Features Research Archives

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Nicely Shaped Aluminum Body for Willys Sedan

• CATEGORIES: Features, Unusual • TAGS: , .

This has nothing to do with jeeps, but Steve forwarded it thinking I might like it.  I did.  I figured some of you would too.

According to the attached text of the email, “Check this out… a hand-formed all-aluminum Willys Coupe! It’s amazing what some people can do with an English rolling wheel, sheet metal brake and a lot of skill and knowledge. No, he is not going to paint it.  I love the polished flames!  It’s got the right stuff under the hood, too! The hood scoop has yet to be installed in the photo below (Look closely). This is Walt Austin’s aluminum Willys coupe at Jim Hume’s shop, south of Bellingham , Washington.”

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Reader Builds — Paul’s 1944 MB

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

UPDATE:  Paul just forwarded me a new video of his nicely modified flattie.  He first sent me pictures of his jeep back in 2008.  Below is the original post.


Published November 14th, 2008

Paul wrote to me the other day, professing he’s stricken with the dreaded flatfender disease.  I told him to take two pills and send me more pics in the morning.  Fortunately for all of us, he followed my advice and has sent me a variety of images of his labor of love for the past 3 decades.

Back in August of 1979, he innocently purchased a 1944 MB for only $800.  It was pretty much all original, worn out, but in running condition.

It didn’t take long for Paul to decide to make a few upgrades, changing the engine to a V-6, purchasing a new body, and more.  Then, at some point he decided the drive train needed updating, the tranny and transfercase should be swapped out, a bigger engine was needed, and the dreaded flatfender sickness had overtaken Paul.

The good news is that I believe the sickness has run it’s course, as he’s ended up with a beautiful jeep that will serve him well for years to come. Also, fortunately for Paul, he seems to encountered a disciplined form of the illness, as I don’t see 7 or 8 other flatfenders in various stages of disrepair out on the lawn :-).

You can view some additional pics of the tilting hood in this post.

Here are the specs:

Body: Acme all steel, replaced in 1980
Tilt front end:
all steel, tilts on a roll cage fabricated from ½” pipe
From a 2 wheel drive Jeep Dispatcher.  Frame is boxed, has dual shock mounts up front.  This is a much stronger frame than the original.
Roll cage:
custom made, mounts to frame in 6 places.  Seats mount to cage along with spare tire.
I started with the original 4 cylinder flat head, then an odd fire 225 V6, finally the Chevy V8Chevy 350, 4 bolt main, bored .030 to make 355 cubic inches.  Has all Eldelbrock aftermarket equipment including internals, aluminum heads and intake,  along withdual quad carbs.  The combination of 400 horsepower, short headers, and small glass pack mufflers, makes the thing sounds like a demon.
Turbo 350 with B&M shift kit and converter
Transfer Case:
Dana 20, Novak brand adapter
Differentials: Early 70’s Jeep, 3:73 gears.
Steering: Chevy column out of a Chevy Caprice along with Chevy manual box.  The crazy thing is that the two bolt hole spacing that held the column in the Chevy was the exact spacing needed in the Willys
Brakes: Chevy master cylinder along with swing pedal (out of a Chevy Vega), has updated 11” drums along with emergency brakes.
Seats: The tilt column makes it easier to get into the high sided bucket seats.  I lowered the seats down about 4″, and about 4″ to the rear by notching the body without making it look too butchered.

Some pics of the build process:

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Finding Virginia’s Magazine Review

• CATEGORIES: Features

My first ‘official’ reviewer, from Arches Magazine, took a look at Finding Virginia and had nothing but good things to say about it.  I’m very happy about the review and hope it leads to more sales!  The review was long and detailed.  Here is the final paragraph, which sums up the review well, even capturing one of my favorite poems, Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken:

You can read the entire review here.

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Pocket War Comics Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features

Here are some interesting jeep comics Buz found.  They were published in Pocket War Comics.  Pocket War Comics were published in Britain and, as the name suggest, were pocket sized.  I tried to find more information about them, but didn’t have any luck.

