Features Research Archives

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The History MB-CJ3B Willys-Viasa

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

Here’s a good history of the MB-CJ3B Willys-Viasa with a variety of pics.

In the late 50’s, Willys Overland gave the rights to the V.I.A.S.A. firm to allow them exclusively to build the Univesal Jeep in our country. In 1959, the first permit to import parts and machinery is given by the Trade Ministry, in order to assemble the first units  in the V.I.A.S.A’s factory located in Zaragoza. These units weren’t launched until 1960.

It seems that that permit let V.I.A.S.A build the CJ3B model, with different engines and features from the original American model …”

Learn more about the Viasa here

 
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Builds — David and friends

• CATEGORIES: Builds, CJ-2A, CJ-3A, Features

David and his friends transport themselves back in time each each fall by getting out their jeeps, heading to the woods, and cleaning brush, trees and other obstacles out of the way in preparation for winter snowmobiling in New York.

David’s owned his (the gray ’51 CJ-3A) for six years.  His friends have owned their 1947 CJ-2A and 1949 CJ-3A for about 25 years.  Thanks for sharing David.

david_wyre4

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Fred Smith, Rare Jeep Collector

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, Features, GPA (SEEP) • TAGS: , .

While reading through the extensive history of the half track, I stumbled on the fact that the owner of the rarest of these half tracks was Fred Smith of the UK.  Having recently read that Fred Smith also owned and nicely restored the Ford Budd prototype, I got curious about who Fred Smith is.  At this point, I don’t know anything about him other than he’s got quite the jeep collection.  Here’s an approximate list (this list is a guess based on what I’ve read online):

  1. 1940 Ford Budd Prototype
  2. T-28 Half Track
  3. Willys MT-TUG 6×6
  4. 5 or 6 Ford GPs
  5. Ford GP four wheel steering
  6. Ford GPA (seep)
  7. Willys MA
  8. Willys MB

Not a bad collection!  Apparently, Fred shows these on occasion (or often) at the War and Peace Show at Beltring in Kent, UK.

 
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Spicer & Dana: Where did the Spicer 18 come from?

• CATEGORIES: Features, Transfer Cases • TAGS: .

spicer_manufacturingI spent some time earlier to day trying to track down what came before the Spicer 18 transfer case.  Unfortunately, I can’t find anything such as a Spicer 12 or a Spicer 3 anywhere.  If the Spicer 18 was the Dana Corp’s first try at a transfer case, then it’s entirely reasonable to say they hit a homer with it, as it stayed in the jeep (though ratios and other minor changes were made) from 1941 to 1971, when the jeep started using a center pumpkin and the Dana 20 transfer case.

So, here’s some interesting facts I learned during my searches.

  • The Dana Corp was originally founded as the Spicer Corp by Charles Spicer in 1904 when he was 29 to manufacture universal joints.  Here’s an 83 page PDF book of the first 100 years of the company.
  • The Spicer Corp’s success seems to be the result of the industry standardization around their products due to their high quality and competitive pricing.
  • In June of 1940 during a meeting between Bantam, government, Spicer and Timken representatives, Bantam and Spicer worked out the details of the drive train, for which Spicer received 130,000 for the tooling costs. (from the m38a1 site).  The front end was also worked out during this meeting by an engineer from Spicer.
  • While the Willys used the passenger side drop transfer case (a spicer 18), the Ford Pygmy (Ford’s prototype jeep) and the Bantam BRC Mark I (the very first jeep prototype) and the BRC-60/Mark II (Bantam’s 2nd prototype) relied on a driver side drop transfer case from spicer that was also a Spicer 18. (Here’s more about it)
  • I could only find 4 spicer transfer cases.  The Spicer 18, 20, 23 (for Chevrolet 4wd conversions) and 24 (for Ford 4wd conversions) (see Napco history).  There’s likely more, I just didn’t find any info about them.
  • Charles Dana joined in 1913, injecting money into the company.  In a couple years, Charles assumed the presidency.
  • In 1946, the company was officially renamed the Dana Corp, which by that time was a holding company for Spicer as well as Parish, Salisbury, Brown-Lipe and others.  The idea was to continue using the brand Spicer for the drive train products due to the strong brand name.  For some reason, that’s not clear to me, over time the Spicer brand name seemed to disappear in favor of the Dana name.

