Features Research Archives

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Hein’s Updated Electronics re-Power his F-head ….

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3B, Features, International, Reader Stories

I received an email from Hein a few days ago regarding his CJ-3B.  His email is a good reminder that if your engine lacks power, you might consider improving the electronics.  Thanks for sharing!

Hein writes, “Since the rebuild last-year,  I have been putting-off the replacement of the hand-brake cable.  So a call to Marathon-Spares (in Australia) was way overdue! While ordering these spares I had a chat with Neil about my rough running engine, thinking I should get a new set of points and condensor as well as bushes, cap etc for the distributor.

He told me he had just replaced the motor in his MB with a Toyota 2.4, because it is used as a daily-driver and advertising for his business, so he offered me the complete Dizzy out of his motor for a mere $75! Needless to say I didn’t hesitate a moment to include that in the package as well.  The interesting bit is that it is a solid-state unit requiring a Electronic-coil and the removal of the wound-wire ballast-resistor (we had to get a Auto-Electrician in to help with the wiring bit), but the result could not have been more Amazing!!!

Suddenly, it felt like I had replaced the whole motor ! The old F-head had so much more punch that it blew out the rusty spots on the muffler, so just yesterday I replaced the whole system with a slightly larger-diametre complete Stainless-Steel system, which not only further enhanced the performance but also gave the old-girl a distincly cocky snarl too.  I don’t think I am exagerating if I say the combination must have increased overall output by between 30 and 5o%! Other than finding a completely new one that was preserved in a time-capsule somewhere, this must be as close to driving one straight off the dealers floor in ’53 as you can come today.  I won’t even trade it for one of those brand-new Icon Replicas now, although I wouldn’t mind having one of them as a daily-driver too?”

Hein’s CJ-3B has been featured at the CJ-3B Page.

 
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Another Tipped Jeep gets some work ….

• CATEGORIES: Features, MB, Old Images • TAGS: .

A while back, Tom told me his dad has stories from WWII about flipping Jeeps on their side to work on them.  After some digging, he managed to locate this for our viewing pleasure.  Many Thanks Tom!  See some other tipped jeeps here.

 
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1948 CJ-2A Yakima, WA **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: CJ-2A, Features, Wood bodies • TAGS: , , .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $4200.

Can’t say I’ve seen anything quite like this mod.

“Classic 1948 Jeep CJ3A. Mostly original, including motor. 12V conversion, saginaw steering. Always garaged. 42,000 original miles. 3rd owner. No rust, never wrecked. You won’t find a cleaner original 1948 jeep.”

 
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Museum: Gilmore Car Museum & The “Checker” BRC-40

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

The Gilmore Car Museum in Kalamazoo, Mi, “includes eight historic barns, a re-created 1930s service station, a small town train station, and nearly three miles of paved roads.”  This complex houses a large and diverse collection of automobiles and automobile memorabilia in a truly unique setting.

One of the vehicles housed at the Gilmore is one of three BRC-40s assembled (or built or rumored to have been built) by the Checker Automotive Company.  I’ve looked into the various bits of information about the Checkers and there seems to be no better summary of the status of these unusual BRC Prototypes than what Bill Spears, who has written extensive about Bantams and early Jeeps, wrote in a Hemmings Blog Comment about the Checker:

The Checker ‘episode’ is still one of the great mysteries of the jeep story and I cannot figure out for the life of me why…. In Kalamazoo it is widely assumed that the Checker was built there from Bantam plans. Karl Pobst’s notes indicate that he did indeed send Checker the blue prints in three installments (and I would REALLY like to get my hands on those and I suspect they are still at Checker) but, my information is that three jeeps, two of them four wheel steering, were sent to Checker from Butler and they arrived in boxes as for shipping overseas. There is nothing at all to indicate in the Checker I had that it differed in anyway from a regular Bantam BRC. All the parts cast with Bantam numbers etc. However all the jeeps were completely disassembled for reverse engineering as it were to try to cost out the job. The parts were all put in a pile, then the cars were reassembled without regard for which parts went were. Thus, my car had a 4 wheel steer column, but it was two steer. One was sent to the Army and wrecked in testing.The car at the Gilmore still belongs to the Stout family I believe. Jim Stout, who knew what he was doing restored the car, but in a way tried to disguise it, and it sat in the Checker lobby for years as a Kalamazoo built car. I think Stout made an interesting contribution in making it possible to turn OFF the 4 wheel steering feature, but, the 4 steers were never really produced. If anyone has any information or leads I would sure appreciate hearing about it.

