Features Research Archives

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And now for some levity …

• CATEGORIES: Features

After last night’s post, I figured readers needed something more humorous.  So, during some searches today, I stumbled upon some funny definitions of tools.  It turns out these definitions have landed on a number of forum sites, however not many sites attribute this clever bit of writing to the original author, Peter Egan.   Thanks to Swapmeetdave for doing some research into this.

Without further ado here are a few of these …

Electric Hand Drill: Normally used for spinning steel Pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age, but it also works great for drilling rollbar mounting holes in the floor of a sports car just above the brake line that goes to the rear axle.

Mechanic’s Knife: Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on boxes containing convertible tops or tonneau covers.

Drill Press: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, splattering it against the Rolling Stones poster over the bench grinder.

Hacksaw: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle. It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.

Additional ones I found here, though they could be from Peter as well …

Pry Bar: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or
bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50¢ part.

Hose Cutter: A tool used to cut hoses too short.

Two-ton Engine Hoist: A tool for testing the tensile strength on
everything you forgot to disconnect.

Dammit Tool: Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage
while yelling “DAMMIT” at the top of your lungs.
It is also the next tool that you will need.

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The $32,000 MB Sold on Mecum

• CATEGORIES: Features

Earlier this year, Greg reported that a MB and trailer sold at a Mecum for $32,000.  Now he has the pics to prove it.  That’s dedication! 🙂

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A Big Load

• CATEGORIES: FC150-FC170-M677, Features, Old Images

Rich forwarded this image of an old FC with a big load from this website. Cool pic!

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Nellybelle II 1946 CJ-2A Cave Creek, AZ **Status Unknown**

• CATEGORIES: CJ-2A, Features, Unusual • TAGS: , , .

UPDATE: The original NelleBelle sold for $116,000 at Christie’s in the summer of 2010, which is much higher than the $20k-30k it was estimated it would bring.

Jim forwarded this for our viewing pleasure.  So if I understand this correctly, this is a replica of Nellybelle, but wasn’t actually in the show?  You can learn much more about NellyBelle and Roy Rogers and the CJ-3B Page.

‘This is the 1946 Willys CJ-2A Jeep named NELLYBELLE II, and made to replicate the jeep NELLYBELLE from the ROY ROGERS TV show from the 1950’s. It has been on display at the Roy Rogers/Dale Evans Museum in Branson,Mo. This is a piece of History of the 50’s Hollywood television history. It’s in excellent condition as it was at the museum as it has been garaged since we bought it. It starts fine but will smoke some,tires are a little dry.Has new brakes and drums, a new fuel pump. Beautiful piece of memorabilia to expose at parades,auto show,etc..”

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Mark’s Rear Seat Solution for his Jeepster

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Mark recently hit the 1 year anniversary with “Her Royal Highness” (That would be his Jeepster, not his wife).   He’s been updating her throughout the year.  Here he comments on his rear seat find.

Mark writes, “Halloween night marks the end of Year one for the 49 Jeepster I named “Her Royal Highness”. I’m a middle-age crazy rookie that knew very little about rebuilding an auto when I started (some strong arguments that I still don’t) [ed note: some days, I don’t feel to smart either!]. I decided to leave the aged patina Windsor green paint for now because there’s very little rust and it doesn’t look that bad. She’s a great runner and a fine Sunday truck.

I wanted to put in tan leather buckets to improve comfort and to be able to call her the original “King Ranch Willys”. A few days ago I saw an ad for 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse seats, ‘$20 bucks and wife wants them out of my garage’. So, I went over to check out the seats. I discovered the buckets were trash, but the back was practically new. I bought it and carted it home.

Wouldn’t you know, that back seat fit into the back of the Jeepster like it always belonged! A couple of cleats, some zip ties, a little leather remnant from the fabric store over some 3/8″ ply and here you go. The seat backs fit on the original back frame with a little ingenuity. Folded down it makes for a convenient map table. The front buckets are still in my cross hairs and they will be found eventually, but who knew that backseat would fit so nicely, 50 years later!”

Here’s a reminder of “Her Royal Highness”

Here’s what it looks like with no seat:

Here’s the seat installed:

Here’s the seat folded down:

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Hein’s Updated Electronics re-Power his F-head ….

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3B, Features, International, Reader Stories

I received an email from Hein a few days ago regarding his CJ-3B.  His email is a good reminder that if your engine lacks power, you might consider improving the electronics.  Thanks for sharing!