Here’s some other links about this early history:

 
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Builds — Oklahoma Green and One Bad Apple

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

I was searching for an image of original CJ-3A gauges when i stumbled upon this article.  Both of these are well modified, good looking road and trail jeeps.  One of the more interesting features of the ‘Oklahoma Green’ Jeep is the number of gauges that are installed.  One Bad Apple certainly has an usual paint job.

Here’s 2 excerpts from an Off Road Adventures Article; each one discuss a little bit about each jeep:

oklahoma_greenOklahoma Green: “… Below the CJ3A Willys’ windshield is a dashboard that would be more than adequate in a J3 Super Cub airplane of the same vintage. The aircraft-like dash sports a full compliment of gauges: fuel, fuel pressure, oil pressure, oil temp, water temp, vacuum, and air pressure gauges along with a voltmeter, hourmeter, and altimeter by Hobbs. A Lev-O-Gauge rounds out the impressive array. Lights and buzzers backup the critical gages. From the dash, Ken can switch on the fuel pump, fast idle solenoid, headlights, heater, and winch. Indicator lights report the status of 4WD, seat belts, ARB, emergency brake, and air compressor…. ”

one_bad_appleOne Bad Apple: “… The frame was lengthened 6-inches to incorporate a GM 4.3 V6 CMFI 195 hp at 4500 rpm engine with K&N Air Cleaner and Painless Wiring, a GM 700R4 with a manual shift kit, and a Dana 300 transfer case with CV driveshaft. With 4.88 gears, the final crawl ratio is 80:1. The front axle is a Dana 30 with an ARB Air Locker and disk brakes. The rear axle is a Dana 44 with a Detroit Locker. Four-inch lift springs, an off-road track bar, and Rancho 5000 Shocks control 33×12.50 BFG Mud Terrain T/As …..”

Check out the full article here

 
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Readers Builds — William’s 1948 CJ-2A

• CATEGORIES: Builds, CJ-2A, Features

William, a reader from Costa Rica, contacted me this weekend with a question.  After exchanging a few emails, he offered to share his project with readers.  The 1st picture was taken in April of 2005 and the second in November of 2007.  He has made some nice improvements that have made this jeep look much better.  You can see all the pics here at cardomain.com.  Thanks for sharing William!

1948_cj2a_castillo_costarica

1948_cj2a_castillo_costarica2

 
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Working Jeeps from Offroad Adventures

• CATEGORIES: CJ-2A, CJ-3A, Features, Website

offroad_adventures_workingjeepsI’m not familiar with the “Offroad Adventures” publication.  Instead, as usual, I stumbled upon it while looking for something else.  It’s a compact 2 pages article with a variety of pics of cjs accompanied by different hydraulic implements.  I’m not a big fan of the myvirtualpaper’s interface, but the pics are still cool.

See the working jeeps article

 
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1947 Empire Tractor (uses Willys drive train) Drexel, Mo $3500

• CATEGORIES: CJ-2A, Features, Machinery, MB, Unusual • TAGS: , .

1947_empiretractor_drexelWell here’s something I didn’t know, submitted by a reader.  Empire Tractors were built from parts that are also used by Willys, such as the transfercase (spicer 18), transmission (t-90), differential (spicer 25) and more.  You can learn more about the specs for these tractors here.  Note that the seller claims these were built out of surplus WWII jeeps, however the t-90 was a CJ-2A tranny, so it seems more likely to me that they shared parts with the CJ-2A rather than built from the MB.

“HERE WE HAVE A RARE 1947 EMPIRE TRACTOR. MODEL 88-90 MADE IN 11-47 SERAIL NUMBER 6352 IT WAS RESTORED ABOUT 10 YEARS AGO AND HAS BEEN KEPT INSIDE ALL IT’S LIFE. THIS HAS WILLYS JEEP ENGINE AND TRANS,AND ALOT OF OTHER JEEP PARTS IN IT,THAT ARE ORGINAL TO THE TRACTOR. THESE TRACTORS WERE BUILT AFTER WWII OUT OF SURPLUS ARMY JEEPS. THE PAINT SHOWS SOME WEAR . THE TIRES ON BACK ARE ORGINAL AND FRONTS HAVE BEEN REPALCED. COMES WITH ORGINAL LIGHTS AND GENERATOR IN A BOX. IT HAS HAD ONLY 3 OWNERS AND RUNS AND DRIVES LIKE IT SHOULD, READY TO USE OR SHOW. THIS COMES WITH A BELLY SICKLE MOWER,THAT HAS NOT BEEN USED IN 20 YEARS. 3500 FIRM. MY NUMBER IS 660-267-3282 THANKS FOR LOOKING”

http://www.empiretractor.net/spec.html

 
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Reader Builds — All Jewels Flattie

