Features Research Archives

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A Beautiful Pic of a 1948 CJ-2A pulling a Mower

• CATEGORIES: CJ-2A, Features

I found this image at the halfcenturyofprogress blog.  I thought it was a cool pic.  It wouldn’t surprise me if someone knew who this was ….

 
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Eco Motors ‘Fun’ Vehicle

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: , .

Continuing with yesterday’s e-jeep, while not a 4wd vehicle, this eco-motor jeep look-a-like appears inspired by the CJ-5.  According to ecofriend.org, “The Fun retails for $24,995, though they have an introduction price of $19,995,  and can deliver a top speed of 70mph and an operating range of about 100 miles between charges. The vehicle uses the customizable MiMod EV monitoring system from EV Instruments, which is an integrated system of sensors, monitoring logic and operational controls that can be customized to suit any type of EV.”

Here is the website for Eco Motors and the Fun. The company appears to be located in Springfield, Mo.

 
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John’s ‘new’ M-38

• CATEGORIES: Features, M-38

John contacted me last month asking me to comment on several different jeeps he wanted to purchase.  His goal was to buy an older jeep and had several in his area (midwest) he was choosing between.  I thought it might be helpful to share my thought processes involved in helping John.

He narrowed his choice down to between a 42/43 GPW, a 1947 CJ-2A military clone, and a restored M-38 (though missing a few of he details of a polished restoration). He said he was only going to use the vehicle for around town trips and did not plan to offroad it at all. He asked for my opinion and here are summaries of my responses.

GPW: The GPW looked pretty good, however there had been a good deal of work done to the front areas of the frame (welds along the top and bottom near the bumper brackets, along with indentations along the side of the frame indicate lots of grinding).  It had been patched together from the inside and ground down on the outside to make it appear smooth.  I’m sure it was solid enough to meet his needs, but I think it dropped the value somewhat.  If this is equal in price to the M-38, than personally I would go with the M-38.

CJ-2A Military Clone: I’m sure this would be a solid jeep to drive around, though this jeep should be priced significantly lower than the other two; Given the dirty condition of the engine, I’d be a little worried that the drive train hasn’t been examined recently (perhaps the seller has indicated that the drive train has been rebuilt?).  Since it is your desire to have a vehicle that is dependable out of the box, I’m less sure this one is for you.  Price-wise, this should be quite a bit less than the others given it’s blended history, say in the $3500-$4500 price range at most.

M-38: It isn’t a perfect restoration (for example, the tranny cover has plenty of dents and imperfections), but it looks very solid, which meets your needs.  The M-38 should hold its value well, as there were fewer of these made then most any other model.

Out of the three, I liked the M-38 best for him, as the seller had good pics showing the initial state of the vehicle before restoration, during restoration and after restoration.  There was also room for John to make value-added improvements, such as adding stickers and other details.

John has owned it a few weeks now and I asked him how he liked it.  He wrote back, “I know that it will have issues only because it is an old jeep. It has lots of funny noises and stuff that I’m not used to. It took me awhile to get used to a choke and floor start and throttle. It has the overdrive which i guess i should just leave alone. The guy i got it from forgot to put new cotter keys in the whole front end so that spooked me after I found it but no problem. He left one of the plugs out of the front steering knuckle so I’m going to have to get one. He welded new bracing underneath and did a pretty good job, but there are a couple of spots that could have been better. The motor really seems to run good. I’m still kind of terrified of the 24 volt system like if it ever stalls how the hell do you jump it. I’m kind of getting used to the shift pattern and double clutching to get in third without a small grind but its ok. All in all, I didn’t get it for a show jeep, just for tooling around town. My town is around 14 thousand people and they have never seen anything like this. The little kids give me the thumbs up and the old guys smile.”

Congrats John!  Here are some pics. In the first two you can see the pre-restoration starting point.  The work was done by Eric out of Granite City, Illinois.

Here, much work has been done.

Now it is close to being finished and readied to be sold:

John added some stickers and now has a great little jeep:

 
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The Tender Scarlette — an e-Jeep from France

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: , .

UPDATE:  I visited the Tender Website … there is a long video on the front page showing all aspects of this 4wd e-vehicle. Truth be told, they had me at “sexy french woman hops in the front seat and takes off”

I ran across this post and image of what appears to be a small, electric jeep on a forum based in the philippines.  After more searching, I discovered this e-vehicle is sold in France and found out more about it from autoblog.com, which has covered this in a couple articles (here and here).