I found some good images of the “Checker” at the Gilmore museum from remarkablecars.com:

Bill Spears has an extensive discussion about Checker and Bantam with images:

https://wmspear.com/Bantam/excker.html

The olive-drab.com site also has some archival images and information on the Checkers:

http://www.olive-drab.com/idphoto/id_photos_bantam_checker.php

http://www.olive-drab.com/od_mvg_www_jeeps_bantam_brc40.php

 
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An old Wally Cohnish sort of Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, MB, Sedan-jeep • TAGS: .

Many readers will remember last May’s explosive expose on the Wally Cohn custom ‘jeep’ built in Germany.  Ok, so maybe it wasn’t an explosion heard round the world, but there were a few of us who were interested.

Well, along those lines I found a MB/GPW at Hemmings which had been modified with fenders that brought the Wally Jeep to mind.  Here are some pics from the Hemmings Post.

See all the images at Hemmings:

Here’s Wally’s Jeep for comparison:

 
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Custom 1/2 Scale ‘Jeep’ Morristown, Az $5500

• CATEGORIES: Features, Unusual

Calling this a replica of a Jeep is a bit of a stretch.

“This 2010 Custom 1/2 Scale Willys Jeep replica has 2005 Polaris ranger 4×4 running gear, powered by a slightly modified 500cc Polaris engine. Two or all wheel drive with differential lock and 4 wheel disc brakes and 245/75 all season radials on 16″ chrome plated aluminum wheels. Will get you there and back, no need to trailer it either because it is equipped with turn signals, horn, rearview mirror, etc. making it completely street legal! It’s great on gas, fun to drive, and a real head turner! New business venture forces sale. Sacrifice for 1/2 of what I have invested. $5500.00 OBO or trade for??? Call Jace at (541) 314-2338”

Photos at photobucket

http://phoenix.craigslist.org/wvl/cto/2029547892.html

 
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Stenciling Jeeps

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images • TAGS: .

Just a couple photos tonight from the Canadian Archives that show some stencilers at work.

1) Unidentified soldier stencilling numbers on the hood of a jeep, England, 21 December 1943.

2) An unidentified officer of The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment) stencilling the regiment’s identification number on a jeep, England, ca. 30 May-1 June 1943.

View more from the Canadian Archives here

 
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Little Bo Peep Has Lost Her Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

UPDATE 3 (10/23/2012) : I discovered another recording of this song by someone other than Spike Jones:

UPDATE 2: WillysJeep has a nice images of the musics and lyrics cover that includes a rough version of a BRC-60.

UPDATE:  Dave reminded me that it was the 45s and not the 78s that needed the center gizmo.

Tom’s wife found a 1942 recording called Little Bo Peep Has Lost Her Jeep a few years ago in a stack of ’78s at a garage sale.

What’s a ’78 you ask? It seems I don’t remember them as well as I thought.  What I remember about ’45s was the little plastic gizmo you had to place in the middle of them so they would play on a phonograph.  Here’s a bit of history about the ’78 from wikipedia (for better or worse, the US was once again bucking the world trend).

In America in 1900, the two leading manufacturers of flat records were Columbia, which used 80 rpm as its speed, and Victor, which used 76 rpm. Since one company’s records were playable on the other’s machines, it is only logical that the eventual standard speed would be in the middle.

By 1925, the speed of the record became standardised at a nominal value of 78 rpm. However, the standard was to differ between America and the rest of the world. The actual 78 speed in America was 78.26 rpm, being the speed of 3600 rpm synchronous motor (run from 60 Hz supply) reduced by 46:1 gearing. Throughout the rest of the world, 77.92 rpm was adopted being the speed of a 3000 rpm synchronous motor powered by a 50 Hz supply and reduced by 38.5:1 gearing. (wikipedia)

So, now you know!  Tom (or his wife?) converted the record into a MP3 which you can down load here. You can also read the lyrics they transcribed below.

