Features Research Archives

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Robin’s Willys Truck with a Tow Package

• CATEGORIES: Features, Willys Trucks

Robin spotted this nifty truck with a rare towing package.  He has shared a bunch of pictures on Flickr.  Here are a few below.  Cool truck!


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M&M Flattie

• CATEGORIES: Features, toys

Ann bought me this M&M Jeep from the M&M store when we were at Times Square (the last one there).  While a cool little toy, it seemed a bit overpriced until I spotted the same toy at Amazon.com for TWICE the retail price! http://www.amazon.com/Military-Vehicle-Candy-Dispenser-Jeep/dp/B002XOBIWU

For a better price, go straight to the online M&M store

Ann was having fun, too

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Anyone have Deestone D503 Tire experience?

• CATEGORIES: Features, Tires and Rims

Greg wrote me with a question for readers.

“Been researching tires for my Dad’s CJ3A restoration project lately. The closest thing I’ve found to a mid-sixties style mud tire that he want’s to use is a Deestone D503. Just wondering if anyone has any experience with this tire (7.00 x 15), or perhaps has a more economical or even modern tire with similar tread characteristics. For our purposes with this jeep, visual is as important as off road performance. Oh, price is a consideration too. These retail for around $130-145, plus tubes, mounting, shipping, etc etc. One issue I’m having with this tire at the moment is the diameter.   29.8″ versus the 26 or 27″ it’ll replace.   I’m ok with slightly larger, but I worry about getting too big.”


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George Carpenter’s Peep Adventure

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old News Articles

Howard wrote to me this morning, sharing the news that his father George passed away yesterday.  In remembrance, Howard wanted to share an article from Stars and Stripes about the time his father jumped out of a jeep just before it was shelled. You can read the article below.  He noted that his father always referred to the jeep as a peep, even the Wranglers!

Howard writes that his father George was “an advanced scout in A Troop, 94th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized) of the 14th Armored Division. They earned the official designation of “The Liberators” because they liberated about 200,000 allied POWs from German prison camps, as well as several concentration camps. It’s interesting reading if you ever have time to google it, as is their involvement in the Battle of Hatten-Rittershoffen.”

I asked him if they had jeeps while Howard was growing up. He wrote, “We never had Jeeps growing up, though he always mentioned them when we saw one. My 18-year-old son got a beat up 1989 YJ a couple of years ago, and even through his Alzheimer’s Disease my father would enjoy riding with no top or doors and would always mention driving across Germany in one. My son has developed a strong interest and is reading up on restoration, and has said he intends to always keep a project going on when he gets out of college. I guess that means he’ll always stay broke!”

So, this post is a tribute to George.


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1948 Willys Custom Wagon Virginia Beach, Va eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Jeep Rods, Willys Wagons • TAGS: .

UPDATE:  Back on eBay

(08/15/2011) They never built them like this!

“You are bidding on the the most amazing Willys Woodie Wagon for sale today.  This Woodie is drop dead gorgeous and demands all of the attention everywhere it goes.  Below is a list of items detailing the Woodie:

  • Constant show winner – Trophy winner every show
  • 1 of a kind custom build street rod
  • Well over $75,000 to build this show winner
  • Draws a crowd whenever we take this rod out for shows or cruise – From 5 years old to 95 years old they all love it
  • GM 350 V8 engine
  • GM 350 transmission (automatic)
  • Custom air ride on all 4 wheels (MFG  by Air Ride technologies)
  • Vintage Air Conditioning (Ice cold)
  • VDO gauges
  • Colorado custom steering wheel
  • Ron Francis wiring
  • Ididit tilt steering column
  • Power front disc brakes – Rear drums
  • Custom seats, interior and rear wood headliner over $8000
  • Custom dual exhaust
  • Dash mounted view finder by Guide
  • Custom surfboard rear view mirror (inside) with dual tear drop outside mirrors
  • Custom 18 inch wheels with spinners (custom built)
  • 4 new 265/35/18 Bridgestone radials
  • Billett valve covers and chrome accessories
  • Custom made old school air cleaner
  • Custom painted pin stripping with flames
  • Custom molded running boards
  • Custom 2 piece windshield with all new molding
  • Custom LED rear tail lights and brake lights
  • Canvas tan roof with ribs
  • Custom made roof racks for shows and display

This is by far one of the finest street rods I have ever owned.  There is no way that you could build this woody for the buy it now price of this auction.  We will provide free delivery with our truck within 375 miles of Virginia Beach, VA 23456.  You can buy in confidence as I have a 100% feedback score and have delivered vehicles sight unsen all over the world.  I have many return buyers from Ebay and I don’t plan on changing my reputation anytime soon.  If you have any questions regarding this auction please feel free to call me at 757-675-0288.  Good luck and happy bidding!”



