Features Research Archives

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The 1959 Willys Malibu Prototype

• CATEGORIES: Features

Both Macs Motor City and Curbside Classic shared information on this 1959 Willys prototype that looks quite a bit like a Ford Falcon station wagon. You can see additional jeep/car prototypes on the CJ-3B Page: https://cj3b.info/Factory/FactoryDesign.html

1959-willys-malibu-prototype 1959-willys-malibu-prototype2

Ford developed the Falcon Station Wagon in 1959, so it’s possible that the Malibu and the Falcon were developed completely independently, but it sure looks like one could have influenced the other.

ford-falcon-1961

In 1961, this prototype was considered (was an actual vehicle ever built?) with a standard jeep grille:

60CJ5Wagon

In 1961, Willys Motors came out with a different prototype wagon, the J-100, with a more familiar face.

1961-willys-j100-prototype

 
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M-Series(Military FC) Operator Manual

• CATEGORIES: Documents, FC150-FC170-M677, Features

This rare manual was up for sale on eBay last week. It sold for $82.25!

1964-05-FC-Diesel-Manual-1 1964-05-FC-Diesel-Manual-2 1964-05-FC-Diesel-Manual-3 1964-05-FC-Diesel-Manual-4

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Dan Details the Thor “Lectro-Matic” Hub

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

UPDATE: I posted this Thor post over a decade ago (how times flies). Below is a look at the switch used to engage the Thor “Lectro-Matic” Hub, which came from this post. Since the below post was first published, there’s also been some history about Thor Products on a shared on another post.

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Originally posted January 2010: 

Dan dropped this into my inbox this evening.  It’s a detailed look at the Thor “Lectro-Matic” Hub (or lectromatic hub). Dan completed this 18 page document, with disassembling the hubs and discussing each step.  You can download the PDF here Great work Dan!

Dan writes, The Thor “Lectro-Matic” hubs off of my 1955 CJ-5 were a bit of a mystery. These must have been some of the first “push button” 4WD systems to come out. There was little to no information on them so I decided to take them apart and see just how they work. Here is what I have learned.

When my Dad said that they were electric, I assumed that they had a little motor that would “spin” them in or out of engagement. What I realized was that they were more like a solenoid or electromagnet.

There is a coil of wire on the wheel side of the hub. When power is applied to the coil it becomes a magnet and draws itself to the axle side of the hub. There are little “teeth” machined into the facing sides of the hub. These teeth engage and the axle side of the hub turns the wheel or magnet side of the hub. A wire is ran through the back of the backing plate through a hole and provides the electricity to the magnetic coil. A contact mounted on a spring transmits this electric power through a slip ring inside the brake drum to the hub.

I imagine that the hubs could be engaged while the vehicle is moving, but I think this would cause the teeth to slip for a moment and lead to premature wear of the teeth. A toggle switch or a maintained push button could be used to turn the hubs on and off. One could even use a limit switch on the 4WD lever of the transfer case to automatically turn them on when the vehicle was shifted into 4WD. The hubs would only remain engaged as long as power is applied to the magnetic coil. If you left the switch on and had run power directly off of the battery to the switch, it would eventually drain your battery after the engine is shut off. If you ran power from the ignition switch to the on/off switch, your hubs would automatically disengage as soon as you shut off your engine.

If for some reason they didn’t want to work, there was a little screw on the outside face of the hub that you could turn to manually engage or disengage the hubs (as you can see below).


On the top of the hub you can see the wire that passes through the brake drum to power the magnetic coil.

Download and read the entire document here

 
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CJ-5 Cuff Links and Tie Clip

• CATEGORIES: Features

These sold on eBay a few days ago for $16. It’s the second set that has sold on eBay in as many weeks.

cj5- cufflinks-tie-clasp

“Offered is a Vintage Willys Overland Jeep 3 Pc Cufflink & Tie Clip Set … This set is NOS and was part of a lifelong Willys Overland Jeep executive’s estate. It is marked/made by Mercury Industries on the back of the tie clip. Crisp and clean! Sorry, no box”

 
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Ames Single Bottom Plow Plymouth, MA $400

• CATEGORIES: Features, Parts

UPDATE: Price dropped to $400.

