Features Research Archives

To Top

Museum of Alaska Transportation & Industry

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3B, Features, Fire/Police/Industry Vehicles

The Museum of Alaska Transportation & Industry is located in Wasilla, Alaska. It’s a far drive for most people to see the museum, but it does have a rare CJ-3B Fire Jeep. I think that’s as good of a reason to visit Alaska as any other!

Ron alerted me to the museum and shared these photos he took. Note the CJ-7 Mail Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler, which I think looks pretty good. Thanks Ron!

See all the pictures Ron took here




To Top

Jeep Tailgate Bench Bushland, TX **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $475.

Here’s something different.

“Jeep tailgate porch bench. Frame made from treated lumber and the rest made from cedar.”


To Top

Trade your Jeep for 1923 Model T Masonville, CO $7900

• CATEGORIES: Features

I don’t know what Model T’s go for price wise, but this seller is willing to do some type of jeep trade.

“For your consideration is a very nice 1923 Model T coupe fully road worthy and titled. It is not a trailer queen, so the paint is not perfect, but there is no exposed rust and what rust there is is minimal. The body is very straight and the roof has been recovered. It looks like a 1923 should look like . . .

I am negotiable on the price if I don’t have to refinish the wheels. I would also consider interesting trade trades i.e. early model pickups, Willy’s Pickup, Jeep CJ or similar. Serious inquiries only please. Please reply by email with “Classic” in the subject line so I can weed out scammers and I will get back to you to answer any questions or to set up a time to look at it. Thanks for lookin!!!”



To Top

Funny Ad

• CATEGORIES: Features

Having felt this way myself, I enjoyed this poster’s response to some cj5 ad he’d seen on Craigslist.

“Just a friendly reminder from a Jeep historian, the oldest possible “jeep” was the 1940 MB prototype from the Bantam motor company


The following years 56 66 76 are all possible for the cj5 see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_CJ#CJ-5

So please for the love of the GP gods, put the right year on it

Sgt T Stone USA (retired)”


To Top

Fri. May 31st: The Breakfast Club and Vintage Wiring

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 27 – Thur. May 30th: A Submarine, A Lighthouse, and Lobsters | Trip Overview | Day 29 – Sat. June 1st: Acadia National Park –>


Glenn driving his DJ-3A with Ann riding shotgun.

On Friday May 31st Ann and I would drive to Smithfield, Maine, then on to Acadia National Park.


On Friday we drove from Portland, Maine, to Acadia National Park via Smithfield.

We arrived at Glenn Byron’s house to find Smithfield’s ‘Breakfast Club’ waiting for us. They are a group of vintage car lovers from Maine who join each other for breakfast once a week.


2013-05-31-breakfast-club3 2013-05-31-breakfast-club2

Continue reading

To Top

Sat. June 1st: Acadia National Park

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 28 – Fri. May 31st: The Breakfast Club and Vintage Wiring  | Trip Overview | Day 30 – Sun. June 2nd: State #49 Was Exciting! –>


Who knew lobsters were such ice cream fans!

Yesterday, Friday May 31st, Ann and I planned to stop by the Acadia National Park Visitors Center before setting up camp for our two night stay in the Park.

Acadia National Park covers about half of Mount Desert Island. As we drove over the bridge and onto the island, I told Ann that I was having difficulty locating the Visitor Center online. But, it wasn’t something I was too worried about, since there are always signs in National Parks to help guide visitors.

However, not this time. In fact, we quickly found ourselves lost. We didn’t know where we were, we lost all cell reception, and our Atlas didn’t help.

We nearly had to resort to asking for directions when a sliver of bandwidth sneaked onto our phone, which allowed us locate the Blackwoods Campground. So, at least we found home. But, where was the visitor center or at least an entrance station? That remained a mystery …

Upon our arrival, we found a sparsely populated campground. We were thankful for that, because the area has more than 300 camping spots! On the downside, there was no cell reception, so my hotspot wouldn’t work to manage eWillys.


Camp setup complete.

As we relaxed at our camp, we met a couple who was camping near us. Jake and his wife (whose name I cannot recall) were from Maine. When I explained what I did and why we were so far from home, Jake told me his Uncle had a couple of old Willys jeeps in Montana that they’d refurbished. Seems there are Willys everywhere I go!

By the time we finished talking, it was dusk. So, we climbed into our tent and quickly fells asleep.

