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The Meyer Hardtop Built by Orroville

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .
meyer-top

A Mark III Meyer hardtop for a CJ-5

A couple days ago a reader named Jeremy asked me about his top (above), referring to it as an “Orville Meyers” top. As I read that, I thought … hmmm … I’d never heard of an “Orville Meyers” hardtop.

While I had heard of a Meyer (without an “s”) hardtop (like the one above) and I’d heard of a Meyers (with an s) hardtop, better known as the manufacturer of the Allstate/Sears hardtops, I had never encountered a “Orville Meyers” top. I thought I’d better do a search, because I figure Jeremy must have gotten the name from somewhere.

The search results revealed that some of the folks over at the earlyCJ5 forum use various iterations of Orville Meyer(s) to describe what was marketed in the 60s as a Meyer hardtop. The addition of Orville made me think that the Orville connection must have originated from somewhere given its prevalence over there.

Several searches later, I learned how Orrville (2 “r”s and 2 “l”s) Body Company, was connected with the Meyer Products company.

At some point in the late 1950s or early 1960s, the Meyer Products company, from Cleveland, Ohio, chose to enter the hardtop market for the jeep. Up to that point, Meyer was known more for its snow plows, a product Meyer had built for vehicles before the jeep ever existed.

 

orrville-cabs

The Short History of Orrville Body Works (read the long history here): The Orrville Body Works seems to have gotten it’s name from the city of Orrville, Ohio, a city southwest of Akron. Started as a small cabinet shop under a different name, by 1925 it had become the Orrville Body Works that produced a variety of truck cabs. Soon the name changed to the Oroville Body Company.

Meyer buys Orrville: Fast forwarding to the early 1960s, at some unknown time, Meyer contracted with Orrville to build custom jeeps cabs, though it’s not clear what tops Orrville initially built. What we do know is that the president and owner of Oroville died in September of 1964. A year later, in late 1965, Orrville was purchased by Meyer and was made a subsidiary of Meyer for the purpose of adding a line of jeep hardtops to Orrville’s portfolio of product, but with the tops marketed under the Meyer brand. The name of the company was changed from the Orrville Body Company to Orrville products, Inc.

meyer-hardtop-orville

The Meyer Mark III jeep cab on a Meyer CJ-5, possibly a tux park.

Meyer introduces the new hardtops: A year after the purchase, Meyer introduced it’s new line of hardtops. According to the December 16, 1966, issue of the Orrville Courier Crescent,

“Jeep News, a publication of the Kaiser-Jeep Corp. of Toledo, is featuring in its current issue a new all-steel ‘M-III’ cab designed especially for its famous four-wheel vehicle by the Meyer Products Co., Inc., of Cleveland which is now being built here in the Orrville Products Co. plant, a subsidiary of Meyer Products.

“Built-in standard features of the cab include sound deadening, streamlined appearance, almost complete visibility in every direction and snug cold-weather comfort for owners of Jeep Universal. Two styles are available; each custom engineered for either the CJ 5 or CJ 6 model.

“The ‘owner-designed’ Meyer cab has welded and sealed drip moldings for maximum water run-off, and a four-step baked enamel finish for utmost durability. All components are steam cleaned, phosphate – coated and primed with a special rust-preventing coating before painting. The hard enamel finish coat is precision-baked in a special oven under close temperature control. Lustrous glacier white enamel is standard but other colors are available on quantity orders.

“Optional accessories provide Meyer cab users additional comfort and convenience. A two-position air vent gives the driver finger-tip control for drawing in fresh air or exhausting stale air. A roof-mounted tire rack assembly puts the spare tire up out of the way, yet easily accessible when needed. Continue reading

 
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My New “Monopoly” Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features

I picked up this tiny little jeep on eBay. It was made in France, most likely recently. I bought it because it seemed a perfect size for a Monopoly piece, a game my kids and I still play on occasion. Unfortunately, they’ve figured out some of my strategies for beating them, so I don’t win as often!