(10/28/2019) John shared this ad. The plow was used behind a CJ-2A.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/2594926074167164/

“Ames Plow Company 45 antique single bottom plow. It was used on the rear of a Jeep CJ2A back in the mid 40s. Its been stored indoors for 70+ years.
Good condition $650”

ames-single-bottom-plow1 ames-single-bottom-plow2

 
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Frédéric’s Mobile Cinema Model

• CATEGORIES: Features, Models

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Frédéric lives in France and recently completed a model, shown above, based on the mobile cinema operation shown in the photo below (see more mobile cinema photos here). We tried to find more pics of the mobile cinema setup, but we didn’t have much luck, so he had to use his imagination and experience for additional details. It took a year to complete and he did a great job!

His next project will be a German Car, a Stoewer from 691e Panzer Propaganda Kompanie that will include a couple german war reporters. 

In the meantime, as a health care professional, Frédéric is on the medical front lines in France fighting COVID-19. His region doesn’t have too many cases at the moment, so he’s in a relatively better place than other medical professionals in France. Stay safe Frédéric!

MobileCimema01

Here are some more photos:

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Tagging A Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features

Chattanooga Times reporter Marion Coleman wrote a piece on jeep tagging in July of 1943, which was then syndicated to at least one newspaper, appearing in the Key West Citizen on July 20, 1943, under the title “Tagging a Jeep”. The problem is that the scan is horrible. Moreover, I can’t find any other copy of the article nor are the Chattanooga News-Free Press archives online, which is where I suspect it was also published.

The reason I found the article interesting is that she underscores the primary purpose of naming (or tagging) a jeep wasn’t for sentimental/inspirational reasons. Instead, it was so drivers could identify their individual jeeps. Given drivers were responsible for their jeeps, creatively marking their jeeps was one way of safe-guarding them. Of course, snagging the distributor when parked was another way to help keep it from being stolen.

I suspect the only way to get a good copy of the article is to visit the local library in either state, which likely won’t be happening anytime soon!

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Terrible online scan from the July 20, 1943, issue of the Key West Citizen.

 

 
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1949 Meyer Snow Plow Brochure

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

This early Meyer snow plow brochure sold on eBay. I was busy buying a few other things yesterday, so decided to let this one go. If someone out there purchased it, feel free to send me some lo res scans (d @ dealers.com) that I can share with folks.

1949-form-4WD-489-meyer-snow-plow-brochure-1 1949-form-4WD-489-meyer-snow-plow-brochure-2

 
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Tux Park III Parts List

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Documents, Features

This was also on eBay. I assume one of the Tux Park guys hopped on this unique resource. Unfortunately, only a couple photos were provided on eBay.

1962-tux-park-III-package1 1962-tux-park-III-package2

 
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1943 Photos of Two Named Jeeps

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images, Old News Articles

This May 02, 1943, article in the Evening Star excerpt shares the news of two newly-named jeeps:  “Al Neale” and “Mount Vernon Spitfire”.

1943-05-02-evening-star-naming-jeeps-lores

 

 
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1943 Article on Jeep-Powered Magnet

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old News Articles

I am surprised that there was so much scrap on the ground. It sounds like this device could have paid for itself in tires alone. This was published in the August 20, 1943, issue of the Key West Citizen.

1943-08-20-key-west-citizen-jeep-magnet-scraps

 
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Gladiator/Wagoneer Cuff Links & Tie Clasp on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features

Here’s an unusual item: Gladiator/Wagoneer Cuff Links and Tie Clip. The price is $25.

View all the information on eBay

gladiator-cuff-links

 
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Mechanix Illustrated Magazine: Jiving up the Jeep, Articles 1-4

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

UPDATE: Steve obtained copies of article #2, so now this list is complete!

Nine years ago there was a post about “Jivin up the Jeep”, which referenced a series of articles in Mechanix Illustrated Magazine. At that time, I could only locate articles #3 and #4. Steve Zamell just shared the earliest of the four with me (Thanks!). And, I found a poor image of article #2 So, below you’ll find information about all four articles.

According to the information on this Modern Mechanic Post, the October and November 1946 issues of Modern Mechanic magazine each included an article titled “Jivin up the Jeep” that shares various modifications. Those articles were a big hit across the US, as readers from all over sent in follow up suggestions and ideas. That led to an additional two articles, one in April of 1947 and one in November of 1947. I’ve shown the pictorial portions of the articles below. There’s additional content on the 1947 links.

