Features Research Archives

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Museums: MB at the Cole Land Transporation Museum

• CATEGORIES: Features, MB, Museums

This MB is located at the Cole Land Transporation Museum in Bangor, Maine, and has an interesting history.  According to the museum’s website, “his 1945 jeep served with the U.S. Army during World War II in Europe. After the war, it was given to the French government (French nomenclature in still on the dashboard). It was rebuilt by the French, declared surplus, and shipped to Duryea Motors, Brockport, New York in 1982. Galen Cole purchased it for display in the Museum.

Perhaps its greatest claim to fame is that the mold for the Maine World War II Veterans Memorial, located on the Museum’s grounds, was formed around this jeep; therefore, the jeep that is the focus of the Memorial is an exact replica of this jeep. It was chosen as the symbol of WWII because personnel of all branches of the service during that war used jeeps-whether generals, admirals, or privates.”

 
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Silly Willy by Wildfire Manufacturing

• CATEGORIES: Features, Fire/Police/Industry Vehicles, Museums, Willys Trucks • TAGS: .

I spent some time search for Jeeps in Museums today.  I discovered that in 1996 a museum with some wwII jeeps closed and the jeeps were purchased and sent to Indiana.  After a little searching, I am pretty sure these were bought by the National Automotive and Truck Museum of the United States (NATMUS), located in Auburn, Indiana.  This appears to be a pretty sizeable museum with a great collection of both stock and modified vehicles.

Sorting through images at different sites, I did eventually find an image of a GP (to be published later) located at NATMUS.  I sent them an email to see if I can get additional images and information (my emails to museums thus far have proven useless so far, with the exception of a gracious and quick response from the York Museum in PA).

One additional item I discovered while searching through some NATMUS images was this modified Willys Truck hidden in the background of a pic focused on the Popcorn Wagon (see pic to right).  Fortunately, I could identify the website emblazoned on the windshield and, viola, I found some great pics of this vehicle to share.

This truck, called Silly Willy, was built by Wild Fire Manufacturing for 1st Attack (Jeffrey Cook is president of both companies).  1st Attack is a company that specializes in the development of offroad emergency vehicles. You might know Jeffrey Cook from his days as owner/driver of the Monster Truck War Wagon that toured nationally.

Here’s some pics of Silly Willy:

 
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The Jeep and its ‘Fourth Dimensional Brain’

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features

Gerald found this great old cartoon.  I always thought jeeps had minds of their own …

 
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Dad Rolls His Jeep Down a Hill at Icicle Creek, Wa

• CATEGORIES: Features

One fine, sunny, beautiful Saturday during the summer of 1975 (or thereabouts – no family member can quite remember the exact year) my father drove his jeep up a chuck-hole filled hillside trail at Icicle Creek, near Leavenworth, Wa.  He didn’t make it to the top; instead, he rolled his CJ-5 down the hillside.  Herein is the story and images.

I suppose it is appropriate that the images of dad’s wreck in the WWJC Scrapbook aren’t as clear as I hoped, because the memory of it is also fuzzy.  I’ve tried to color correct and sharpen the pictures as best as I could, but even the clearest of pictures can’t really tell the story of the impact of his tumble down that hill.

It was a club weekend on the ‘east side of the mountains’ in Leavenworth, Washington.  For Washington Jeepers, the east side of the mountains means anything east of the Cascade Mountain range, where life transforms from western muddy trails, the deep, dark greens of cedar, and gray, drizzly, cool weather into Ponderosa Pines, sunshine, sagebrush, and dust.  Within an hour of Seattle, you could (and still can) transform your jeeping experience entirely.

This particular weekend I remember, and  say this without certainty as these are more like flickers of 10 year old’s memory, that we were staying in some kind of community-center-like building where we all slept on the floor in sleeping bags in a large open community room.  It was just one big campout.

For me this seemed perfectly normal as the club really was a big extended family — these were people I saw more than my own aunts and uncles, grandma and grandpas.

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The Camel Man of the Outback

• CATEGORIES: Features, Reader Stories

It was 25 years ago this winter … ouch .. has it really been that long ago … that I decided to join a small group on a bicycle journey of the South Island of New Zealand.  I was only 20, the youngest member of a troupe that ranged from little ol’ me all the way up to a couple who was 55 (and an adorable, long married, in-love couple they were).  Over a period of 3 weeks we hiked, biked, helicoptered, jet-boated, trained, vanned, laughed, talked and drank (well, some of us more than others) our way around the south island of New Zealand.  For a pretty sheltered kid of 20, it was an eye opening experience.