From the autoblog post, here is some information:  “You can have it in two flavors, which depends on your driver’s license. If you are 16 and have a basic motorcycle license (called A1 in Europe) you can drive one of this cars which is homologated as a quadricycle. Performance is then quite discreet, limited to 45 km/h (slightly more than 30 mph) and it can’t be driven on highways. However, if you have a regular car license (B1), the car can run up to 80 km/h and can run on highways. The engines can yield 4 kW, 8 kW or 12.8 kW of power depending on the configuration of the vehicle.

The car is a real 4WD with four motors, one for each wheel. The electricity is stored in the floor in 12 lead-acid batteries that store 48 V and 240 Amperes each. It’s enough to drive the car up to 100 km (60 miles). Lead acid batteries were used because they are reliable, have a decent life span (claimed to be from 50,000 to 70,000 km) and low cost of substitution (around 2,200 EUR) when they do die out.. The cost of the car is between 10,000 and 15,000 EUR, depending on options.”

 
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Saving A CJ-5 from a field

• CATEGORIES: CJ5, Features, Women & Jeeps • TAGS: .

One day a while back I got an email from a new reader named Jan. She spotted a CJ-5 sitting in a field for $500 and had a question about the VIN# and the model.  We solved the VIN question and then I learned more about how Jan acquired this Jeep.

Jan wrote, “I really didn’t buy it, just offered to get it off his farm. He had a sign on it for $500.00 or best offer. All my friends are laughing at me and indicating it’s the uglist thing they ever saw…… but I fell in love with it!”

After bartering for the Jeep, Jan managed to sell the plow locally, which meant she was actually up a few hundred dollars.  However, the body was so bad she knew she had to replace it, so she located a fiberglass tub for cheap in Indiana.  She has also found a local mechanic that verified the frame was in good condition and the engine should restore easily.  So, hopefully, next spring Jan will be driving around in a “free” jeep.  Congrats Jan!

Here’s is the jeep with the top removed.

And here is the ‘new’ fiberglass body

 
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1953 ‘Jeep’ Buggy Miami, Fl $2000

• CATEGORIES: Features, Other 4x4s, Unusual

I’m not sure if this has any ‘jeep’ or ‘willys’ left in it, but it sure is unusual.

“1953 jeep buggy in great shape. 4cyl, 4×4 wheel drive and 2 wheel drive.front and rear dana 44’s with 513 gears, buggy has all aluminum floors with gun racks and lights. will go any where. This buggy could use alittle tlc but it is what it is. It’s made for fun not for looks. Perfect for hunting season and priced to sell quick. No low ballers need apply the answer is no! Possible trades. if interested please call me at 786-285-4980”

http://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/cto/1979510928.html

 
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Pics from Bob’s Flatfender Weekend…

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features, News

Bob’s flatfender weekend was a success!

Bob reports, “Morning David, our show turned out great. We had 13 Jeeps show up, 12 of which were Willys Jeeps. Everything from a 1942 MB to two 1953 CJ3Bs, including mine. It was great to make new friends and catch up with old friends. We had a nice campfire all day long and had a free lunch for all to enjoy. I also want to thank everyone for the generous donations to help offset the cost of renting a port-a-john and buying the food, as well as showing up on a chilly morning.”

You can see all the photos here.  I’ve included a couple below:


 
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Center Seat for Willys

• CATEGORIES: Features

I recently made a note about a ‘3rd’ seat that sat between the front seats of an old Willys and that I couldn’t find any information about it on the web.  Well, Ron has such a seat in his jeep and shared some pics with us.  These appear to be pretty rare, based solely on the fact that I haven’t seen any of these attached to jeeps for sale (that is until I saw one recently).  Thanks Ron!

Ron wrote, “You were wondering about the “3rd” seat or center seat on one of your adds. You advised that you had researched and could find nothing about them. I have one of these seats. They were offered by Willys to make the bucket seats into a bench (in theory). They work so-so. Mine came with my Dad’s 1960 Willys CJ-5 jeep, purchased brand new from Dold Auto in El Centro, California (the jeep is mine now). It was apparently an option. The upholstery is shot on mine but they are easy to restore as the base is a single piece of stainless steel formed like a seat. The upholstery slips on like a sock, one for the back and one for the seat. I can still remember the day we brought the jeep home, I was 9 at the time, seem like yesterday.”