Hein writes, “Since the rebuild last-year,  I have been putting-off the replacement of the hand-brake cable.  So a call to Marathon-Spares (in Australia) was way overdue! While ordering these spares I had a chat with Neil about my rough running engine, thinking I should get a new set of points and condensor as well as bushes, cap etc for the distributor.

He told me he had just replaced the motor in his MB with a Toyota 2.4, because it is used as a daily-driver and advertising for his business, so he offered me the complete Dizzy out of his motor for a mere $75! Needless to say I didn’t hesitate a moment to include that in the package as well.  The interesting bit is that it is a solid-state unit requiring a Electronic-coil and the removal of the wound-wire ballast-resistor (we had to get a Auto-Electrician in to help with the wiring bit), but the result could not have been more Amazing!!!

Suddenly, it felt like I had replaced the whole motor ! The old F-head had so much more punch that it blew out the rusty spots on the muffler, so just yesterday I replaced the whole system with a slightly larger-diametre complete Stainless-Steel system, which not only further enhanced the performance but also gave the old-girl a distincly cocky snarl too.  I don’t think I am exagerating if I say the combination must have increased overall output by between 30 and 5o%! Other than finding a completely new one that was preserved in a time-capsule somewhere, this must be as close to driving one straight off the dealers floor in ’53 as you can come today.  I won’t even trade it for one of those brand-new Icon Replicas now, although I wouldn’t mind having one of them as a daily-driver too?”

Hein’s CJ-3B has been featured at the CJ-3B Page.

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Another Tipped Jeep gets some work ….

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

A while back, Tom told me his dad has stories from WWII about flipping Jeeps on their side to work on them.  After some digging, he managed to locate this for our viewing pleasure.  Many Thanks Tom!  See some other tipped jeeps here.

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1948 CJ-2A Yakima, WA **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: CJ-2A, Features, Wood bodies • TAGS: , , .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $4200.

Can’t say I’ve seen anything quite like this mod.

“Classic 1948 Jeep CJ3A. Mostly original, including motor. 12V conversion, saginaw steering. Always garaged. 42,000 original miles. 3rd owner. No rust, never wrecked. You won’t find a cleaner original 1948 jeep.”

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Museum: Gilmore Car Museum & The “Checker” BRC-40

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

The Gilmore Car Museum in Kalamazoo, Mi, “includes eight historic barns, a re-created 1930s service station, a small town train station, and nearly three miles of paved roads.”  This complex houses a large and diverse collection of automobiles and automobile memorabilia in a truly unique setting.

One of the vehicles housed at the Gilmore is one of three BRC-40s assembled (or built or rumored to have been built) by the Checker Automotive Company.  I’ve looked into the various bits of information about the Checkers and there seems to be no better summary of the status of these unusual BRC Prototypes than what Bill Spears, who has written extensive about Bantams and early Jeeps, wrote in a Hemmings Blog Comment about the Checker:

The Checker ‘episode’ is still one of the great mysteries of the jeep story and I cannot figure out for the life of me why…. In Kalamazoo it is widely assumed that the Checker was built there from Bantam plans. Karl Pobst’s notes indicate that he did indeed send Checker the blue prints in three installments (and I would REALLY like to get my hands on those and I suspect they are still at Checker) but, my information is that three jeeps, two of them four wheel steering, were sent to Checker from Butler and they arrived in boxes as for shipping overseas. There is nothing at all to indicate in the Checker I had that it differed in anyway from a regular Bantam BRC. All the parts cast with Bantam numbers etc. However all the jeeps were completely disassembled for reverse engineering as it were to try to cost out the job. The parts were all put in a pile, then the cars were reassembled without regard for which parts went were. Thus, my car had a 4 wheel steer column, but it was two steer. One was sent to the Army and wrecked in testing.The car at the Gilmore still belongs to the Stout family I believe. Jim Stout, who knew what he was doing restored the car, but in a way tried to disguise it, and it sat in the Checker lobby for years as a Kalamazoo built car. I think Stout made an interesting contribution in making it possible to turn OFF the 4 wheel steering feature, but, the 4 steers were never really produced. If anyone has any information or leads I would sure appreciate hearing about it.

I found some good images of the “Checker” at the Gilmore museum from remarkablecars.com:

Bill Spears has an extensive discussion about Checker and Bantam with images:


The olive-drab.com site also has some archival images and information on the Checkers:



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An old Wally Cohnish sort of Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, MB, Sedan-jeep • TAGS: .

Many readers will remember last May’s explosive expose on the Wally Cohn custom ‘jeep’ built in Germany.  Ok, so maybe it wasn’t an explosion heard round the world, but there were a few of us who were interested.