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Roberto’s Latest Drawing

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features • TAGS: .

Roberto forwarded his latest drawing to me.  I think he had a lot of fun drawing this one!

He wrote, “It´s a a cartel or poster drawn for the 18th International Meeting of Classic Military Vehicles of the Guixaró 2012, Catalonia, Spain, organized by the Classic Motor Club of the Bages, Catalonia, Spain. I call it “Where is Willys?”…Obviously, after the influence of “Where´s Wally?” art.”


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More New Mexico Scams

• CATEGORIES: Features

Mike reports that the Albuquerque scams are back.  He reports that he “responded yesterday to an ad (too good to be true) for a running flattie 1940’s jeep with pto winch for $500 located outside of ABQ., NM. (just needed a tuneup and minor radiator repair)”  After he emailed the seller, the post/scam was quickly pulled.  So, if you see something ridiculous coming from that area, please report it.

Thanks Mike!

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1946? Ford? Jeepster West Valley City, Ut **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features, Jeepster, Unusual

UPDATE: Bob from Ohio bought this.  I can’t wait to hear more about it.  Was listed at $1000.

Bob forwarded this to me via the CJ-2A Page. It’s an odd duck. I am thinking it it is a shortened Jeepster on a CJ frame.

“46 Ford Jeepster a one of a kid. Needs a lot of work but has a lot of potential. I bought the car 16 years ago and haven’t had the time or money to get it restored. It has some transmission problems and other minor problems, dead battery, etc. Has new tires. I need to sell it as soon as possible and the price is negotiable..”

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A Couple Willys Trucks

• CATEGORIES: Camping, Features, Unusual, Willys Trucks

Robin emailed me the other day asking how rare Willys trucks with tow packages are.  Before answering her question, I did some searches to make sure my answer, which was yes, was correct.  That’s when I came across these two pictures.  One is a beautiful Willys Tow Truck and the other is entirely odd ball.

This is a picture that is being auctioned on eBay:

This image was taken by Randy Brown on February of 2010:

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Snow Blows

• CATEGORIES: Features

The last hour of our 31 hour drive from Long Island to Rapid City, SD, was the longest of our trip.  The running joke between Ann and I was that the weather always seemed worst when i was driving.  Well, this time she took the brunt of the bad driving.  With 45 minutes left as we drove into the hills on I-90  just before Rapid City, the snow started falling hard.  With temperatures hovering around 27 degrees, the snow stuck immediately.  The closer we got to Rapid City, the more the snow fell and the snowier the freeway became.  Every mile got worse as the freeway turned white; snow rules were the norm and ‘lanes’ vanished.  We were happy to arrive, tired, rummy, and ready to sleep.

Once we arrived at the motel, after talking with travelers coming from Montana and Wyoming, coupled with reports that it would snow heavy on Saturday, we booked a room for two nights.  So, after two days of racing west hoping to miss the snow, instead we find ourselves buried under it for the next two days.  But, it’s not so bad being trapped in a motel room with Ann …. below is the view out our window.

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History Czar Interview

• CATEGORIES: Features

For his 100th podcast, the History Czar, Paul Bruno, interviewed me last weekend while Ann and I were at Niagara Falls. We discussed a variety of topics during our 48 minute conversation, including my upcoming book, eWillys, my background, and our mutual frustration regarding a jeep museum, or lack thereof.   (The site containing the interview is no longer available).

During our conversation, Paul kindly labeled me a jeep historian; pre-eminent was his adjective of choice.  However, there are many expert jeep nuts out there who know more than I, so don’t let all his kind words fool you:  I’m still learning!