One great resource for this genre is http://pocketwarcomics.blogspot.com/.  These came from this same site from this link: http://pocketwarcomics.blogspot.com/2011/03/war-picture-library-99-spearhead.html

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@ Fort Lewis (now JBLM)

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

This morning’s updates have come directly from Fort Lewis, which is now known by the term JBLM (Joint Base Lewis-McChord).  Well, technically I’m at the VA hospital waiting on Ann, so  it might be more accurate to say I’m very near JBLM.  In commemoration of my visit, I thought I’d post a couple Fort Lewis related images.

From Ford42GPW comes this picture of a couple of soldiers from the 15th Infantry.  You can read more at the website.

Old Cars Weekly’s website published this overhead shot of the 15th infantry.  There are a couple different early jeeps in this picture.

The G503 website has this thread about a Ford GP and Bantam BRC-40

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Soldiers Guarding a Ship in Africa

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

I ran across this image the other day.  It’s a surreal composition. The AP Photo is part of a collection of 45 pictures from Africa published on the Atlantic Monthly’s website.  View all the amazing photos here.

According to the caption, “A U.S. army soldier with a sub-machine gun and another in a jeep guard the looming S. S. Partos which was damaged and had capsized against the dock when the Allies landed at the North African port, in 1942. (AP Photo)”

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Paratroopers and Paratrooper Vehicles in Carentan, France

• CATEGORIES: Features, International, Museums, Website

Jeff was vacationing in France and Belgium when he ran across two businesses located in Carentan:  Paratrooper and Paratrooper Vehicles.  He thought I might have known about them, but nope I did not know about them.  Carentan is a small rural town near the north-eastern base of the French Cotentin Peninsula in Normandy.  If anyone else has been here (or can translate the website better than I), feel free to comment!

Jeff writes, “I was just in northern France and Belgium with the family on vacation and was in the Normandy area which incorporated a D-Day beach tour. Stayed in Carentan and came across Paratrooper. I am sure you may have known about them. I visited both businesses which are in different locations. I took some photos of the restoration location, Paratrooper Vehicles and thought you would like to see them.”

Thanks for taking these.  I will add this to my list of must visit places when we do our Great European Jeep Tour.  When are we doing this tour?  I’m hoping in time for the the 70th anniversary of DDay.

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A Fire Truck from Kvalsund, Norway kr45,000

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

Here’s a 1957 fire truck from Norway that is still in great shape.  This jeep is located in the far north of Norway.

Here’s the Norwegian ad (click here to translate):

Veteran/brannbil fra 1957 selges pga plassmangel. Flott bil og samleobjekt for den interesserte. I 2011 ble den kjørt fra Sarpsborg til Hammerfest uten et feilslag, Har desverre ikke tatt bilder innvendig men di kommer om noen dager det er tank i bilen tror det er plast nyere rør og kuleventiler følger med en bensindrevet pumpe til å kjøre trykk fra tanken, det er slangetrommel i bilen og to sitteplasser helt bak samt hjelm fra den tiden…har også satt inn 3 brannslukkere fra 60/70 tallet av typen Nu Swift bak i bilen, det er også gammeltypen hampslanger både 2 1/2 ” og 1 1/2″ med nord kupplinger.

Har tatt bilder under bilen og det er ikke rust, startet forøvrig på første forsøk etter å ha stått ute sin første vinter.  Har redusert prisen dersom hurtig avgjørelse på salg. Det er en 6 sylindra motor Flatsix Hurricane”


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Jeep Reef — I know, it’s not really a jeep, but it’s cool

• CATEGORIES: Features

Originally posted November 24, 2009

It’s been about four years since I last scuba’d in the Caribbean.   Getting my picture next to “Jeep Reef” in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park would be a great next dive.  Note to self:  Book trip to Bahamas …. leave jeep at home.

According to this website, The Jeep Reef  “is one of the prettiest reefs you will ever see. The strong current that sweeps through this cut keeps the reef ‘s corals very healthy. This dive can only be done at slack tide because of the strong currents . It is in the middle of the Exumas Land & Sea Park, so you will find a very healthy population of fish. This dive site gets its name from a coral encrusted jeep that sits near the mooring.”



