Features Research Archives

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Yellowstone Howe Fire Truck

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

Until 1996, Yellowstone National Park had a 1960 Willys Truck with the Howe Fire Apparatus on duty.  The NPS still owns the truck, but it is now stored in its historic vehicles collection.  The vehicle collection is not open to the public, however the vehicles were filmed as part of a Discovery Channel segment on Hidden Yellowstone.

You can learn more about their firetruck here.

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Can Anyone Help Larry Identify his M-38?

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Larry has begun doing research on his M-38 that he has begun to restore.  However, the only numbers he has so far are his hood numbers.  Based on my research, I couldn’t find any pattern between hood numbers as a tool for determining an exact VIN number.  So, we thought we’d post what he has in case anyone has other ideas.

Larry writes, “I realize that hood numbers were put on in random lots but it is possible that they were put on sequentially. I am narrowed down to 32 serial numbers producd for 6-52 and they begin with MC71350 -MC71382 and I know four of those numbers are assigned to M38s on another website data base My hood number is 20945312. I want to find anyone with a 6-52 M38 with numbers above or below this hood number. If they will contact me by email so I can get their hood numbers and serial numbers by seeing which way the serial numbers go as compared to the hood numbers I may be able to figure out my number. yeah its a long shot and there are those that said it cant be done that way.

Now I dont know much about the way things were done by the Willys factory but I did get assigned to a military paint shop and we were tasked to take all the vehicles we had just received straight from the factory and repaint them camo with all the numbers done in subdued black. We all had to keep records of the vehicle, the serial number, unit number as assigned, etc. While doing this I noted that the serial numbers went up consecutively and the registraion numbers assigned all went down.

So, if there are any owners of Army M38s with DOD of 6-52 and hood numbers above and below and close to the hood number 20945312, please send an email to loop_m@hotmail.com and please put M38 REQUESTEDINFO in the subject line.”

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Craig’s CJ-3B “The Mutt” and FlatFender Willys

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

Craig’s CJ-3B has been a regular visitor at Sam’s Flatfender Willys shop in Arvada, Colorado, where Craig has allowed Sam to experiment and update his jeep in a variety of ways.

Sam’s not some  shade-tree jeep mechanic; instead, he brings 45 years of experience owning, running and working in hotrod shops in California. One of the early projects he worked on was the famous Munster Mobile.  Sam tried retiring, but that didn’t work for him, so when he moved to Colorado years ago he started buying jeeps for himself and rebuilding others.

It doesn’t take long when talking with Sam until you realize that he has a lot of ideas, and they all seem to be good ones. So, I am not too surprised that folks in the Colorado area keep him plenty busy restoring, updating and servicing their old jeeps. If you want to contact Sam and talk with him about your jeep, you can email him at flatfenderwillys@comcast.net or call him at 720-841-0614.  His shop rates are very reasonable.

As I mentioned, Sam has done a variety of changes to Craig’s jeep, including a rack and pinion system, an emergency brake, a lift, and a complete rewire.  This time Sam volunteered to give Craig an inexpensive floor pan a rebuild.

Here are the old pics:

In the image below the arrow points to a rubber line.  Replacing that was a priority for Sam.

Front floor removed and replaced . Dark Brown is new floor and black is removable two piece front and rear panels for access to transmission. NOTE: the arrow points to the new STEEL fuel line.

A shot of the complete Mutt.  When it came time to paint it, Sam was ready, but Craig wasn’t.  He said he wanted it to look like a Mutt, so he is keeping the mismatched colors like they are for now.

Here is the trailer that Sam built for the Mutt.  There are more images of the trailer here.

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Paper Jeeps Maquettes-Papier

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

After the papercraft jeep post, I stumpled upon a french website called maquettes-papier that had several different paper jeeps.  Unfortunately, my French is a little weak.  I believe the jeep below was built from some plans and the jeep below that was custom made.


The SAS Jeep: http://www.maquettes-papier.net/forumenpapier/topic2525-30.html

More SAS jeep images here:

Additional Models of paper Military Vehicles can be found here:

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Photos from Wade

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Wade shared these two photos with me yesterday.  He writes, “We were walking a site in Mission Hills of San Diego and saw this jeep at the end of a cul-du-sac in an older house’s driveway.  Also is a shot of my nephew and their jeep.  Thought it was just a good jeep shot.”

