Features Research Archives

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1939 Pontiac Deluxe Six “Ghost Car”

• CATEGORIES: Features

Gerald forwarded me an email about this unusual car.  Built for the 1940 World Fair, this transparent 1939 Pontiac Deluxe Six was sold at auction for $388,000 in the summer of 2011. This is the first time I’ve seen it.  You can read more at Hemmings:


“The 1939 Pontiac Deluxe Six “Ghost Car,” first displayed at the New York World’s Fair and later at the Smithsonian Institution, was sold Saturday for $308,000.

Originally built for $25,000, the car with a Plexiglas body was the first transparent car built in America . Another was built the following year, but its whereabouts are unknown.

“This is the only one known to exist,” said Alain Squindo, a car specialist for RM Auctions, which held the auction for the “Ghost Car” and other specialty vehicles in Plymouth , Mich. “It’s a very original car.”

The Ghost Car was first displayed at the 1939/1940 New York World’s Fair, Squindo said. It toured a number of dealerships, and then was at the Smithsonian in Washington , D.C. for a number of years.

It has been owned by the same family since the 1980s. “They were rather sad to see their beloved car go,” Squindo said. He could not disclose the name of the buyer.

The car has 86 miles on it, picked up by being driven in and out of dealerships for displays. It was a collaboration between GM and Rohm & Haas chemical company, which made the Plexiglas. Structural metal underneath was given a copper wash and all hardware, including the dashboard was chrome-plated.”


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MB in a Swedish Marshland

• CATEGORIES: Features

UPDATE:  It turns out this picture is from the book “Jeepen i Sverige”.  I discovered this connection on a thread at G503.com.

Here are some more pictures from the “Jeepen i Sverige”:  http://cj3b.info/Finds/FindsSweden.html (looks like a very interesting book!)
Original Post 04/28/2012:
Buz discovered this image on FLICKR.  Despite looking like a ww2 photo, this was taken in 2008 by ‘Magnus’.  According to the caption, the Willys MB lies in a marshland in a forest, “it was dumped there on the ice during winter, in hope that it would sink in the summer.”  This is somewhere in Sweden.  It sure looks like there are salvageable parts on it.

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Kevin’s Moab Odyssey Begins …

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, Willys Wagons

Two and a half years ago Kevin purchased a solid fixer-upper wagon out of Conifer, Co, that he saw on eWillys and had it shipped to Georgia.  Despite battling a few health issues, Kevin managed to complete his wagon build.  Even better, in one week he expects to embark on a trip to a place he’d never heard of prior to launching his build; he’s headed to Moab, Ut, for the 3rd Annual Willys Overland Rally.

Not only does he have a chance to share this adventure with his children, but he also plans to adapt his wagon so that his daughter, who uses a wheelchair, can “get some gravel in her travel”.

I hope you have a grand adventure Kevin! Congrats on your wagon!

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Hot Rod or Drag Jeep from Cali

• CATEGORIES: Features, Jeep Rods, Racing • TAGS: .

Buz spotted this flatfender online from the 2012 Good Guys Del Mar car show.  I’m not sure if this is a drag or just a hot rod jeep.


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Jeep Drawing by David McMullen

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features

I spotted this neat little drawing by David McMullen over at Sun Compass, which has a page about the Rat Patrol.


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Another cool flattie from R&P

• CATEGORIES: Books, Features

John, from R&P 4WD, forwarded another neat flattie.

John writes, “Steve, our resident AT/wiring guru has had this in one of the back bays for the last year.  The pictures don’t do any justice to the super slick paint job on the frame.  Boxed and stretched frame (8″ in the front horns), small block Ford, C4 automatic, Model 18 TC, and an overdrive from Herm.  Here’s the reallt slick part, Jeep XJ rear leaf springs, under all 4 corners.  R&P Dana 44 front, with disc brakes, and a R&P full floater kit in the rear, with 11″ drums.”

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Nice Flattie Build

• CATEGORIES: Builds, CJ-3A, Features

John from R&P 4WD forwarded pics of his customer’s nice flattie build. It has YJ SOA, R&P High Pinion Dana 44’s front and rear, Buick V6, GM SM 420, Dana Model 20, crusing around on 35″ rubber..