From October 1946 Part I – A few Jeep ideas:
1946-10-mechanix-ill-jivin-up-jeep-pt1-lores

1946-10-mechanix-ill-jivin-up-jeep-pt1-pg2-lores

From November 1946 Part II – I just bought a cheap issue of this magazine. I’ll update these poor pics found on a current  eBay ad once I receive my copy of the magazine. Looks like this article covers the creation of a custom hardtop:

1946-11-mechanix-illustrating-jivin-jeep1-lores 1946-11-mechanix-illustrating-jivin-jeep2-lores

From April 1947: Custom Tops

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Early 1960s? Mobil Motion Picture Unit Book on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Books, Documents, Features, Fire/Police/Industry Vehicles

This is an unusual book. But, the starting price of $279 surprises me.

View all the information on ebay

“Offered is a Very Rare 1960’s Kaiser Jeep Instruction Manual for a “Mobil Motion Picture Unit” Marked Model 6-230 4WD-EC ,, Contract 1A-10123 on the cover and on the inside it specifies “Governor Model GC 1496”.

This manual and several others I have listed are from the estate of a Longtime Kaiser Jeep executive. This manual is NOS and was stored in a filing cabinet for many years,,, it is crisp and clean but dose have a little discoloring on the edge ( see photo) nothing major or distracting.

This Jeep was produced as a self contained film crew vehicle with onboard generator, cameraman’s platform and various ladders, plugs and fixtures to support a motion picture/ military USIA press crews.

Manual is marked “U.S Information Agency” also known as “USIA” these vehicles were used by the Government agency impart to produce Cold War propaganda.

It is an original Kaiser Jeep instruction manual not a reproduction .

It also lists many part numbers , specifications and maintenance requirements specifically for this vehicle.”

wagon-motion-picture-manual-gov01 wagon-motion-picture-manual-gov0 wagon-motion-picture-manual-gov1 wagon-motion-picture-manual-gov2

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Kemco Hardtop Brochure

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features • TAGS: .

A big thanks to Ted Jordan for making and sharing these scans. When Hubart A. Kelly initially purchased the D. L. Beck Manufacturing Company, which produced CJ-2A hardtops, initially the cab company was called Kemco. At the time Beck was still a working partner at the company. This rare four-page brochure was produced at that time. Not too much later, Kemco was officially became the Kelly Manufacturing Company and Kemco disappeared.

Kemco-brochure1-lores

These are the interior two pages.

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Kemco-brochure2-lores

This is the Dealer’s Confidential Price list:

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And here is what the rest of us would likely have paid:Kemco-brochure4-lores

 

 
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Early Kelly Manufacturing Hardtop Brochure

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features • TAGS: .

Ted Jordan also shared this early Kelly Manufacturing Hardtop Brochure. Note that the brochure mentions Kemco on the front page, which suggests this was printed shortly after the name was changed to Kelly.

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kelly-all-steel-cab-brochure3-lores kelly-all-steel-cab-brochure2-lores

 
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Spring Reunion Rescheduled for June 19-20, 2020

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features

2016-willys-midwest-reunion0

Bob Christy has announced that the Spring Reunion has been pushed back to June 19-20. Depending on how COVID-19 events unfold, there may be further alterations or even outright cancellation of the event. So, stay tuned!

http://www.willysreunion.com/swr20.htm

“Due to the current COVID-19 Restrictions…

The Spring Reunion is now Re-Scheduled to June 19-20, 2020

I spoke with the hotel and they are working with minimal staff under the current restrictions put in place by the State of Ohio.

The person I spoke to (Frank) was going to move all of the room reservations to the new dates. If you cannot make it to the show on the new dates and need to cancel your room there will be no penalty.

If you have already registered for the show, your registration is still valid, so you need to do nothing.

As of right now, the show will go on as planned, however, state restrictions in place at the time of the show may force us to make decisions on:

Dinner
Guest Speaker
T shirts
outright cancellation

It’s our sincere hope that by June everything will be back to normal and we can hold the show as planned, but of course like everyone else, we will not know that for many more weeks.

On Behalf of everyone that helps to run this show, including Art, Mindy, Jpet, Scott, Kevin, Bill, and myself we wish all of you health and happiness during this time and we hope to see you all soon.