Well, along those lines I found a MB/GPW at Hemmings which had been modified with fenders that brought the Wally Jeep to mind.  Here are some pics from the Hemmings Post.

See all the images at Hemmings:

Here’s Wally’s Jeep for comparison:

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Custom 1/2 Scale ‘Jeep’ Morristown, Az $5500

• CATEGORIES: Features, Unusual

Calling this a replica of a Jeep is a bit of a stretch.

“This 2010 Custom 1/2 Scale Willys Jeep replica has 2005 Polaris ranger 4×4 running gear, powered by a slightly modified 500cc Polaris engine. Two or all wheel drive with differential lock and 4 wheel disc brakes and 245/75 all season radials on 16″ chrome plated aluminum wheels. Will get you there and back, no need to trailer it either because it is equipped with turn signals, horn, rearview mirror, etc. making it completely street legal! It’s great on gas, fun to drive, and a real head turner! New business venture forces sale. Sacrifice for 1/2 of what I have invested. $5500.00 OBO or trade for??? Call Jace at (541) 314-2338”

Photos at photobucket


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Stenciling Jeeps

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images • TAGS: .

Just a couple photos tonight from the Canadian Archives that show some stencilers at work.

1) Unidentified soldier stencilling numbers on the hood of a jeep, England, 21 December 1943.

2) An unidentified officer of The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment) stencilling the regiment’s identification number on a jeep, England, ca. 30 May-1 June 1943.

View more from the Canadian Archives here

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Little Bo Peep Has Lost Her Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

UPDATE 3 (10/23/2012) : I discovered another recording of this song by someone other than Spike Jones:

UPDATE 2: WillysJeep has a nice images of the musics and lyrics cover that includes a rough version of a BRC-60.

UPDATE:  Dave reminded me that it was the 45s and not the 78s that needed the center gizmo.

Tom’s wife found a 1942 recording called Little Bo Peep Has Lost Her Jeep a few years ago in a stack of ’78s at a garage sale.

What’s a ’78 you ask? It seems I don’t remember them as well as I thought.  What I remember about ’45s was the little plastic gizmo you had to place in the middle of them so they would play on a phonograph.  Here’s a bit of history about the ’78 from wikipedia (for better or worse, the US was once again bucking the world trend).

In America in 1900, the two leading manufacturers of flat records were Columbia, which used 80 rpm as its speed, and Victor, which used 76 rpm. Since one company’s records were playable on the other’s machines, it is only logical that the eventual standard speed would be in the middle.

By 1925, the speed of the record became standardised at a nominal value of 78 rpm. However, the standard was to differ between America and the rest of the world. The actual 78 speed in America was 78.26 rpm, being the speed of 3600 rpm synchronous motor (run from 60 Hz supply) reduced by 46:1 gearing. Throughout the rest of the world, 77.92 rpm was adopted being the speed of a 3000 rpm synchronous motor powered by a 50 Hz supply and reduced by 38.5:1 gearing. (wikipedia)

So, now you know!  Tom (or his wife?) converted the record into a MP3 which you can down load here. You can also read the lyrics they transcribed below.

Continue reading

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A Rolling Welder Cart

• CATEGORIES: Features

When I bought my Lincoln Electric Welder four years ago I built a temporary wood rolling cart.  As things go, the temporary cart turned into a longer-term permanent cart.  However, every time I had to move the welder, it moved poorly and irritated the hell out of me.

Well, a month or so ago while cleaning out the garage I decided to build a cart out of some leftover steel and wheels I had laying around.  I didn’t have a specific idea in mind, but did know I needed a way to carry my welding rod, my Cargon bottle, and welding related items.

Below is the result.  It’s nothing fancy, but does the job. Perhaps someone will find the idea useful!

Continue reading

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The Very Mobile Bath and Laundry Unit

• CATEGORIES: Features, Unusual

While searching through a variety of pics during a web search too circuitous to explain, I happened across a model site called Airfix Tribute Forum.  I stopped by the site because I spotted an unusual model called the ‘Very Mobile Bath and Laundry Unit’ constructed by the forum’s founder Dave.  You can see one of the pics of the model below. See how he built the model here.

I thought that this was a very unusual model — wouldn’t it be cool if this was built from a real example.  Of course, I couldn’t resist hunting around a bit, so I dug into Dave’s site a little farther and discovered that Dave had based his model on the picture below — now that’s pretty cool. In his post, he notes that the Jeep “was stationed in  Germany in 1945 with the 2nd Battalion, The Kensingtons, 49th Division, Transport Centre, Iserlohn, Ruhr“.

