Features Research Archives

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1943 “Woodie” Wagon Goldalming, Surrey, UK **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features, Unusual, Wood bodies • TAGS: , , .

UPDATE: This has been rebuilt. See this post.

Vince spotted this unique bit of jeep history. It is beautiful! For us history nuts the seller has included some helpful information, too.

“1943 Willys Jeep “Woodie” Stationwagon. Purchased by Willenhall Coachcraft in 1947 from Military surplus sale. Converted to current condition and sold to the Earl of Shewsbury in June 1948.

It was sold in 1961 to Victoria Garage in Stoke on Trent, who then sold it to a Harry Hughs of the same town and then it later changed hands to an AD Broom of Norwich, where it laid in a shed which then became derelict.

In late 2004, the jeep was finally discovered by Fred Smith, a very prominent and recognised Jeep collector, who sold it to the current owner for restoration in 2005.

It has undergone a very thorough restoration, including complete remanufacture of all woodwork, back to the exact specification matching the original condition it left Willenhall Coachcraft in 1948.

There were 95 conversions of this type carried out by Willenhall, and this is the last known example, making it extremely rare indeed.

All woodwork, engine, chassis and fabrication was carried out by the current owner. Paintwork by Andy House Body Repairs of Liphook, Hampshire. Chrome by SilvaBronz of Alton, Hampshire. Trim by Jeff Mussell and Son, Godalming, Surrey.

The jeep is being sold as new since being restored by myself. V5 present, taxed, MOT’d. Registered with the plate now on 125 YUP.

Included in the sale of this vehicle is as follows:
· Photographic history of restoration
· Buff logbook (dating back to first registration)
· Photography of original vehicle and Willenhall Coachcraft History by Archie Templeton-Dick, Historian.
More photos of the jeep and the restoration can be found on Universal Jeep Supplies’ facebook page.

The number plate, NRF 9 is not included with the sale but im offering this for £10,000 separately.”


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Craig’s Pic of the Week

Craig from the FCConnection has offered to send a few non-FC pics our way from old editions of Jeep News and Willys News. After a minute of great deliberation and exhaustive thinking, I decided to call his weekly feature ‘Craig’s Pic of the Week’. Brilliant, yeah? Today’s pic comes from a 1964 issue of Jeep News.

In March of 2012, Mike was trying to track down the one pictured here.  It sure looks like it could have been one of the trucks shown above.

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Los Angeles Life Guard CJ-2A

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

Buz unearthed this CJ-2A Life Guard Jeep used by the city of Los Angeles (see others here).  Though the caption accompanying the jeep suggests this was war surplus, it’s clear this is a civilian rig. The rear extension is interesting, though doesn’t look neatly done.


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Louver Maker from 1962 JC Whitney Ad

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

Steve spotted this ad for those do-it-yourselfers who wanted to add louvers to their hoods called the FORM-A-LOUVER.  I still haven’t found an advertisement for aftermarket louvered flatfender hoods.  Maybe they were all custom made?

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Hallmark Jeep Ornament

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

Rob forwarded me a pic of his Hallmark jeep ornament.  I found one just like it on eBay.

If you have an interesting jeep ornament, take a picture of it and send it to me (d@ewillys.com)

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Czech Army Field Kitchen **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features, trailer

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was on eBay.

I cannot attest to the accuracy of the seller’s claims, but a kitchen on wheels is always a hit with me!

“Original Czech Army field kitchen. This one has been fully restored to working condition. Has been converted to propane burners, new receiver, new wiring and lights. Made to tow out to the field and cook lots of grub for the troops. Has a gasoline burner that heats the 2 rear pots. The third pot can be used to keep the food warm.”

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1945 GMC Air Compressor and Sandblast Truck on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Unusual

This is such an oddball, that I thought if it was military, someone might see value in it.

“Here we have for your bidding pleasure is a 1945 GMC Military Truck equipped with an original Leroi Air Compresser unit and a sandblast pot, we were told from a person who has had some knowledge of older military trucks that there were just under 1100 of these units built for the war and they were used in the construction and maintenance of bridges during that time. As far as we know the truck is all original as it was made and as we were also told that they where constructed between the years of 1940 to 1942, we do have the original books for the aircompresser unit and some other literature pertaining to the truck itself, it has been sitting for about 7 years and we were told by the facility we received it from that it was in running condition at that time, as of right now you are buying it not operable, as one can see by the pictures it is all complete including the front winch, all tires are in fair shape, we have filled the front tire up that was flat in the pictures and it has held air for a couple of weeks now, this truck we feel is very rare find and how many are really left?? We do have a transferable registration, we can also load on any truck or trailer that one may have. If any one has any questions please do not hesitate to call 315-635-9981 and we will answer and or return all calls, cash upon pickup or bank wire transfer is the only means of payment we will accept so thank you for looking and good luck!!”