 
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Jeepers Jamboree: The First 30 Years Book

• CATEGORIES: Books, Features, Old Images Jeeping

I won this book on eBay the other day. With more than 450 pages, the book is full of photos, history, and stories related to thirty years of the Jeepers Jamboree, the Rubicon trail trip that became an annual event.  This particularly edition includes signatures of Mark Smith (founder of the Jeepers Jamboree) and Peg Presba  (the book’s author).

There’s another copy of this book for sale on Amazon, but it’s more than what I paid.

jeepers-jamboree-30th-anniversary-book-2 jeepers-jamboree-30th-anniversary-book-3 jeepers-jamboree-30th-anniversary-book-4 jeepers-jamboree-30th-anniversary-book-5

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Willys Overland Lead Pencil w/ Floating Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features

This lead pencil with a floating jeep was another eBay find from the same seller of the Jeepers Jamboree. It’s inscribed with Willys-Overland. The pic below is extra large so you can see the inscription and the jeep detail.

willys-overland-lead-pencil-4-images-lowerres

 
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Bob’s Longtime Militarized CJ-2A

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features
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Bob Le Marchant’s militarized CJ-2A

Bob Le Marchant discovered eWillys last month. Now 72, below he shares some tales with his beloved CJ-2A.

Bob started jeeping at age 17. His ‘crazy neighbour’s’ father (an ex-submarine captain) ran a yellow Ford Jeep. He dearly wanted one too, but ended up with a 1946 CJ-2A. It was not only his first jeep, but also Bob’s very first vehicle. Metamet, a British company that offered a wide variety of modified WWII jeeps, soon became his central place for purchasing spare parts. He loved going up to London and finding Daleham Mews.

The CJ-2A, being his first vehicle, was what he used to pass his driving test (the tester spent the whole test reading the dash plates and talking about Jeeps … he had driven jeeps in the war). As a teenager, Bob discovered there were two sorts of girls: the ones who looked crest fallen and said ” Oh, shame it isn’t a little sports car”, and those who said “Wow!! Where shall we go in that!”

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After graduating as a mining engineer (he proudly notes that Ben Carlin was one too), he shipped his Jeep out to South Africa to work. For a while he worked near Johannesburg in what was then the second deepest mine in the world at 11,700 feet. Bob wrote that, “At that depth the intrinsic rock has a hydraulic pressure: the floor is as much likely to burst up as the roof fall down. Square tunnels soon become circular as shards come off. The natural rock temperature is 150 degrees or so, with 100% humidity. Heat stroke was the main killer down there. Everything he has  ever done since then has been a “piece of piss!”

Later, in the 1970’s, he DROVE his jeep back to the UK to do work a job blasting a tunnel for the Ffestiniog Railway in Wales. However, to get to Wales, he had to take the long way because, due to politics, he couldn’t get north of Kenya, so he shipped his jeep to Bombay, then drove northwest via Kyber Pass and Istanbul.  The adventure was a trip of a lifetime.

“This Jeep has travelled,” he noted. Unfortunately, his ex-wife has all the pics.

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Currently, he lives in Devon in South West England. His longtime CJ-2A is still a very road worthy, nearly everyday vehicle. The engine uses a Hotchkiss block. He also has a Metamet dash plate on the wall. He loves his jeep!

 
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March 25-28, 2021: A New Date for The Last Jeep FC-Roundup

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features

last-roundup

Latest news: March 25-28, 2021
Is the newest planned date for the last and final Phoenix FC-Roundup
Andrea and I are really hoping that by then our World is cured of the Coronavirus.

Thank you for your understanding. Andrea and I, personally invite all owners and friends of Jeep Forward Controls and FleetVans to this ‘Most Excellent’ International event. There is no charge to attend this event. All parking on this property is limited to Jeep FC and Jeep FJ only Vehicles, first come Street parking for all others.

During this extended weekend, you can expect to see and learn more by talking to other owners, take lots of pictures. Bring your imagination and any FC related items to display, such as toys, memorabilia, photos, artwork, manuals, literature, magazines with FC articles, and even a few FC related tools will be on display.

See also new FC reproduction parts and event items, hats and T-shirts will be available for you to buy. We welcome and we are always very grateful for any FC related donation for the Saturday afternoon free raffle. Also on Saturday afternoon are the free XXL BBQ Hot Dogs with chips and chili pinto beans and much more. Free daily refreshments all the time.