View all the information on eBay

jeep-pewter-monopoly

 
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AVM Automatic Hub

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

avm-brazil-automatic-hub-hugo-vidal

This photo showing an AVM Automatic hub popped up on the ECJ5 forum the other day. You’ll note it makes a reference to Warn. While I’ve yet to confirm this with Hugo Vidal, this looks to be a great example of an AVM automatic hub that was patterned after the Warn automatic hub, a brief and failed experiment by Warn to have hubs that didn’t require manual engagement.

For those that don’t know, AVM was started by Hugo Vidal in 1957 (AVM) after a handshake-deal with Arthur Warn while Hugo and his two friends were driving a CJ-3B around the Americas (Brasil to Alaska, 1955 on CJ3B.info). Using Warn’s specs, Hugo was able to resell Warn tech under the AVM brand. Eventually, AVM expanded outside of Brazil. After 50 years, Hugo retired from AVM. Hugo and Warn (and his son) never had an actual contract. It was always a handshake deal built on trust.

Hugo was so important to Brazil’s jeep history that FCA Brazil called him First Citizen of Jeep Nation in a 2018 video that can be seen here: Post Alaska Or Rust Item: FCA Brazil’s Video of Hugo Vidal

 
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2 Jeepster Jacket Patches on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features

These two Jeepster patches are on eBay. According to the seller, they may be from the 1980s, but someone else might be able to give a more accurate date.

  1. 5 1/2″ wide Willys Yellow Jeepster unused jacket patch:
    eepster-jacket-patch-yellow
  2. 5 1/2″ wide Willys red Jeepster unused jacket patch:
    jeepster-jacket-patch-red
 
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2 Different Willys-Overland Jeepster Club Jacket Patches on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features

These two patches are on eBay. According to the seller, they may be from the 1980s, but someone else might be able to give a more accurate date.

  1. 5″x6″ Willys-Overland Jeepster Club Jacket Patch
    willys-overland-jeepster-club-patch1
  2. 4 1/8″ Willys-Overland Midstates Jeepster Association Jacket Patch:
    willys-overland-jeepster-club-patch2
 
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Ten-Passenger Personnel Carrier

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

On eBay the other day there were these two different technical sheets from Willys of Canada Limited. The truck spec seems pretty straight forward, though the company labeled it a 126″ Jeep Truck (named for the wheelbase length … why wasn’t it the standard 118″ wheelbase?). But, the wagon had me scratching my head. Given the split windshield of wagon (I can’t tell if the truck has it), my instant thought was that these were both pre-1960 vehicles, especially given they both used the Superhurricane L-head.

As we learned yesterday, Canada didn’t have it’s own production plant until mid-1959, so if these personnel carriers are earlier than that, then they must have been made in the US and imported into Canada. The lack of the ‘hockey stick’ trim suggests they were earlier than the Traveller. Are they a precursor to the Traveller or were they concurrent to the Traveller? If the latter, why the split windshield and why wouldn’t they have been named ‘Traveller’?

Meanwhile, searches for any reference to the 126″ Jeep Truck or the Ten-Passenger Personnel Carrier haven’t yielded any newspaper ads or brochures.

Here is the Ten-Passenger Personnel Carrier spect sheet:
year-ten-passenger-personnel-wagon-canada1-lores year-ten-passenger-personnel-wagon-canada2-lores

Here is the 126″ Jeep Truck spec sheet. Was it a coincidence that the J-300 truck introduced in 1962 was also had a 126″ wheel base?

Over the years I’ve heard about two Willys truck bed sizes, a shorter one and a longer one, but all the info I’ve read indicated the Willys Jeep truck beds were all the same size. If a bed was made to fit this longer wheelbase, it may have meant the creation of a longer bed. This might explain the rumor of the longer beds?

year-126-jeep-truck-canada1-lores

 
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1942 Jeep Figment to Fact Article

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features, Old Images, Old News Articles

This “Figment to Face” article about the jeep’s conception-to-reality story landed in a variety of newspapers across the US, though this is the best scan of it so far (which doesn’t speak too highly of the other scans, as it shouldn’t). I wondered how many other drawings were made that weren’t realized with the standardization of the jeep.