 
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This Idea Never Occurred to Me ….

• CATEGORIES: Features, Willys Wagons

Brett spotted this unusual blend of Willys Wagon and GMC(?) Bus.  I can’t say it is the first thing I’d think of when pondering what to put on a bus.  Click on the pic below and it will take you to the video.  This Bus’0 Wagon is 29 seconds into the video.

 
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Kevin Paints His Wagon — With some Helpers

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Kevin painted his wagon with some unusual help …

Kevin writes, “I Finally got good help on my ’62 Willys Wagon rebuild…it didn’t hurt either to wear my “Big Daddy Roth” – Rat Fink t-shirt for inspirational artistic talents…and yes, in tradition of an old time build, I’m painting it outdoors.”

 
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Only in Alaska?

• CATEGORIES: Features

Take one Tundra Truck, plugin your Sawzall and, viola, you too can have a vehicle like this ….

Paul spotted this strange creature. It wasn’t until I saw the last picture that I discovered it was a Tundra Truck.

Paul writes, “The Goddess and I went out to eat yesterday evening (it was another one of those all you can eat and keep down places) and while walking across the parking lot I saw a modified Toyota extended cab pickup truck.  This truck had California plates on it so I guess the driver had a bit of bad luck on the drive north because the damage to the body was substantial.  Along with every sheet metal panel being dented, yards of tape were used to keep the headlights from falling out, the windshield and hood were missing and actually the entire top had been cut off so there were goggles hanging in the cab for the driver and passengers use.  A small rear view mirror was attached to the steering column but the best touch was a bible resting on the transmission hump [editors note:  If i were driving this, I might want a bible nearby, too].”

 
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Top Bows — Who sent me a Top Bow question?

• CATEGORIES: Features, Parts • TAGS: .

UPDATE:  It turns out Mike still operates the business  topbows, but is too busy with his current project, so topbows is temporarily closed.   He mentions in the comment below that John Bizal at www.midwestmil.com has bows as well.  Thanks Mike!

Yesterday morning I received a question from a reader regarding where to purchase top bows for a CJ-2A (they had checked with topbows.com and found they weren’t in business).

Unfortunately, I can’t find that email (please re-email me if it is you) — it is possible I accidentally deleted the email as I’m still getting used to my new android phone. Why I’m perfectly capable with a computer and perfectly in-capable with a phone still confuses me ….

Since I don’t know of anyone that sells top bows, I did some searches on CJ-2A Top Bows, but had no luck.

Then I remember that Beachwood Canvas carried various top-related items.  After a quick tour of their site, I found  they  sell a complete set or just the front set.  You can follow this link https://www.beachwoodcanvas.com/order/productlist.cfm

Then, select CJ-2A from the drop down list of Vehicle types & Group 18: Body, Body Parts and Kits.  Finally, enter the search term ‘bows’.  Bows are $195 for the front set and $350 for an entire set.

 
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David Ommanney’s Hunting Wagon

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

David Ommanney appears to have been a well know big game hunter in Nairobi.  As best as I can tell, this is a modified Willys Wagon.  I have searched for a better image, but haven’t found one, though I found images of his later vehicle,  a Landrover.

 
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Color Photo of Willys MA

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, Features, Old Images • TAGS: .

Here’s an unusual color photo of soldiers posing in a Willys MA from Life Magazine.  I couldn’t find the original source of this on the Life Magazine site (I stumbled upon it through Google).

 
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Raymond Concrete Pile Company does Soil Research

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, CJ-3B, Features

I found this image at this Vulcanhammer.net site.  In it, you can see Raymond Concrete Pile Company’s Gow Division’s SPT rig using a PTO to bore a hole for soil research.  This is actually an advertisement for the Jeep.

The caption with the image is, “The Jeep helps cut our costs by getting more done”.

And the text below the image is:
In building anything big, the first step is soil sampling.  Gow Division of the Raymond Concrete Pile Company.  57-year-old construction company with projects around the world, keeps its 28 ‘Jeeps’ going eight hours a day in its work of investigating soil conditions to furnish information to architects and designers so they can determine the best type of foundations for construction projects of all kinds.  Here is one of Raymond’s “Jeeps” with power take-off being used to operate an exploratory boring outfit.

The manager of Raymond’s Gow Boring division says: “We were the first to use the “Jeep” in soil testing work, and we have been using more and more “Jeeps” ever since.  The “Jeep” helps cut our costs by getting more done. It can maneuver over rough ground in the country and get into tight spots between buildings in the city.  It furnishes the pwoer for operationg our rigs and carries our equipment quickly from job to job so that we’re always ready to go.”