• CATEGORIES: Builds, CJ-3A, Features, stainless/jewels

A reader wanted to share a pic of this beautiful all Jewels Flatfender he built over many years and recently sold.  He says he already is at work on another jeep.  Hopefully, he’ll provide us with some updates as works on his new project.

randy_jewels_flatfender

 
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Reproduction Data Decals for CJ-5

• CATEGORIES: CJ5, Features, Website

28_autod300wWhile looking up transmissions for the T-98 post, I came across a website that has CJ-5 decals you can purchase.  The website offers VIN Stickers, Data plate decals, Tailgate decals,  and more.  The website carries a wide variety of data stickers.  Check it out.

If I wanted to use a sticker, the one to the right would work perfectly, even though it’s designed for a “3 speed Auto D300 Twin”.

 
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My call with Don Prine about Stainless Steel and More …

I spoke with Don Prine today (12/24/08).  Don lives and runs a shop outside of Tacoma, Washington.  I quickly learned that Don is quite the character.  If I remember correctly, Don said he’s 91 years old and it’s clear to me he has no plans to retire.  He’s at the shop regularly and he’ll be there on the 26th, he told me, snow permitting.

Don’s been in the jeep business for 40+ years.  He told me stories of purchasing surplus jeeps in lots (one time 80 m38a1s), or as he put it, ‘the bank and I purchased them’.  We talked about some of the other jeeps he had purchased and  we exchanged some names of people we both knew in the Jeeping world.  Then he kindly provided me several contacts of his own in the Boise area he said I should call.  It did not take me long to figure out that Don has friends  everywhere.

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Brian goes to Vienna and all we get are jeep pics ;-)

• CATEGORIES: Features, MB, Museums

Brian, who’s now our Visiting European Correspondent (did I mention it’s a volunteer position?), found this beautiful MB in Vienna at the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum while visiting Vienna, Austria.  Brian mentions that this museum of military history contains ‘everything from 1600 on up’ that’s war related.

Brian writes:

“This jeep was extremely clean. It is in such great condition that I wondered if it is a repo-tub.   The only thing missing was the radio that mounts behind the driver.  They indicate this jeep was used for patrols.  Note the four allied flags: Russia, British, American and French; the jeep was issued to all four allied forces policing Austria and the flags denoted that no one country was ruling Austria.”

brian_mb_viena

brian_mb_viena2

 
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Volkswagen Jeep Kit Sun Valley, Ca eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Unusual, VEEP (VW Jeep), Scamp, Others

UPDATE:  This sold for $810 on Jan 1 2009

Maybe there are more of these VW kits than I realized.  This is the fourth I’ve seen for sale this year.  While the seller claims this is a 1942 body, all the kits, including this one, appear to me to use a version of the M-38 body (or replica body).

“YOU ARE BIDDING ON A 1942 WILLYS JEEP BODY ON A VOLKSWAGEN DRIVE TRAIN / CHASSIS. THIS CAR HAS A 1600 ENGINE WITH A VW MANUAL TRANSMISSION. THE EXTERIOR COLOR IS RED AND RED INTERIOR WITH BROWN BUCKET SEATS. THE TIRES ARE IN FAIR CONDITION AND BRAKES ARE GOOD ALSO. THIS CAR HAS BEEN IN STORAGE AND HAS NOT BEEN STARED FOR 7 YEARS BUT THE MOTOR TURNS OVER….”

View all the pics on eBay

 
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Reader Question: Wiper Shafts Too Long … Options?

