Features Research Archives

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Willys Shouldn’t Live in Cages — Victoria, BC circa 1990

• CATEGORIES: Features

I think this image was snapped just over 2 decades ago outside of Victoria, BC.  That’s me in the picture, shocked at the life that poor jeep must endure.  I wanted to demonstrate the unethical treatment of this Willys.  Just look how tight the cage is!  With no place to move, to roam, to really stretch out, this poor Jeep was forced to live a semi-sheltered life outdoors, a prisoner to the whims of the weather.  And, Canadians are usually so nice!

 
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Builds: Hugo’s CJ-3A in Uruguay

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, International

UPDATE: You can see the final build here.

A citizen of Uruguay, Hugo recently contacted me to appropriately correct me from confusing a town, Londrinha,  that doesn’t exist in Puerto Rico with one that does exist in Brazil (In this case, I believe I can blame Google Maps for my error!).

Because of this error, I got to know a little more about Uruguay, which it turns out I didn’t really know that much about.  One cool thing I learned is a hand was installed on (or more accurately into) the Punta del Este Beach in 1982 by Chilean artist Mario Irarrazabal.  He titled it the Monumento al Ahogado (Monument to the Drowned).  Apparently, he did another, different hand in a Chilean desert.

Hugo reports that the jeeping is excellent in Uruguay, though he hasn’t had much of a chance to jeep this summer (it is summer there of course right now), because his CJ-3A is currently dismantled in his garage for repair.  However, he did forward this picture.  Thanks for sharing!

 
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Wild Man Willis Ray Willey

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

UPDATE: Thanks to Mike for sorting out Willis’ real name. He was Willis Ray Willey, while his twin was Willard Roy Willey.

It might not surprise you that my interest in history has led me to become the family historian.  As a part of my self-assumed title, I make it a point to look through the family albums and scan images whenever I’m visiting.  This morning while looking through my grandmother’s album, which contains images from Fighting Creek, Idaho, the place her parents homesteaded in 1911 (they actually won a land lottery), I stumbled upon the unusual photograph of a man in an early motorcar that I show below.  I called mom over and asked her if she recognized anyone in the photo, as I didn’t.  She said she didn’t either.

About mid-day I was talking to my aunt (mom’s sister) and briefly described the photo.  I described the guy as ‘wild looking’.  Well, my aunt said that there was once this guy with the name of Wild Willy or something that used to be a colorful character around the Spokane area.  I got curious about who this guy might be and why the unusually nice photo, for a photo taken in 1933, ended up in a family photo album.

So, I powered up Google’s image search feature and input a variety of search strings until I spotted a picture of a guy who looked like the guy sitting in the car.  The story accompanying the photo said his name was Willis Ray Willey and, while he didn’t have a jeep,  he had quite the unusual, adventurous story.  So, I thought I’d share a brief summary of it.

To read more about Willey, visit this article from Nostalgia Magazine. Willey reminds me of the Camel Man, who Hein ran into a few months ago in Australia.

In the picture above, we appear to have Willis Ray Willey in his 1904 REO, the first year that the Ranson E. Olds Automobile Company built a car.  This photo was taken in 1933 (note the ’33 on the license plate).  The photo is taken with the Monroe Street bridge and the Spokane Falls in the background.  Willey planned to drive this car from Spokane to the 1933/1934 World Fair in Chicago.

You’ll note that Willey is only wearing shorts.  It turns out that Willey was a sickly youngster.  After examining him, a doctor suggested that he improve his constitution by exposing himself to the elements.  So, over time, he reduced the clothes he wore, eventually only wearing shorts whether winter or summer.

Apparently, that did the trick, as he never got sick, at least not until he was on his trip to the Chicago World’s Fair.  See, it turned out that simply wearing shorts wasn’t very common practice and, in fact, wasn’t tolerated.  People complained when they saw him and police would arrest him, with many arrests occurring on his way to Chicago.  According to Nostalgia Magazine, he did make it to Chicago, where he was arrested again. However, this time they cut off his hair and beard and he promptly got sick and remained sick for 3 months.

Now in the photo above, you’ll note that along the side of the seat it reads “Postcards 3 for 25 cents”.  One of the ways Willey made money was by selling postcards of himself; I guess he recognized just how much of an oddity he was.

If you look below, you can see two of the postcards he sold.  One is of him on Treasure Island in San Francisco, with a dog, a coyote, a turtle and multiple possums (click on photo and scroll down to see closeups).  The other is of him ice skating at LIberty Lake (thanks Jerry).

Yes, quite the character indeed!

 
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Builds: Goose Fixes up His CJ-3B in only 4 Months

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Goose wrote me an email today, announcing he had finished the restoration of his CJ-3B.  Not only did he complete his budget-conscious restoration in only 4 months, but he also documented it in two different locations (see links below); not a trivial task!   He’s done a good amount of work in a short time and I think he’ll be happy with it for quite a while.  Well done Goose!

