Features Research Archives

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1960s Harris Manufacturing Top and Doors

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features • TAGS: , .

UPDATE: The October 1962 issue of Four Wheeler Magazine included an ad for the Harris top and doors, along with an article.

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Originally Posted October 07, 2017: Here’s a rare Harris Dura-Door one-page brochure on eBay. This fiberglass half door produced out of Bakersfield, California, for CJ-5s was also advertised in Four Wheel Magazine (see ad at bottom).

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This ad appeared in several Four Wheeler issues, including the June 1966 issue. I’d have to guess that by 1966, Harris had dropped its soft top product and focused on the dura-doors for jeeps.

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1949 Photo Showing the Newgren Bush and Bog Harrow

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images, Old News Articles

A March 06, 1949, photo in the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph highlighted Newgren’s recently introduced bush and bog harrow. The Pittsburgh firm of Buyers Motors was promoting this piece of equipment and others as part of a product exhibition for Willys-Overland Motors dealers.

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The Spirit of Tomorrow

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old News Articles

As part of the development of this uniquely styled rear-engine car, in 1937 Basil (Barney) Oldfield built a prototype he called the “Jeep”. The “Jeep” sold him on the idea of a rear engine vehicle, so he  began development of a safer, more dependable vehicle built around the rear engine. Unlike Tucker’s rear-engine auto design, Barney’s “Spirit of Tomorrow”, completed in 1942, did not lead to a manufactured product. But, Barney did achieve his goals, as Ralph Nader approved of his vehicle, claiming it was roomier, safer, and had more visibility.

This September 05, 1967, article form the Victoria Colonist (Victoria, B.C.,) provides some good early history on the vehicle.

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The “Spirit of Tomorrow” still runs. This 2018 video interview provides additional information:

https://www.sookenewsmirror.com/community/spirit-of-tomorrow-car-still-turning-heads-after-76-years/

spirit-of-tomorrow-lores

 
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1944 “Invasion Scenes – Europe: British Troops” Video

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

The end of this video shows jeeps unloading, jeeps driving through a town, and a jeep navigating difficult terrain.

“L/Ss of soldiers talking to armed civilians on coastline. Various shots of man ploughing field with two ox. Several shots of war graves. Two men look at bullet holes in the helmet of which rests on grave. Various country scenes. Shots of soldiers looking out to see aided with binoculars. Various shots taken from landing craft approaching coast. L/S of jeeps coming ashore. Shots of jeeps moving through street of town. L/Ss of jeep being driven up steep mountain pass. M/Ss of soldier talking. More shots of jeep.”

 
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Jeopardy and a Jeep Book by Dorothy Rogers

• CATEGORIES: Books, Features, Women & Jeeps

UPDATE: Ashley Giordano has published a well-written synopsis of the book Jeopardy and a Jeep for Expedition Portal: https://expeditionportal.com/jeopardy-and-a-jeep-africa-conquered-by-two-women-professors/

She also shared this article from April 27, 1954, that was published in the Cape Argus newspaper out of South Africa:

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Published Feb 28, 2021: According to the November 24, 1957, issue of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, this book was published in November of 1957 (previously, the date hadn’t been clear).

The December 08, 1957, issue of the Birmingham News included an article on Dr. Rogers’ new book. Apparently, Rogers was a former teacher in Alabama.

Clipping from The Birmingham News - Newspapers.com

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Originally Published September 25, 2012:

Continue reading

 
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Kelly Manufacturing’s Safari and 23-Series Tops

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features • TAGS: , .

UPDATE: The September 1962 issue of Four Wheeler included a full page ad for its new hardtop and half-top designs. The magazine included both a full-page ad and a short article. Given this info, it looks like the top redesign was introduced during the summer of 1962.

