Features Research Archives

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1950s Postcard of Salty Johns, Junior and Their Jeep on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Postcards

This postcard shows Salty Johns, his dog Junior, and his “Flashy” jeep. Salty’s real name was Vernon Johns. He worked as the Audubon Society warden for Lydia Ann Island. He also brought some color to the Port Aransas, Texas, beaches. That sure is an unusual bumper setup.

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Elko’s CJ-3B Fire Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, Fire/Police/Industry Vehicles

The “A1”, a CJ-3B Fire Jeep, served as Elko airport’s first fire truck. Still in good shape, it was recently put to use for the “fill the boot” Muscular Distrophy campaign.



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1966 Video of the 14th Annual Jeep Jamboree

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

This video demonstrates how many different types of vehicles were participating. At several points you’ll see a rare siting of an Austin Champ going offroad. Note also the nearly brand-new looking Tux Park. Great stuff!

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1944 Photo of Jeep at “Achtung” Sign on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

I’m not sure how the reporter knew the sign was erected by New Zealanders?

“This is an original press photo. New Zealanders, who probably got their information from a close contest with Nazi Bullets, erected his sign which temporarily halts an American Jeep on famed Highway “6” which leads to Rome. “Achtung” is the German word for “attention” and the warning it headlines is situated a few miles from where the Rapido River crosses the highway south of Cassino. Photo measures 8.25 x 7.25 inches. Photo is dated 3-18-1944.”

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14″ Jeep Rim

• CATEGORIES: Features

Steve has a 14″ jeep rim. Anyone know what model used them? The faded label indicates jeep corp made the.

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1956? Jeepney San Diego, CA $3800

• CATEGORIES: Features, Willys Trucks, Willys Wagons • TAGS: .

UPDATE: Price dropped to $3800.

(06/19/2017) The Jeepney doesn’t run. The oil filter mount isn’t a triangle nor is it a circle. It’s an oval. What’s that from? It also has an interesting dash, too.

“This is for the Willys collector who thought they had everything. It’s an awesome project and you’ll be the hit of the show. Very complete and unusual. Does not run. Do not contact with offers to help sell. No trades.”



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Free Lock Article in Dispatcher Magazine

• CATEGORIES: Features

The new issue of Dispatcher Magazine was just released. In it you can read my updated version of the Free Lock article that I wrote as a post several months ago.


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Dirt Everyday’s Wagon/YJ Build

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

In this episode, the folks at Dirt Every Day took two broken jeeps, a wagon and a YJ, and made one running jeep.

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1943 Photo of Jeep on Rails on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

This jeep includes a trailer on rails.

“This is an original press photo. The jeep takes on cargo at the loading platform in an air depot. The jeep has only one small trailer. In jeep is Sgt. D. Kelly, of Betava N.Y. Private Ed L. Ward of Kenton Ohio, directs from the platform, while Pvt. Henry Martion of Great Falls, Mont. is in the truck on platform. Sgt. M. J. Bacciarina from Merced California stands at rear of trailer.Photo measures 9 x 7.25inches. Photo is dated 8-20-1943.”

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Grandpa’s Jeep Ride on TruckYeah!

• CATEGORIES: Features

While in Alaska someone forwarded this to me, but I can’t remember who. Neat story.



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Just this Update Today

• CATEGORIES: Alaska Or Rust Trip, Features

For the second day in a row, the internet is proving too elusive to do any updates other than this text update. There’s also been almost no cell coverage (until we hit Prince George). I’m barely able to do email.

To those following our journeys, we drove from Whitehorse to Deese Lake on Wednesday, meeting up with the Vidals once more. Then on Thursday we drove from Deese Lake to Prince George. On Friday we plan to drive reenter the US and head for the Seattle area.

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2017 Northeast Ohio Flatfender Gathering Sept 10th

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features

Bob Christy is hosting another Northeast Ohio Flatfender Willys Gathering September 10 from 11am to 4pm.