Saturday June 1st:

When I awoke in the morning, I put on my gray hoodie. In the pocket I discovered a present left by my wife. It was wrapped in tissue and was the shape of two AA batteries side-by-side. I thought, “Oh, what could it be?”

It was pretty light, so I figured it was fragile. I carefully unrolled it from the tissue, but still couldn’t determine what it was. So, I attempted to separate the battery-sized objects. That’s when it dawned on me. It was a pair of tampons. So, it wasn’t a gift for me after all . . .

Minutes later, Ann discovered the cooler had been leaking and the back seat area was damp.  So, we threw most of our stuff into our tent and unzipped all the windows. Thank goodness the weather would be warm and sunny (We’ll be buying a new cooler very soon).

Soon after breakfast, we hit the road for an early morning visit to Bar Harbor.


Here we are at a downtown park.


This was taken near the harbor. We enjoyed the seaside town and it’s relaxed flavor.

Continue reading

To Top

Thur. May 30th: A Submarine, A Lighthouse, and Lobsters

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 26 – Wed. May 29th: Exploring Mystic  | Trip Overview | Day 28 – Fri. May 31st: The Breakfast Club and Vintage Wiring –>


Bob, Ann and I at the Nubble Lighthouse near York, Maine.


Thursday’s drive from Warwick, Rhode Island, to Portland, Maine.

On Thursday spent some time in Rhode Island, then headed to Maine.


Downtown Providence, RI

We started in Providence, Rhode Island, walking the Green Mile. Actually, it was more like two and a half miles. The Green Mile is a downtown loop marked by a green line called the Independence Trail that weaves visitors through the cities history as they stroll through the buildings.

Every so often a painted marker on the ground appears with a phone number and an extension. You are told to dial the phone number, enter the extension, and (theoretically) a voice describes the significance of the location. However, due to some winter storm damage (not sure how the winter weather caused problems with the phone system . . .) the system needed updating. So, it didn’t work well for us.


Continue reading

To Top

Jeep Parts Depot Sun Valley, CA

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

I’ve shared a link to this in the past. Mostly newer parts, but still interesting.







To Top

Wed. May 29th: Exploring Mystic

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 25 – Tues. May 28th: Some Family History | Trip Overview | Day 27 – Thur. May 30th: A Submarine, A Lighthouse, and Lobsters –>


Another “if built for a movie, then built for real, people will come” story … Mystic Pizza.

On Wednesday we drove from Darien, Connecticut, to Warwick, Rhode Island.


Wednesday’s drive from Darien to Warwick.

Wednesday morning we left my cousin-by-marriage George’s place. It was a beautiful day for a drive along the coast.


We traveled east along the Connecticut shoreline until we stumbled on the town of Mystic. Being young adults of the 1980s, we immediately recognized that it was the town used during the filming of Mystic Pizza, a movie which greatly helped Julia Roberts’ career.

Our first stop was at the Mystic Seaport.


Continue reading

To Top

Tues. May 28th: Some Family History

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 24 – Mon. May 27th: Peter Debella Jeep Parts  | Trip Overview | Day 26 – Wed. May 29th: Exploring Mystic –>


I undiscovered some gems for my upcoming book on my family’s history.

Over Memorial Day Weekend we stayed  in Sea Cliff, New York, at the Guerci’s house. My relationship with the Guerci’s is another internet-sent miracle. The Guerci’s live in my great aunt Emma’s painting studio, one built on the former Eilers’ Estate.

A few years ago, Leslie contacted me and told me they were living there and were looking for a Emma Eilers‘ painting for their house. Mom and I gave them one for free that needed a little restoration work. Since then, we’ve built a very warm relationship and they have opened their home to Ann and I any time our weary traveling feet climb their stairs. Last weekend they welcomed Karson as well, which gave me a wonderful opportunity to explain some of the family history to him and show him the remaining family homes in the area. I never expected to have that opportunity.

After we said our goodbyes to Sea Cliff, we drove a short distance to Darien, CT, for a dose of family history from a man named George who married one of my father’s cousins.


Tuesday’s drive from Sea Cliff, New York. to Darien, CT.

I’d never met George and barely knew of him before we exchanged a few emails prior to our trip out here. I told him we were traveling east and he invited us to stay right away.


