Features Research Archives

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1943 “Roosevelt With USA Paras” Video

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

This silent video includes several clips of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a jeep.

“L/S palm trees – looks like hot climate, could be Cuba? C/U President Franklin D Roosevelt (FDR) with dignitaries and US Naval Commanders. FDR gets into jeep and is driven past village of straw huts. Various shots FDR having dinner with VIPs inside hut, one of the guests is black. Various shots FDR taking salute at march past by black / Latino soldiers in American army uniform, marching behind American flag. FDR wears a black armband.”

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1950 Willys Dealer Day Brochure on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

UPDATE: Here’s another example of this brochure on eBay

View all the information on eBay

“Illustrates and Details;
An original part color folder sent to Willys-Overland dealers to announce the “Dealer Day”; a celebration designed to help dealers better promote their product.
Shows some of the models that were available – 4 trucks.
Excellent condition piece – perfect for Willys-Overland literature collectors.
Approximate size; 5″ x 7″; 12 Pages, printed in the USA.”

1950-willys-overland-dealer-day-brochure1 1950-willys-overland-dealer-day-brochure2 1950-willys-overland-dealer-day-brochure3

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1945 “Rundstedts Counter Offensive” Video

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

This 1945 Pathe Gazette video shows the view of the war from a captured German videographer’s perspective.

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1952 Jeep Farm Implement Brochures

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

This set of brochures just sold for $154.50 on eBay. I’m shocked by that price. In May 2020 I paid $15 for my set!

This collection includes a letter (first time I’ve seen it) that provides a more specific date regarding when these brochures were released. The letter is dated May 5, 1952. Unfortunately, the camera used is poor quality, so the letter isn’t the easiest to read.

This. collection does not include the Earth Moving Equipment brochure.

You can better see each of these brochures here. The one exception is the “Tool Bar Implements page, which may just be a header page rather than a brochure.

View all the information on eBay

“lot of 6 JEEP Farm Tractor plow mower corn picker tool bar implements  Brochures 11 x9 each a page or two showing the jeep and attachments  and a rare letter from Willys Kaiser 1952 introducing the attachments for the Jeep. letter has some browning”



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1943 Video “Smiles in the News” w/ Ford GPAs

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPA (SEEP), videos

This news reel features three segments. The middle one is especially interesting as it shows Ford GPA Seeps zipping around a park in Philadelphia, then jumping into a lake.

“New Jersey. Various shots of the “Nappy National” in New Jersey. Parents putting nappies on their babies – this is a race. Babies take part in a crawling race – an annual event.

Philadelphia. Various shots of the new amphibious jeeps showing their paces. Jeep goes up and down some steps and then leaps from land into a lake and back again.

San Francisco. Various shots of the sea lions at the San Francisco Zoo performing for audience of children at feeding time – swimming around and leaping over and under obstacles.”

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1944 Video “In The Mood”

• CATEGORIES: Features

This oddly titled video, most likely based on a phrase used during the first segment, shows soldiers training to be imaginative in the midst of battle. Jeeps are used in multiple scenes as impromptu ambulances.

“Location of events unknown.
Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) in training under mock battle conditions. M/S of RAMC men guiding walking wounded and carry stretchers. They duck from explosions. The wounded are taken to makeshift medical tent – a lorry covered with a tarpaulin. Various shots of jeep being transported across lake on barge, whilst under fire. The jeep is rigged up as ambulance to carry stretcher cases. Various shots of RAMC men taking stretcher cases across lake by rowing a makeshift raft (hay bales covered in tarpaulin). M/S of RAMC man swimming across lake. He fixes up two ropes. Two more RAMC men, with stretcher harnessed between them, cross lake using ropes.”

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1919 “Cripple Creek Stage” Endorsement for W-K

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

This unusual pamphlet, pre-jeep by a couple decades, is a letter-turned brochure touting the use of the Willys-Knight vehicles on the auto stage route between Colorado Springs and Cripple Creek, Colorado. The date of 1919 is based on the author’s assessment of his Willys-Knight vehicle two years after purchasing it in January of 1917.

View all the information on eBay

“This advertising pamphlet/booklet has 12 center-stapled pages, including the two covers. It is in excellent condition for its age and previous handling: no foxing, tape, writing, odor or stains.

There are a few edge tears, as shown in the pics.