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Sunday August 6th: Alaska Paul’s M-38

• CATEGORIES: Alaska Or Rust Trip, Features

Paul sitting in his stainless M-38

On Sunday we drove from Wasilla, to Anchorage, then to Palmer for the night.


We spent most of our time Sunday in Anchorage area being entertained by Paul and his Goddess (and their parrot, Samson). Paul and I have been exchanging emails since November 2009 (I had to look it up). You can see the Paul’s very first post here. Upon seeing the photos associated with that post, one reader commented at the time, “Paul, I’m going to show this post to my wife so she can see that there is someone out there MORE INSANE THAN ME when it comes to Jeeps.” That first post gives some great examples of Paul’s artistry.

I never thought I’d actually get a chance to see this jeep, but seeing it has always been on my bucket list. It took Alaska Or Rust to finally get me to Alaska and gave me my chance to see this amazing jeep and meet the man behind it, and meet the Goddess behind the man, and meet the bird behind the couple.

When we arrived at noon, Paul came bounding out of the house. He’s a tall, lanky fellow with eyes that twinkle. Deborah soon followed with her ever-present smile. There’s a happy-go-lucky feeling about Paul and Deborah’s home, perhaps best captured in the oversize lawn chairs that make a person feel like a kid again.


After relaxing in the huge chair, Paul was eager to share his jeep with me and I was equally eager to see it.


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Monday August 7th: Long Drives

• CATEGORIES: Alaska Or Rust Trip, Features

On Monday August 7th we left Palmer for Whitehorse, a twelve hour drive.


The first part of the drive on Monday to Tok could have been a spectacular one, if not for the fog and clouds. The mountains were tall and the muddy rivers wide. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate, one of the few times on our trip it didn’t go our way.

What I can report is that when the weather turn beautiful, the roads, AK-1N and Yukon-1E, between Palmer and Tok turned worse. Most of the trip was a fast 65mph, while other portions were undulating hops that reminded us of a roller coaster. Some shifts were obvious, but a few took us by surprise and at least one felt like it launched Patterson into the air. We both felt that parts of AK-1N and Yukon-1E were the worst paved roads we’d encountered (though I’m sure there are plenty worse in other parts of Alaska).

This photo was taking going up the pass out of Palmer. We soon ran into fog (or the clouds themselves).


Eventually the clouds lifted and the sky turned blue.


It always felt like we were headed for mountains, but never actually got to them.


When we finally arrived in Whitehorse around 10pm, waiting for us were Marty, Don, Rob and Diana (Diana had flown into Anchorage to accompany him home). The four of them had just completed the “top of the world” road to Dawson City, which they enjoyed immensely. The only exception to that was when Rob lost brakes because his entire brake booster fell off due to sheered bolts. Thanks to some quick engineering by Rob and Don, the foursome was soon back on the road. Later on, he got some holes in his radiator. He turned to Q-bond which fixed the holes instantly. We all plan on getting some of it.

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Tuesday August 8th: Naps & Teslin Refugees

• CATEGORIES: Alaska Or Rust Trip, Features

On Tuesday August 8th, the last remaining Alaska Or Rust folks decided to gather for breakfast at Tim Hortons before everyone but Ann and I took off for home.


Left to right: Merlin, Brittany, Diana, Don, Marty, Rob, David, Ann.

After breakfast, Ann and I returned to our room at the Town & Mountain hotel. Even though I slept well Monday night, I went back to sleep for two hours (and that was after drinking some espresso), woke up, then slept an additional hour! I am finally feeling like I’m feeling more normal.

With two successive naps out of the way, we decided to walk around Whitehorse and visit the MacBride Museum of Yukon History. We spotted this neat statue on the way.


When we reached the museum, we discovered there was a bunch of construction underway, so not everything could be seen. But the museum did have a great set of photos and explanations of the Alaska Highway construction (with lots of jeeps) and the Klondike and the effects of the stampede for gold.

Upstairs in the museum was an extensive look at Yukon’s wildlife:


Downstairs was a great ALCAN exhibit:



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Saturday August 5th: Parting Ways

• CATEGORIES: Alaska Or Rust Trip, Features

Jay signed the jeep at Denali National Park.