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Originally Published July 7, 2020: Sometime in the early 1960s, Kelly Manufacturing altered the design of its angular full and half hardtops. The new tops eliminated some of the horizontal bevels and the flat back design for a slightly more elegant design; but, the tops did retain the angled top-side that was so recognizable (As I don’t have much knowledge on any interior changes, this post will stick to the major exterior differences) (See Kelly’s connection to Beck and Kemco and an early Kelly brochure) (Also see CJ-3B page Beck and Kelly histories)

Interestingly enough, Kelly branded the Flatfender  tops as 23-series, but not the CJ-5 tops. Here’s a 1962 Kelly brochure that highlights a wide variety of the rear-angled design for both the CJ-5 and the flatfenders, along with the model numbers:

1962-08-01-kelly-cabs-safari-cab-brochure2 1962-08-01-kelly-cabs-safari-cab-brochure3 1962-08-01-kelly-cabs-safari-cab-brochure4

To make the differences more clear, let’s take a look at the early Kelly design (these early hardtops were also marketed by the Berg’s as JeepKing hardtops). Notice the horizontal bevels along the driver’s side rear and on the rear latch. Also note the flat vertical back of the hardtop.

Continue reading

 
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Cardboard Display Jeep With Various Drinks

• CATEGORIES: Features

Dave Meyer posted this jeep-themed cardboard display to Facebook. It contained Body Armor, Monster, and other drinks. I believe he spotted this in Florida. Anyone else run across this?

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1944 “Invasion Scenes” Video

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

This silent collection of videos sent by John includes footage of a jeep carrying General Eisenhower.

“Several shots of the American soldiers clearing debris in heavily bombed area. Various shots of convoy of jeeps driving through town streets, heavily bombed buildings in background. Jeep stops and General Eisenhower (Ike) gets out of jeep and enters a house. Ike leaving house with several other officers. They stand on doorstep talking. There is a three star General with Ike, possibly General Bradley. Ike puts coat on and lights cigarette, he chats a bit more, gets into jeep and leaves.”

This silent video also contains a number of scenes featuring Eisenhower:

“Various shots of General Dwight D Eisenhower presenting medals to American soldiers. Ike gives them a shot pep talk. Shots of General Eisenhower and other senior officers looking over map.

Ike and others arrive in jeep. Different angle of medal presentation and Ike’s pep talk to the men. Eisenhower climbs into jeep and leaves.

Various shots of Eisenhower talking with American officers.

Various shots of American field artillery being fired.

Shots of Troops advancing behind tanks across field. Tanks move into wooded area, possibly an orchard. Soldiers follow up behind them.

American troops with a bulldozer crush a crashed German Messerschmitt ME 109 plane. CU American star symbol painted over German cross on small tank.

Various shots of building with German abandoned staff cars.

Various shots of the broken remains of German aircraft (possibly wooden mock ups) at captured airfield in France.”

 
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Kaiser Jeep Cafeteria Tray on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features

Chris spotted this Kaiser Jeep cafeteria tray on eBay. It’s price at $50, plus $30 shipping.

View all the information on ebay

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“Kaiser Motors Jeep Cafeteria Tray Toledo Vintage 1950s

Fiberglass Composite Material. Condition is “Used”

From the employee cafeteria Kaiser Jeep Assembly Plant in Toledo Ohio after the Kaiser & Willys Motors merger in the early 1950s

Unique piece of Auto Memorabilia Both SiLite trays and Jeep memorabilia items are both highly collectible

Marked of back by manufacture of the tray (white lettering hard to see in photo)

SiLite
Chicago Illinois USA
H-10″

 
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1952 Photo of Jeeps in an Issue of National Geographic

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine, Old Images

The January 1952 issue of National Geographic included an expansive article on the King Ranch in Texas, which at the time was America’s largest ranch. One of the photos included in the article showed a CJ-3A (in black) and a CJ-2A (in green) towing farm implements.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Justin Locke using Kodachrome.

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Circa 1945? Danish-Made British Paratrooper Jeeps on ebay

• CATEGORIES: Features, toys

Anyone know anything about these unusual wood carvings? The buy-it-now price is $140, but the seller will take offers. They don’t look very big, but look pretty interesting.

View all the information on eBay

“3 model Jeeps with British Paratroopers. Probably made just after WWII when British Soldiers were extremely popular in Denmark. No factory given. Could be kitchen made, or prison work.”

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Delaware Jeep Surf Fishing License Plate on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features

With tags dating to 2005, this used plate probably hasn’t been on a vehicle in a while.