Nice work Dave (both for locating that photo and building the model).

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The God of Fire

• CATEGORIES: Features, Mahindra

I ran across the image below of a Mahindra-built Military CJ-3B on the team-bhp site. After a few searches, I learned that the image came from the CJ-3B Page, which has the below image plus some additional images showing work that was done at UDAY’s shop in India. According to the CJ-3B page, this vehicle shouldered a 106mm gun.  Given this fire power, the owner, Anirban, calls the Jeep ‘Agni’, which means the God of Fire.  It’s a good name I think.

Read more about this at the CJ-3B Page.

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Sam Gives Craig’s CJ-3B a Lift

• CATEGORIES: Features, How To • TAGS: .

(Sam, feel free to correct if I have erred with any of my descriptions!)

Sam’s been keeping busy working Craig’s CJ-3B.  For example, Craig was complaining that the brakes didn’t work real well.  So, Sam took a close look at them and discovered that the jeep was only stopping with one brake!  Two of the brakes were completely rusted up and the third brake had suffered a pinched line!  So, Sam obtained some brakes off of a Wagoneer (shoot, I can’t remember the details Sam!), installed those and rebuilt the lines.  Now it “stops on a dime with 9 cents change” as Sam says.

Another project Sam tackled was the springs.  The ride was hard as a rock.  Sam told Craig he had a pretty easy solution.  Instead of installing new springs, they just needed to pull the leafs apart, clean them up, install new bushings and shackles, and then add a liner between the springs to help quiet the ride and improve the action between the springs.  So, Sam put everything back together, saving Craig plenty of money in the process, and the ride improved immensely.

A third project Sam tackled was a lift:  Craig wanted the jeep to ride slightly higher, but not as high as a SOA would have been.  Instead of using longer shackles, Sam suggested simply adding some blocks between the frame and spring holders.  This would provide the lift, but negate the need to change the axle angles.  Below are some pics of the finished lift.  During the process, Sam also installed new shock mounts in the middle of the frame, which allows for the use of stock shocks.

The blocks were made with 2.5″ x 2″ x 3/16″ square tubing that has been capped on each end.  Below pre-paint finished product.

Here is the post paint result of the front hanger (note the color is actually black, but the light faded the color)

You can see the homemade shackles that Sam built which utilize the horizontal piece in the middle. This helps reduce spring sway.  He prefers to keep the shackle as short as possible to additionally remove sway.

Here’s a shot of the front of the rear spring.

This shows the ‘new’ brakes, but does not show the lowered top shock mount.  It also doesn’t show the updated Rack and Pinion system which should be completed soon (here are some early images and discussion of the process).

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The Barfrosttreffet is this Weekend

• CATEGORIES: Features, Website

Even Erlien wrote me today to tell me about the upcoming Barfrosttreffet (early frost gathering) in which he and about 40 other vehicles will participate.  Given it will take place in Norway, I suspect it will be plenty cold!  Even has offered to take some pics and share them.

Even tells me a number of folks from Norway keep tabs on eWillys, so I thought I’d give a shout out to the Jeep Club of Norway.  Launched in 1999, the club has members in areas throughout Norway.  Their website with some images to check out, but if you want to read about the club you’ll need to brush up on your Norwegian 🙂 (or use a translator, which is what I did).  Thanks for the email Even!

(btw, Even I need you to email at d@ewillys.com … I tried responding to the email addy you sent and it didn’t work for some reason)

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A Very Sad Wagon ….

• CATEGORIES: Features, Last Ride

Maggie Mae discovered this terribly sad wagon.  This poor thing is now sitting in her driveway.  However, looks can be deceiving.  It turns out it has a part she has been trying to find.  Also, upon closer inspection, she reports the frame appears in good shape.

She writes,  “In my defense, it was ‘free for haul away’ and has the 2 barrel manifold I’ve been searching for. The floor is just a couple inches shy of the bottom of the windows, it actually looks a bit better than it should in the back end because of the homemade spring hangers/lift kit. Yes, the grille guard is a piece scaffolding. The gas tank had rusted through and was replaced with a beer keg that was “mounted” on 2×4’s where the passenger rear seat should have been.”

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The Bantam BRC-40 T2 & T2E1 and Willys T21

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

As part of some research I’m gathering, I ran across the BRC-40 T2 and BRC-40 T2E1, developed in 1941; these are two unusual derivations of the Bantam BRC-40 in Mark Askew’s book, Rare WW2 Jeep book.  So, I did a search online and found a couple images of each gathered by Dave Haugh at the warwheels.net website where you can see all the images he collected.