On Saturday, Ann and I, the Vidals, and their friends, began our trek south. Our objective was Anchorage.


Our drive from Fairbanks to Wasilla, Alaska.

Saying goodbye to the Alaska Or Rust adventure, Ann and I, along with Fernando, Hugo, LuisCarlos and Giselda, began our trek home. Our first stop was to obtain some smoked salmon from a local seafood processor Fernando found: Interior Alaska Fish Processors. They had a wide selection of smoked salmon separated by salmon type and spices. Best of all, they had lots of free samples!


It was hard not to buy a variety, but we used some control and only walked out with two different kinds of smoked salmon.

Our next stop was for gas just south of Fairbanks. I suspect the moose and bear have been featured in lots of photos.


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Friday August 4th: You Want to do WHAT?

• CATEGORIES: Alaska Or Rust Trip, Features

At the Arctic Circle: Pictured left to right bottom row: Joe’s CJ-3B, Joe, Emily, Bill, Cowboy, Russ, Don, and Jim’s CJ-2A. Picture left to right top: Jim, Marty, and Don.

This is the full and final update related to Alaska Or Rust trip. Our collective objective was to drive as a group from Dawson Creek, BC, to Fairbanks, Alaska.

In the late afternoon of Thursday August 3rd, the group finally arrived in Fairbanks, tired. When we went to check in, there was some confusion, but we got everything corrected. Afterwards, we all went out to have some great barbecue at Big Daddy’s BBQ in downtown Fairbanks. We’d been on the road since early morning, so pretty much everyone was tired.

While awaiting the delivery of our meals, Joe got the idea that we all should drive to the Arctic Circle starting at 3am or so on the morning of August 4th. He calculated the trip would take six hours and that they’d be back before our 11:00am meet-up at the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum. Essentially, they’d be driving on only a couple hours sleep on a muddy, gravel road.


The drive to the Arctic Circle sign. It’s a mostly gravel and mud road with few pullouts and a lot of big rig trucks. It’s a 194 miles north of Fairbanks.

After some discussion, others decided they wanted to go, too. This led to more discussion on when they should leave. Eventually, the group decided to leave around 2am (I never did hear when they actually left). I told them to have a good time, but also that they should be back by 11am, because they’d all agreed to attend the museum event.

“Oh yeah, we’ll be back in time,” They promised. Personally, I had my doubts, but it wasn’t my role to tell them what they could and couldn’t do. At one point Cowboy asked me if I’d be mad at them if they didn’t show up in time. I told him that of course I’d be mad. I’d passed the idea of the meet-n-greet by them before having Rick make the arrangements and everyone agreed it would be fun. But, I also told them that I’d get over it. I appreciated their sense of spirit; I just wanted them to abide by what they agreed and that was to attend the meet that we’d worked to arrange.

To make a long story short, 11am rolled around and they weren’t back. Those left in Fairbanks rolled over the to the museum. When we arrived we learned there were already folks there who wanted to meet us. Noon rolled around and they weren’t back. 1pm came and went and they weren’t there. Finally, about 1:20pm, they appeared at the parking lot. Here are some pics of their journey:


On the way north.


Sixty miles to go.


The Arctic Circle drive is dirty business. Bill’s face it peaking out over his rolled down window.


Marty at the Yukon River crossing.

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Thursday August 3rd: Reaching Alaska

• CATEGORIES: Alaska Or Rust Trip, Features

The mosquitoes are REALLY big up here.

On Thursday August 3rd we crosse into Canada, bound for Fairbanks.


Some of the team decided to go camp, while others stayed at the Beavercreek Motel and RV Park. It’s rustic. It was the FCA videographer’s last day with us, so he got some last minute coverage, including a long sequence that had us driving away into the distance while a drone followed us.

I was also interviewed to give my thoughts on the trip and Hugo.