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Overnight with Andy and Wallis

• CATEGORIES: Features

On Sunday night, after our brush with the law at the NYC’s water reservoir, Ann and I stopped in the Catskills to spend the night with Andy and Wallis.  Andy has a few jeeps he wanted to share with me, but we got there too late to look around, so we went down to a local restaurant for a few drinks and some delicious dinner, before returning to the cabin.

Our nightcap for the evening was to watch an episode of Pan Am, because Andy had just sold a jeep to them for use in an episode of the show.  If you watch the episode, you can spot the M-38A1D (the identifier is its unique passenger side piece that runs around the top side rim along the rear of the body).  Here is an example of a stock M-38A1D.

Only a few minutes away from the that start of the tv show that featured the jeep, the power in the cabin suddenly shutdown.  There seemed no cause for the power outage.  We heard no wind, saw no rain, and experienced no weather problems at all.  Sure the power would come back on, said Andy and Wallis, just wait a few minutes.  So, we waited five minutes, then ten minutes, and longer.  While Wallis and Andy apologized, Ann and I were perfectly happy, as it was quiet and peaceful, with the flicker of candles and the fireplace firelight filling the rooms.  Eventually, we gave up  waiting for the power and went to the sleep.

In the middle of the night, power (and civilization) returned, with the tv and the lights powering on.  So, we shut down the lights and tv and went back to sleep.

The next morning Andy took us over to Terry’s Jeep Farm, a visit I highlighted yesterday. When we returned to his place, he showed me a few of his jeeps.  Below are a few pictures from the tour.  I’ve also included a link to the 11/13/2011 tv show of Pan Am.  Thanks to both Andy and Wallis for their hospitality!!

http://beta.abc.go.com/shows/pan-am (click on 11/13/2011 video)

Here’s Andy and I in his property cart, a really handy way to get around.

Here’s a nice original piece of Ford Windshield Glass

Based on feedback he has received, Andy believes this GPW had a top added during the Korean War by the motor pool to turn it into an Ambulance.  Andy had this for sale back in October, but it didn’t sell a the price Andy wanted.

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Bobcat Fiberglass CJ-3B Body Eatonville, WA **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Body Parts, CJ-3B, Features • TAGS: , .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $2200.

This strikes me as a Bobcat body?  Whichever it is, it is rare.

“Willys Jeep high hood fiberglass body, hood & grill. Never used $2200.00 Call Tom 253-307-0374”

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The Forecast is … Rain

• CATEGORIES: Features

It seems the weather gods are attempting to thwart our nice, though quick, tour of Manhattan.  For the moment we are hanging out in the Trump Tower Starbucks.  I’m sipping some hot chocolate and Ann is enjoying some kind of coffee mixture.  Hopefully, the rain will let up soon for the remainder of our trek to my great aunt’s, where we will spend the night and share pictures.

No updates tonight.  Probably none until Thursday evening late.  Here we are in Times Square.

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Almost to the Eastern Most Point of Our Trip

• CATEGORIES: Features

We have almost reached the eastern most point of our trip, Madison, Ct. We are almost at the 3700 mile mark.  In fact, we are just about out of land, so I guess that means it is time to turn around and head east again.  I still have reports to file about my visit with Terry, Andy, and Wallis, so stay tuned for more updates.  Here are a few random pictures from the past few days:


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Bruder Flatfender Toy

• CATEGORIES: Features, toys

On Saturday, in between cruising a few stores at the Eastview Mall in PIttsford, NY, and riding the carousel, I spotted this Christmas ready flattie at their toy store.

I had never ridden a two story carousel, so I Ann and I hopped aboard for a ride and a picture.


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Busted at the NYC Reservoir

• CATEGORIES: Features

We have emerged from the Catskills and are plugged back into the virtual world.  I have several updates to provide, but first i have to catch up on emails and review more than 700 photos shot by Ann in the last two days to prepare for another round of family history photos on Tuesday.

I managed to receive my second warning of the trip.  It all started with Ann asking me to stop so we could take a picture near the water.  It turns out that water isn’t any old water hole; instead, it is New York City’s main source of water.  And, it turns out, they are mighty protective of that water.  But, there weren’t any fences and there were a lot of little row boats littering the beach.  So, we thought, for the picture, we would be ok … below is the picture of us and a picture of me and the police while they wrote us both a warning.  To the officer’s credit, they were professional and even apologized for writing the warnings.  I guess they quickly concluded we were clueless tourists on a road trip.  I even gave one a card in hopes they’d drop by the website.