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Esteban finds some more unusual images

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

Originally posted Feb 3, 2010

Inspired by the Castro/Guevara video I found, Esteban went hunting for a couple more vintage pics from that era.  Sebastian has generously shared those with us below.  Esteban also found what Sebastian believes is “a very special since it could be the first Willys ad ever in Colombia. It was published before the jeeps arrived to the country. It is basically inviting people to reserve their jeeps before arrival time.”

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Kempner Power Wagon Museum

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums • TAGS: .

Originally posted June 15, 2009 (See, there is even a Power Wagon Museum!)

At some point early in his driving life, my dad owned a red Dodge Power Wagon.  I’ve never ridden in one myself, however I found a place where I can explore several different models: The Kempner Power Wagon Museum.

The Kempner Museum is an owner-owned museum, with the owner displaying vehicles and other items he has collected over the years.  Recently, the owner, with his wife’s blessing he notes, built a building to house the trucks and other related materials.

This museum does not take a ‘hands off’ approach, rather people can climb into these vehicles, touch and explore them.

The museum is located in Kempner, Texas (museum info), which is roughly 150 miles south of Dallas.  I’m adding to my list of places to visit soon.

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Roberto’s M-38 Caricature

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

Roberto just completed this caricature of a M-38.  You can see his progress from start-to-finish here:


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Kool Nights in Redding, Ca

• CATEGORIES: Event, FC150-FC170-M677, Features

Steve forwarded some images from a Kool Nights event in Redding.

He writes, “Today wraps up the final day of the week long event, Kool April Nites in Redding, Ca.  Over 1800 vehicles came from hundreds of miles around to attend the 23rd annual event.  Here are some photos of the “Jeeps of Kool April Nites”.  I didn’t get away from my working my car club’s booth, so I didn’t get very good pictures this year.  I also needed a better camera to take evening photos of the Friday Night Cruise.

Below is Steve’s Jeepster

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Image from New Jersey State Police Museum

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

Steve discovered this image in the New Jersey State Police Museum archives.  The museum was kind enough to allow us to publish it.

Steve rights, “I did some research with our museum staff and found this picture from 1951 of a state trooper driving a WW II Willys MB that had been converted for police use. Looks like it may have been used in rural areas as a sorta fire jeep. See the large fire extinguisher on the left fender skirt …. Coincidentally, one of our troopers (Trooper Joseph C. Walter Jr. #685) was killed in the line of duty in a motor vehicle accident on 9-7-52, I believe in that very same jeep.”


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Allis Chalmers M7 Snow Tractor at the Wright Museum

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

Glenn forwarded this unusual and rare Snow Tractor from the early 1940s located at the Wright Museum in New Hampshire.

The M7 was conceived as an Army Air Force rescue/utility vehicle. It was found that most plane crashes occurred on the climb out of or approach to an airport. With the large number of northern bases in remote locations, getting to these aircraft was difficult at best – impossible at worse. Shown above with M19 Trailer.

Manufacturer: Allis-Chalmers
M7 Snow Tractor (SNOCAT)
Crew: 2
Engine: Willys MB, 4cyl. (134.2 c.i.)
Horsepower: 63
Date Manufactured: 1944
Number Produced: 291
Weight: 2, 620 lbs
Range: 160 miles

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A Jeep helps out a Peplum Movie

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

From the “you learn something new every day” department, I just learned that a Peplum Movie is a genre of Italian films known as ‘Sword and Sandal’, perhaps better called Greek period films.  Peplum is the Greek word for ‘tunic’.  I stumbled upon the picture below, along with the topic of peplum, when searching for “Lucille Ball” and “jeep”.  I surely do not know how that search string is related to a male actor in a tunic exiting a jeep, but if Google says they are related, I guess I must yield to its genius.

Anyhooo, this is Steve Reeves stepping from a MB/GPW during the filming of “Hercules” in 1958 from the website http://www.peplum.ca.

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Blaine Tests Out the CJ-3B Mower

• CATEGORIES: Features

Blaine was attending the Portland Swap Meet when he spotted the CJ-3B Mower/GoKart featured for sale a few days ago.  So, he got a picture of him sitting on it with his FC shirt.  I asked if it actually mowed.