The article appeared in the Daily Reporter out of Greenfield, Indiana, on October 19, 1942:

1942-10-19-daily-reporter-greenfield-in-jeep-drawings-vs-reality-lores

 
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Gold-Plated FC-170 Ashtray with Box on eBay

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

UPDATE: This is still available.

(03/01/2021) This rare package includes a plaque and the original box (pretty cool box). The starting bid is $175.

View all the information on eBay

“THIS AUCTION IS FOR A WILLYS JEEP MODEL FC 170 GOLD PLATED ASH TRAY IN ITS ORIGINAL BOX AND INCLUDES “CARE” INSERT.
WILLYS MOTORS INC. OF TOLEDO, OHIO
GOLD PLATED WITH 22K GOLD PLATE
THE ASHTRAY IS IN GREAT SHAPE WITH MINIMAL WEAR.
THE BOX IS IN GODD SHAPE ALSO WITH GOOD COLOR AND GRAPHICS.
50’S VINTAGE
A NICE, RARE, JEEP TOY”

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Continue reading

 
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First Canadian Made Jeep Rolls Off The Line in 1959

• CATEGORIES: Features, International, Old Images, Old News Articles

UPDATE: Here’s an example of a Windsor, Canada, data plate, one of the CJ-5s that was imported from Canada to keep up with sales demand in the US.

1969-cj5-canada-vin-plate-barney

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On August 21, 1959, the first Canadian-built jeep, a CJ-5, rolled out of the assembly plant in Windsor, Canada. Below are two articles and one advertisement that celebrates the acheivement.

This first article appeared August 22, 1959, in the Windsor Star and shows the actual first CJ-5.
1959-08-22-the-windsor-star-canada-made-jeeps-loresThis second article appeared September 19, 1959, in the National Post our to Torono, Ontario, Canada, and shows the actual Windsor Plant.

1959-09-19-national-post-toronto-jeep-made-in-canada-lores

This third item is an advertisement that appeared in the August 25, 1959, issue of The Province, a Vancouver newspaper.

1959-08-25-the-province-vancouver-jeep-made-in-canada-ad-lores

 
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Kennebunk Fire Dept’s CJ-2A Brush Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, Fire/Police/Industry Vehicles

Nate spotted this article in the 1st Responder Newspaper about the Kennebunk Fire Department’s 1947 CJ-2A, which is still in service.

Kennebunk-brush-fire-jeep-1947-cj2a-article-lores

There’s also a pic of the jeep on the department’s website:

Kennebunk-brush-fire-jeep-1947-cj2a-1

 
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Hand-Built Command Car Columbus, OH $300

• CATEGORIES: Features

UPDATE: In the comments section you’ll see a reference to another, similar Command Car on eBay. Yet, there are differences between the two. I’m not sure what’s going on with these.

Roger Martin spotted this hand built Command Car model. It is 15″ long, so it’s a good size. I told Roger that I’d buy it, but it’s not a good use of my budget.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/291299039023339

“Hand made Military Jeep by a WWII Veteran who served in North Africa. All metal Modeled after the Jeep he drove . One of a kind . Built meticulously no details left off. Great for Military collectors 15” L 7” h. 51/2 “ w .”

command-car-2 command-car-3 command-car-4 command-car-5

 
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The Jeepster Beach

• CATEGORIES: Features

Bill shared this announcement: Jeep has Resto-modded a Commando for Easter Jeep Safari. Jeep calls it the Jeepster Beach. According to Hemmings, it is basically a Jeepster body on a Rubicon chassis. As much as I am a believer in safety, I don’t think the roll bar works. It looks like an after thought to me. Still, it looks like a fun ride.

https://www.hemmings.com/stories/2021/03/22/now-that-jeep-has-restomodded-a-commando-for-the-easter-jeep-safari-what-heritage-models-are-left

jeepster-commando-easter-jeep-safari

 
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Barney’s 1944 Mr. Jeep Ashtray From Holland

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

Barney shared photos of this neat WWII Ashtray. Created in 1944, it celebrated the liberation of Holland prior to the end of the war.