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Jeepneys in Manilla

• CATEGORIES: Features

UPDATE II:  We spent last night at Andy’s place in the Catskills. Just as I posted this the power went out, remaining out most of the night.  Once again, I was without power and cell service so updates came to a halt.  I am thinking some higher power didn’t want me doing updates yesterday ….

UPDATE: Well, this was supposed to post this afternoon, but it turns out that there isn’t much broadband cellular service while driving through the catskills.  Then, once I did get service, I got through a variety of updates.  Unfortunately, my computer battery ran out just before finishing this last post.  Not to be deterred, I tried to use my power converter.  I plugged into the cigarette lighter only to discover the converter had blown a fuse.  sigh … but, I’m back up now.

Alex reports that Jeepneys are alive and well in Manila.  Here are some pictures from this week.  Thanks Alex!

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Overnight in Akron, Ohio, with Bob and Mindy

• CATEGORIES: Features

We stayed the night with Bob & Mindy Christy on Thursday night in Akron, Oh.  They were delightful hosts, sharing their stories, food and cats with us.  They even scheduled a possum to come into their breezeway to add some excitement to the evening.

Bob & Mindy gave us the full tour of their place, including a tool tour.  My favorite tool wasn’t in the garage. Instead, it was Bob’s hand operated meat slicer from the 1950s.  I loved it!

Their love for jeeps is evident, with toys, calendars and pictures of them on many of the rustic wood walls of their cabin-like house.  In fact, they both worked on their beloved CJ-3B jeep, ‘Gertrude’, restoring it in time  for their wedding about a decade ago.  At the end of their wedding they drove away in it.  Positioned proudly over their fireplace mantel is a wedding picture of them next to it.

Their friends Bob and Brenda eventually joined us and we all went out to dinner at their favorite restaurant, the Falcon.  On the way we discovered that Ann and Bob had the same job in the Air Force, so talk quickly shifted to comparing notes on all kinds of things that went over my head.

Once we arrived at the restaurant, we enjoyed a fine meal. One of their specialties is the falcon burger, but I was disappointed to learn there was no actual falcon meat used to make it.

When we returned, Bob (of Bob and Brenda) pulled out a stack of 4WD catalogs freshly printed.  Gertrude recently made the cover of the Vintage Jeep 4WD Catalog.  Below is a picture of the catalog with me on the left and Bob on the right and Gertrude in the background and on the Catalog.  Many thanks to Bob and Mindy for their hospitality!!


After leaving Bob and Mindy we traveled north to North Tonawanda, where we stopped by the local Museum.  The museum is a work in progress.  We stopped to learn how far the museum has come in developing its Wurlitzer collection, as my Great Great Grandfather is Rudolph Wurlitzer.  We learned that they hope to have an area devoted to the Wurlitzer family and the Wurlitzer Piano and Organ Company by December.  The head of the museum was kind enough to take us ‘in back’ and give us a special tour.

From there, we drove to Niagara Falls to see it at night.  The lights were very cool and we used up all kinds of digital space shooting picture after picture!  Today we head towards Rochester for more family research.  The picture below shows the city of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, in the background and the falls to the left.  Changing colors of  lights from Canada shine onto the falls, illuminating them in different ways.  At 9pm, those crazy Canadians started launching fireworks, too.  Though chilly, it was a beautiful night!

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Someone is Having a Bad Day

• CATEGORIES: Features

We just drove by this.  It’s a bad day for someone.

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Happy ‘Kiss a Veteran’ Day (Friday)

• CATEGORIES: Features

Tomorrow (Friday Nov 11th) is ‘Kiss a Veteran’ Day.  At least, that is what Ann tells me.  Having served in the Air Force and been blown up during a terrorist bombing, I will take her word for what Veteran’s day should mean.