Here is his nephew and their nice looking flattie.

And this is just sad, even for a DJ . . .


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Willys Hubcap Thread

• CATEGORIES: Features, Tires and Rims, Website

HOG spotted a great Willys hubcap thread over at the International Full Size Jeep Association Forum.


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More Updates Tomorrow (Tuesday)

• CATEGORIES: Features

After a day down at the Seattle Waterfront, I’m turning in early.  However, Roberto forwarded some videos that ought to keep everyone busy until tomorrow’s updates.  So, check out the next two posts.

Mitch dropped by my parents’ house tonight to have me sign his book and to chit chat.  He told me he isn’t a big reader, but he sat down and read the book in only three sittings.  He loved it, which was great to hear, and has a waiting line of people who want to read it.  I mentioned that I was thinking about getting a booth at the Moonshiner’s Swapmeet in March (March 11 in Puyallup).  He suggested that someone might have an indoor booth they’d like to split or share with me.  I figured that was a good idea, so if anyone has a booth at that main hall and wants to split or have me stay there and sign/sell books, let me know.  For those that don’t know, the book has some PNW history, racing history, a few jeep trips and more in the book (though it is much more than just about jeeps).

In the meantime, here is Ann and I enjoying the beautiful scenery today (57 degrees and sunny!)



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Turning Points in History: Man and Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

Here is a three part video about the history of the jeep forwarded by Roberto.  It was produced by Canada’s History Television and is part of their Turning Points of History series.  Though not perfect in its accuracy, such as the clip of Marilyn Monroe in a M-38A1 during a discussion about movie stars and jeeps at the start of WWII, there is some footage I hadn’t seen. This lasts 45 minutes.

Part 1:

Turning Points of History – Man and Jeep – i by canajien

Part 2:

Turning Points of History – Man and Jeep – ii by canajien

Part 3:

Turning Points of History – Man and Jeep – i by canajien

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Short Jeep Film from France

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

I doubt that everyone will like this movie that Roberto forwarded, but I did.


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Papercraft Template from 1944

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features

Believe it or not, I did a search on Willys+Jeep+Superbowl and discovered the paper jeep project below.  Pretty cool!

From Paperkraft.net comes this papercraft template that dates back to 1944.  Agence Eureka scanned it and posted it online.


Here is a finished product:

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Toledo Lucas County Library Jeep Images

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

The images I shared last night came from the Toledo Lucas County Library.  If you have some time, check them all out here.

This is a beautiful shot of a 6×6:

Willys 6×6, year?, courtesy of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, obtained from http:///images2.toledolibrary.org/.


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Air Police

• CATEGORIES: Features, Fire/Police/Industry Vehicles

Buz forwarded me an “Air Police” jeep  for sale at eBay.  Clearly there are some issues with this ‘restoration’.  One choice I thought was strange was the “Air Police” label itself; but, then I started doing some research and found some references to Air Police Jeeps.  If Ann weren’t sleeping so soundly beside me, I’d wake her up and ask her about Air Force Jeeps.  Instead, I’ll let her sleep.   You can see more jeeps and learn more about them through the links below:

This is the “Air Police” M-38 for sale on eBay:



Below are just some of the images I found:

1. http://defensorfortis.info/AP/2010/07/11/air-police-jeep-air-police-kid-and-polizei/

2. http://www.ancientfaces.com/research/photo/405090/tom-wilson-air-policenew-castle-delaware-family-ph


The link for the picture below doesn’t work, but I was able to capture the image.


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Flint’s Schoolbus Wagon

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Flint got this modified wagon as part of a trade with a reader named Dan.  Since that time he’s been doing some additional suspension changes and having some fun with the paint job.  His faded school bus art fooled me into thinking it had been there for years.  Thanks for sharing Flint.


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Toledo Lucas County Library

These images came from the Toledo Lucas County Library.  If you have some time, check them all out here.


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CJ-5 Surrey

• CATEGORIES: Features, toys • TAGS: .