View all the information on eBay

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Clowning Around in Hawaii

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

This photo was at a Pacific History site, though it isn’t clear to me whose site this actually is.  The picture was part of a Honolulu Star-Bulletin newspaper and likely was taken in 1946. According to the caption, “Seems someone wrote in and complained that the newspaper photographer’s Jeep looked “like it belonged in a circus,” so when the circus actually came to town, the photographer obliged. Note the chrome wheels, bumper and grill on this surplus GPW, and the fabric-wrapped steering wheel. I’d be willing to bet the body isn’t olive-drab any more. Suggestions? I’m guessing bright blue.”


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More Clowning Around

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

On January 7, 1953, Ringling Circus clown Paul Jerome posed for photographer Joseph Janny Steinmetz.  The reason for shooting a clown in a jeep on the beach is unknown; however, Steinmetz lived in Sarasota, FL, so maybe the location was convenient.  Both photos are from the State Archives of Florida.

Note the jeep has both bowholders and possibly a spare tire carrier on the driver’s side.



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Walter P. Chrysler Museum Closing (and Sold)

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

A couple days ago I was adding the WPC Museum to my list of places to visit on our upcoming trip to the East Coast next May/June (official announcement in January).  But, then I learned the museum was closing at the end of this year.

However, John forwarded this link indicating the museum has been sold to the Chrysler Group LLC. So, the 67 vehicles won’t be split up just yet.  Unfortunately, the exhibits will only be open on special occasions.  And, despite how ‘special’ my wife thinks I am, I don’t think I’m special enough that they’ll open that for me.

Walter P. Chrysler Museum part 1 – YouTube

Walter P. Chrysler Museum part 2 – YouTube

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Willys Coatrack on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features

For the jeep lover who has jackets . .. only four coatracks left!

“Up for your Bidding Pleasure,Super heavy duty,14 Gauge steel plasma cut Willys Flatfender MB ARMY Jeep Coat or Key rack.Great addition to your garage/workshop/living room/kitchen or …a must have for the serious Willys Jeeper.Approx 10.75 inches wide X 8inches Tall,Five hooks are 1.75 inches on center,Bic Pen not included! painted olive drab with double sided tape on back for easy smooth surface attachment .”

View all the information on eBay

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1958 Willys-Overland Export Corp Ad in Spanish

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features, International

Here’s a neat ad from the Willys Export Corporation.

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Ringling Barnum Circus Uses PTO to Build Grandstands

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

I spotted this 1950 picture on the Buckles Blog, a blog that presents circus history from all over the world.  I with this picture was bigger.  According the blog post, “Here we see a Jeep with a power take-off in the process of raising the sides of each seat wagon. The outer corners were supported with long braces and then the front end of each vehicle would be lowered to form a grand stand.”


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China MS-884 windup Fire Jeep on eBay

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

This is located in the Netherlands.

“Herewith we offer you a Very Rare and Hard to find, vintage mid to late `60ties produced Chinese Tin Wind-Up Toy Car, which was made after the famous Willys Jeep of WWII. This version depicts an wonderful, bright colored Fire Chief Support car!. Its an odd and very sought after model. The model is Wind Up operated! It has been tested and it works great! Like if it was made yesterday! The driver has a medium soft vinyl head. The Bell at the back really rings when the car moves! A lovely and cute looking collectible! An awesome addition within any Jeep, Tin Toy, Or vintage Chinese Toy collection!. Be keen on this treasure! The model comes in Top Mint Condition! Very clean, bright and shining, as if it was made yesterday! No wear at all!. The bottom is like new too!.”

View all the information on eBay

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1942 Reader’s Digest “Meet the Jeep”

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features, Magazine

UPDATE:  Another copy of the book is on eBay

(09/22/2012) This Old Jeep has a digital copy of this magazine article from Reader’s Digest that you can review before buying it.  Below is Page 1 of 3 pages. View all the pages at This Old Jeep.