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A Rolling Welder Cart

• CATEGORIES: Features

When I bought my Lincoln Electric Welder four years ago I built a temporary wood rolling cart.  As things go, the temporary cart turned into a longer-term permanent cart.  However, every time I had to move the welder, it moved poorly and irritated the hell out of me.

Well, a month or so ago while cleaning out the garage I decided to build a cart out of some leftover steel and wheels I had laying around.  I didn’t have a specific idea in mind, but did know I needed a way to carry my welding rod, my Cargon bottle, and welding related items.

Below is the result.  It’s nothing fancy, but does the job. Perhaps someone will find the idea useful!

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The Very Mobile Bath and Laundry Unit

• CATEGORIES: Features, Unusual

While searching through a variety of pics during a web search too circuitous to explain, I happened across a model site called Airfix Tribute Forum.  I stopped by the site because I spotted an unusual model called the ‘Very Mobile Bath and Laundry Unit’ constructed by the forum’s founder Dave.  You can see one of the pics of the model below. See how he built the model here.

I thought that this was a very unusual model — wouldn’t it be cool if this was built from a real example.  Of course, I couldn’t resist hunting around a bit, so I dug into Dave’s site a little farther and discovered that Dave had based his model on the picture below — now that’s pretty cool. In his post, he notes that the Jeep “was stationed in  Germany in 1945 with the 2nd Battalion, The Kensingtons, 49th Division, Transport Centre, Iserlohn, Ruhr“.

Nice work Dave (both for locating that photo and building the model).

 
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The God of Fire

• CATEGORIES: Features, Mahindra

I ran across the image below of a Mahindra-built Military CJ-3B on the team-bhp site. After a few searches, I learned that the image came from the CJ-3B Page, which has the below image plus some additional images showing work that was done at UDAY’s shop in India. According to the CJ-3B page, this vehicle shouldered a 106mm gun.  Given this fire power, the owner, Anirban, calls the Jeep ‘Agni’, which means the God of Fire.  It’s a good name I think.

Read more about this at the CJ-3B Page.

 
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Sam Gives Craig’s CJ-3B a Lift

• CATEGORIES: Features, How To • TAGS: .

(Sam, feel free to correct if I have erred with any of my descriptions!)

Sam’s been keeping busy working Craig’s CJ-3B.  For example, Craig was complaining that the brakes didn’t work real well.  So, Sam took a close look at them and discovered that the jeep was only stopping with one brake!  Two of the brakes were completely rusted up and the third brake had suffered a pinched line!  So, Sam obtained some brakes off of a Wagoneer (shoot, I can’t remember the details Sam!), installed those and rebuilt the lines.  Now it “stops on a dime with 9 cents change” as Sam says.

Another project Sam tackled was the springs.  The ride was hard as a rock.  Sam told Craig he had a pretty easy solution.  Instead of installing new springs, they just needed to pull the leafs apart, clean them up, install new bushings and shackles, and then add a liner between the springs to help quiet the ride and improve the action between the springs.  So, Sam put everything back together, saving Craig plenty of money in the process, and the ride improved immensely.

A third project Sam tackled was a lift:  Craig wanted the jeep to ride slightly higher, but not as high as a SOA would have been.  Instead of using longer shackles, Sam suggested simply adding some blocks between the frame and spring holders.  This would provide the lift, but negate the need to change the axle angles.  Below are some pics of the finished lift.  During the process, Sam also installed new shock mounts in the middle of the frame, which allows for the use of stock shocks.

The blocks were made with 2.5″ x 2″ x 3/16″ square tubing that has been capped on each end.  Below pre-paint finished product.

Here is the post paint result of the front hanger (note the color is actually black, but the light faded the color)

You can see the homemade shackles that Sam built which utilize the horizontal piece in the middle. This helps reduce spring sway.  He prefers to keep the shackle as short as possible to additionally remove sway.

Here’s a shot of the front of the rear spring.

This shows the ‘new’ brakes, but does not show the lowered top shock mount.  It also doesn’t show the updated Rack and Pinion system which should be completed soon (here are some early images and discussion of the process).