View all the information on eBay

“Deleware Division Of Parks & Recreation Surf Fishing License Plate Jeep Willys. Condition is “Used”.”

delaware-jeep-license-plate

 
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1945 “Invasion Scenes” Video

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

There are multiple jeeps that appear in this video, but more interesting is how youthful the German prisoners look, some as young as young teens. It’s one thing to read about this, but another thing to see their faces.

“Various shots of civilian refugees walking along road, American Military Police on side of road. Various shots of boy soldiers (very young) marching along road with American jeep leading them. The boys sitting on railway platform. Several close up shots of boys talking to American soldier, eating, smiling to camera.

Several shots of American soldiers on a lorry on empty road, men firing at plane flying overhead.

Long shot of a small town with river in the middle and hills around.

Burning lorry on side of road, vehicles moving past. German prisoners being rounded – some women amongst them. Several shots of dead bodies scattered on ground. American soldiers search and question German women prisoners.”

 
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Year? Dictograph Ad Featuring Willys-Overland on ebay

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

This ad cites Willys-Overland’s use of the Dictograph as part of an advertising campaign. Given the war references, this was likely printed between 1942-1945.

View all the information on eBay

“This is a vintage original ad, not a copy or reproduction. Neatly removed from magazine. Would look beautiful framed. Measures 10 and 1/2 by 14 inches”

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Patterson’s “Bruise”

• CATEGORIES: Features

How did Patterson’s accident occur? It’s the result of a cascade of several events.

Patterson has sat for the better part of two years, which likely caused the fuel pump to stop working. Already knowing it didn’t work, and because I was going to have to drive it on the trailer on Saturday (loading a vehicle at my mother’s place is awkward due to the terrain), I tried to buy a cheap electric fuel pump on Friday, I found some $12 cheapy electric ones on Amazon, but it was too late to order off of Amazon, so I figured I could pick up a cheap one at AutoZone or NAPA. Right?

Wrong. The cheapest ones that had were $50 and up. Worse, they were eight inches or bigger. I just wanted a small, two inch fuel pump to get it on the trailer. Even worse, I have a brand new electric fuel pump somewhere; but, given the move, it’s impossible to find right now.

To complicate things, Ann was sick on Friday, so I had to take her mom in for her bi-weekly post-cancer infusions, so that ate up time I had hoped to use to hunt for an electric fuel pump. With time disappearing, I fell back onto an old school idea: rig up a gravity feed setup.

On Saturday morning I had planned to waked up at 3:30 am to head to Renton so I could build the gravity feed, get Patterson running (so it would be ready to load when Steve arrived with the car trailer, as we had a tight time table), and load a cargo trailer that I was towing. Unfortunately, I woke up at 1:30am and couldn’t get back to sleep. So, by the time I arrived in Renton at 7:00am, despite my coffee injection, I was already feeling a little tired.

My mother’s garage looks like it was destroyed by a tornado, but in reality, it’s her storage system (sorry mom). So, hunting down 1) extra fuel tubes and 2) a useable reservoir in which I could hold some gas proved difficult and frustrating. Eventually, I cut some hoses off of Biscuit and cobbled this device together:

gravity-feed

The “fuel overflow” container was a plastic Costco Mixed nuts container. A handy steel funnel was just wide enough to sit on the mouth of the container, yet had a perfectly sized opening at the bottom to slide into a rubber fuel line.

To put it together, I drilled a hole in the nuts container, then slid the rubber fuel line into the container, sealing it with silicone. Then, I used a steel fuel line and a second rubber hose to feed the carb. I then taped the whole assembly to the driver’s side mirror, which put it high enough to feed the gas into the carb, yet it hung over the side of the jeep so that gas wouldn’t spill onto the jeep.

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This shows the system before it was taped to the mirror.

With the system in place, I poured some gas into the funnel and Pattrerson started right up.

So far, so good.

However, I noticed that the brake and clutch were both really tight. If I push the brake, the clutch also went down. To get the clutch to release, I had to physically reach down and pull it up by hand. I didn’t have time to address this issue on Saturday morning, but figured I could work around it.