Here’s an example of a post hole digger. So, maybe they ‘dig’ with some kind of custom corer and then use the PTO to lift it (which is what they appear to be doing in the photo above)?

life_magazine_farm_posthole_cj2a

 
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A Couple Slat Grille MBs and Marmon Herrington Tanks

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

Here’s an image from 1942 that Hugo spotted at wikipedia.  The picture is high enough resolution that I was able to get a couple closeup pics as well.

 
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History of Willys in South Africa from the NFI

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPA (SEEP), News

Regular readers will remember Claus and his brother from the CJ-2As they restored in South Africa.

Claus also made contact with the Northern Flagship Institution, a national museums institution that falls under the auspices of the Department of Arts and Culture in South Africa.  The NFI provided Claus with a detailed response that lists, based on their research, the jeeps that had entered the country.

Curiously, they don’t mention the SEEP (shown below) that is located at the South African Military Museum in Johannesburg.  Gavin Walkers Willys MA site has a couple photos of it.

Based on Claus’s suggestion, I did a quick search of the CJ-2A Page Forum and learned here are a few other South African CJ-2A owners as well.  So, I thought I’d publish this NFI historical information in hopes it helps others.

Thanks for sending it on Claus!

===============

From the NFI to Claus —

Thank you for your email query of 14 July 2008.   The South African National Museum of Military History, a component of the Northern Flagship Institution does not have complete records of Willys Jeep purchases by the Union Defence Forces or by the later SADF.  We have found some information which might assist you.  Much research is still required to fully answer your query.

Since the Willys Jeep was manufactured in the United Sates of America, all issued American equipment to British Commonwealth countries came via the Lend Lease agreement.  The Union Defence Forces had to work through the British War Department to obtain American Equipment via the Lend Lease.  The first Jeep, a Willys MB seems to have arrived in South Africa in about October 1943.  This Jeep was allocated the Union Defence Forces (UDF) number U 47505 and was used by Capt A A van Niekerk MC, Officer Commanding the paratrooper company of the newly formed SAAF Regiment undergoing training at Premier Mine, Pretoria.

During November 1943, a Willys MB Jeep – U 46-04, was used as a command vehicle during  training in the Barberton district, by the Officer Commanding, S A Armoured Brigade, Brigadier C L de W du Toit.

At about the same time (November 1943 – April 1944) some Willys MB Jeeps were allocated to the 6 SA Armoured Division (6 Div) in training at Khatatba in Egypt, the numbers were small but unknown.   We believe that 6 Div drew more Jeeps from British stores at Bari at the end April 1944, once they had landed in Italy.  The numbers are unknown but this information may be at the SANDF Archives in Pretoria – sandfdoc@mwebco.za.

Photographic evidence shows that the following units used Jeeps in Italy:

During the advance of 6 Div from Cassino to Rome – end May to 6 June 1944:

6 Div Postal Unit
12 Field Squadron, South African Engineer Corps

North of Rome and into Gothic Line:

6 Div Headquarters
11 South African Armoured Brigade Group Headquarters
Prince Alfred’s Guard
First City / Cape Town Highlanders reconnaissance platoon were issued with Jeeps
The Natal Mounted Rifles also had Jeeps by October 1944

During the spring of 1945 and after 6 Div had broken through the Gothic Line the following units are known to have had Jeeps:

7/64 Battery of the Transvaal Horse Artillery
Imperial Light Horse / Kimberley Regiment

The war in Italy ended on 2 May 1945.  On 14 May the 6 South African Armoured Division held a Victory Parade at the Monza Racetrack in which all their vehicles were paraded.  After the parade the vehicles were handed in to the transport park.  Later the vehicles were railed to Genoa to the 6 South African Armoured Division Vehicle Park.  A small number of men chose to stay on in Italy after the other servicemen had been sent home to the Union. Many of these men had girlfriends and wanted to stay on and prepare the vehicles for shipping to the Union.    The first ship left Genoa for Durban at the end of April 1946.  The ex British equipment was shipped first in eleven ships.  The American equipment was last to leave Genoa on SS Standridge on 3 May 1947, after much discussion on numbers and payment to the USA.