I certainly can’t forget New Years Night, 1985, in the tourist town of Queensland, where many people around my age gathered in the town square.  Everyone wandering around, hugging, kissing and meeting people from all over the world.  For a dorky geek like me, it was a temporary slice of heaven as I got to mack with some good looking women.  One beautiful young woman from Vancouver and I got along particularly well and …. ahem … back to our story ….

When the 3 week trip in New Zealand was over, and we were all stuffed with Ice Cream (best on the planet — but their cones sucked!), meat pies (these were soooo good), and stories, most of us adventurers returned home; however, the two ‘guides’ who organized the trip spent the next month or two wandering the Australian Outback in a vehicle they bought in Australia.  Several months later, one of the two guides, Brock, tracked me down in the San Juan Islands (I was working up there as a chef).  He told me that some day I HAD to go to the outback of Australia and see the stars.  He told me that the Outback was truly a unique experience and though we had seen many many stars in New Zealand (very little light pollution there), going to the Outback was even better.

To date, I haven’t made it back to New Zealand nor have I made it to Australia.  I haven’t even broken the southern hemisphere since that trip.  However, since then I’ve always lusted for Australia.

So, it was with great interest that I have cultivated a new friend from Australia named Hein who recently stumbled upon eWillys.  Hein is originally from South Africa and has lived, worked and traveled over much of Africa, Australia and Southeast Asia.  Recently, he took a 3 week jeep vacation into the Outback with his wife and daughter and took some photos for us (well, probably for themselves, too 🙂 ). I’ll be publishing the story of the trip in his jeep in the next couple days.  In the meantime, one the interesting side stories of the trip involved meeting the Camel Man.

The Camel Man

Hein writes, “I would have loved to spend more time with the Real Camel-man, but it was too early in the day and we were going in opposite directions.  Apparently he worked in the mines, oil and gas industry for many years, of which there is plenty out there believe it or not, and just got fed-up with the constant rat-race after money. That old fellow has been doing circuits of the desert for more than a decade with that contraption, at 20 km a day and no towns for up to 800 km in some stretches, can you imagine that life?

I suspect the little van might have had a motor in it initially. When that gave up the ghost he just reverted to a more reliable source of motivation.  In parting I actually told him that I might just come and join him in another decade perhaps? I am sure he has a few choice stories to tell and I could really enjoy listening to them while the camels plodded along or over a few camp-fires.”

Based on Hein’s description, I managed to find a couple blog websites which record other run-ins with the Camel Man. They noted he wore a special mosquito mask to keep the flies off and he also had one for his dog, though Hein never mentions seeing the dog.  So, on your next trek through the Outback, keep your eyes pealed for this one-of-a-kind traveler.  Thanks Hein!

Here’s Hein’s photo:

This photo is from Rod Thomas’s blog:

This image is from Flemming Bo Jensen’s blog:

 
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Wooden Car

• CATEGORIES: Features, Unusual, Wood bodies • TAGS: .

Tommy emailed me this unusual build (note it is a car and not a jeep or 4×4).  After a little searching, I found this on ebay as well. If you haven’t seen some of the wooden jeeps featured over the years on ewillys, check them out.  For a really fast wooden car, check out this supercar.

According to the email, it is a wooden body built in 2009.  “This custom wooden car rides on a 1986 Toyota truck frame and gets power from a Chrysler 318 engine.  It is driven by an automatic transmission and has merely 1,800 miles on its speedometer. The whole body is made of cedar and its interior is just as over-the-top as the exterior.”
You can see many more pics of this on ebay

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Yakima Daily Republic reports on First Naches Crossing

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

Based on the below news report,  August of 1950 was the very first crossing of the Naches Trail by the Yakima Ridge Runners.  This information resides on the Nachestrail.org website.

Something I didn’t know about this first crossing was that the jeepers had to use winches to drop their jeeps over the cliff on the west side, just as pioneers had done almost 100 years before (well, they used freshly made cowhide ropes instead of winches).

Note that in transcribing this article into PDF form, the transcriber couldn’t identify everything, so there are a few uncomplete hiccups in the text.