George Ratcliff and I

A former president of a reinsurance company, the eighty-five year old had plenty of interesting family stories from the ‘eastern Eilers’ clan, as well as pictures and information. One of the most fascinating tidbits of information was the reason behind my grandfather’s 1924 trip with his brother through Europe. His mother (my great grandmother) made him take his brother to Europe so that he wouldn’t marry the ‘wrong’ girl. That scheme didn’t work and the man returned from Europe to marry the ‘wrong’ girl anyway and have a happy long life with her.

George enjoyed painting for much of his life. He said that he couldn’t wait to retire so he could paint all the time. However, when he retired, he stopped painting altogether, something he never understood.

George told us about a house on Martha’s Vineyard he and his wife purchased (and later sold – then, it was torn down and replaced). He painted their island house and allowed us to take a picture of it. The painting is full of specific references to family members and life at the vineyard. You might recognize the house as the location used as ‘Brody’s house’ for the first Jaws movie.


George’s wife Jean Eilers passed away a few years ago. In a sweet gesture, he still kept her recipe holder on the counter that held a recipe she’d placed there before she died. The funny thing is, he never liked that particular recipe. He likened his marriage to baseball. Some batters walk up to the bases and strike out a few times. If they are lucky, they might hit a home run. With his wife, he walked up to the plate and hit a home run on the first pitch. With a batting average of 1000, he explained, he has no desire to step up to the plate again. Very romantic.

A little family history:

Below is the first page of an 1859 story that was originally written in French by my great great grandmother’s brother, Eugene Farny. In it he describes the Farny family’s move in 1959 (along with all their possessions, including horses and chickens) on a 30-foot raft from Tionesta, Pennsylvania, down the Allegheny River to Cincinnati. It was quite the journey!


Here’s a photo of my great grand parents, circa 1913, sitting at a desk. It may have been part of a photo shoot for their 50th wedding anniversary. I can’t think of another reason to create such a casual photo.



This photo of the family hiking in the Alps was likely taken in 1914, just prior to the start of the war. My family got stuck in Germany as WWI engulfed Europe.


My great grandfather Karl is far right. Next to him is my great grandmother Leonie. Their daughter Leonie is behind them, followed by their youngest son Farny and their oldest son, my grandfather, Fritz.

Another interesting piece of art was this painting by Emma Eilers showing Farny Eilers, my grandfather’s brother, riding a bike around his parents house (my great grandparents place). The house still stands in Sea Cliff.


Not the best photo of it, but it’s an unusual painting, as I believe it is one of only two paintings Emma did that included a male. She preferred painting landscapes and women.

We had a great time with George, as he was full of stories. On Wednesday, we drive to Rhode Island.

<– Day 24 – Mon. May 27th: Peter Debella Jeep Parts  | Trip Overview | Day 26 – Wed. May 29th: Exploring Mystic –>

To Top

Factory Photo from Flickr

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

Marc spotted this great factory photo.



To Top

Larry’s Jeep Dressed for Memorial Day

• CATEGORIES: Features

Larry dressed up his jeep for memorial day. He’s on the hunt for a MB, but until then you can see he’s having fun!

937 940

To Top

Bantam BRC-40 Postcard

• CATEGORIES: Features, Postcards

Marc spotted this Bantam BRC-40 Postcard that sold on eBay.

1943-bantam-brc40-postcard1 1943-bantam-brc40-postcard2

To Top

Sat. May 25th & Sun. May 26th: NYC & Family With Karson

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 21 – Fri. May 24th: Jeeps, Meats, and Beeps  | Trip Overview | Day 24 – Mon. May 27th: Peter Debella Jeep Parts –>


Karson, Ann, and I on the Long Island Train heading into the city.

SATURDAY MAY 25TH: On Saturday, went to Manhattan for the day, then drove to a relative’s place in Quogue. New York.


Our Saturday travels to Manhattan, then to Quogue.

First, we joined the rest of Manhattan and half of Connecticut when we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It has been almost exactly thirty years since I’d last seen the museum at age 17. I’m pretty sure in the past thirty years the museum has doubled in size. Well, that or my 47 year old legs are a little more tired than they should be. I guess that’s the downside of spending the last three months either traveling or writing. I look forward to getting back into shape when we return to Pasco.


