Features Research Archives

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Postcard of Huntington Beach Jeep Tram

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

UPDATE: Was on eBay. **SOLD**

Here’s a jeep tram that is pulling tourists along the Huntington Beach Pier.



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Always FOLLOW a Half Track . . .

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features, M-38, Reader Stories • TAGS: .

Paul forwarded these pics to consider. The moral is, always follow a half track!

Last Saturday I visited the local military vehicle show and I saw an amazing sight.  Among the various military trucks, Jeeps and one half track on display there was a Willys  M 38 which had suffered a bit of body damage when the previously mentioned half track didn’t quite stop soon enough.  I don’t know the reason for the meeting of these vehicles but the attached pictures show the results of contact between one very light and one very heavy military rig.  The poor M 38 got the worst of this bump but the half track also suffered when it received a scratch in the paint on the front drum.  Sad to see but I don’t believe anyone was hurt.”

m38-halftrack-rear-ended1 m38-halftrack-rear-ended2 m38-halftrack-rear-ended3

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1943 Newsweek Ad

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

Here’s another Newsweek Ad from 1943. I will have to fill in the issue information later, as I don’t have it with me. This was a two page ad in the center of the magazine.


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A good looking CJ-3B from Colombia

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3B, Features, International • TAGS: .

Sebastian’s father spotted this jeep and share the picture with us. Note the extended rear.

He writes, “My dad spotted this nice 3B in Villavicenio, Meta (Colombia). It seems
to be used for work or daily drive, the yellow plate means is registered
as a regular car. The white top looks nice and goes well with the
tires. However, it seems a little larger than normal. It seems there is
a cat or a dog underneath.”


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Postcard of Gold Prospector in Mojave, California on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Postcards

I’m really wondering about the text on the back of this card. I can’t tell what it is promoting. The title claims this is Bruce Minard a gold prospector in Red Hill, Mojave, California.


View all the information on eBay


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Henry Comicus Postcard with Jeep on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Comics, Features, Postcards

This card ships from the UK.

View all the information on eBay


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Craig’s Pic of the Week: The Teahouse of the August Moon

• CATEGORIES: Craigs Pic of the Week, Features, Old News Articles • TAGS: .

Craig scanned this photo from an issue of Jeep News. It was take at the set of “The Teahouse of the August Moon“. I’ve never heard of the movie, but it’s rated pretty well at imbd. You’ll likely recognize Glenn Ford, driving the jeep, and Marlon Brando, pointing at something.  It looks like a Ford GPW based on the bumper.


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2013 Military Vehicle Show at Falcon Field

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features, GPW (Ford MB), M-38, MB

Major Joe forwarded some pics from the 2013 Military Vehicle show at Falcon Field in Mesa, AZ. There were quite a few jeeps at the event.  Thanks for sharing!

He wrote, “I attended the annual Military Vehicle show at Falcon Field here in Mesa Saturday (had to find another way to get my Willy’s/Flat fender fix since your site was down!). Anyway, I thought I’d share the pics with you (attached). It’s a great event, and included military motorcycles, dozens of non-jeep vehicles, a half track, helicopter, and many aircraft (always on display since this is the home of the AZ chapter of the Commemorative Air Force).”




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Old Tin Jeep (Custom?) **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features, Models

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was on eBay

This is a cool model jeep with an unusual look. It looks custom made, but I just don’t know.

“I found this all metal toy at a garage sale and it looked really old so I got it. I did some research and found it was made around World War 2 and that its made out of what I presume to be tin. The wheels are all metal, not rubber, which suggests their manufacturing date is early 1940’s. This is obviously made by hand and all the parts appear to be there with no major damage or missing  attachments. There is a number 41 on the bottom which I assume is the year it was made. I couldnt find this toy any where else online so It’s obvious it is not a common find.  It has a notable sense of quality and is about 9″ by 4″ in size. It has some weight to it because it is made out of solid metal, no plastic. This piece looks great and has a really cool antique charm.”


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Matchbox Jeep Puzzle on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, toys • TAGS: .

This is a pretty simple puzzle, but I doubt many exist.