The pamphlet is essentially a personal endorsement in the form of a copy of a letter from Leo M. Wright to Willys-Overland in which he describes his experiences with “Willys-Knight” vehicles on his ‘stage line’ of about 43 miles from Colorado Springs to Cripple Creek. He provides many details: “… our first Willys-Knight ran 97,00 miles at a mechanical expense of $149.80 … gasoline averages show about 14 miles to the gallon and oil about 400 miles to the gallon…””

1919-willys-knight-pamplet-1 1919-willys-knight-pamplet-2 1919-willys-knight-pamplet-3

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1951 Video Jeep Goes Underwater

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

Shot in Marineland, Florida, this 1951 video shows  one of the M-38 underwater tests.

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Slowly Making Progress …

• CATEGORIES: Features

View looking up the main driveway.

As I mentioned late last week, updates will be predictable for at least the next week. Other than videos and a few jeeps, the story line will be updates the challenges and successes of getting the “eWilly HQ” up and running.

We are making progress, slowly. Our hope was to fully move in by May 1, but life keeps throwing obstacles in our path. For example, on Wednesday Ann tripped on a sidewalk lip at the local mall (an issue that had already been reported to mall maintenance, but not yet fixed) and fell into a light pole. She was hurt bad enough (partly body pain and partly just pissed that it happened), that she asked me to come get her. That laid her up for two days.

Additionally, the sellers were delayed getting out, limiting us on what we could do this past week. They were finally out Wednesday, so we began moving stuff in the truck and jeep into the shop and house garage. These frequent trips coincided with various chores (like alternating the pasture watering).

Before we beginning to move stuff inside the house, we wanted to bug/flea bomb it as a precaution for our dogs, then began cleaning. Once we began cleaning, we learned just how dirty the place still was. For example, we have a commercial quality floor shampooer that was bringing up lumps of dog hair out of the master bedroom carpet. This extra deep cleaning will delay us, as we are going to have to hire someone to professionally clean most of the house as we have our hands full with other issues.

Being spring, the lawn, the pasture grass, and the weeds are growing rapidly (seller didn’t get a chance to spray anything before moving). We wished we could have moved-in last month, as that would have given us a lead time to get moved-in, then deal with how best to manage the property. But, the water’s under the bridge on that. Once we get the tools and resources we need, managing the property will be much easier.

On the plus side, we now understand how the house irrigation and the pasture irrigation systems work (with nothing broken as promised). So, everything is getting watered and growing well, though a little too well, as this means we need to buy a better mower (for about 1.5 acres of lawn) OR get a tractor with a mowing attachment.

In addition, we are finding all kinds of treasures amongst the network of small buildings and lean-tos. For example, I was looking for a cart to help move stuff and thought I might need to buy one, but, while looking around yesterday, I discovered we have a shopping cart (based on the color, probably a missing Walmart cart). That worked great for moving stuff!

Here’s some pics of the shop and the outbuildings. The building we call “the shop” consists of a front shop that is 35′ wide by about 40′ deep. The remainder of the building contains a 15’x20′ back shop with its own garage door, a 15’x20′ apartment, and the upstairs storage’. Pictured is the front shop:



Next to the shop is this lean-top that is partially built atop a former garage (that also has an interior room) moved to this location and placed atop a cement slab by the original owner of the property. This architectural wonder has a bunch of salvageable material, but needs rebuilding. It is a future project.


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1944 “Surrender of Brest-POWS” Video

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

Around the 2:35 mark of the video there’s a photo of a jeep with a spare tire mounted on the cowl, I’m sure someone else can confirm, but I’d guess that was partially meant to act as a shield for the passenger? There are only a few other jeeps shown.

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1948 Video “The King Inspects Cadets in Training”

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos • TAGS: .

Portions of this short video show that John found show the rapid assembly of a jeep. It’s easy to see how this evolved into assembly competitions.

“The King Inspects Cadets In Training (1948)
Aldershot, Hampshire.

General view of tanks and infantry taking part in a cadet training manoeuvre at Aldershot. Back shot of King George VI and party in foreground. Pan from the King watching manoeuvres to tanks moving across plain. Tank being loaded onto lorry belonging to a tank servicing unit. Troops assembling jeep in record time. King with an army officer viewing assembly off jeep. Four soldiers hard at work assembling front portions of a jeep. King and army officers watch cadets carrying out a wireless training exercise. Army wireless equipment with back of radio operator at right of screen. King and two army officers seated in jeep enjoying private joke as jeep, which is mounted on tracked army servicing vehicle, moves away from camera.”