One of the best things that happens everyday is that you get to drive your own FC or ride with someone, daily we have FC group driven cruising and go out to breakfast and out to dinner. We also offer pickup and deliver transportation to and from the light rail, that connects to the Phoenix International Airport Terminals.

Start making your GCU Motel or any local reservations now. For any additional questions. Please call, text or email. Jesse or Andrea (602) 321-3675 m677jeep@cs.com

Home Page Picture (2)

 
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Joe Donham Willys Dealership near Oakland, Ca

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images • TAGS: .

UPDATE: Blaine spotted a post that provides more background on the Joe Donham and a pic of how it looked as of 2006.

http://berkeleyheritage.com/eastbay_then-now/roadside.html

donham-dealership-eastbay-ca

According to the website post,

Joseph B. Donham (1895–1982), who followed Warren at this location, was general sales manager for the Val Strough organization in the 1930s before striking out on his own. After running a used car dealership in Oakland, he opened an authorized Willys dealership at 2747 San Pablo Avenue, being the first tenant to lease the new showroom. Donham’s Willys dealership operated here from 1953 through 1956. After the car maker ceased production, Donham switched to selling used cars at this location and ran the Dalton & Norton Chrysler dealership in San Leandro. According to his son, Joseph Donham, Jr., Donham owned several East Bay used car dealerships while working as general manager of S&C Ford in San Francisco.

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Originally published in Feb of 2012:  This image shows a Willys Dealership in the East Bay area near Oakland, Ca.  Donham’s Willys dealership operated from 1953 through 1956.

 
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1945 Commemorative Demonstration Badge on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features

(No, not an April Fools …) Maury spotted this unusual badge that appears to designed based on a visitor “badge” given to guests at Charles Sorenson’s Cesor Farms during the July of 1945 event (photo of the event) where a jeep demonstration took place.

Anyone ever see a plaque version like this? Though it is the only one offered for sale and it’s marked “used”, I suspect, given the array of other similar badges, that it is produced in Indonesia.

It ships for free from Indonesia. Starting bid is $15. Here’s another example of a badge from the same seller, a Willys Overland Jeepster Club badge.

View all the information on eBay

peace-jeep-demonstgration-badge

Here’s an example from the CJ-2A page of a “guest” badge from a Cesor Farms event.

badge_ribbon_at_96dpi

 
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Bountiful Jeep Posse Sign Make Offer

• CATEGORIES: Features, Parts • TAGS: .

A seller out of Utah has listed this porcelain Bountiful Jeep Posse sign for sale. It’s got some wear.

https://www.tractorhouse.com/listings/other-items/for-sale/190017901/rare-porcelain-bountiful-city-jeep-posse-sign?lp=MAT

bountiful-jeep-posse-sign2 bountiful-jeep-posse-sign1

 
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Kaiser’s Hawaii Kai Hydroplane & Wagon

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

Roger Martin shared a trimmed version of this Hawaii Kai image with me via Facebook. I later discovered the image below on Pinterest. Given the pink color scheme, the name of “Hawaii Kai” (an area on O’ahu developed by Henry Kaiser) and the fact that a matching jeep was pulling the hydroplane, convinced me that Henry Kaiser owned this pair.

However, thanks to information supplied by the hydroplane museum (a place Ann and I visited the museum in 2015), I learned it was actually his son Edgar that owned the combo (Henry had his own fleet of hydroplanes). The Hawaii Kai hydroplane was built for Edgar in 1956. The wagon, by all appearances a slightly modified Jeep Field Ambulance, was being sold at that time as well.

Below is the image I found on Pinterest. Based on the text font, this looks like the image and caption could have been published in a jeep news magazine or a brochure, but I don’t remember seeing any color versions of those documents.

hawaii-kai-u8-plus-jeep-wagon-kaiser-lores

For comparison, here’s the Jeep Field Ambulance (images are from brochure form W-992-5). Note how the Hawaii Kai wagon has a sloped rear bottom (slopes down toward the wheels), versus the stock flat bottom as seen below from a 1955 brochure. It also looks like the Jeep Field Ambulance has different sized windows on the driver’s and passenger side of the cargo area.

1955-form-w-992-jeep-field-ambulance2-lores 1955-form-w-992-jeep-field-ambulance1-lores