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Custom RC Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, Models, toys

Jerry spotted this at the scale4x4rc.org forums.


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Pontoon Bridge over the River Po

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images • TAGS: .

According to the Denver Public Library’s Digital Archives, this photo “Shows pontoon bridge over the River Po. Two Tenth Mountain Division soldiers drive a jeep loaded with boxes. Four more loaded jeeps drive through a cut in an embankment. Twelve soldiers sit nearby or stand ready to work near the bridge. Italian citizens and more soldiers sit at the top of the cut and watch the passing convoy. Many of the Italians have bicycles with them.”


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Gary Updates his CJ-5

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Gary forwarded these updates on his CJ-5.  See an earlier post about his jeep here.

“I first want to say the NP435 transmission was a challenge but it was worth the work. It shifts very well. I like the extra low first gear and reverse. In one of the pictures you can see the transmission cover with cup holders I made. I took and modified an electrical box and covered it with spray on bed liner then, I used the same boot that I had on my T90.

I decided to go back with stock manifold on my exhaust. Lawrence uses a good method instead of using a Y-pipe he uses a dual flow muffler with two inlets and one outlet. I am much happier with this. It puts all the fumes out the back and is a lot quieter. I will send you a picture of the build Lawrence is working on which shows this application. After looking at his, I took my Jeep to the same muffler shop and ordered a duplicate.

The master cylinder reservoir works nice as well, you can see it on the driver side in one of the pictures.

I added a detachable Reece brand tow bar, the brackets are on the front bumper.

I am finished working on it until cold weather comes again. I have some axles out of a parts Jeep that have 3.73 gears. That will be my next project.”

Below is the exhaust system Lawrence has installed on his jeep.


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Ice Skating in East Tawas, Mi

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

Treb found this great old picture from East Tawas, Mi.  Great pic.  Kids, if you try this at home, don’t tell you parents you saw it here!

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DC’s CJ-3A/M38

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

DC bought this jeep back in November.  He’s spent sometime doing some updates and just got done taking some pictures.  It looks like a great little ride.  Enjoy it this summer DC!

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Mile High Jeep Club in Central City, Colorado

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums, Old Images Jeeping • TAGS: .

This great photo was shot August 14, 1965, and can be seen at the Denver Public Library Digital Collections.


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Jeep Pics at the Denver Public LIbrary

• CATEGORIES: Features, Library Collections, Museums, Old Images • TAGS: .

I was looking for something, can’t even remember what at the moment, when I ran across this picture of jeeps at a race in Cripple Creek, Colorado, on Hemmings.  That lead me to the Denver Public Library Digital Collections where I found a variety of pics.

Here is one image of kids on a jeep as part of a war bond effort.


Here is a second photo:


The caption on this photo notes these men are wounded vets and are touring the Gates Rubber Plant in Denver.


Here are some post war jeepers exploring mining areas in Colorado in the 1950s.


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Old Jeep Pics from Medellin, Colombia

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3B, CJ5, Features, Fire/Police/Industry Vehicles, trailer

Kerry spotted these pics on a friend’s facebook page.  They are part of the Fotos Antiquas de Medellin and may have come from this Facebook page.

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May 2012 Issue of Hot Rod Deluxe Magazine

• CATEGORIES: CJ-6, Features, Magazine, Old Images, Racing

Mark reports that the recent edition of Hot Rod Deluxe Magazine has a variety of jeep pictures in it.  Here are a couple.  I have yet to pick up my copy.

Mark writes, “Found this cool copy of Hot Rod Deluxe magazine – May 2012 edition while in Barnes and Noble the other day. This nice little gem features a ton of Willys cars, trucks and quite a few Willys Jeeps as well. See pics attached. Page 6 features the first Four Wheel Drive Grand Prix in 1965 with allot of Jeeps in the pic. Page 33 features Bob Panella’s huge collection of Willys cars and trucks. Scattered throughout the rest of the pages you will find race jeeps and tricked out jeeps from back in the day which are pretty cool.”