 
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The Barfrosttreffet is this Weekend

• CATEGORIES: Features, Website

Even Erlien wrote me today to tell me about the upcoming Barfrosttreffet (early frost gathering) in which he and about 40 other vehicles will participate.  Given it will take place in Norway, I suspect it will be plenty cold!  Even has offered to take some pics and share them.

Even tells me a number of folks from Norway keep tabs on eWillys, so I thought I’d give a shout out to the Jeep Club of Norway.  Launched in 1999, the club has members in areas throughout Norway.  Their website with some images to check out, but if you want to read about the club you’ll need to brush up on your Norwegian 🙂 (or use a translator, which is what I did).  Thanks for the email Even!

(btw, Even I need you to email at d@ewillys.com … I tried responding to the email addy you sent and it didn’t work for some reason)

 
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A Very Sad Wagon ….

• CATEGORIES: Features, Last Ride

Maggie Mae discovered this terribly sad wagon.  This poor thing is now sitting in her driveway.  However, looks can be deceiving.  It turns out it has a part she has been trying to find.  Also, upon closer inspection, she reports the frame appears in good shape.

She writes,  “In my defense, it was ‘free for haul away’ and has the 2 barrel manifold I’ve been searching for. The floor is just a couple inches shy of the bottom of the windows, it actually looks a bit better than it should in the back end because of the homemade spring hangers/lift kit. Yes, the grille guard is a piece scaffolding. The gas tank had rusted through and was replaced with a beer keg that was “mounted” on 2×4’s where the passenger rear seat should have been.”

 
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The Bantam BRC-40 T2 & T2E1 and Willys T21

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, Features

As part of some research I’m gathering, I ran across the BRC-40 T2 and BRC-40 T2E1, developed in 1941; these are two unusual derivations of the Bantam BRC-40 in Mark Askew’s book, Rare WW2 Jeep book.  So, I did a search online and found a couple images of each gathered by Dave Haugh at the warwheels.net website where you can see all the images he collected.

Here’s an image from warwheels.net of the BRC-40 T2 with the 37MM Gun on it mounted in the middle of the vehicle.

There were some problems with the T2, so they moved the gun to the back for version 1 of T2E1.  I guess the army liked this design better so they developed a 2nd version of the T2E1 where they modified the back.  Below is a picture of that.

There was also a Willys MB version of this called the T21 with the 75mm mounted in the rear (I couldn’t find any pics).

 
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Sam Installs a Rack & Pinion Prototype

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

Sam, from Flatfender Willys in Colorado, mentioned a few months ago that he figured out how to easily install an off-the-shelf Rack & Pinion into a flattie.  He’s installed over 10 of these over that past few years in various rigs with great success.

A number of readers asked for more information.  However, Sam chose to delay the information so that he could work with the maker of the R&Ps to develop a Rack designed especially for Jeeps — from old flatties through Wranglers.

What you will see below is the protoype built by the company that Sam has installed into Craig’s CJ-3B.  These are early pictures of the process.  Once Sam finishes testing this prototype, they’ll be available for sale.

1. This first image shows the Rack tucked neatly under the cross member.

2. Here is an underside look at the setup.

3. Here’s a look at the 7/8″ tubing (I think I have that right).  The basic Rack was originally designed for a 4000lb truck and then was modified for the Jeep to insure it was strong enough to handle a variety of situations.

4.  For the typical installation, you’d leave the stock shock mount (if you have a mount there), and cut the plate flush with the frame.  Otherwise, you can just bolt the plate into position.  In this case, Sam had made a change to the suspension and moved the mount down.

5. This image shows that the Rack has an even lower profile than the stock system.  Note how far lower the stock system extends.

6. This image shows the 1/2″ plate to which the Rack mounts.  shows the Rack doesn’t extend far outside the frame.

 
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A WWII Courier Willys

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images, War Images

I don’t know anything about this particular jeep except that it is called the “Dixie Flyer”.  It seems to be a modified MB with a ‘Courier’ sign in the front and some modifications to the fenders.  It also appears to have a gas tank on the passenger side (I think that is what is sticking down under the passenger?).  I found this image on the European Center of Military History’s Blog.

 
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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

Continue reading

 
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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!

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