1944-mr-jeep-holland-ashtray1-barney 1944-mr-jeep-holland-ashtray2-barney

 
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1942 Photo of Jeep Landing at Guadacanal on ebay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

This photo captures a jeep coming ashore on Guadacanal. I tried to find this image in a newspaper, but had no luck

View all the information on eBay

1942 Press Photo U.S. Marines landing jeep ashore at Guadalcanal in World War II. This is an original press photo. Jeep comes ashore at Guadalcanal —- U.S. Marines land a jeep from a new-type landing barge during their offensive against the Japanese on Guadalcanal Island in the Solomons.Photo measures 9 x 7.25inches. Photo is dated 08-30-1942″

1942-08-30-guadacanal-jeep-ashore1

1942-08-30-guadacanal-jeep-ashore2

 
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40-Year Jeepster Stickers on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features

I imagine this were part of a Jeepster Club? They are priced at $29.95.

View all the information eBay

“LOT OF ( 18 ) VINTAGE UNUSED STICKERS FROM WILLYS OVERLAND JEEPSTER CONVERTIBLE 40TH YEAR 1948-1988.”

jeepster-40th-year-tags

 
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1975 DJ-5 Safari-Kar Bakersfield, CA **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: DJ-5 & DJ-6, Features • TAGS: .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $11,111.

I suspect the price is just a placeholder. It’s been almost two years since the last documented Safari-Kai popped up for sale. Here’s a brochure about the short-lived Safari-Kai business.

1975-dj5-safarikar-bakersfield-ca0 1975-dj5-safarikar-bakersfield-ca1 1975-dj5-safarikar-bakersfield-ca2 1975-dj5-safarikar-bakersfield-ca3 1975-dj5-safarikar-bakersfield-ca4

“1975 Jeep DJ5. Summertime is the perfect time for open air cruising and this little Jeep gets you where you want to go in style. Like new in appearance, this 2WD AMC Jeep DJ5 was completely reconditioned 25 years ago by Safari Kar International – one of only about 500 units built. It is economical and easy to drive with a reliable AMC in-line six cylinder engine, power steering and brakes, and a floor shifted 3 speed automatic transmission.

There are less than 1500 miles on the odometer since its rebirth as it was stored for over 20 years and has just emerged to give joy to a new generation. This is a great utility vehicle with new seats, a sturdy roll bar, a bimini top to provide some shade, a flawless Shamrock Green paint job, and new floor coverings. The tires show virtually no tread wear and the 15 inch chrome Centerline rims glitter like diamonds.

This is not the kind of luxury SUV with power accessories, air conditioning, and a stereo system. It is the kind of fun machine that is perfect for beach cruising, backroad touring or just use it in the neighborhood as an eye catching grocery getter. This is the kind of vehicle that will lure lots of new friends who will want to know all about it. There is no rust and only a little bit of dust. It has always been garaged, and it starts easily and runs great. It does not have a full top or doors, but who needs ‘em? Just hop in this breezy ride and seize the day. Carpe diem!”

 
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1944 WWII Home Video W/ Jeeps From Oosterbeek, Netherlands

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

This home video (stabilized and improved by Peerklota, the person that posted it) shows the Germans fleeing and the British arriving in Oosterbeek. Lots of jeeps are shown in the film. One commenter spotted her father in the video!

In this video, the same poster visited Oosterbeek and identified several locations from the video.

 
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Fort Lewis Motors Willys Jeep Good Luck Charm on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features

Maury spotted this unusual good luck charm from Fort Lewis Motors in Salem, Georgia.

View all the information on eBay

“You are bidding on an encased 1946 penny good luck charm.”

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1962? Mobile Motion Picture Unit Instruction Book

• CATEGORIES: Documents, Features, Willys Wagons

1962-just-wagon-mobile-motion-picture-unit

This booklet started out last year on ebay with a price of $279. A lack of interest caused the price to plummet until it fell into my hands. This rare mobile motion picture unit sports a Tornado engine, which places the copyright date of the instruction booklet at 1962 or 1963.