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Nicely Shaped Aluminum Body for Willys Sedan

• CATEGORIES: Features, Unusual • TAGS: , .

This has nothing to do with jeeps, but Steve forwarded it thinking I might like it.  I did.  I figured some of you would too.

According to the attached text of the email, “Check this out… a hand-formed all-aluminum Willys Coupe! It’s amazing what some people can do with an English rolling wheel, sheet metal brake and a lot of skill and knowledge. No, he is not going to paint it.  I love the polished flames!  It’s got the right stuff under the hood, too! The hood scoop has yet to be installed in the photo below (Look closely). This is Walt Austin’s aluminum Willys coupe at Jim Hume’s shop, south of Bellingham , Washington.”

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Reader Builds — Paul’s 1944 MB

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, MB • TAGS: , .

UPDATE:  Paul just forwarded me a new video of his nicely modified flattie.  He first sent me pictures of his jeep back in 2008.  Below is the original post.


Published November 14th, 2008

Paul wrote to me the other day, professing he’s stricken with the dreaded flatfender disease.  I told him to take two pills and send me more pics in the morning.  Fortunately for all of us, he followed my advice and has sent me a variety of images of his labor of love for the past 3 decades.

Back in August of 1979, he innocently purchased a 1944 MB for only $800.  It was pretty much all original, worn out, but in running condition.

It didn’t take long for Paul to decide to make a few upgrades, changing the engine to a V-6, purchasing a new body, and more.  Then, at some point he decided the drive train needed updating, the tranny and transfercase should be swapped out, a bigger engine was needed, and the dreaded flatfender sickness had overtaken Paul.

The good news is that I believe the sickness has run it’s course, as he’s ended up with a beautiful jeep that will serve him well for years to come. Also, fortunately for Paul, he seems to encountered a disciplined form of the illness, as I don’t see 7 or 8 other flatfenders in various stages of disrepair out on the lawn :-).

You can view some additional pics of the tilting hood in this post.

Here are the specs:

Body: Acme all steel, replaced in 1980
Tilt front end:
all steel, tilts on a roll cage fabricated from ½” pipe
From a 2 wheel drive Jeep Dispatcher.  Frame is boxed, has dual shock mounts up front.  This is a much stronger frame than the original.
Roll cage:
custom made, mounts to frame in 6 places.  Seats mount to cage along with spare tire.
I started with the original 4 cylinder flat head, then an odd fire 225 V6, finally the Chevy V8Chevy 350, 4 bolt main, bored .030 to make 355 cubic inches.  Has all Eldelbrock aftermarket equipment including internals, aluminum heads and intake,  along withdual quad carbs.  The combination of 400 horsepower, short headers, and small glass pack mufflers, makes the thing sounds like a demon.
Turbo 350 with B&M shift kit and converter
Transfer Case:
Dana 20, Novak brand adapter
Differentials: Early 70’s Jeep, 3:73 gears.
Steering: Chevy column out of a Chevy Caprice along with Chevy manual box.  The crazy thing is that the two bolt hole spacing that held the column in the Chevy was the exact spacing needed in the Willys
Brakes: Chevy master cylinder along with swing pedal (out of a Chevy Vega), has updated 11” drums along with emergency brakes.
Seats: The tilt column makes it easier to get into the high sided bucket seats.  I lowered the seats down about 4″, and about 4″ to the rear by notching the body without making it look too butchered.

Some pics of the build process:

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Finding Virginia’s Magazine Review

• CATEGORIES: Features

My first ‘official’ reviewer, from Arches Magazine, took a look at Finding Virginia and had nothing but good things to say about it.  I’m very happy about the review and hope it leads to more sales!  The review was long and detailed.  Here is the final paragraph, which sums up the review well, even capturing one of my favorite poems, Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken:

You can read the entire review here.

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Pocket War Comics Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features

Here are some interesting jeep comics Buz found.  They were published in Pocket War Comics.  Pocket War Comics were published in Britain and, as the name suggest, were pocket sized.  I tried to find more information about them, but didn’t have any luck.