Only two Willys Jeeps and two 10cwt General Service Jeep Trailers were shipped to South Africa.  A third Jeep, purchased by Captain D C Clarke under authority dated 23 September 1946 was shipped on the SS Samarina on 24 September 1946.  This Jeep had the British War Department number WD 5662164. These are the only Jeeps to officially come from Italy to the Union.

In 1948, the UDF ordered two hundred and eighty nine Willys Jeeps, the model is unknown.  These were allocated the U numbers . U 75800 – U 76088.

Forty three, 1951, Willys 7 seater station wagons were also ordered by the UDF and allocated the U numbers  U 76177 – U 76219.

In 1960, twenty-five CJ-3B Jeeps were ordered as well as sixty-one of the more modern CJ-5s.  Of the total eighty- eight ordered, only eighty-five were delivered at first, the rest arriving at a later date.

In about 1963/64 the SADF purchased one hundred and nine CJ-6 Jeeps.  It is not known if they were manufactured by Willys Motors Incorporated or by the Kaiser Jeep Corporation.

In 1992 there were fourteen CJ-6 Jeeps at 4 Vehicle Reserve Park, Walmanstal, north of Pretoria.  These had the following registration numbers.

BCL 953 M             BCL 948 M   BCL 941 M   BCL 952 M   BCL 939 M   BCL 944 M
BCL 943 M             BCL 937 M   BCL 938 M   BCL 945 M   BCL 934 M   BCL 950 M

The above listed Jeeps were powered by 4 -cylinder engines.

BDF 775 M and BDF 760 had 6-cylinder engines.

The Museum would appreciate any information you may find regarding Jeeps in South African service.

Yours sincerely

NORTHERN FLAGSHIP INSTITUTION
Incorporating — Transvaal Museum, National Cultural History Museum, SA National Museum of Military History, Kruger Museum, Pioneer Museum, Sammy Marks Museum, Tswaing Crater Museum, Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum.

 
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Lisbon Ohio Races in the 90s

• CATEGORIES: Features, Fire/Police/Industry Vehicles, Racing • TAGS: .

Bob admitted he couldn’t remember much about the races in these photographs, other than they were shot in the mid-90s in Lisbon, Ohio; but he got some great photos.  Ok, truth be told, any photo that combines a flattie, desert dogs, and some mud is something I’d consider a great photo 🙂

And here’s a great M-170 Fire Jeep that was watching the action

 
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Late 70s & 80s Racing in the EC4WDA

• CATEGORIES: Features, Racing • TAGS: , .

Inspired by the playday post, I had several emails about racing on the eastern shore of the US in the EC4WDA.

HOG explained how he used to race outlaw races to make money and those would give him money to attend the EC4WDA races for fun.

He writes, “I ran the East Coast 4 Wheel Drive Association from New York to Jacksonville Fla & from Ohio to the eastern shore. I would hit the outlaw races on one weekend & race EC4WDA with the winnings from the outlaw races. I miss doing that & the good friends I had back then.

I drove a 1978 CJ-5 with a 70 AMC AMX 360 motor with T-18 tranny & dana 20 transfer case. Its name was Wind Walker. It was Bright Red & I ran NOS on her to get me out of a class that was too crowded. My ex wife ran it in Powder puffs & won more than me.”

I asked HOG what an Outlaw race was. “Outlaw races were races for anything 4×4 put on by a local group. Mostly, they were hosted by Firemen. Best of all, they paid cash prizes (The EC4WDA didn’t pay cash, instead they gave you a $10 trophy).

I did well as my Jeep looked like a stocker jeep. In fact, I drove it as a daily driver & to the races. Also, when you’d get inspected by someone that had a Chevy or Ford hat you knew he didn’t know nothing about a AMC motor as they look so much the same. My 360 was mistaken for a 304 many times, with its the stock air breather (everything was covered in mud) sitting on top of a Holley spreadbore. I even had a cassette player to play my ZZtop, & a baby seat on the rear seat. Then all I had to do was just (key word) beat the guys I ran against.”

Gerald grew up in the EC4WDA with his brother and family. He forwarded me these pics from his days racing in the EC4WDA.

Here’s a scene familiar to all race days — the morning driver’s meeting:

Gerald tells me this is the line up for the Drags. I remember flatties just like these on the west coast:

You can see the family’s racer at rest and in action in the next two shots.  If I remember correctly, the front loop from this race jeep is now in Gerald’s brother’s new build.

 
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S.A.S. Ready for Action

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images • TAGS: .

