down the dust, clean off the mud, and otherwise make it easier to view the jeep, then the pictures will be even better.
You have a large number of Ads with expired Craigslist links. How come?
Craigslist Ads expire at different rates depending on where the ad is located. In many cases, Ads are repeated. In some cases, they aren’t re-listed even though the jeep remains for sale. So, I always err on the side of ‘for sale’ unless contacted by someone or unless the ad is deleted by the author.
The overall goal is to get a sense of how these old flat fenders are priced so that both buyers and sellers have a better sense of their local and national market.
Finally, in some cases these jeeps provided a teaching tool to show others something unique or unusual about the jeep.
So, to get the most out of this site, you are best off reviewing it every day or every other day to see what’s been added.
Why are most posts appear to be from the Western U.S.?
One reason I focus on the West, particularly the Northwest, is that I grew up here and live here again. So, it’s the area I know best.
In addition, let me take a moment to probably bore you with the mundane, but I use three methods to locate jeeps. One is reader input, one is a search engine (jaxed.com) that returns on hits on ‘willys’ across all craigslists in the US or ebay, and the third is an engine (searchtempest.com) that allows me to input multiple search terms (willys, willy’s, gpw, cj2a, cj3a, cj3b is what I use) and then searches across all craigslist starting closest to my zip code. (well, technically I also use craigslist.org, which would make it #4, but only in the northwest to search for ‘race jeeps’ or ‘sand jeeps’)
So, usually I go through the jaxed.com results first, because they show nation-wide hits on willys. Then, I’ll go through about half the search tempest results, usually because of time. Then, I’ll list any reader submissions.
So, this system does slightly favor the west, because I don’t search the Eastern US quite as thoroughly everyday. However, my experience is that there just aren’t that many jeeps for sale East of the 100th meridian, with most of the jeeps, by far, being sold in Washington/Oregon, Colorado, and California. So, searching the Eastern U.S. daily isn’t as critical.
Now, let me think out loud. Why more jeeps in the West?
1) Was it weather related with jeeps just rusting out east of the 100th meridian?
2) Was it the open nature of the west around the late 40s and early 50s that encouraged jeeps sales?
3) Were there better, more efficient jeep dealers west of the mississippi?
4) Did returning veterans of WWII settle more in the west (and if so, were they more likely to buy jeeps)?
5) Did the unusual terrain along the far west coast (sand, mountains, desert, trees) provide a more natural need for the jeep vs. the agricultural demographic first envisioned with the CJ-2A (in other words, the marketers were wrong about the jeep audience — which might be the case, given that the CJ-3A appears to move away from the all utility tractor-like approach of the CJ-2A) In my opinion, if the CJ-2A was supposed to be on the farm, it was the CJ-3A & 3B that were truly the first SUVs, design to be more for taking the family out to the back country.
6) Was it something culturally about the people in the west, about their lifestyles, that created an appeal for the jeep?
7) People towing their jeeps to their Universities? (inside joke between Tom and I)
Most likely, it’s some blend of the above. I would love to have additional time to explore the answers to these questions. I’m sure someone, somewhere, has the sales-by-state information, but I haven’t run across it yet.
Anyway, I’m curious about this and these are the kinds of questions I wanted to understand and answer through both this website and the future museum I hope to build, because I think the jeep (well, the 4 wheel drive vehicle) was a direct reflection of the social move towards embracing and exploring the west for both practical and recreational purposes (whether hunting, fishing, jeeping, uranium hunting, monitoring powerlines, and more). And it’s the closure of the west that is equally been its demise as a four wheel drive utility offroad production vehicle.
Where do you get the jeep ads you post?
I use some tools to follow jeep ads all over the nation from Craigslist, eBay, and other places. I don’t select all the ads I find, but rather I select the ones that illustrate an issue buyers should consider before purchasing a vehicle, jeeps that are a good deal, or jeeps that catch my interest.
Can I post my own ad?
I do not have this site setup for people to post their own ads. If you’d like to post an ad, you can contact me. As long as I think it’s a reasonable ad, I’ll be happy to post it for you.
Does it cost money to post my ad?
No, I do not charge money for posting normal ads on the blog. If you’d like to highlight what you’ve got in some unique way, such as locating a special ad within the side bar, then that would cost money.
Can I advertise on your website?
Yes, you can. Let’s talk. This site represents a strong demographic interested in very specific jeep related products.
What type of jeep are you building?
I’m building what I consider to be an ‘old school’ fiberglass flat fender jeep that has good low torque, reasonable power (approx 250hp), very good handling (outboarded, lengthened rear springs and reversed, lengthened front springs), can handle highway speeds (3.73 gears), racing, and trail (dana 20/18 transfercase). In my mind, it’s a big go cart.
Build Spec shttp://www.ewillys.com/?p=1255.
Why a flatfender?
I don’t really know. I’ve always liked them.
It seems like ewillys focuses on early jeeps?
After building my last jeep in 1985, I stopped keeping tabs on newer jeeps, so I really don’t know much about them. Most of the jeeps are flat fenders, though I watch for a deals on CJ-5s and rarer Willys vehicles such as Forward Controls, CJ-6s, and more. I also try to follow the racing jeep market, which is small and located primarily around Portland and Seattle/Tacoma area.
I also have a particular interest in fiberglass jeep bodies. Some of the old school ones, such as the parkette design or old bobcat bodies, are extremely hard to find.