With the jeep in “neutral”, and me in the jeep, I released the clutch with my foot, but it remained depressed. I figured, given the jeep was in “neutral”, that I could exit the jeep, block the tires, and let it warm up a little. Before I exited the jeep, I double checked that the column shift transmission was in neutral by wiggling the shifter up and down.

I hopped out of the jeep, but before blocking the tire, I reached down to pull out the clutch (why, I don’t know why I felt the need to do that .. should have let sleeping dogs lie) …

Anyway, when I pulled out the clutch, instead of remaining in neutral, somehow the jeep was in reverse. Suddenly, with the clutch-plate engaged, Patterson began rapidly moving backwards.

It was a moment of horror, the realization that there’s nothing I can do but watch Patterson jerk backwards. And, at that moment, I realized the cargo trailer I had rented was Patterson’s prime target. Why Patterson took exception to the trailer isn’t clear, but he ran into that trailer with all that power he could muster (thankfully, he doesn’t have all that much power). Fortunately, the trailer stood its ground, with the only damage being a broken running light. Patterson definitely got the worst of it, sigh.

I suppose the good news is that Patterson was never a trailer queen. I can pull out the dents and fix the bumper.

The thing that haunted me for several hours was how it happened. I was sure I had it in neutral and had tested it several times. Eventually, as I was driving back to Prosser, it finally dawned on me that neutral on the column shifter was “back and forth”, not “up and down”. What I thought was neutral was the shifter moving between 1st and reverse. The gears were so well aligned that it just felt like neutral.

So, it was partly stupidity on my part and partly something that wouldn’t have happened had the clutch been working correctly and/or the fuel pump working correctly, as that had definitely been my focus.

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As Colin notes, this is a great excuse to upgrade my lights back to stock.

The next challenge is moving Biscuit….

 
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Newgren Plow and Parts Storrs, CT eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Parts

Ted’s got these parts for sale.

View all the information on eBay

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“Willys Jeep CJ2/3A VEC Farm Jeep Newgren Single Bottom Plow Front Counter Weight. Condition is “Used”.

For sale is a Willys Jeep specialized equipment combo consisting of a Newgren brand single bottom land plow and front counter weight. The Newgren brand plow was designed to be used on Willys Farm Jeeps equipped with either a Newgren , Monroe , love , or Stratton Three Point Hydraulic lift or Hitch on back of Jeep. The front weight was mounted on front of Jeep as a counter weight to any of the specialized equipment being used on rear of keep with hydraulic lift.

The front counter weight weighs 265 lbs roughly and is in great shape.

The Newgren single bottom plow is also in very good condition for its age with original Newgren serial number tag still intact. This original Willys specialized combo would be a great addition to any correct Farm Jeep restoration or working Jeep.

These items are way too heavy to be shipped so local pickup will be best, I’d be happy to store them for a reasonable time period once they are paid for

 
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1975 Wolverine Baja New Braunfels, TX **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features, M-151, Other 4x4s

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $8000.

(12/27/2020) I don’t know much about these or what these are worth. Here, it is described as an M-151A2, but I couldn’t verify that the model number was used to identify this. My guess is that it’s built on an M-151 chassis, but that could be wrong, too. It reminds me of the lightweight airborne jeeps.

“Baja Jeep military rebuilt engine needs alternator ,lights ,and tires rare keep Selling don’t have the time to fix it up to many projects message me for more info”

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This appears to be original, or close to original:

 
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2021 Spring Willys Reunion Photos

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features

Jonah Hodkins posted a bunch of pics from this year’s Willys Spring Reunion. You can see them all on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=1147017852392638&set=pcb.1147020379059052

Here are ten of them.

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Patterson’s in Prosser

• CATEGORIES: Features

Patterson arrived yesterday on Steve’s trailer (a big thanks to him), but things didn’t go smoothly at first (I will explain more tomorrow).

For example, some days you have to resort to old school carb techniques to make the jeep roll..

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While at other times, the jeep rolls on it’s own …2021-05-22-renton-patterson-prosser

 

 
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Late 1940s(?) Ad For Lewis Auto Service

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

Mike spotted this ad posted by Andy Fuhrman on Facebook. I’d guess it is a late 1940s ad from a Dansville, Virginia, newspaper.  It seems an odd promotion. Is the wink by “Lewis” supposed to mean that you can bet on the jeep breaking down, so bring it in for service today?