As I was researching yesterday’s article on the LRDG, I wanted to learn more about the Bagnold sun compass.  After reading the explanation, I’m am quite sure that I’m not yet ready to be thrown in the middle of the desert with a Bagnold.

However, as I did my research this unique ‘time’ piece on a French Sundial website, I happened to see the amazing image below.

 
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Long Range Desert Group Preservation Society (LRDG)

• CATEGORIES: Features, Website • TAGS: .

EVENT:  The LRDG Preservation Society will be participating its 2nd biggest event of the year October 2-3 2010 at Prado Dam Park in Chino Hills California. They are one of 85 different re-enactment groups from nearly every time period and culture in history.  It is a Military Time Line Event which will feature everything from Roman Legionnaire’s to Viet Nam Re-enactors and many other periods in between.

Kim wrote me last week after seeing drafts of the “Africa SAS” T-shirt I’d like to produce (I am working on refining the shirt design btw).  As the membership chairman of the Long Range Desert Group Preservation Society (LRDG), he’s particularly interested in the SAS jeeps and Long Range Desert vehicles.  So, he introduced himself and the organization.

The LRDG Preservation Society is a non-profit organization established “to learn as much as possible about the unit, the men in it and the equipment and tactics they used. Then to share that information with all whom wish to learn. To that end this group has built a replica of a classic WWII LRDG truck (1942 Canadian Chevy, right hand drive, India format) and outfitted it with “historically correct” military equipment, gear, provisions, and uniforms. The vehicle was built by Rick Butler in Yreka California from several vintage trucks and parts from around the world. Converting a left hand drive vehicle to right hand drive was one of many challenges.”

The Society has supporters and members throughout the world, including the US, England, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Portugal, South Africa and more.

About the Long Range Desert Group:

During the 1930s, the British developed the idea of creating a motorized guerrilla/recon group in northern Africa to provide intelligence to British Forces.  After studying the terrain and needs for such a group, the Brits formed the LRDG, which according to the LRDG website “was very much like a “private army”, formed to meet the particular conditions of desert warfare.”  The LRDG was made up of volunteers and, because of this, they could wear beards and were given latitude that regular military soldiers did not have.

Learn more about the LRDG by clicking here and scrolling to the bottom of the page.

 
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Kim’s LRDG S.A.S. Willys

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, MB, News • TAGS: , .

I’ve seen them in old pictures, but Kim is the first owner of a Long Range Desert Group S.A.S. Willys to contact me and share pics.  Of course, you can’t but help but think of the old Rat Patrol shows when you see these vehicles.  After reading through the LRDG.org website, one of the things I’ve learned is that there was plenty of thought, research and recon work that went into the supplies these jeeps and truck would need to carry with them as they sailed long, desolate seas of sand.

Kim writes, “The jeep I bought is mechanically perfect. The previous owner put all his money into the motor, brakes and trans.  The body on my jeep needs some help and eventually I will replace the rear and floor sections of the tub as there is some rust. Fortunately, It came to me painted in the proper color and had many extras including a Bagnold sun compass.

As a special addition to this jeep, I re-built a WW2 Italian de-milled M37 machine gun and converted it into a gas gun M.G. simulator. It sounds like a M.G. but no blanks are needed and it can not shoot a projectile. That is mounted on the front cowling. As I have been a machinist and tool maker for 30 years I machined a set of Twin Vickers machine guns out of aluminum for the rear mount. These are strictly dummies with no moving parts.

I did not buy this jeep to be a Trailer Queen. This is a re-enactment jeep and as far as I am concerned it looks like it just got back from Kufra Oasis and that is exactly what I want.  My ultimate dream is to have 2 WW2 jeeps. The S.A.S (which is not street legal) and an American OD jeep that is licensed and ready to drive to work.”

And a couple pics of the Twin Vickers Kim made. In this pic, some basic outlines and contours have been created in the aluminum stock.

Here you can see many more details are apparent.

 
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1944: Mayor Heine buys the first Jeep for Civilians

UPDATE 3: Cblynch posted an update to this information on g503.com site.  He notes that Randy Withrow in Alabama owns the below GP and also owns all the original photos.  Apparently, the woman driving the GP died a few years ago. (Thanks Simon).  Also, you can see an additional photo from Bergs yard in this thread. Finally, to GP1942 from G503, I’m glad you are enjoying the content, but please add a link saying you found the info at ewillys when copying and pasting it into other sites.