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1944 Video “The Battle of Strasbourg”

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

This video includes some burning jeeps and a few other glimpses of jeeps, but it’s more about the collapse of the Axis forces in Strasbourg.

“The Battle Of Strasbourg (1944)

Various shots of United States troops at 1914 boundary sign between Germany and France. M/S’s of U.S. troops and armoured vehicles entering Saarburg. M/S aerial dogfights (showing vapour trails) between ME 163s and 262s (Nazi jet fighters) and American fighters. M/S planes blowing up in the air. Pilots jump from them by parachute.

Various shots of U.S. troops and armour entering Mulhouse. M/S’s sullen looking Alsace crowds. M/S refugees with French flags entering town down main street. M/S’s U.S. and French troops with tanks entering Strasbourg. Various shots of wrecked Strasbourg. M/S of a burning jeep – C/U of a body lying next to it. M/S of a pile of Nazi emblems in street. Various shots of the German Commander of Strasbourg with U.S. army officers after surrendering. Various shots of prisoners of war marching in column and mounting U.S. vehicles.”

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1945 Video ‘The Lighter Side of War’

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

This short video shared by John shows a jeep used to make ice cream, then a soldiers getting a haircut in front of pinup photos.

“Various shots of the American soldiers making ice cream with the aid of the drive of a jeep. Several shots of the American soldiers eating their home-made ice cream.

Several shots of barbers shop with wall filled with pin-up girls. The barber has great difficulty in making customers keep their heads straight.

Voiceover finishes: “There’s only one thing a barber can do for this able-bodied soldier with Grable-bodied mind.”

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1942 Video ‘The Turn Of The Tide’

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

This video, ‘The Turn Of The Tide – Allied Landings In North Africa’ does not have much in the way of jeeps, but one sequence (start 4:40 mark) shows a jeep towing a large field gun as it leaves the landing craft and churns through the water up and onto the beach.

“North African coastline and Algiers, Africa.

Various shots of a large convoy of American transporter ships and the British naval escort heading towards the coast of North Africa. Italian planes fly overhead and the gun crew of the escort ship jump to action, firing with the anti-aircraft guns. As night approaches, the guns go into action again and the night sky fills with tracers. L/S of a German bomber in flames diving into the sea (not seen very clearly).

More footage in daylight of the convoy moving along. High angle view of men in lifejackets packed into a troopship. On board the ships we see last minute inspections and briefing. A plane takes off from an aircraft carrier.

View of the coast at Algiers as seen by the American Rangers and British Commandos as they prepare to land. British troops board landing craft and start to come ashore. Great shots of them moving towards the beaches and landing (one has a bicycle). American soldiers do the same. Supplies are brought ashore, including a truck, a jeep and a large field gun.

General view of Allied aircraft standing on Maison Blanche aerodrome, a key point in Algiers that was captured by the US Rangers without a shot being fired.

Back at the quay in Algiers a huge troopship docks and British and American troops unload supplies, form up and start out on the road through Algiers. Trucks carry soldiers through the streets. On the streets just outside Oran we see the action when a sniper opens up on some Americans who pull their guns. The American Rangers storm the building and march off with prisoners.

Jumping ahead to when an armistice was called for in Algiers, we see the Commanding General of French North Africa General Nogues arriving for a conference with the Commander of the Algiers district.

Locals talk to Allied soldiers in the streets. A tram packed with people goes by. Out of the Hotel Angleterre come some Italian soldiers who are being taken for internment. Commentator says “As a matter of fact, it was a former Pathe Staff man with a detachment of American troops who made the capture” (hooray!). The Italians board trucks and are driven past crowds of jeering Algerians. The locals cheer and give the victory sign as the Allied troops drive through.”

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April 1954 Ad for Wagon in Better Homes & Gardens

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

This ad is part of a set of wagon-related brochures. The brochures aren’t in the best shape, but what caught my eye was the Better Homes & Gardens ad. It’s another example of Willys Motors producing what seems to be unique content for that magazine.