Goose writes, “Hey Dave. I finally got my jeep finished and wanted to share the story. I’ll include a couple pics with this email but feel free to pull any others down from the links below too. The first link is from thisoldjeep, which I discovered here and the second is from a site where I frequent due to my dirtbike passion.

http://thisoldjeep.21.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?t=578&highlight

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=949807

Here are a couple before images:

Here’s a midway point photo:

And a couple completed photos:

 
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A Crosley with a Mini Crane

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images • TAGS: .

Randy spotted this unusually equipped CrosleyHe spotted it in this USGS document.

 
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Builds: Jeremy Finds a New Project

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Jeremy discovered just the project he was hoping to find.  Congrats!  You can see he has already recruited an enthusiastic assistant!

Jeremy writes, I “Found this on eWillys.com – was listed as a 1942 GPW.  Sent my wife down yesterday and got it today.  Turns out to be a 1943, but the frame and engine match – I am really happy with this jeep.  Lots of original parts and the owner James was super nice.  James was insistant that he sell the jeep as a whole unit to someone who will restore it rather than part it out.  I guess he just had to wait for the right buyer.  Looking forward to a long restoration.”

 
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One of a Kind Trencher Mayfield, Ky eBay

• CATEGORIES: CJ-2A, Features, Fire/Police/Industry Vehicles • TAGS: , .

This poor jeep ….

“This is a real classic,early 40’s jeep with a Jeep-a-trench,nobody around here has never seen one,I turn the engine over by hand,the estate it came from he trenched there water lines, all the levers work.I think it is really unusally.The only other on e-bay is $5500 without the jeep it is very rare.Thank you  I have drop the price $500 will also consider offers this is for sale.I am droping the price another $500.Thank you”

View all the info on eBay

 
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Need Elbow Grease?

• CATEGORIES: Features

HOG spotted this funny buy.

“Ran out of Elbow Grease during that difficult project? Can’t get that lugnut off your wheel? Is that engine block just too darn heavy for your to pick up on your own? KaleCoAuto’s Elbow Grease is the perfect solution for you! Made from high quality synthetic materials, KaleCoAuto’s Elbow Grease is matched is without a peer!
WARNING: HARD WORK MAY LEAD TO INCREASED MUSCLE TONE AND BETTER OVERALL HEALTH. TO BE SAFE, YOU SHOULD USE AS LITTLE OF THIS PRODUCT AS POSSIBLE!”

http://kalecoauto.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=32&zenid=15p8o0pcavbi9mbkajl1ve7u14

 
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Some low rider flatties from the Phillipines

• CATEGORIES: Features, International, stainless/jewels

Following the stainless bodies last night, I figured I’d head to the Phillipines and find some non Jeepney, but equally interesting, flatties.  I didn’t have to search too hard for a good forum thread on what I’d call “low rider flatties”.  You can see the beginning of the thread here: tsikot.com or click on the pictures to get to the relevant page of the thread.

 
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Fire Jeeps from a Locomotive Site

• CATEGORIES: Features, Fire/Police/Industry Vehicles, toys

From the black and white image, and possibly others, this modeler built the model jeep below.

 
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Here are a Couple Cast Iron Jeep Toys

• CATEGORIES: Features, Fire/Police/Industry Vehicles, toys

Here are some cast iron toys from Mike Legeros’ Collection. The first one is a fire jeep. The second is a Brush Jeep. I’m not sure how large either toy is.

 
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Here’s a nice looking CJ-6 Fire Jeep

• CATEGORIES: CJ-6, Features, Fire/Police/Industry Vehicles • TAGS: .

From this website: http://www.tarheeljeep.org/tarblog/thejeep.html

Here’s a less featured CJ-6

 
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Red CJ-3B from Canada (I think)

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3B, Features, International

This looks real nice.  I’m pretty sure those speakers in the back aren’t factory!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFvFWGNr2mE&feature=related

 
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1913 Harley Video out of Canada

• CATEGORIES: Features

HOG forwarded this.  I know very little about older bikes, so it was interesting to see how complex starting one of these old machines was.

 
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Gary Spends some Time in the Snow

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

While out playing in the snow, Gary took some shots to share with us.  Looks beautiful Gary!

 
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Forward Control Article at Militarytrader.com

• CATEGORIES: Features

UPDATE: Jesse pointed out to me that the militarytrader article is actually a condensed version of a 9 page FC article that appeared in the October, 2001, issue number 87 of Military Vehicles Magazines (which is related to militarytrader.com).  He also notes that Fred Williams, who’s FC is pictured below, has long since moved to California and works as an editor for 4 WHEEL & OFFROAD Magazine.  So, it appears the editors did a quick editing of the original article and decided not to add any updated links.

However, I still believe that the editors are amiss not to include the FC Connection link in the resources and to point out that this is a condensed version of an original article.  I believe their readers would benefit from this information.

Click on the image below to read the recent article:

 
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A Baier Flatfender Ashtray and Lighter Woods Cross, Ut **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features, Unusual • TAGS: , .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $80.