UPDATE 2: After further review, and based on Lindsay’s comments, I would say that the first BRC is a BRC-40.  The TWO jeeps in front of that are BRC-60s (made after the original BRC prototypes and before the BRC-40).


UPDATE:  A reader named Lindsay was kind enough to provide an update to this story:

Lindsay writes, “An interesting note about the article with the mayor that purchased the GP in 1944. That vehicle was tracked down by Ken Hake years ago and restored several years later. The 3 smaller photo’s at the bottom bottom right is a photo of Bergs Jeep parts in Chicago note the first one is a Bantam BRC 40 the one in the front of that is a very early “round nose” BRC of which only one still exists and belongs to the Smithsonian. This proves that round nose BRC’s were released and sold to the public. I sure would like to find one of those in a barn.”

The military started selling jeeps to civilians in 1944.  By all accounts, Mayor Heine, of Lucas Kansas, and his family were the very first purchasers of a Military jeep for civilian use.  Here is a Life Magazine Article about the Heines and the related images from the January 4, 1944, issue of Life Magazine (page 24 & 27).  I bet they wished the jeep came with a top and a heater!

NOTE:  The jeep below is a Ford GP

 
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PNW4WDA Playday and Races in 70s

• CATEGORIES: Features, Racing, Women & Jeeps • TAGS: , .

This is a post I have wanted to publish for a while and finally got to drafting it last night. I have a lot of good memories of Playdays.  One of my most powerful memories was a trip to Pendleton, Oregon, for Summer Convention 1975 (I think that was the year).  It was located in the middle of a clearing in a forest: no buildings, just dirt, grass and trees.  I was 10 and pal’d around with Tim and Steve Carter for most of the weekend. We were kids in a candy store, wandering around and through the various camp ‘cities’, made up of campers and tents and people and jeeps, meeting other kids and having a blast. There were an endless stream of club names and club stickers (on the side of the jeeps) that I’d never seen before.   It truly was a different world …

Most of the images below came from the WWJC Scrapbook I borrowed a couple weeks ago.  Because the book was too big to fit on my parent’s scanner, I had to snap photos of them, which explains some of the low quality.

It’s fair to call this a sampling of events, as I hardly went to all playdays.  Feel free to comment on any I’m forgetting and I’ll add them to the post.

We’ll start out with this article in a newspaper about Jeep Racing from the mid 70s. I have to say I was a little surprised at the ‘retarded’ comment, which just highlights how fast language can change.

Jeep Stuffing: For the first event, let’s highlight this this oddball contest.  Here’s Al “Ham” Hamilton in his old jeep Gypsy B.  He and his Wife Barb were founders and deeply involved in the WWJC and the PNW4WA for many years.  The remainder of the people piled on to this jeep appear to be WWJC members as well.

I couldn’t say how this was judged, but it reminds me of the Yipao events in Columbia where they stuff CJ-3Bs with just about everything.

Barrels: Here’s Al again.  This is a classic event that still endures.  Inspired by the barrel racing event you’d find at horse races,  barrels were positioned in a triangle.  The racer starts at a gate, circles around each as fast as they can, then heads back to the gate.

The Gypsy B was Ham’s road/race/trail jeep.  As you can see, Ham didn’t even bother to take off the winch. He even scored some trophies in his jeep (well, at least one big trophy according to the scrapbook).

Potato Stab: In the Potato Stab, a racer races around a track and stops at each box of potatoes to allow the passenger to stab a potato, put it in a sack, and race onward.  The fastest time won.  There were variations of this event. One variation involved popping balloons instead of picking up potatoes.

Balloon Throws: This was just for fun.  Two jeeps would pass each other and water balloons were thrown.  I *think* this picture was taken at the Beverly Sand Dunes in Washington (near Vantage).  In the CJ-5 is my mother driving and my sister riding shotgun, probably in the late 70s.  This is Dad’s post rollover Jeep, note the cage has 4 loops with two in the middle.  It’s the kind of cage you install in your jeep after you’ve rolled down a hill 5 times.

Balance Beam: The balance beam is pretty self explanatory.  Again, this is my mom and sister (which is kind of weird, because I do not remember my sister or mother ever doing any of this). The object was to balance as quickly as you could.  This had to be around 1973 — in other words, this is the pre-rollover jeep.  I’m not sure why the side of the body on this jeep is so beaten up.  I’ll have to ask Dad if he remembers why that is, though I suspect he might say something like “cuz your mom drove it” 🙂

Balloon Pop: In this event, a child drives a course and stops at a special spot.  Once stopped, the child jumps out, runs to the balloon, pops it, runs back to the jeep, and completes the course.  This jeep appears to sport a Bobcat fiberglass body, though it appears to be just a body shell.