Unfortunately, attempts to research this unit further using Google result in a bunch of results related to the “First Motion Picture Unit” during World War II or the associated government archives, which while interesting, isn’t helpful to our present query.

The booklet runs about 25 pages and is mostly focused on the operation of the generator. There aren’t enough photos for me to determine whether this is a modified 4WD sedan delivery wagon or a Traveller. Most of the pics have number references; the numbers are referenced to specific parts in the back of the book.

1962-mobile-motion-picture-instructions-unit-wagon-instructions-01-lores 1962-mobile-motion-picture-instructions-unit-wagon-instructions-02-lores 1962-mobile-motion-picture-instructions-unit-wagon-instructions-03-lores 1962-mobile-motion-picture-instructions-unit-wagon-instructions-04-lores

Continue reading

 
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1950 Photo of Soldiers and Jeep in Korea on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images, Old News Articles

This press photo appeared in multiple newspapers, including the July 20, 1950, edition of the Austin Statesman.

View all the information on ebay

“AMERICAN SOLDIERS In JEEP w .50 CAL MACHINE GUN In KOREA 1950 Press Photo. Size is approximately 7×9 to 8×10 inches. If significantly smaller or larger the specific size will be accurately described.”

1950-07-20-austin-statesmean-soldiers-jeep-50-cal-1 1950-07-20-austin-statesmean-soldiers-jeep-50-cal-2

Here’s the newspaper clipping:

1950-07-20-austin-statesman-jeep-soldier-50-cal-lores

While searching for this press photo I also spotted this photo of a unique gun mount. It was published in the August 04, 1950, issue of the Arizona Republic:

Clipping from Arizona Republic - Newspapers.com

 
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1950 Photo of a Spokane-Based Air Police Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

This August 28, 1950, photo from the Spokane Chronicle shows an Air Police MB Jeep. There might be enough there to recreate an Air Police themed jeep like this.

1950-08-28-spokane-chronicle-air-police-jeep-lores

 
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1943 Photo on the Dropping of Bond “Honor Scrolls”

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images, Old News Articles

This was something new to me. Some war bond buyers were allowed to sign scrolls that would then be loaded on bombers and dropped over Axis-controlled countries. This photo and caption appeared in the May 20, 1943, issue of the Star Tribune out of Minneapolis.

1943-05-20-star-tribune-donor-rolls-dropped-lores

 
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June 1944 Article About the Jeep Name Investigation

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

This article discusses the ongoing investigation into the jeep name business. Minnesota had a particular interest in this issue, due to Minneapolis-Moline’s development of a vehicle that was called a jeep prior to the completion of the Bantam BRC in late September of 1940. Unlike Willys-Overland, Minneapolis-Moline had no interest in owning the name; instead, they felt the name jeep belonged to the government.

This first article is from the August 21, 1940, issue of the Minneapolis Star and identifies the new Minneapolis-Moline tractor as a “jeep”:

1940-08-21-minneapolis-star-minneapolis-moline-tractor-jeep-lores

The second article, dated June 05, 1944, goes into Minneapolis-Moline’s views on the jeep name:

Continue reading

 
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Fond David Bradley Trailer Memories

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images Jeeping

David Bradley trailers are often an after thought among trailers, but for a woman named Diane, her family’s trailer continues to provide warm memories of Colorado camping with her parents and siblings. You can reader her brief story at the end of a forum thread that Maury started years ago about David Bradley trailers on the ECJ5 site.

http://www.earlycj5.com/xf_cj5/index.php?threads/the-sears-david-bradley-trailer.74865/page-11#post-1644504

david-bradley-trailer-wagon-colorado

 
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Harmony, PA, Made-in-Pennsylvania Car Show March 27-April 11

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features

If you have some time, you might want to check out the Bantam BRC-40 that will be included in a made-in-Pennsylvania 5-car auto show at the Harmony Museum in Harmony, Pennsylvania. The show is scheduled to last from March 27-April 11. From the website, it looks like a pretty neat place. It looks like we have another place to visit on our next trip to Pennsylvania!

2021-03-27-thru-04-11-bantam-brc-show-harmony-pa2-lores

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