View all the information on eBay

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Warn Hub and Box on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Parts • TAGS: .

Randy spotted this rare warn hub box.  It needs another hub though. Northstar Willys is auctioning this.

“This auction is for one Warn hub cap with the original case.”

View all the information on eBay

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Montgomery Ward & Sears Catalogs on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Books, Catalogs, Features

Here is a set of old catalogs.

“Montgomery Ward Sears JEEP SCOUT JEEPSTERS Parts Catalogs 1967 1968 1971 1972”

View all the information on eBay

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Hurricane Sandy Takes Out a CJ-5

• CATEGORIES: Features, Last Ride, Unusual

Peter forwarded this casualty of Hurricane Sandy. Ouch! It gives a new meaning to “ran when parked”

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Go-For-Digger Backhoe Brochure on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, CJ5, Features • TAGS: .

I didn’t know go-for-digger made backhoes.





View all the information on eBay

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Tonka Military Jeep w/Box on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, toys

I have this exact jeep (same numbers on the hood), though the box and top are long gone.  My grandmother bought it for me and kept it in the toy closet.  It jeeped the shag carpet of grandma’s house, which explains why mine is in great shape!

“You are bidding on a great Vintage Tonka Jeep, still in the box!! The Jeep appears to be in good shape. The box is in good shape for its age, although someone has written a name on one side of the box. It still has a great presentation side. This is the 10 1/2 inch version”

View all the information on eBay

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Marx Take-apart Jeep on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, toys

I like this one.

“Is listed as USED, but is in REALLY REALLY GOOD, maybe unused, Condition.
Can completely disassemble with the tools and then reassemble.
Is marked MARX.
7″ long.
NO chips, crack, breaks or repairs…”

View all the information on eBay

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Ron the Jeep Man in Sterling, Michigan

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, Reader Stories

Brian wrote me tonight to share this story about himself and Ron the Jeep Man. In a follow up email he included a picture of his CJ-5 called the “Mudd shark” (shown below:  Brian is in the driver’s seat). It included a couch in back that was popular with the college ladies, popular at least until it started smelling a bit too much from being outside.

I understand that not everything is for sale, including the FCs, but there is plenty there that is.

Dear Dave,

After reading you site for the better part of two years, I thought I’d send this along for you to post and to give you a bit of a break . My little ‘thank you’ for all your hard work. [editor’s note:  the break is appreciated!]

About a year and a half ago I purchased a 1960 CJ5 out of Champaign, IL. It was an eBay drop-out that no one bid on and I made a private offer that was accepted. I had a buddy at the University of Illinois take a look at it for me and give me a good report back. My CJ had led a pretty charmed life as a farm Jeep that had been well maintained and stored in the barn. A Koenig top and 33,000 miles, it was in very good condition but got parked some time ago when the throw-out bearing froze and started to burn the fingers off the pressure plate. I had, had a 1956 CJ5 all through college 33 years ago and I always thought it would be fun to have another one but not try to kill myself in this one.

Similar to your book, my father and I worked an entire summer to get my first CJ on the road and it was only fitting that he, at age 89 rode shotgun with me from mid-Michigan to Champaign to tow the second one home. I cherish all the time I have spent working with my Dad over the years on various projects, the first CJ being one of the best.

Like many of your readers, I own several other vehicles and have a good group of car buddies who travel from garage to garage in search of free beer and on occasion actually lend not just their mouth but a hand with a project. When I got the CJ home, one of them gave me a piece of paper with a phone number on in and said, ‘If you need anything, this guy’s got it, Ron-The-Jeep-Man 989-654-2922.

I put the piece of paper in my wallet and called him a few months later when I had my list of things I was looking for, the main item being a 15 inch stock steel wheel so I’d have a spare. Ron said he had lots of wheels and that I should come on up and see him. Sterling, Michigan is about 110 miles north of my home and I thought, one of these days I need to run up there and see what this guy has.

Well, today was that day. I had the day off, Momma had gone to visit her mother and Dad and I needed a ride. We were not disappointed.

Ron said he had 60 jeeps on the property, by my count he had more. Missing was anything MB, the only thing close was a tired and rusted out Bantam trailer. What he doesn’t also have is internet. He even asked if I’d spread the word that he was looking to scale back. We’re talking a 40 year collection.