Banana Course (no image): In the banana course, a driver drives the course with a passenger.  At a particular spot, the driver stops and the passenger hops out and runs through a little obstacle, consumes a part of a banana, hops back in the jeep and then the driver finishes the course.  There were probably variations of this as well.

Tire Pit: I suspect this is a precursor to the mud bog, but I couldn’t say.  I don’t remember ever seeing this event in person.  I suspect the object is to get out of the pit the fastest?

Obstacle Course: Still included in racing today, this course is a tight course, usually muddy, that racers try to get through as fast as possible. Below is an image of me after an obstacle course at the ORV Park Near Olympia during the 1985 Summer Convention.

Team Relay: This has been and continues to be a traditional end of the playday/summer convention race. It involves four teams of four jeeps and four drivers on one course. The object is to get all four drivers around the course one time. Each team is assigned a colored flag to make it easy to identify the teams while they are racing. The top two teams to finish a round advance to the next round. The team that wins the final round wins a trophy.

When I last raced, this event would take the entire day. There were many, many teams and people. It’s a fun event to participate in and watch.

The first time I ever ran this event (March 1985 on a cold weekend north of Everett), I broke the front driveline in my jeep in the first round, I broke the front driveline in Tim Carter’s race jeep Priority (version 1) in the second round, and I thought I had broke the front driveline of Jim Carter’s jeep Otis in the 3rd round (we lost, so we didn’t advance after that — and I was relieved!), but fortunately I didn’t break it. I have never broken a driveline since. Weird ….

Other events not shown:

Water Course: The object is to get around the course the quickest without spilling water held in a cup by a passenger.  It’s a slow, but comical race.  A derivation of this involves an egg; if I remember correctly, the passenger carries a spoon, on which they balance an egg through the course.  If the egg falls off, they have to stop and can’t start forward again until the egg is back on the spoon.

Tonka Course: Kids put strings on their Tonka vehicles and pull them as they run through a course.  There were other kid-specific courses that I don’t remember.

Backwards: The racer drives a course forward to a stopping point, then has to drive the course in reverse as fast as possible.

The Divorce Course: The driver is blindfolded.  The passenger must tell the driver how to drive the course.

Cross Country Course: This is still in racing today and is a faster, longer course designed for faster speeds.

Hill Climbs: Self Explanatory.  I haven’t seen one of these in a long time, but they got held occasionally.  A derivation, based on the newspaper article above, is the chain hill.  In this event, climbers put chains on their jeeps and try to climb hills.  However, these hill climbs do not compare to those crazy Finnish Hill Climbers.

Drags: Self Explanatory.

King and Queen: This race is still run today. I’m not exactly sure when this was first run. If I understand correctly, this is an elimination race where 2 racers compete against one another.  One racer starts on one half of the track and one on the other.  Each racer completes the entire track.  The first one to complete the race advances to the next round.   The man that wins the final round is King and the woman that wins her final round it Queen.

Sprints: You can still find this racing occasionally (Here are some pics from earlier this year).  This is head-to-head competition where a group of racers have to race a certain number of laps on a course.  I never saw this at a playday, but did watch the Yakima Mud Races with were sprints in mud.

Top Eliminator: Only the fastest winners in certain events (such as the fastest cumulative times in the obstacle, cross country and barrel races for example) race in this race.  There are no separate classes.  The winner is the top racer (male and female brackets) for the weekend.  The race track is usually a tighter version of a cross country course.

 
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Pics from the 2nd Annual Northwest FC Get Together

• CATEGORIES: Event, FC150-FC170-M677, Features • TAGS: .

The 2nd Annual Northwest FC Get Together was this past weekend in Olympia.  Josue was kind enough to forward some images from the event and give his take on it.

Josue writes, “Last weekend was the first opportunity I have had to visit a Jeep get-together. It wasn’t a huge turnout but it was definitely worth visiting. The meet-up was in Olympia, WA and it was specifically for Forward Control Jeeps. This was the second year and only about 8 showed up, although I’m sure it will get bigger with time. It was fun talking to a few people and seeing a couple of them run.”  Thanks Josue!