“This is a 5″ X 7″ jigsaw puzzle produced in 1969 by the Fred Bronner Corporation, the US importer of Matchbox cars to promote the British line of diecast model cars.  There are 8 puzzles in the set, and I have all eight listed now on eBay. Six of the eight listed are still sealed in the factory shrink-wrap. This particular one, the Standard Jeep number 72, has no shrink-wrap, but all pieces are there, and it is in excellent condition.”

View all the information on eBay


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“Go Chargers” Jeepster Toy Las Vegas, NV **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features, Jeepster, toys

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $100.

How about this perfect jeep for your favorite San Diego Charger fan.



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1953 Alfa Romeo AR51 Matta 4×4 Surrey, UK on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Other 4x4s • TAGS: .

This is located in the UK, but is being shipped to the US. See the description for more info.

“This rare 1953 AR51 Matta 4×4 has been in my storage for years. It is amazingly original and unmolested, a real surviver. I guess the reason why I never touched it is the fact that it is a real time wrap, never restored or modified in anyway, as many of these AR51-52 were. It still has its original gray paint, with some surface rust here and there. It looks to be complete with all unique parts, windscreen fittings, wiper motors with wipers, headlamps screens, etc. The Matta is very solid, doors shut perfectly (they are detachable by lifting them off when open!), all panels sit properly. As far as I can tell it has never been dismantled or restored in any way. There are rust spots, but generally surface rust, as the metal is very thick.

There are some rust holes, mainly in the floors, but of course very simple to repair. All original mechanically – engine is original dry sump , still turning by hand, complete with all ancillaries, air filter etc. Interior is very simple, but all original, seat frames, complete instrument panel etc. Seat covers are shot, but springs are there and should be usable. It has a dual spare wheel, one originally fitted on the hood, the other now loose, possibly fitted at rear. Top frame bows are there, the top fabric has deteriorated over the years. The main rust issues that can be seen are some floor rust holes, and some rust at the underside of the hood. One of the side rails at the rear is a bit bent downward, but can be easily straightened.
It is not road worthy and would need restoration (to my opinion a very sympathetic restoration – not to destroy the original look)
I will include the “Matta” book, which is an excellent reference and parts book.

This is a rare and original Matta, I have seen several of these over the years, but never one in such an original condition.
It is located in my storage in the UK, now being shipped over to the US. Since I have decided to sell it on, I thought of advertising it prior to shipping. The new owner can choose the port of destination. Shipping cost of approximately $1200 is to be paid by the buyer.
Please email for more information you might need.”

View all the information on eBay


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Ad from Newsweek

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

How about this great ad from the August 9, 1943, issue of Newsweek. I’ll be posting a different one from Newsweek tomorrow. This is pieced together from two different pages.


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Salesbuilder Magazine from Willys Overland

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

I spotted and purchased it on eBay today.  There were three other issues, but I got outbid with a few seconds to go on the rest.

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Somewhere in Southern France in a Seep

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPA (SEEP), Old Images

UPDATE:  Alex makes a good argument that these images are more likely on the Mediterranean rather than in the Arromanches,  which is an area in Northwestern France.

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More Images from the Canadian Archives

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images • TAGS: .

Here’s another round of images from the Library and Archives of Canada.

Here’s a shot of a MB Slat Grille, however no description information was available:

Here’s another image with no description.  I thought the blacked out numbers were interesting.

Canadian war correspondents in a jeep, Modica, Italy, 13 July 1943.

Private W.E. Lynch cleaning the engine of a jeep of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, Luthe, Germany, 9 April 1945.

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Images from the National Archives of Canada

I stumbled upon the National Archives of Canada the other day, discovering a variety of WWII Jeep images related to Canadian forces.  Here are a few ambulance shots:

1945 in GermanyPersonnel of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (R.C.A.M.C.) loading a casualty into a Willys MB ambulance jeep, Sonsbeck, Germany, 6 March 1945.

1945 in Germany: Private F.J. Dunn resting on his ambulance jeep while evacuating casualties south of Bad Zwischenahn, Germany, 29 April 1945.

1945 in France: An ambulance jeep of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (R.C.A.M.C.), Vaucelles, France, 20 July 1944.

1943 in Italy: A jeep ambulance of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (R.C.A.M.C.) bringing in two wounded Canadian soldiers on the Moro River front south of San Leonardo di Ortona, Italy, 10 December 1943.