Blaine responded, “That is this first one (only?) he built which didn’t have a deck in the first place but it could be added.  The builder wasn’t there at the  time. I said to his friend that if you could mow with it that it would be a big plus.”

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1941 Ford GP Clackamas, Or **SOLD**

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

UPDATE:  Was available at $15,000.

(03/25/2012) This needs some work to get return to its original glory.  That driver’s side has been hacked a bit.

“1941 ford gp pre war prototype for willys jeep…It is in good condition and runs ( all though not at the moment) It has a 9n tractor engine in it now… The orignal engine block goes with it and appeares to be in good condition…”

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Risqué Photo of Woman on a Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, Women & Jeeps

UPDATE:  I had the wrong link associated with the pic.  It is fixed now.

Mike forwarded me a drawing of women in bikinis on a jeep from Stag magazine.  I remember the drawing as I had stumbled upon it a few years ago myself. That got me thinking, so I did a quick search of bikini’s and jeeps.  I was surprised to find the following image.  I had made it family friendly.  You can see the original along with a few others at the “relevant married guy” website in a post called ‘Jeep girls … it’s a Jeep thing?‘.

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Hiking to the M*A*S*H Set in Southern California

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

Glenn alerted me to this.  If you are a fan of M*A*S*H, then you might be interested in hiking to the mountain set of the TV Series.  The are is located in Malibu Creek State Park just north of Malibu, California.  There’s a few old vehicles still there, including an earlyish CJ-2A.


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Willys Overland Panel Delivery Van (Going to Jesse’s)

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features, Fire/Police/Industry Vehicles, FJ • TAGS: .

UPDATE II:  See the latest — The Van is headed West.

From August, 2011:  Glenn recognized the Willys Van for sale.  Even more impressive, he found a brochure for one!  Well done! He bought the Sales Folder off eBay about a year and a half ago. Mfg. by Plaza Motors, Inc. Englewood, NJ and was Willys-Overland Factory Approved.

Based on the emails between Colin and Glenn, there were at least three groups of Willys-Overland Delivery Trucks produced:

1) One group was produced during or just prior to WWII (as seen below)

Here is a 1942 Panel Delivery Truck:

2) One group was produced during post WWII and pre 1950, which appears to include the Willys Van owned by Mike. The brochure provided by Glenn also appears to be related to this second group.

3) One group was produced between 1951 and 1953, based on these serial numbers.

The numbers below are for post 1950 FJs. This one appears to be a pre-1950 FJ. We are still awaiting a serial number.
1951 FJ 451 GC1 10001— none
1953 FJ 452 GC2 10001—10065 65 built
1954 FJ454 GC2 10001—10012 12 built

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Lucy’s Strange CJ-5

• CATEGORIES: Features, Unusual

Bob forwarded a picture from the IMCDB.org of what appears to be a CJ-5 on an episode of The Lucy Show.  Both he and I tried to find additional photos, without luck.  Note both the odd headlights and the use of alternative fenders.


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Searching for a 1948 CJ-2A Named “Whiplash” in Silverdale, Wa

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Jeri Norris contacted me today wondering if I could help her track down a jeep she and her husband sold in the early 1990s.

She writes, “I’m looking for a jeep we sold over 20 yrs ago. It’s a 1948 Willys flat finder. At the time it was sold it was blue with white top. On the driver’s side we had the name Bill and on the passenger side the name Jeri.  We called it Whiplash. It was powered by a V-8.  I believe she was sold to someone in silverdale WA. I’ve been trying to find her for over 15 yrs. Any help would be great. Thanks.”

So, if anyone recognizes any of this info, let me know.  Jeri and Bill jeeped in California as part of the Kangaroo 4wd Club.  They moved up to the Puget Sound area, bringing the jeep with them,  and then sold the jeep.

Here is one picture:

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Press Photo of Tuxedo Park CJ-5 eBay

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, CJ5, Features, Old Images

I thought this was an odd photo due to the passenger seeming to pretend to be holding a steering wheel.   This photo is being auctioned on eBay.

View the eBay Auction here

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Ford GP Photo eBay

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

Here’s a nice photo of a GP chained down, possibly for transit?

View the eBay auction here