One great resource for this genre is http://pocketwarcomics.blogspot.com/.  These came from this same site from this link: http://pocketwarcomics.blogspot.com/2011/03/war-picture-library-99-spearhead.html

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@ Fort Lewis (now JBLM)

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

This morning’s updates have come directly from Fort Lewis, which is now known by the term JBLM (Joint Base Lewis-McChord).  Well, technically I’m at the VA hospital waiting on Ann, so  it might be more accurate to say I’m very near JBLM.  In commemoration of my visit, I thought I’d post a couple Fort Lewis related images.

From Ford42GPW comes this picture of a couple of soldiers from the 15th Infantry.  You can read more at the website.

Old Cars Weekly’s website published this overhead shot of the 15th infantry.  There are a couple different early jeeps in this picture.

The G503 website has this thread about a Ford GP and Bantam BRC-40

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Soldiers Guarding a Ship in Africa

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

I ran across this image the other day.  It’s a surreal composition. The AP Photo is part of a collection of 45 pictures from Africa published on the Atlantic Monthly’s website.  View all the amazing photos here.

According to the caption, “A U.S. army soldier with a sub-machine gun and another in a jeep guard the looming S. S. Partos which was damaged and had capsized against the dock when the Allies landed at the North African port, in 1942. (AP Photo)”

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Paratroopers and Paratrooper Vehicles in Carentan, France

• CATEGORIES: Features, International, Museums, Website

Jeff was vacationing in France and Belgium when he ran across two businesses located in Carentan:  Paratrooper and Paratrooper Vehicles.  He thought I might have known about them, but nope I did not know about them.  Carentan is a small rural town near the north-eastern base of the French Cotentin Peninsula in Normandy.  If anyone else has been here (or can translate the website better than I), feel free to comment!

Jeff writes, “I was just in northern France and Belgium with the family on vacation and was in the Normandy area which incorporated a D-Day beach tour. Stayed in Carentan and came across Paratrooper. I am sure you may have known about them. I visited both businesses which are in different locations. I took some photos of the restoration location, Paratrooper Vehicles and thought you would like to see them.”

Thanks for taking these.  I will add this to my list of must visit places when we do our Great European Jeep Tour.  When are we doing this tour?  I’m hoping in time for the the 70th anniversary of DDay.

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A Fire Truck from Kvalsund, Norway kr45,000

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

Here’s a 1957 fire truck from Norway that is still in great shape.  This jeep is located in the far north of Norway.

Here’s the Norwegian ad (click here to translate):

Veteran/brannbil fra 1957 selges pga plassmangel. Flott bil og samleobjekt for den interesserte. I 2011 ble den kjørt fra Sarpsborg til Hammerfest uten et feilslag, Har desverre ikke tatt bilder innvendig men di kommer om noen dager det er tank i bilen tror det er plast nyere rør og kuleventiler følger med en bensindrevet pumpe til å kjøre trykk fra tanken, det er slangetrommel i bilen og to sitteplasser helt bak samt hjelm fra den tiden…har også satt inn 3 brannslukkere fra 60/70 tallet av typen Nu Swift bak i bilen, det er også gammeltypen hampslanger både 2 1/2 ” og 1 1/2″ med nord kupplinger.

Har tatt bilder under bilen og det er ikke rust, startet forøvrig på første forsøk etter å ha stått ute sin første vinter.  Har redusert prisen dersom hurtig avgjørelse på salg. Det er en 6 sylindra motor Flatsix Hurricane”


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Jeep Reef — I know, it’s not really a jeep, but it’s cool

• CATEGORIES: Features

Originally posted November 24, 2009

It’s been about four years since I last scuba’d in the Caribbean.   Getting my picture next to “Jeep Reef” in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park would be a great next dive.  Note to self:  Book trip to Bahamas …. leave jeep at home.

According to this website, The Jeep Reef  “is one of the prettiest reefs you will ever see. The strong current that sweeps through this cut keeps the reef ‘s corals very healthy. This dive can only be done at slack tide because of the strong currents . It is in the middle of the Exumas Land & Sea Park, so you will find a very healthy population of fish. This dive site gets its name from a coral encrusted jeep that sits near the mooring.”