• CATEGORIES: Features, How To

A reader wrote to me asking for some input regarding some replacement electric windshield wipers.  I couldn’t answer his question and, in fact, I’ll have the same problem once I install my electric wipers.  Here’s what he wrote:

” I just bought the electric wiper conversion kit from Omix-ada, but the instructions are limited to the wiring diagram. As you can see from the picture, the shaft length would seem to cause a problem in a direct exchange. I have thought of cutting down the shafts(inner and outer) but wonder if I’m missing something easier. I have Googled the web to see if any one has discussed the conversion, so far no luck. I wonder if you or any of your readers has used these. Any help or comments would be appreciated. Thanks Phil”

So, if anyone has any ideas, we’d both appreciate it!

 
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Before there were Paddle Tires

• CATEGORIES: Features, Tires and Rims

I was looking to see if anyone has generated a list of the top 15 things (or list of some kind) you should look at when evaluating the purchase of an older flattie for an upcoming post.

While looking for such a list, I ran across this article by a Willie Worthy (it turns out he wrote a number of tire histories), a writer for Four Wheeler Magazine. He takes a quick look back at how his life has changed and how it has remained the same. One of the more interesting descriptions he provides are the old school paddle tires.

Willie writes, “my first Jeep came with some military nondirectional 6.00-16s that were replaced with some 7.00-16s in a heavy-lugged mud and snow pattern. When I bought my new CJ-5 in the fall of 1962, it came with some 7.50-15s, which I quickly sold. By now, I was into tires and building rims. The tires of choice were some passenger-car 8.20-15 recaps spread out on my homemade 8-inch-wide rims. Later, I, and just about everyone I knew, was using Armstrong’s flotation tires, or similar versions of them that were originally designed for farm implements. Traction didn’t come from the straight grooves running the circumference of the tire but from their ability to conform to an obstacle. Soon we found that cross-grooving made for much better traction. The Pismo dunes, and those at Glamis, were wide open with no restrictions, and by the mid to late ’60s, we needed more traction than these tires would provide. Before the advent of paddle tires, we would cross-groove drag slicks in various patterns and mount them on 12- to 14-inch-wide homemade rims.”

 
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Reader’s Build: Michael’s 1957 and 1955 Trucks

• CATEGORIES: Features, News

Michael writes that he’s owned several jeeps through the years.  Currently, he’s got two willys trucks he’s fixed up, a ’55 and a ’57 .  As you can see from the right and the first large pic below, the ’57 seems to have wings.  Most recently, he’s purchased a couple slat grille jeeps and is looking for info about and parts for them.

“Just wanted to say thanks for all the awesome info on your website! I learned to drive at the age of 10. My parents had a 1969 Jeep Gladiator Pickup. I used to fourwheel all over in it. It was given to me on my 12th birthday after I had blown up the motor wheeling in a rock canyon very similar to the Rubicon. What a time. We towed it back with a 56 Willys Wagon.

I currently own a couple Willys pickups a 55 and a 57. I’ve owned a couple 2a’s in the past and always kick myself for selling them! I am back though and looking for any info. on parts for a couple of slat Willys. That’s how I found your website. Thanks again. I’ll send you a picture of my 57′ “treading lightly?” Also pics of both are posted on car domain under the user name of UNIVERSALWILLYS1 (although it was hurriedly done so not very prof. looking.I need the time to fix them)”

 
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Book Review: The Jeep (book) by the Olyslager Organisation

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, Books, Features, Unique Jeeps, Unusual • TAGS: .

I don’t know when or where it came from, but at some point my parents obtained a book simply titled “The Jeep“.  It was mostly a picture book, which as a young kid was perfectly fine with me.  I open and looked through it many, many times. Ok, I still open it ….

However, it wasn’t just a book with a few pics of jeeps you see everyday.  Instead, it’s a slim book full of a wide range of pictures.  Of course, there’s the standard bantam, mb, seep, gpw, etc. But, there’s also, for example, 3 images of the Willys/Nuffied modified airborne jeep, seen to the right (though not from the book — it’s from a russian site — the book images of the Willys/Nuffield are at the bottom of this post).

I bring this up, as I ran across a copy of the book at the Boise Library today.  So, I snapped a few images of the pictures with my digital camera (hence the poor quality – purchase the book to see them sharply) and will post a some of them.

I haven’t asked for permission to post them (I TRIED to, but can’t find the contact info for them), so I’ll add this pitch for the book.  This book is a must for any jeep nut.  While it’s a fairly small book with only 64 pages, the collectors prices (at amazon) were hovering around $45. It’s a perfect size for your kids.  The organization responsible for publishing the book is the Olyslager Foundation (link?), which has published a number of other cool books listed at the Open Library Project.