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UPDATE …

• CATEGORIES: Features

You may have noticed that regular updates have returned. I hope to keep them going, though I may still need a few more days off than normal.

For example, we discovered yesterday that some of our outlets in the living room didn’t work. Three of them each had their bottom portions of the outlet on a three way switch, but the wiring was never completed. I made them work, but not via the three-ways switches. Whoever wired it, did it oddly, so I bypassed the switches. Because we hope to remodel the living area next year, my fix will do for now.

Our back pasture has three and a half new ‘squatters’ in the form of three cows and a calf. A neighbor offered to managed the back pasture in exchange for keeping his cows there. He rebuilt some sections of the fence and brush-hogged much of the grass. He’s getting a good deal, but, for this summer at least, it’s one less thing I need to manage.

Today I left early for the “west-side” so Steve Carter and I can bring back Patterson. I tried to purchase a cheap electric fuel pump yesterday, as the one on Patterson isn’t working at the moment. I only need it to get Patterson up on the trailer, but neither NAPA nor Autozone was capable of selling me a cheap pump. All the ones they had were 8″ long and $70 or more. That was overkill for what I want. So, I’ll do a simple gravity feed setup.

Progress has slowed on unpacking as Ann hasn’t felt good for a couple days.

We had a few amazing, golden sunsets over the past few days. This place will be a bunch of work for the foreseeable future, but evenings like this make it worth it.

2021-05-20-sunset

 

 
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1945 “Invasion Scenes” Video

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

I can’t remember seeing a spare tire being carried on a wire cutter like the jeep shown early in this video.

“Various shots of American jeep and trailer crossing a river on pontoon type raft. It seems that the raft has motor – it is more like a ferry. More vehicles crossing river. More shots of the ferry travelling across with German prisoners. American soldiers escort prisoners ashore.”

 
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The Huffman Hub Company of Albuquerque, NM

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: , .

UPDATE IV: Well how about this …. There was an early Huffman hub that didn’t have the fancy ‘weapon-looking’ topper (as seen in the pics below). Instead, a cylindrical key was supplied to help select whether the hub was engaged or not. This ad is from the September 1962 issue of Four Wheeler Magazine.

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UPDATE III (May 17, 2020): In September of 1964 the Huffman Hub company posted this full-page ad in Four Wheeler Magazine —

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September 1964 Four Wheeler Magazine

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(UPDATE II: Finally got a look at the 1967 article about Floyd Huffman that appeared in the August 20, 1967, issue of the Albuquerque Journal (pg 28):
1967-08-20-albuquerque-journal-huffman-hub-company

Continue reading

 
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1941 Slat Grille Pics

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images, Old News Articles • TAGS: .

These pics featuring the newly designed jeep appeared in the December 05, 1941, issue of the Ithaca Journal, two days before Pearl Harbor. I feel bad for those women having work the line in a dress and high heels.

The blurb below states:

THE JEEP TAKES ITS PLACE IN ARMY AND IN DICTIONARY: Officially designated as “quarter-ton four-by-four trucks,” but known to the U.S. Army as jeeps, the fast little scout cars, being turned out by thousands to serve as liaison between advanced mechanized units and infantry follow-ups, now are recognized as among the most important contributions of modern American assembly-line methods to the service. Powered with a 63-horsepower, four-cylinder engines, the jeep has a four-wheel drive, can carry three men and a machine gun, and can tow a heavy-calibre anti-tank gun. The pictures, illustration jeep production and testing, were made at the Willys-Overland plant in Toledo, Ohio. Left (in our case top): Women employees at work on a jeep assembly line. In the rear is an assembly line of civilian cars. Center: The cars being tested on the proving-ground. At right (in our case at the bottom): Negotiating an open field choke with heavy brush.

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UK Video Featuring an MB and GPW

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

This video that Mike spotted includes a hood that was used in German as part of a ceiling (several hoods were used, then later auctioned on eBay). You can see this hood, along with other hoods, in this post.