Ann is a survivor of the 1996 Khobar Tower blast.  She had just come inside from playing volleyball during some downtime and was sitting against a wall in the apartment (where the arrow points in the picture to the right) when a  driver neared the building with a truck, jumped out, and started to walk away. The threat was recognized immediately, but not everyone could be warned in time.  The bomb exploded. Ann’s fellow volleyball players were killed, along with the terrorist. Despite being inside the apartment, the explosion left her with lingering physical issues, but never damaged her spirit.  So, find a veteran, kiss them, and thank them.  I promise to do my part.


I haven’t seen a classic jeep in two days.  I think I am getting the shakes.  Fortunately, we are headed to Bob’s where I can get my fix.  The Willys sickness is unforgiving.

We spent last night in Cincinnati.  I liked the town enough that I’d like to go back some time.  The Cincinnati Art Museum was particularly nice, as was Eden Park which surrounds the museum.  While in Cincinnati, I also got lost once, which lead me to Kentucky.  After quickly turning around and then turning on the GPS, we found our way back into the city.

In addition, I managed to run only one red light the entire time driving in the city.  But, as I pleaded to Ann, after running through it and then almost missing my exit, it wasn’t my fault because the car in front of me also badly ran the light and I was just following that car.  And, in my defense, the lights were positioned oddly in the intersection, so they weren’t very obvious.

Now, if my mother read the above paragraph, she might just be getting a little nervous.  Because, only two days ago I called her and asked where her insurance card was.  She immediately realized that I had been stopped for speeding.  I escaped with just a warning, because, again in my defense, I thought I was only going 79 in a 75, but the very understanding officer clocked me at 82.  Then, the officer educated me on driving in Nebraska.  He told me that Nebraska had zero-tolerance for speeding, so vehicles traveling at any speed over 75 would be stopped.  I wanted to inform him that many states in the West have a softer stance on speeding, but thought that wound’t go over so well.  Instead, I thanked him for the information and we proceeded at 75 for the remainder of Nebraska.

Don’t worry mom, we are having a great time and the car is safe!


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Heading for Greenville, Oh

• CATEGORIES: Features

Yesterday we drove, through rain, winds, and fog, from North Platte, Ne, to Springfield, Il, where we spent the night.  Today we got up to more gray skies and winds.  Fortunately, our purpose there was to spend time in the Lincoln Memorial Museum, so we didn’t have to worry about the weather.  However, we found a different storm inside the museum:  classes of young teenagers running, talking and noisily exploring the museum.  Some were paying attention to the things they saw, others weren’t.  Our favorite quote of the day came from a teenage girl who thought the re-enactment of the Lincoln’s showing in the Capitol following his assassination had a coffin containing the body of Washington rather than Lincoln.  Ann and I looked at each other rolled our eyes and walked onward.

However, apart from the noise, the museum itself was creative and interesting.  The hall of voices was particularly interesting.  The exhibit was designed to show how many differing voices Lincoln faced when deciding how to deal with the Emancipation issue.

Tonight we will head for Ann’s great aunt’s house.

Below is the Lincoln Museum and Lincoln Library.

That Lincoln gets all the women ….

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2004 Jeep Wrangler – Willys Edition

• CATEGORIES: Features, Other 4x4s

I admit I don’t pay too much attention to the new jeeps, so I was surprised as Bob to hear about the ‘Willys Edition’ Wrangler.  I figured others might not have known about it either.  You can learn more about them here.

Here is one of them for sale: http://cosprings.craigslist.org/cto/2667511424.html

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Roberto’s Canvas Heads to South Carolina

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features, videos • TAGS: .

Roberto took a video of the canvas he created. It is now being shipped to South Carolina.  You can see how he illustrated it here.


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Gray, Drizzly day on the Road

• CATEGORIES: Features

It is a gray, drizzly day on I-80.  We are approaching Omaha, Nebraska, where we will sell a camera lense, grab some lunch, head south on I-29 and then across on highway 36 through Missouri in hopes of reaching Springfield, Illinois tonight.  Tomorrow, Nov 9th, we will visit the Lincoln Presidential Museum, because according to Ann, it is one of the best Museums she has visited.  She also can see some potential in leveraging some of their ideas for a jeep museum. On Nov 10th we will land at Bob’s, who will put us weary travelers up for the night.  The next day we head for Tonowanda, NY.

My intrepid co-pilot spotted this horse walking across the road. She pulled quickly to the side, so I could get the shot.  You just don’t see that everyday.