Brett found this unusual (and perhaps commerative) lighter and ashtray.  I wanted to make sure and post this before it sold.  Note the red FC toy of some kind in the background as well.

“Interesting vintage WWII figural lighter. I believe it is a Willys Jeep pulling a small trailer that is the ashtray. I’m not sure if it’s made from steel or heavy cast aluminum. The tires are rubber and roll. The levers on the side, which look like door handles, make the lighter on the front of the hood pop up. On the top is a large medal that portrays the Berlin Blockade of the allied airlift of 1948-1949. The roof lifts up to reveal a compartment to hold cigarettes .. the short unfiltered type. Inside this compartment is the original paper label from the maker. W Baier ….. Ges. Gesch. The rest is in German, then US D 150078 patent pending. This Jeep is in very good condition, but there is a bit of oxidation on one side. The only piece missing is a small pole that would connect the trailer to the back of the Jeep. This Jeep is just one part of much larger collection. If you would like more information or pictures, feel free to contact me.”

 
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Builds: Ron nabs a Craigslist Find

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, Willys Trucks

A reader named Ron wrote me the other day.  He spotted a great deal on a restorable truck at a great price and now has a website with pics of the early work (I’ve included a couple pics below).  Click on the photogallery to see all the pics. Ron already has a 1971 CJ-5 and his son a 84 CJ-8;  you can see pics of those vehicles in the photogallery as well. Congrats on the find and good luck with the rebuild!

Ron writes, “We are in the middle of the off frame restoration of the 61 Willys. It was purchased new in 61 by a lady with a farm in Connecticut. She ordered it with a snow plow and a hydraulic dump bed. It only has 22,000 miles. I bought it from her grandson.”

Here’s the truck before restoration.  It looks like a good starting point.

Here’s a look at how the rear of the dump bed frame looks.

And here’s a closeup of the dump mechanism.

 
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Another Pic of the San Juan Scenic Jeep Tours

• CATEGORIES: Features, Fire/Police/Industry Vehicles, Old Images, Willys Wagons • TAGS: .

From Craig’s (from thefcconnection) never ending collection of unusual Jeep images comes this rare shot of the San Juan Scenic Jeep Tour Wagon convertibles.  Jesse forwarded this image to me along with a snapshot of an uncompleted transformation of a Wagon the company had partly modified.  You can see the earlier San Juan post here.

Technically, it was Dave Beamis who was modifying the wagon.  He worked for San Juan Tours years ago.  Dave would go on to start Crystal River Tours and his son, Dave Beamis, started and runs Crystal River Lodge with his brother.

Jesse reports, “all of the Scenic and Crystal River Tours FCs and Wagon Jeeps were repowered while in service, because of the altitude and amount of weight of the passengers, they removed the flathead Hurricane 6 and replaced it with the Chevy 250 or 292 inline 6 engines, with an adapter.”

Here’s the picture from Craig:

From Jesse is the image of an in-progress convertible wagon.  Jesse notes, “this a picture of another wagon body that I bought. It was there, it was cut, but never hammer welded to be finished, Dennis said that when one was wrecked they would have extra bodies to replace on the running chassis. Notice this was on a 4×2 frame.”

 
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Pete Enjoys the Snow in his Wagon

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

During out last snow storm, Pete got out in his wagon.  You can check out the video below (or visit his Old Willys Forum here).

 
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Jeep Transport from the 1940s

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

Here’s a great old image of a transport truck Blaine spotted.  He saw it at Just-a-car-guys websiteI also found another image there as well.

 
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Happy 17th Birthday Chris

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Over the past year and a half Chris (from Mossy Rock, Wa) and I have been trading emails every-so-often as he works his way through his flat fender project.  He recently figured out how to work with some bondo; he also tried his hand at using Herculiner.  You can see the results below.   It’s a bit of a trial and error process for him, but he’s making good progress.

January 1st is his birthday, so have a great birthday Chris and keep the pics coming!

 
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The Jerry Can Tool Box

• CATEGORIES: Features, Parts

Maggie mentioned to me that she was searching for a Jerry Can Tool Box someone built and displayed on line.  With a little searching we tracked it down to Jeepforum.com.  I’ve included two pics of it below.  You can see all the pics here.

 
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Jeepster in Tahiti

• CATEGORIES: Features, Jeepster, Old Images

Alex forwarded this picture of a Jeepster in Tahiti taken in 1951.  As far as I’m concerned, any excuse to show a picture of Tahiti is a good excuse in my book!

 
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Colin Provides Some Updates

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Colin provided a couple updates.  He’s got a new top for his Surrey and his son, Lee,  got their CJ-2A project running for the first time.

Colin writes, “I had a new top put on the Surrey.  Here are a couple of photos of it.  I also attached a couple of photos of our project 1952 CJ3A that is nearing completion. It has a CJ2A windshield and is now 12V with upgraded larger 11″ brakes.It still has the L-134 4 banger, but also sports an electric winch, custom built rollbar and custom bikini top.   These were taken the first time we fired it up..it ran like a Swiss watch!”