Following the filming, we left for the border and to hunt down the campers. The early morning sunrise was very pretty, making for a good photo. The roads were the roughest we’d seen. Melting permafrost portions of the road pretty rough. Various sections were under construction.


A welcome sign gave us our first glimpse of the US. First the campers went past the sign, then the remainder did.


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Thursday Aug 3rd: The Journey Nears its End

• CATEGORIES: Alaska Or Rust Trip, Features

Yesterday, we made it to Fairbanks, Alaska. That was the endpoint for the Alaska Or Rust event. Here are a couple pics. We reached Alaska in two groups (one camped the previous night and one stayed in a motel).



The endpoint of the Alaska Highway.


I will have more to post on Saturday morning, as we have two additional events left.

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Wednesday Aug 2: Perma-Grins Despite Melting Permafrost

• CATEGORIES: Alaska Or Rust Trip, Features

A few folks (Tom, left, and Jim and Ron, right) from the Alaska Or Rust crew spotted this passed out guy near our Whitehorse hotel. Now he’s kind of famous. This photo is one of my favorites from the trip.

Yesterday we travelled from beautiful Whitehorse to the tiny gas-motel-stop of Beavercreek, just at the edge of the Alaska border.


Yesterday morning the Vidals and FCA’s cinematographer split off from the group and, thanks to Stephen Reynolds, enjoyed a plane ride over the mountains. Moreover, Stephen and his employer Tourism Yukon  paid for the Convoy Team’s meal Tuesday night. So a big hearty thank you for making Hugo’s party even more special! On top of that, Stephen is an awesome guy!

After the Vidals left, I went down to check on our jeeps and found a pylon in the back of Patterson. I found that amusing. What I didn’t find amusing was that the case of flavored waters I had in the back of Patterson was still there. Why the heck won’t someone steal those flavored waters? They were bought accidentally by my lovely wife and neither of us found them palatable. I’ve left them in the back of Patterson for days, but I’ve had no takers … literally, no one will take them from us!!


Maybe there’s a hint here … that Patterson is a hazard to be avoided???

With Hugo and Fernando on their own, the rest of the group hit the road at 8am, making it as far as the onramp to the Alaska Highway, before pulling off to do some patching. Andreas needed his exhaust patched again, Joe needed a part rewelded to his trailer, but most of all Bill had some cracks in his trailer arms at the elbows. Had they broke, he could have lost the trailer!

Always-Prepared-Marty and Miracle-Don pulled out the battery-powered portable welder and some flat steel. Then, with the help of several others, set out to create metal patches to reinforce both sides.



2017-08-02-fixing-trailer4As they worked away, we encountered our second rude Canadian of the trip. The guy was upset that we had pulled off the highway and were sitting on a side road. He was all in a kerfluffle over the fact that we had parked on the government’s property (which made no sense since I would imagine most public roads are owned by the Canadian government??). We explained we were broken down and needed a little time to get going again, but that didn’t soothe him at all. Oh well, can’t please everyone. Continue reading

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Tues Aug 1: Feliz Aniversario Hugo Vidal

• CATEGORIES: Alaska Or Rust Trip, Features

Alaska Or Rust jeeps parked in front of Watson Lake’s Sign Forest. The sign forest was a pleasant surprise.

Yesterday the group split, with the Eilers and Vidals leaving Watson Lake early for a special event. Eventually, we met up again in Whitehorse.


The group split for most of Tuesday. Ann and I and Fernando and Hugo took off earlier than the others for a special birthday event for Hugo. Before we left, we stopped at Watson Lake’s sign forest, which I thought was just a few hundred signs. In fact, one count places the number of signs at 75,000!! It truly is a forest of signs. It’s so big, that the convoy crew told me they spent almost an hour there. Here is a mix of photos from there.

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Ann took this Facebook Live video as we were driving away from the Sign Forest (before everyone else arrived). You can see just how large it is:

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Monday July 31st: Bison, Bears, and (no) Breakdowns

• CATEGORIES: Alaska Or Rust Trip, Features

Happy 84th Birthday today Hugo! (Aug 1)

Today we drove from Fort Nelson to Watson Lake, a distrance of 326 miles. Partly overcast as we left the city, we could see some dark clouds ahead that lingered over the pass we were approaching.