View more from the Canadian Archives here

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17 Year Old Nate Completes a Restoration

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

UPDATE:  This was originally posted 11/14/2010

Started at age 14, Nate completed his beautiful build this past Easter.  There are a variety of young mechanics working on builds who ping me with questions and comments, so I think it will be a great motivation to them that Nate completed his build. He sets a good example of what hard work can achieve no matter the age.  Congrats Nate!

Nate writes, “I’ve been reading ewillys for about 1 1/2 to 2 years now ….  I fell in love with this jeep when my dad brought it home when I was 8. It was the first first vehicle I learned to drive. I started restoring it when I was 14 in Sept. 2007 (now 17) and the actual jeep was finished on Easter Sunday this past April, 2010. I got the jeep the way I like it last week with the original style soft top. It was a father-son (mostly son) project. I sandblasted the whole frame, and probably spent a week block sanding the body. We made a few modifications: 10” drums, 12v electrical system, overdrive and Cutlas hubs. I got the top from New Life Canvas. I didn’t skimp on anything. I put stainless steel brake lines in, a new harness from Walcks and a lot of original parts from my donor jeeps.. The jeep sports a reproduction body tub (which I made look original), fenders and hood.”

Here’s an image of the pre-restored Jeep:

And post restoration pics:

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Lionel Forge and his SEEP/GPA “Amphib”

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, GPA (SEEP)

UPDATE:  This was first published Jan 23, 2011.

About a year and a half ago I posted a story about Ben Carlin and his famous SEEP “Half Safe”.  What I didn’t realize at the time was there were a few other nuts crazy enough to modifiy a GPA and travel the world.  One of those explorers was a Canadian named Lionel Forge.

I learned about Lionel’s adventure through a website operated by Colin Stevens, who eventually purchased Lionel’s GPA and began the restoration back to its original condition (he then sold the GPA to a USA collector in 2004).  Thanks to Colin, we have a record of both Lionel’s transformation of the surplus GPA #4545 into “Amphib” and along with a summary of his story.

On his site, Colin writes, “[Lionel] had the book HALF SAFE which is about a GPA that was modified for world travel and which was travelling around the world. Lionel decided to modify his GPA and travel as well. One key difference is that he did not plan to sail across oceans with his.”

According to this newspaper article, Lionel planned to drive down through Central and South America, ship the car to Africa and then travel through Eastern Europe.  One of the places he really wanted to visit was Montevideo, Uruguay, a country about which I posted yesterday.

According to Colin, Lionel made it to Central America, but then discovered the cargo ship he planned to use to make it to Africa was longer in service.  So, he shipped ‘Amphib’ to a friend’s house in Florida and continued some additional traveling, though whether he made it to Montevideo is unclear.

Lionel eventually brought Amphib back to Canada, where it sat for at least 11 years on blocks (most likely much more) until Lionel’s death in 2001.  Lionel’s family later sold the GPA to Colin, who photographed it extensively, recording all kinds of information about it. Colin then sold it in 2004 to an American collector.

You can read the entire story here at Colin’s website

Colin also wrote a 2 part article in Convoy Magazine in 2002 about the entire adventure, which he pieced together from Lionel’s images, passports and other information.   Unfortunately, the magazine is no longer published and I can’t locate any back issues online.

Here are a few images from Colin’s website:

This is GPA#4545 at the salvage yard:

This shows Amphib after the 1949 Dodge Station Wagon top was added:

This is a newspaper article about his upcoming trip:

Amphib with the tent on top:

Lionel in Guatemala (Pyramid #1 at Tikal) in 1967

I also thought it appropriate to include an image of Colin Stevens with his 1944 MB.  The photo was taken in 2000. You can see more images here.

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How to stop a Jeep with a Ping Pong Ball …

• CATEGORIES: Features, News, Reader Stories

This was first published July 2, 2010.

A reader named Sam called me today.  He told me he had a great story to share.  Hopefully, I’ve remembered most of it correctly.

For a little background, Sam is retired after a lifetime of building hotrods, drag racing and owning a shop in Sacramento, but now operates a small flattie-oriented shop in Arvada, Colorado, where he fixes, modifies and maintains Willys (and probably a few other vehicles) for fun.  I’ll be explaining more about Sam (and some of his great suggestions) in a future post, but for now you have enough information to understand why a Jeep owner, in some distress, had his Jeep towed to Sam’s shop to investigate a problem.