Though the article includes no images, only 9 months later many of these same folks and their jeeps would be photographed by Life Magazine playing in the Yakima Valley hills, sagebrush and mud (included below).  You can see all the pics from that here.

Jeeps Follow Trail Carved by Naches Pass Emigrants
08-15-50
By Ted Van Arsdol, Yakima Daily Republic

Ninety-seven years after the first wagon train crossed Naches Pass through the trackless Cascades, 11 Yakima jeep drivers, members of the Ridge Runner club, have completed the same rugged journey.

The jeep caravan returned here yesterday after following the forest-grown trail across the mountains. The jeep riders lowered their vehicles by chains and a winch down the steep face of a cliff on the west side. It was on this same cliff that pioneers of 1853 were forced to dismantle their wagons and lower them by ropes.

W R. (Wally) Klingele, one of the Ridge Runners making the trip said. The group could still see traces of the old wagon trails and the ancient cuts on trees that probably were made by the pioneers. He said there were also grooves on the west side cliff made by the sliding covered wagons.

First Four-Wheel Repeaters

“I believe our trip over the old road was the first one made by four-wheeled vehicles since the pioneer trek,” Klingele said. He had heard of motorcycles going over Naches pass, but doesn’t believe they went down the face of the cliff as the jeeps did.

Members of the Ridge Runners who made the trip were Chet Thompson, Dale Rohn, ___ Golsh, Gordon Buckley, Harlan Beckett, Lyle Christopherson, __ King, Bob Schultz, Pat Mullins and Klingele. Roger Gervais, jeep club initiate, also made the mountain trek.

The group had gone into the [?pass] one week ago from Timothy meadows to Government meadows. They left Saturday from the mouth of American river, went about seven miles by road to Jungle creek camp and then journeyed on by jeep trail to Timothy meadows.

Had to Carve Road
They camped overnight at Timothy meadows and started at [??] am Sunday on the trip through the woods. It took 11 hours for the caravan to cover the 10 miles to the pioneer cliff. The drivers had to cut and clear a road using shovels and axes.
To reach the bottom of the cliff on the other side, the Ridge Runners hooked one jeep to a tree by a chain, and the man in the jeep used a winch to lower other vehicles down the cliff.  [?] used a crank to unwind the winch, while the other Ridge Runners worked with the jeep being lowered to make sure it didn’t go astray.

The 150 foot dropoff was steeply sloped but had a number of ledges. It took 2 1⁄2 hours to lower all the jeeps. The toughest part of the trip came at the end. Yakima’s jeep club spent eight hours covering a mile and a half of the most rugged sort of mountain terrain. The foliage was heavy and many fallen rocks and logs hampered their machines.

After 21 hours on the trail the Road Runners reached Hines forest camp on the west side at 3 yesterday. They covered just 14 miles from the end of the trail at Timothy meadows to the forest camp.

 
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Buttercup — A True Love Story

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, Reader Stories

Buttercup has come home again.  Here is the story as told by Buttercup’s current steward.

William writes,  “I would like to introduce you to “BUTTERCUP” a 1946 CJ2A. My father “Skip” Taylor bought her in 1973 for $150.00 and brought her out to our family house on Clarks Island in Plymouth Mass.

Out there he put plywood floors in, added yellow paint(out of a can) and named her Buttercup after a cow that was once on the property. For 20 years she was our tractor and stuff hauler. I learned to drive her when I was 10. Sometime in the 80’s Skip added the wire wheels and had a trailer built.  By 1990 it was decided that she was getting tired and was replaced by a John Deer tractor.

After a while she was sold to a gentleman with the agreement that my father would get “right of first refusal” if she was ever put up for sale. Well, 3 winters ago that man kept his word and sold Buttercup (painted red) back to us with new floors and a rebuilt original motor.

She is now back on the island, going back together once again.  She has new brakes, a tune up, the wire wheels(off a 35 ford) and her bright yellow paint (out of a can). Buttercup is running great and driving the property cleaning up branches and taking the kids out for rides. She is a part of our family and hope to keep her going for another sixty years.

I asked William about the wire wheels and he said his father had the centers of some jeep rims cut out and welded into the 35 ford rims. Not road safe but good for an island.

Here are some pics of Buttercup.  Thanks for sharing William!

Continue reading

 
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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!

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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.