Here’s the full eBay ad:

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1944 “Tree Felling” Video

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

I’m not sure what “VS” stands for? The latter half of the video has Black Peter and Saint Nicholas in a jeep, the first half with the fire and felling trees is interesting, too, but, I’m not sure why?

“VS of troops sitting around wood fire outside trying to keep warm.

Shots of soldiers chopping down large fir trees. They carry off cleaned tree trunk. VS of them chopping up logs with saws and axes.

Shots of two soldier cutting down small fir tree. More shots of soldiers carrying ‘Christmas’ Trees.

VS of soldiers in hospital decorating a Christmas Tree with help from nurses. Shots of other decorations being made.

Quick shot of Saint Nicholas and Black Peter meting children in town. Shots of children and mothers smiling. Shots of St. Nicholas escorted to jeep by soldiers and presents are loaded in. Children cheer and wave. The Christmas jeep is driven along.”

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1944 “Look Out” Video

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

This Union Defence Force video was titled Look Out! This was apparently filmed in South Africa. There are multiple clips of jeeps. No sound provided.

“Various shots of soldiers in training. We see them doing exercises, jumping over walls and doing forward rolls with bare chests. Then they seem to be receiving instruction on how to handle a jeep. Several shots of men driving jeeps and tanks over rough and bumpy ground. Some soldiers in a jeep crisscross over the path of a tank in motion.”

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1944 Video of US Troops and Nazi Pigeons

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

This very short video looks staged to me. But, it does show a good shot of a jeep with “MESSENGER” written across the windshield.

“An American Messenger jeep drives up road past soldiers. Various shots as they take carrier pigeons out of basket. C/U swastika on paper tied to pigeon’s wing. C/U message American soldier is writing ‘Adolph (sic) Hitler, Berchtesgaden. No Happy Returns on your birthday but see you soon. Ninth U.S. army.’ Various shots as they tie message to the pigeon’s leg and release it. We see various takes of the same scene.”

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1985 Book ‘The Willys Dream Kit’ by Jan Novak on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Books, Features

Scott spotted a hardcover book called The Willys Dream Kit by Jan Novak that’s for sale on eBay ($49.49). The price for a new hard copy is similar on Amazon, but the used ($25) and paperback ($20) editions are much less on Amazon.

Reviews of the book from the Chicago Tribune and L.A. Times in 1985 suggest it’s a good read.


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Our ‘New’ Racing Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, Racing

My ‘new’ race jeep

I owe Marty Tilford a hearty thanks for spotting this jeep on the local Yakima Craigslist. I never saw it, because it was listed in the wrong category (tires and wheels), so it sat there for a few weeks before Marty sent me the link. Long story short, I showed Ann the jeep and she said, “buy it; you deserve it”. How can I argue with that?

On Sunday we drove to Naches, Washington, where we met Don and Ruth, the owners of the jeep.  They are members of the Yakima Valley Timberwolves club. We enjoyed meeting them and swapping jeep stories. They loved racing the jeep, and were sad to see it go, but the pounding of racing the jeep was too hard on Don, so he thought it best to pass it along.


This is the Yakima Valley Timber Wolves club sticker.

This race jeep has a built and bored Chev 350 with a Ford Toploader four-speed and a Dana 20 transfercase. The engine is a fresh 350 Chevy bored 30, with 202 summit heads, and an Edelbrock intake with a Holley 4-barrel carburetor,

The body is a narrow body fiberglass. The rear springs were outboarded (DJ-5 or FC mounts still there), but have since been moved underneath the axle; I’d like to move them out again. The front springs are reversed. The rear Dana 44 axle is from a scout. The front is a narrowed Dana 44, but I can’t remember from what.

Here’s a pic of the jeep with the front clip removed:


I didn’t have to look it over much before I was ready to jump in and drive it onto the trailer:

When we arrived at our new place, we discovered one of the rear tires was flat. The rear wheels have spacers on it meant to widen the stance but that also meant the jeep barely fit between the rails of the trailer. We suspect the tire may have lost its bead, which caused the air to go out.


It’s not a big problem, as I plan to a couple Desert Dogs on back anyway.

Below you can see it parked in the new shop. It’s officially the first item moved into our new place (the Roadster in front is the seller’s):


One of the biggest changes I need to make is to redo the seating so I fit more comfortably. The other thing is to finalize the name. I am told this jeep was originally built by Brian Wylie (sp?). At some point it was known as the Red Delicous (the red paint can still be seen in a few small places).