Now for some cool, but poor quality pics to wet your appetite…

One of my favorite sections of the book show how quickly a crate jeep can be put together.  The book documents this particular group only took 3 minutes and 31 seconds to put it togther.

Check out the rest of the pics …..

Continue reading

 
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South Webster High School “Jeeps”

• CATEGORIES: Features, News

Who woulda thunk it?  It turns out South Webster High School in Ohio adopted the Jeep mascot more than 50 years go.  Though it’s not jeep the vehicle, rather it’s Jeep from Popeye, it’s still cool in my book.

“Before 1940, South Webster High School athletic teams had no official name, although local sportswriters sometimes referred to them as the “midgets.

However, in 1940 the rules of basketball, by accident, helped to produce the mighty JEEP. By the rule in 1940, coaches were not permitted on the playing floor to instruct players. Coaching had to be done prior to the start of the game or at half-time. During rest periods between the first and third quarters of play the team manager at South Webster would roll a small box onto the court to supply players with refreshments and first-aid materials. However, the coach at South Webster was accused (and rightly so perhaps) of sending in plays and instructive notes in this little four-wheeled box. Local fans were positive that when that little box was sent onto the floor, players were getting more than refreshments. Everyone knew that the box contained answers to the problems being presented by the opposing team.

Also in 1940, a favorite comic strip contained a character who knew everything. In 1936, the charater of “Eugene the Jeep,” a small bright-eyed creature from Africa who was all-knowing, was introduced into the “Popeye” comic strip. Popeye gave the Jeep to his girlfriend, Olive Oyl, as a birthday gift. The Jeep, whose diet consisted of orchids, helped popeye solve many difficult situations in his comic strip career.

Since the JEEP was all-knowing, some local South Webster people associated the coach’s box, containing messages to his players, with the comic strip character.

According to, what is now legend, the late Mayor of South Webster, Mr. Gilbert Havener, is credited as the first person to label the box as the “JEEP BOX.” The sports editor of The Portsmouth Times (now Daily Times), Lynn Wittenberg, picked up the term and used it in describing South Webster’s 1940 Scioto Country Tournament team.

The mascot was never officially adopted, but has been, since 1940, generally accepted….”

Learn More Here

 
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Flatfender Brewing Company

• CATEGORIES: Features, News

Here’s a jeeper who turned 2 passions (beer and jeeping) into a business.  Learn more about Flatfender Brewing.

“We are an online,  local, & delivery service for all of your homebrew needs. We are located in Crescent City Ca . This is 15 miles south of the California Oregon border & about 1 mile from the pacific ocean. Our town is surrounded by huge redwood trees & one of the cleanest rivers in the United States. We can order anything you might need that we do not stock.  I am Brian & i am know as “jeepguy” on forums & in a pc game i play called battlefield 1942. I also like jeeps & like to build & wheel them.”

 
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FarmJeep.com

• CATEGORIES: Features, Website

I stumbled upon the farmjeep website this morning.  It includes two extensive rebuilds, one about Ole Blue and one about Old Yeller.  Both appear to have been in poor shape when they ‘retrieved’ them.  Fortunately, the site authors have documented the restorations well.  Also, a nice jeep family history is part of the site, including an image of a jeep with side skirts, something I’ve never seen before.

For those into farm jeep implements, the site includes a great list of vintage farm jeep ads and an overview of farming aides for the jeep, including PTOs, lifts and more.

http://www.farmjeep.com

 
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Increasing old Jeep Sales and the Economy

• CATEGORIES: Features, News

Christopher made an interesting point in one his comments.  He mentioned that he’s seeing more jeeps for sale.  Well, oh boy, did this get me thinking ….. and while this is tangentially related to jeeps, it more about my thoughts on the economy.

I agree wholeheartedly with Christopher.  I believe the number of flat fenders appearing for sale is greater now, and the prices better, than I’ve seen since I started following them (which is only 2 years mind you).  Most of the ads appear to have the same theme, ‘don’t want to sell but need the money’.  Now, I don’t keep actual stats on this, but I have been pondering ways to do this without it being a time burden …

Combing Trends

When I combine the jeep sale trend I see with the recent October filings for unemployment insurance (highest in 16 years) and the record drop in October US house sales (worst in 50 years), plus the number of job applications per job here in Boise, I get the feeling the economy is still heading downward.