Speaking of unique Surreys, Mike wrote the following Comment:

“Back in 1962, One of my dad’s favorite hangouts, Lee’s tavern on Crooks Ave. in Clifton, NJ bought a special order CJ5 with a pink surrey fringe top and matching upholstery. It was the talk of the town. This Jeep was a double twist on the phrase “special order”. It was a first generation Tuxedo Park model with the featured color scheme of white body with red grille and red wheels, along with the surrey top and seat covers which were installed over stock upholstery at the factory. The local legend story at the time was; He had to wait 6 months for delivery.”

So, I spent some time searching for a CJ-5 Surrey picture. I didn’t find any real ones, but I did find one toy:  A CJ-5 toy from 1960.
http://www.carhobby.com/page1960.htm (stock #875 3/4 down the page).

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The Best 4×4 So Far . . .

• CATEGORIES: Features

Steve forwarded this to me.  Pretty funny.

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Flickr Photo of a CJ-2A

• CATEGORIES: CJ-2A, Features


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Video of two “SAS” Replicas

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

Not authentic SAS restorations, but still they look like fun.

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Front Page News from a Colombian Yipao

• CATEGORIES: Features, International • TAGS: .

Sebastian was in Colombia last month and saw this amazing picture from a local Colombian festival.  I have got to see one of these festivals for myself sometime 🙂

Unfamiliar with Yipaos?  Check out these videos: http://www.ewillys.com/?p=55703

Or view these pictures: http://tinyurl.com/879wmge

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Update on Sam’s Bolt-on Rack and Pinion for early jeeps

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, Tips & Tricks • TAGS: .

Since sam last reported about the prototype bolt-on rack and pinion system for early jeeps, he has made a few changes to improve the ability to install the system onto jeeps that have been lifted.  He reports that the system is installed on a number of jeeps without any issues.  The system dramatically improves steering at low speeds and at highway speeds.

Finished Install before New Exhaust:

Here is close up view of drag link end:

Arrows point to Borgston Joint and shaft support bearing:

Upper View of Rack and Partial View of New Steering shaft and joint. Arrow indicates new steering shaft and joint:

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Wagner-Trac on a CJ-2A

• CATEGORIES: Features, Tires and Rims, Unusual, videos

Glenn spotted these Wagner-Tracs on a CJ-2A.  While it has a CJ-2A body, this is probably  a CJ-5 or CJ-3B frame, because the tracks require a wheel base of exactly 81 inches.  The tracks are one of six produced and bolt onto the axles.

According to the information at the video’s homepage:

“The Tracks were manufactured by a company called “A. F. Wagner Industries Inc.” of concord California. They were made sometime during the mid 60s and there was only 6 sets made and were apparently expensive and thus may be the reason there were so few made. They are called “Wagner-Trac” and were made specifically as a set of tank tracks for a jeep with a wheelbase of 81 inches. The wheelbase is not adjustable so the wheelbase is critical and just like a tank you would have to install turning brakes to drive the Jeep because the steering is null and void as soon as you bolt them on. They are all steel construction so were probably designed for offroad only.”

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The Jeep Guy Resotrations from Scranton Pa

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

For a while I’ve run across Craigslist Ads for “The Jeep Guy Restorations” out of Scranton, Pa.  Well, before I had a chance to contact him to learn more, the owner Bob Foster contacted me.  He shares his history and provided some pictures.  You can learn more about his restoration ship on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Jeep-Guy-Restorations/273113772733381?sk=info  Thanks for sharing your story.  If you want to contact Bob, call him at 570 347-8998.

Bob wrote, “I inherited the business from my dad. He started the business in 1957. At first, we only did general repair work, but in 1963, my dad added bodywork and painting to our services. I helped him at a young age. Soon, I learned the fabrication of metal panels from my grandfather, who was a blacksmith that worked on the Erie locomotive shops here in Scranton, the anthracite capitol of the world. As a blacksmith, my grandfather even made his own tools. He passed down to me his knowledge of metalworking.

I started to help with the bodywork in earnest around 1969, eventually taking over the painting and bodywork. Most of the work was rust repair and full paints. Also, over time, I started to modify vehicles by cutting and shortening truck frames, adding dump bodies, making wreckers, and adding winches. I bought my first 4-wheel drive Ford in 1974 for $4,800 brand new. I still have it—I turned it into a wrecker. At my dad’s garage, we worked on Jeeps over the years, but not in large volumes. Not too many people in Scranton owned them in the 60s or 70s. To add to that, my dad did not like Jeeps: he had the impression that they did not hold up well.