Here’s an image from warwheels.net of the BRC-40 T2 with the 37MM Gun on it mounted in the middle of the vehicle.

There were some problems with the T2, so they moved the gun to the back for version 1 of T2E1.  I guess the army liked this design better so they developed a 2nd version of the T2E1 where they modified the back.  Below is a picture of that.

There was also a Willys MB version of this called the T21 with the 75mm mounted in the rear (I couldn’t find any pics).

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Sam Installs a Rack & Pinion Prototype

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

Sam, from Flatfender Willys in Colorado, mentioned a few months ago that he figured out how to easily install an off-the-shelf Rack & Pinion into a flattie.  He’s installed over 10 of these over that past few years in various rigs with great success.

A number of readers asked for more information.  However, Sam chose to delay the information so that he could work with the maker of the R&Ps to develop a Rack designed especially for Jeeps — from old flatties through Wranglers.

What you will see below is the protoype built by the company that Sam has installed into Craig’s CJ-3B.  These are early pictures of the process.  Once Sam finishes testing this prototype, they’ll be available for sale.

1. This first image shows the Rack tucked neatly under the cross member.

2. Here is an underside look at the setup.

3. Here’s a look at the 7/8″ tubing (I think I have that right).  The basic Rack was originally designed for a 4000lb truck and then was modified for the Jeep to insure it was strong enough to handle a variety of situations.

4.  For the typical installation, you’d leave the stock shock mount (if you have a mount there), and cut the plate flush with the frame.  Otherwise, you can just bolt the plate into position.  In this case, Sam had made a change to the suspension and moved the mount down.

5. This image shows that the Rack has an even lower profile than the stock system.  Note how far lower the stock system extends.

6. This image shows the 1/2″ plate to which the Rack mounts.  shows the Rack doesn’t extend far outside the frame.

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A WWII Courier Willys

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images, War Images

I don’t know anything about this particular jeep except that it is called the “Dixie Flyer”.  It seems to be a modified MB with a ‘Courier’ sign in the front and some modifications to the fenders.  It also appears to have a gas tank on the passenger side (I think that is what is sticking down under the passenger?).  I found this image on the European Center of Military History’s Blog.

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Museums: MB at the Cole Land Transporation Museum

• CATEGORIES: Features, MB, Museums

This MB is located at the Cole Land Transporation Museum in Bangor, Maine, and has an interesting history.  According to the museum’s website, “his 1945 jeep served with the U.S. Army during World War II in Europe. After the war, it was given to the French government (French nomenclature in still on the dashboard). It was rebuilt by the French, declared surplus, and shipped to Duryea Motors, Brockport, New York in 1982. Galen Cole purchased it for display in the Museum.

Perhaps its greatest claim to fame is that the mold for the Maine World War II Veterans Memorial, located on the Museum’s grounds, was formed around this jeep; therefore, the jeep that is the focus of the Memorial is an exact replica of this jeep. It was chosen as the symbol of WWII because personnel of all branches of the service during that war used jeeps-whether generals, admirals, or privates.”

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Silly Willy by Wildfire Manufacturing

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

I spent some time search for Jeeps in Museums today.  I discovered that in 1996 a museum with some wwII jeeps closed and the jeeps were purchased and sent to Indiana.  After a little searching, I am pretty sure these were bought by the National Automotive and Truck Museum of the United States (NATMUS), located in Auburn, Indiana.  This appears to be a pretty sizeable museum with a great collection of both stock and modified vehicles.

Sorting through images at different sites, I did eventually find an image of a GP (to be published later) located at NATMUS.  I sent them an email to see if I can get additional images and information (my emails to museums thus far have proven useless so far, with the exception of a gracious and quick response from the York Museum in PA).

One additional item I discovered while searching through some NATMUS images was this modified Willys Truck hidden in the background of a pic focused on the Popcorn Wagon (see pic to right).  Fortunately, I could identify the website emblazoned on the windshield and, viola, I found some great pics of this vehicle to share.

This truck, called Silly Willy, was built by Wild Fire Manufacturing for 1st Attack (Jeffrey Cook is president of both companies).  1st Attack is a company that specializes in the development of offroad emergency vehicles. You might know Jeffrey Cook from his days as owner/driver of the Monster Truck War Wagon that toured nationally.

Here’s some pics of Silly Willy:

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The Jeep and its ‘Fourth Dimensional Brain’

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features

Gerald found this great old cartoon.  I always thought jeeps had minds of their own …