We’ve all met the guy with either sky high prices or the guy that had everything but nothing was for sale or where met on the porch with a 12 gauge. Ron is none of these. He (by my best guess) has come to the recent decision that he will never get to everything and he needs to start selling and use the funds to finish a couple of projects and actually drive one of them. From what I could see, nothing had been seriously touched in about 8 years based on the dirt and dust and abandoned projects here and there.

Organization and cleanliness are not his strong suit. Most of the time we had to climb over stuff in the buildings and walk sideways to get between vehicles but he was happy to show and share everything he had and he talked my ear off. I don’t think he gets many visitors where he is out in the sticks.

His main focus seems to be on 1940/50/60’s wagons, panels and pick-ups. By my guess, 40 total, most complete, about 3 or 4 running, mostly 4×4 wagons. At this point I kicked myself for not bringing a camera. Heck I was there for a wheel.

His next niche is the Tornado engine. Ron had at least 20, many of the above vehicles were so equipped. It became evident he really had a soft spot for that engine and knew all the fixes to correct the oil leak and oil consumption problems that plagued this engine when introduced.

Several CJ2As in pretty good shape. One an early job with column shift.

A CJ3B with a plow. This appears to be only one of a couple vehicles that actually gets out and gets used. Think he needs to keep this one to keep his long drive cleared.

A couple of CJ5s in rough shape.

Two fire trucks. One, a pick-up that looked like a Howe unit but was made by Valley Fire Truck of Bay City, Michigan. I found a picture of it on line if you search for a 1959 Valley Fire Jeep. The second, an FC dually with and aerial extension ladder used by the City of New York to get down narrow alleys. This was the only FC.

A 1950 Trench-a-Jeep. Missing the trencher but otherwise complete including the agri-weight on the front bumper and all the hard to find controls and PTO stuff.

1960’s Power Wagons. The styled modern square ones, not the WWII style. One with a factory special ordered 440 big block.

Wheels. By my guess, 100+. 15 and 16 inch. Most with petrified tires still on them. Didn’t see any MB take-aparts. My nice wheel ran me $20.

Parts. Piles of front and rear axles and related chassis parts that he had parted out years ago. I saw every brand of locking hubs including some of the rare early ones you don’t see.

A mine field of brake drums strewn across a wooded lot.
Snow plow hardware.

Stuff. Piles of it. Crammed in many of the vehicles. He knew what he had and where it all was. 40 years worth.

As I mentioned, Ron does not have internet but he does answer his phone. Tell him Brian sent you (I know he has a nice set of hubcaps for my CJ somewhere with my name on them!). Bring cash, tools and wear your hunting boots. I did, and when you find a brake drum with your toe under six inches of leaves you’ll be glad you did. Someone with a good digital camera needs to get there.

– Brian

Here is Ron’s contact information:  Ron Hattner 175 Bishop Rd, Sterling, Michigan 989-654-2922

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The Scheneker BackHoe: Anyone Familiar with it?

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

Glenn has a friend working on a restoration of a Scheneker Backhoe.  Due to the lack of information about these, he wondered if anyone out there in Willysland had any additional information about them.  You can either comment or contact me if you want to email me (d@ewillys.com).

He writes, “A local friend is working on a ’55 Willys Pickup with a Schnecker Iron Works BackHoe mounted on back. It looks just like the one in the Willys Special Equipment Catalog. We have been playing with this unit for several years and have never seen another.

We would like to communicate with anyone knowledgeable about these. Probably not many were built as it was not strong enough to take the beating.

As this is being dismantled, it is obvious that much rewelding was required after each use. Complete replacement of the frame is the only answer and a California pickup is here. Frame reinforcements were everywhere and we are trying to find any information as to what was done at the Buffalo Factory.

Somewhere there must be another of these in order for owners to compare notes. This is totally different from the Ottawa on the FC170 later in the 50’s, and also different from the half cab FC170 shown in the current AACA Club Magazine “Antique Automobile” There are many special parts on this vehicle including heavy duty split rim 15″ wheels and a banjo type rear end housing.”

Here are the few brochures found so far:

Continue reading

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1950 Wagon 4×4 63 Brochure on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Artists/Drawings, Features

This is kind of a hokey brochure. It is 16 pages.

“original Dealer’s Non Color Catalog , 8.5 x 11 , 16 Pages , “New 4 X 4-63 Station Wagon”

View all the information on eBay

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Koenig Iron Works Bumper Brochure on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

This is a handy one for keeping track of different truck bumpers. It is one page with two printed sides.

View all the information on eBay