In 1979, we bought a gas station, and my brother Ronnie joined us in running it. However, I had to oversee it and run the other shop, too. We later sold the station and bought 1 acre of commercial land, where I built a 40x30x16 garage for truck repairs. I still run out of the garage today. I added state inspections to the garage’s services in 1990. For most of the 90s and 2000s; truck repairs, vehicle inspections, bodywork, restorations, and modifications took up the bulk of my time.

However, in 2006, my wife and I were looking at projects that the boys at our church would enjoy, so I got the idea to find an old Jeep and work with them on it, getting it to run. So I advertised on Craiglist for an MB or CJ2A, and a young guy named Michael called in response. He lived about 20 miles away from Scranton, so we took our trailer and the boys along and bought one of his 40s civilian Jeeps. Michael is a WW2 reenacter, so he had his other Jeep painted OD green. It gave me the idea to do the same with ours.

Over time, WW2 and Korean War veterans that were my customers would come to the shop and tell stories about the Jeeps they drove in the War. As they grew older, I started to lose them as customers. However, because of their stories, I found a passion in restoring the Jeeps to remember the GIs that drove them. So after that, I bought two more Jeeps—they are like potato chips. This is the story of how I discovered my passion for army MBs and civilian Jeeps. They are a tribute to the men who drove them and worked on them.

As we were working on the Jeeps, getting them in running condition, people learned about my project. A worker at a local auto supply shop, an army veteran, told customers that had Jeep problems, “Go to that Jeep Guy over there. He’ll be able to help.” And the name stuck. For 40 years, I’ve worked on all types of vehicles, but now I’m looking to focus on Jeeps, both the old and the new.”

Here’s a project:

Here is another finished project:

Continue reading

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Wooden Jeep in Chateau in Europe (France I think)

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums, Unusual, Wood bodies

I spotted this on Flickr.  I thought it was the same wooden jeep that was spotted in France here, but I think this is a different one (the jeep below only had 8 slots, while the one in the link above has 9 slots).


According to the photographer Spottedlaurel, “There was a ruined Chateau just outside the village near where we stayed, and in one of the beautifully refurbished buildings there was a museum full of life-size things made from wood. F1 car, tractor, motorbikes, all sorts of things. The bonnet lifted up on this to show a wooden engine inside.”

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The Malt Jeeps: #1, 2, 3 & 4

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

A couple of us commented on that Hotchkiss jeep that is for sale (view here).  I mentioned that Hotchkiss didn’t start building jeeps in 1942, so I doubted the year.  Alex noted that a variety of early jeep parts were recycled through the E.R.G.M. works at La Maltournee.  Since it had been a while since I had checked out the Hotchkiss related m201.com website, I went there to learn more about the Maltournee  jeeps, which are sometimes called “Malt” Jeeps.

Well, it turns out that the name “Malt” actually refers to four specific jeeps:  Malt 1, 2, 3 & 4.  According to m201’s website:

Jeeps re-manufactured from WW2 parts at La Maltournée are often referred to as ‘Malt jeeps’. However, the term more correctly applies to four specially prepared jeeps, Malt 1, 2, 3 & 4. These were used at shows where they would be driven into the arena by a team of four men who proceeded to dismantle the jeep. The parts were then passed through a small opening before being reassembled on the other side and finally driven back out of the arena – all in less than ten minutes! Various special modifications made this possible, e.g. the bodywork being divided into two parts.”

I searched and searched, but could only find one picture of a “Malt” Jeep, which is at the m201 site.  Note there appears to be a seam in the body at the rear wheel well so it can be disassembled (SEE PIC UPPER LEFT).  The bigger question is, what happened to those special jeeps?

I suppose it is similar to competitions like this back in 2009: http://www.ewillys.com/?p=39373

Or the more widely seen parade jeep that is quickly disassembled and re-assembled.

Or like this competition captured in Olyslager Organization’s book “The Jeep“.

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Jeep on Fire

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

Steve spotted this former police jeep in India on fire.  Nothing safer for kids to do than beat on a burning vehicle.  I’m sure the toxic fumes aren’t too bad . . .