One name we had in mind was to name it the “Cosmic Crisp” (an apple invented by nearby Wash State Univ) as a nod to the early name. While I like the name, it isn’t one that rolls off the tongue.

OR, because the jeep has Marvin the Martian mud flaps, we thought about calling the jeep “Marvin” and theming it with a Marvin the Martian theme. It turns out that is one of Ann’s all-time favorite cartoon characters. But, I also think there may be another Marvin race jeep out there (it seems I remember one from the 80s, but I could be wrong).


Note the Marvin the Martian mud flaps.

I likely won’t get to making changes on this for at least a few weeks. In the meantime, here are a few more pics from the ad:


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1944 Video of US and Canadian Troops

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

This video shows a burning jeep being pushed aside; oh the horror!

“US And Canadian Troops In Anzio (1944) … L/Ss of burning vehicles, allied troops in background. Several shots of bulldozer pushing burning machinery off the road. Shots of bulldozer clearing up rubble from damaged building. M/S of red cross jeep with wounded soldier strapped on top. M/S of soldier writing letter. Nice M/S of two American soldiers reading letters. They suddenly jump down behind ditch as if a shell has exploded somewhere nearby. Several shots of troops relaxing. M/S of soldier with wounded eye drinking from flask and smoking. More shots of soldiers relaxing.

(L/S = long shot, M/S = Medium Shot, C/U = Close Up)

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1954 M-170 Mesa, AZ **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features, M-170 • TAGS: , .

UPDATE: **SOLD** was $16,000. They may take $20,000 for both this and the project (shown in the post below). 

Per Joe-in-Mesa: “Jun’s dream was to restore/finish the M170 project as the new MASH jeep due to it’s rot-free body, then outfit it with all the ambulance gear, canvas and medical supplies.  This would leave a buyer with a “leftover” solid, running M170 to sell or do the body work or just enjoy for off-roading fun in a stretched jeep.”

“Fully Outfitted M170 Field Ambulance. June 1954. #11414. 24V.
Includes all stretchers, medical box, field operating table, and tons
of medical related equipment.
Starts, runs, stops. Good tires. Solid running gear. Drive anywhere.
$2,400 of recent outer canvas and canvas seats from OD Cloth.”



2016 Marana - Jun with M170

2016 Marana - Jun M170 MASH Display

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It’s Official …

• CATEGORIES: Features

No looking back now; It’s official (with only five days to spare before our final contract expired). The World Headquarters of eWillys has been upgraded from a cramped bedroom-sized office to a full-on shop on five acres (and of course a house, too .. well two houses and an apartment).

So, other than some videos and a few jeep listings when I have some time, I’ll be busy doing other things.

We are located just outside of Prosser, Washington, which isn’t where we were aiming (Walla Walla is where we’d hoped to land), but the layout and potential of this place should serve us well.

We won’t actually start moving into the house for a few days until the previous owners leave. They are painting their new place, so needed extra time to finish it up. The former owner of the Wilgus house was a life-long employee turned manager of Les Schwabs (and knew Les as well) and seems to know all kinds of goings-on about the area, so he’ll be a good resource.

But wait … I hope to have another, unexpected surprise for Monday morning. For now, here are a few pics:


Yes, it is only photoshopped onto the building (at this point).

2804-s-wilgus-prosser-new-19 2804-s-wilgus-prosser-new-21 2804-s-wilgus-prosser-new-22


The building to the right of the shop was a mother-in-law building house (requiring a special county variance). Now, it is considered a “shed” with a bathroom, thanks to a overzealous county employee (long story). Anyway, it will be Ann’s sewing retreat and guest “shed”.

Here’s an overhead shot. As you can see, we have a nice chunk of pavement for a meet-n-greet (or a really long game of basketball).


The back half of the property is full irrigated. Last year they grew hay. We probably won’t do much with it this year, except maintain it (and test out the jeeps back there).

We’ll have some better pics once as we get settled.

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Prince Phillip’s Hearse Land Rover Design

• CATEGORIES: Features

Bill shared this story of Prince Philip’s design for a Land Rover customized to become a hearse.

Read the full story here: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-56771164


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WWII Video of US Troops in the Pacific

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

This video shows a few jeeps acting mostly as ambulances.