And now to Sam’s story … The owner of this willys had tried to drive his jeep to work, but the jeep stopped working while driving down the road.  So, the owner pulled to the side of the road, waited a moment, and started it up again.  Sure enough, it fired up and the owner drove onwards.

Another few miles down the road the jeep shutoff again.  So, the owner repeated the process:  pull over, restart, and continue onwards.

At some point, this re-occuring process became too much for the owner to bare, so he called a towing company and had his jeep towed to Sam’s.

So, Sam looks the jeep over.  He starts it up and, sure enough, after a little while it shuts down.  He knows it has an electric fuel pump and suspects that could be causing a problem, so he unhooks the hose from the carb and points it into a gas can.  Then, he turns on the fuel pump.  Sure enough, after a little while, the fuel dribbles to a stop, yet he can hear pump still pumping ….. hmmmm, Sam thinks to himself.

He decides to try an experiment.  He knows the owner only fills the tank to half full, because if the tank gets too full gas leaches out of somewhere (I can’t remember where Sam said  it leaked).

Sam decides to fill up the tank all the way, because he suspects there might be something in the tank.  Sure enough, he fills up the tank and out pops not one, not two, but three ping pong balls.

As Sam explains it,  the sucking power of the fuel pump was pulling the ping pong balls to the outlet area of the tank(where the fuel line connects), stopping the fuel from exiting the tank, which shut down the jeep.

How’d the ping pong balls get there?  Well, that still remains a mystery ….

So, the moral of this story is that even the mightiest jeep can be humbled by an even mightier ping pong ball.  And, a side moral, is that buying a locking gas cap is a pretty good idea.

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Customized Hunting Wagon in Texas & a Design Competition

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

This is an older post first published April 13, 2010:

I was surfing the net looking for a jeep drawing and, instead, came across an interesting 1963 hunting wagon on a blog hosted by Local Motors. I had not heard of Local Motors, but this company describes itself (in the about section) as a ‘New American Car’ company that builds cars in regional Micro-Factories.

The blog contained both a video about 1963 Willys Wagon and a still picture (see the video below).  If you like those Texas hunting vehicles, go to this link and check out some of the crazy non-jeep hunters down the right side of the page, such as the suburban hunter.


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Math Tables for Jeep Lovers

• CATEGORIES: Features

Ann spotted this funny image. She thought we could relate to it. I don’t know where it originated.


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Team America Movie Prop Russian Gaz Model Seattle, WA $1250

• CATEGORIES: Features, Models

I don’t know what it’s worth, but this model of the Russian Gaz is pretty cool. You can learn more about Team America here.

“This is the actual prop Jeep used in the cult classic comedy Team America: World Police (2004) by Trey Parker and Matt Stone (the creators of South Park and Book of Mormon). The vehicle is made mainly of metal, has a wood floorboard, and rubber tires. It measures approx 54″ long x 24″ wide x 18″ high and weighs about 90 lbs. The bloody windshield has a crack on the driver’s side (presumably from filming). This great conversation piece comes with a COA (Certificate of Authenticity) from Premiere Props.”


gaz-movie-prop-team-america2 gaz-movie-prop-team-america

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‘The Military Jeep’ by Lawrence Nabholtz

• CATEGORIES: Books, Features

Mr. Nabholtz passed away in Dec. 2005. This book has been out of print since 1996. One of these went for $88 last summer. I’m reusing the pic below from a previous post.

“The Military Jeep Model MB – GPW by Lawrence Nabholtz.
This is number 555 of 1000 of the original classic by Mr. Nabholtz, first edition.
The book is in new condition and has been sitting in a warehouse since it was originally published in 1996.”

View all the information on eBay

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‘Blitz’ Rides Again!

• CATEGORIES: Features, Reader Stories

John told me that his dog Blitz loves riding on his CJ-3A.

He writes, “I take my dog for a ride almost every day. He likes to ride on the hood. It’s the funniest thing. People wave,point and smile. I even had one lady follow me and stop me to take a pic. I think that dam dog likes willys more then me.”