2013-05-25-karson-dad-mma-nyc3 2013-05-25-karson-dad-mma-nyc4

Continue reading

To Top

Mon. May 27th: Peter Debella Jeep Parts

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 22 & 23 – Sat. May 25th & Sun. May 26th: NYC & Family With Karson | Trip Overview | Day 25 – Tues. May 28th: Some Family History –>


Peter Debella and I at Peter Debella Jeep Parts in Riverhead, Long Island

On Monday we drove east on Long Island to Riverhead, New York.


Monday’s drive to visit Peter Debella in Riverhead.

On Monday we dropped off Karson at his ‘home’ (an Extended Stay Inn), exchanged good byes, and headed east to meet with Peter Debella in Riverhead, New York. Peter runs Peter Debella Jeep Parts. He invited Ann and I out to see some of the jeeps and parts he has.


This unlucky parts jeep got hit by a falling tree during a storm.

2013-05-27-peter9 2013-05-27-peter8

Continue reading

To Top

GPA and GPW Photo

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

Marc spotted this nice photo.



To Top

The Third Set of Pics — The Southwestern Utah 1961 Trip

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images Jeeping, Trips • TAGS: , .

UPDATE: This was originally posted March 28, 2011:

Here is the third set of pictures from Alan that show more of the Four Corners Trip in 1961.  You can see the first set here and the second set here.

To Top

Fri. May 24th: Jeeps, Meats, and Beeps

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 20 – Thurs. May 23rd: And Then it Started Raining at the Worst Time | Trip Overview | Day 22 & 23 – Sat. May 25th & Sun. May 26th: NYC & Family With Karson –>


The new Great Willys Picnic Banner unfurled!

We started out the morning in Reading, PA. Our first objective was to meet Seth in Kempton. I felt bad about not being around for the Picnic, so meeting up with Seth was the next best thing.


On Friday we drove from Reading, Pennsylvania, to Sea Cliff, New York.

Seth’s place is hidden among some of the endless Pennsylvania hills. It’s east to see how much fun having a jeep would be for cruising all the quiet backgrounds in the area.


Another quiet Pennsylvania road.


This is one of many old barns in excellent condition set against a quaint backdrop.

By the time we arrived, Seth and his wife Heather were waiting for us at their house atop a windy hill. It’s a great vintage looking home that was built only ten years ago. Their son Levi wanted to join us, but had to go to school instead. I signed a poster and told him I’d try to get to the Picnic next year.

Seth volunteered to get his jeeps out of the shed (despite some drizzle) so we could photograph them. We didn’t have to push either of them! He’s got some additional jeeps in back that serve as parts vehicles. Seth also got a few neat signs on the walls.

Ann and I enjoyed their company very much and look forward to more time next year! Thanks for the coffee cake, too! Here are a few pics:


Continue reading

To Top

Thurs. May 23rd: And Then it Started Raining at the Worst Time

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 19 – Wed. May 22nd: Old Cars and Chocolate Shots  | Trip Overview | Day 21 – Fri. May 24th: Jeeps, Meats, and Beeps –>


Henry performing ‘toppage’ on a Jeepster in a downpour . . .

Today we plan on visit Bill and Henry at Lime Street Carriage in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.


On Thursday we drove from Ronks, Pennsylvania, to Reading, Pennsylvania.

Ann and I awoke to a rainy morning in Ronks, PA. I’m not certain Ronks is a town, but it’s definitely a street. I do know for certain there’s a Waffle House off of Ronks street because we ate a midnight dinner there last night, because I wanted some grits: scrambled eggs, bacon and grits to be exact. Yeah, I know their butter is really hydrogenated oil coupled with other ingredients requiring a chemistry masters to decipher; I enjoyed my grits just the same.

Our goal today was Bill Reiss’ Lime Street Carriage in downtown Lancaster. Ronks is only a short drive away, so it didn’t take long for us to get there. When we arrived at Bill’s, he showed us around his current showroom of jeeps (and other vehicles) for sale. He explained that he’s in the middle of a renovation. His building was formerly a Studebaker dealership and other businesses. He laughed about the seven layers of carpet and three false ceilings he’s torn out of one area of the building. On the plus side, he was able to open up a great deal of space. Even though there’s plenty of work left, it’s easy to see how great the space will be when he’s done.


Here are Bill and I checking out a few of the jeeps in his shop. There are several 2As and a CJ-5 lined up there.