We drove from Fort Nelson to Watson Lake

We were only a few minutes outside of Fort Nelson when we spotted photographer Monicque Jacobs, who took pictures at Dalex Auto Service’s event on Sunday evening. That’s when Ann shouted, “Oh crap!”

“What’s the matter,” I asked.

“I was supposed to let Monicque know when were leaving the city.”

Monicque, this is our apology to you! Fortunately, she’s a professional and was ready for our exit.


A slight drizzle started, then turned to full rain as we climbed up the pass. The speed dropped and road tightened into a snaking mountian road, climbing until we were surrounded by mist.

2017-07-31-mystWhen we summited, we took a break. Those that had Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association hoodie-sweatshirts lined up for a photo in the rain.


PNW4WDA Hoodie wearers. It was a cold day on the summit.

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Sunday July 30th: Cruising the Alaska Highway

• CATEGORIES: Alaska Or Rust Trip, Features

A great group shot out front of Todd & Diana Penney’s business Dalex Auto Services. We really appreciate their hospitality! Todd is seen to the far left.

After months of planning, yesterday we finally got our chance to drive the Alaska Highway! Our stop for the evening would be in Fort Nelson, BC.


Yesterday morning was filled by a sense of excitement for the trip to begin. It was the first day of our five day trek to Alaska. We’d planned to leave at 8am, so hustle and bustle was prevalent early.

I drove to the gas station right after waking. Having never filled up Patterson’s custom stainless steel tank, I had no idea how much it would take. But, after having to run into the store to pay for gas several times because I’d misjudged how much would fit into the tank, I returned to the hotel and staged the DJ, ready to lead the group north. Spoiler alert … up to this point, Patterson had started dependably for the past month.


All prepared to lead the caravan.


Emily and Joe ready to tackle the Alaska Highway

Naturally, when the big moment came and we were ready to take a quick tour of the local roundabout where Ann was positioned to do a Facebook Live event, I turned the key and …. Patterson wouldn’t start. Joe, quickly recognizing that I was having a problem, gave me a quick push. Heck, compression starting was old hat to me and I guess it wouldn’t be an old jeep if you didn’t have to compression start it every so often.

Now that I was rolling and, once Merlin also was pushed started (Mortimer and Patterson were in a groove), we drove a short distance, rounded the roundabout and waved at Ann as she streamed us live for everyone to see! Except, there was another slight hiccup. Facebook wasn’t full cooperating, so our FB live was a bust. No matter, we had fun with our little parade.

Our first stop for the day was at the Kiskatinaw wooden bridge, a part of the original (or early) Alaska Highway.


We stopped just short of the bridge so Ann could ready her camera and Luis, Andreas’ son, could prep his drone. We agreed to wait a few minutes (no cell service) before dramatically entering the bridge.


Staged and ready for the bridge.

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Sat July 29th @ Dawson Creek

• CATEGORIES: Alaska Or Rust Trip, Features


Most everyone arrive on Friday afternoon, but a few hearty souls rolled in after midnight. On Saturday it was awesome to wake up and see all the jeeps around the motel. There wasn’t one of us who wasn’t giddy at the sight of the jeeps. We spent much of Saturday swapping stories. Much of the action was out front of the motel. That in turn caused locals to drop by, say hello and share their own jeeps stories.

Four of those that stopped by were a nice group of local police. They were very enthusiastic about the trip, so much so, that we had them sign jeeps and pose for photos.



We had Hugo pose with the officers.


They also shared some patches, cut off of their outfits.2017-07-29-dawsoncreek-police3 2017-07-29-dawsoncreek-police4

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1966 Ramsey Rear Winch Holder Whitehall, NY $500

• CATEGORIES: Features

Glenn shared this one.

“Complete rear winch assembly for Jeep CJ; includes: transmission PTO, shaft, and carriers for winch”