Continue reading

 
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Reader Builds — More on Paul’s 1944 MB

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Paul has supplied us with some additional pics and an explanation of the mounting system.  You can view the full article about Paul’s jeep here.

“The first pic with the hood open shows the two Dzus (brand name) (learn how to pronounce Dzus) fasteners which help hold the hood down when inserted into the brackets shown in the 2nd pic.  The brackets are just above the yellow ignition coil and next to the master cylinder.  I also use another fastener (for a total of 4 to hold the hood) on the back side of the flat fenders.  The last image shows another view of the ½” pipe as it is bolted to the top side of the flat fenders. ”

Continue reading

 
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Jeep Thrills visits the Jawadhu Hills

• CATEGORIES: Features, News

Siva has updated his blog with a recent trip to the Jawadhu Hills by a few members of the Jeep Thrills jeep club.  One of the more interesting differences between jeeping in the U.S. and jeeping in India may be summed up by Siva,  “Jawadhu hills has around 270 mountain villages, people in these villages needs to walk for 4kms to 20kms to reach the main road.”  So, the terrain may be remote, yet you may still find yourself passing the occasional pedestrian or stopping for lunch at a local village after traveling over difficult terrain.  Thanks for the update Siva!

I tried to locate the Jawadhu Hills, but instead found the Javadhu Hills near Vellore that lie between two rivers, Ponnaiyar and Palar.  Is that the correct location?  Vandavasi, where you had breakfast, is near there.

 
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My Build — The Seats

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features

A reader just received a 1951 CJ-3A. Since the seats in it weren’t something he wanted, he asked what I had done for seats. I realized I hadn’t really covered the topic, so here’s what I did and why I did it.

As you probably know, my first jeep was built from an ex fiberglass racing jeep (oh where oh where did those pictures go). From that jeep I used the body, frame, roll cage and seats as the foundation for what became my first jeep (which I called the ‘great escape’). The fiberglass seats were mounted on a 2 1/2″ pipe that was welded to the frame. A hole was cut through the bottom of the body and the pipe stuck through the body (not only did the thickness of the body help keep the pipes from moving, but the pipes held the body in place — a nice synergistic effect). On the upper end of the pipe were threads. Onto those threads a square platform was screwed onto the pipe. The seats were screwed onto the platform. It’s a one size fit’s me approach that works for me and people of similar size. The back of the seats were then bolted to a plate that connected to a bar that was part of the rollcage. So, those seats did not move. They were solid, despite their thin profile.

Because the seats were already there and they seemed to fit me fine, I went ahead and used them as is. As I raced, drove it every day, and used it in the trails, the positioning of the seats was perfect. I felt secure and tight when I raced, I never got uncomfortable during long drives, my back never got sore, and there was enough padding for enduring the trails. For me, those were some of the most perfect driving seats I have ever used.

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Preproduction Civilian Jeeps — A Great Book!

• CATEGORIES: Books, Features

After reading the book review about “Preproduction Civilian Jeeps” from Jim Allen on Derek Redmond’s CJ-3B site (scroll to mid-page), I decided to purchase the book.  While I’m hesitant about purchasing jeep books, due to the fact that the images are often reprints of images I’ve already seen or that the text isn’t all that informative, Jim’s review intrigued me enough to spur me to action.

Thankfully, I was extremely happy with the book I received.  Frederic Coldwell’s Preproduction Civilian Jeeps manages to avoid the traps I mention above, producing a text that’s rich in information, details and images that are both unique and investigative.   In fact, the book is down right humbling.  I thought I knew jeeps pretty well, but reading this book taught me what I didn’t know about what I didn’t know.

Though each chapter is full of information, I think my favorite chapter was the final one, where Fred reveals how photographs have been altered by marketing staffs during the 40s so that the jeep that’s pictured in the photograph looks more like the Willys being sold to the public.   In some ways it’s a test; by the final chapter, has the reader learned enough to tell what the marketing department did to change the original images and why they did it?

I’m thinking I will paint in white ‘X2008’ on the rear bumper.  Read the book to learn why 🙂