Here are twins Norm (on the left) and Norma. Norma is named Norma, because she’s prettier.


Bill has this vintage truck for sale.

Continue reading

To Top

Jeep Mounted Potato Cannon

• CATEGORIES: Features, Unusual

From the wacky world of jeep weaponry:



To Top

Wed. May 22nd: Old Cars and Chocolate Shots

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: , .

<– Day 18 – Tues. May 21st: Food and Jeep Rides | Trip Overview | Day 20 – Thurs. May 23rd: And Then it Started Raining at the Worst Time –>

On Wednesday we spent the day touring Hershey.


It’s not clear to me why the passenger sits so low in the Crosley.

We started out our morning in Hershey, Pennsylvania, by driving to the Antique Automobile Club of America’s museum (aka: AACA). It was Brian who first suggested we visit it. The museum is actually two museums, the AACA’s collection uses the upper two floors and the Museum of Bus Transportation is on the bottom floor.


The outside of the AACA Museum / Museum of Bus Transportation.


The Kissmobile was gone when we left the museum, so I was glad we stopped for a picture before we went inside.

The contrast between the two museums was interesting. The AACA’s exhibits are highly crafted. The volume of vehicles they show isn’t large, but each car is is placed within a context. Even the colors seemed coordinated with the backgrounds. Here are some pics of the AACA.



Continue reading

To Top

Metcalf’s Travels

• CATEGORIES: Features

Matt alerted me to a man named “Metcalf” from Pirate 4×4 who is “documenting his 2000 mile round trip in his flatty. 1000 miles up, 4 days of wheeling, 1000 miles home”. Anyone willing to travel 1000 miles through Utah, Idaho, Montana and Colorado at a top speed of 53mph is a brave man indeed! Note the picture below. That’s the jeep outside Moab. I wish I’d thought of that!



To Top

Inventor of the Jeep Camper Passed Away

• CATEGORIES: Features

Leo reports that the inventor of the Jeep Camper passed away in March. You can learn more here:



To Top

CJ-3A with Snow Plow and Auburn Jeep-a-Trench Santa Rosa, CA

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3A, Features • TAGS: .

I was looking through some pictures related to this post and spotted this CJ-3A with a Jeep-a-Trench and snow plow in a wrecking yard in Santa Rosa, CA. I don’t know if it is for sale, but it might be. It’s no wonder the back tires are flat!


cj3a-jeep-a-trench-santarosa-ca1 cj3a-jeep-a-trench-santarosa-ca2 cj3a-jeep-a-trench-santarosa-ca3

To Top

Tues. May 21st: Food and Jeep Rides

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 17 – Mon. May 20th: Gettysburg and A Little Slice of Heaven  | Trip Overview | Day 19 – Wed. May 22nd: Old Cars and Chocolate Shots –>

TWO UPDATES From the original post:

  1. We will spend Wednesday in Hershey, PA. We have plans for Thursday in Lancaster and Friday morning in Kempton, PA. From there we will be driving to Long Island on Friday and meeting up with my son (unless they ship him out to Oklahoma). We’ll be staying in the Sea Cliff area through Tuesday morning and then driving up to Connecticut. I hope to have a map update in the next couple of days.
  2. On Wednesday morning I finished version one of the Amber Panels of Konigsberg book (YEAH!). I still need to build one graphic and dump the text into the formatted book template, but then I’ll be sending it to the publisher for printing. I plan to do a limited run of fifty books as a “Bantam Festival Special”. LIke the last book, I’m sure there are a few errors that people will find. Once I fix the text, I’ll open the book up for general sales (sometime in mid-July?).

On Tuesday we spent the day with Tom, then Merlin, then headed to Hershey, Pennsylvania.


Merlin and Ann driving in a 1941 MB down a forgotten Maryland road.


Tuesday’s drive from Gettysburg to Hershey

After we left Gettysburg on Tuesday, we drove a few miles east to Tom’s house to check out his Truck and Wagon. Tom’s 1948 truck is his daily driver. He’s added some disc brakes and a Ford 302, so it’s got some power and stopping speed. He also rebuilt the entire rear bed and it looks great!

2013-05-21-tom-truck4 2013-05-21-tom-truck3 2013-05-21-tom-truck2

The wagon is a cheap beast he bought that his son now plays with. It’s got lots of rust issues, but runs good.

Continue reading