Features Research Archives

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The Decoliner

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

Paul pointed out this unusual vehicle.  It’s just fun.

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American Car Brochures

• CATEGORIES: Features, Website

HOG forwarded this unique website.  There are a few Willys brochures in there, too.


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DJ-3A Prototype?

• CATEGORIES: DJ-3A, Features

Colin was searching the web and accidentally ran across this jeep.

He writes, “While browsing the web . . . I found this photo, which is obviously misnamed.  The caption says it is a 1948 VJ2 Jeepster(NOT!), but it is what I think is a factory photo of a  prototype DJ3A with the low windshield,  convertible top and a 48-49 Jeepster T-Bar on the grille.”

Note both the T-Bar grille and the way the top connects the windshield.  Anyone seen other pics of this?

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Colombian Flatties from Flickr

• CATEGORIES: Features, International, Women & Jeeps

Here’s a nice shot of a jeep  that looks like a statue of some kind.  I don’t think she is a statue though.


This looks like a photo of a postcard maybe?


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Yellowstone Howe Fire Truck

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

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

You can learn more about their firetruck here.

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Can Anyone Help Larry Identify his M-38?

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

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

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

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

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

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

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features • TAGS: .

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

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

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

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

Here are the old pics:

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

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

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

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

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Paper Jeeps Maquettes-Papier

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

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


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

More SAS jeep images here:

Additional Models of paper Military Vehicles can be found here:

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Photos from Wade

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

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

Here is his nephew and their nice looking flattie.

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


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Willys Hubcap Thread

• CATEGORIES: Features, Tires and Rims, Website

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


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More Updates Tomorrow (Tuesday)

• CATEGORIES: Features

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

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

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



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Turning Points in History: Man and Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

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

Part 1:

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

Part 2:

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

Part 3:

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

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Short Jeep Film from France

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

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


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Papercraft Template from 1944

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features

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

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


Here is a finished product:

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Toledo Lucas County Library Jeep Images

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

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

This is a beautiful shot of a 6×6:

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


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Air Police

• CATEGORIES: Features, Fire/Police/Industry Vehicles

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

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



Below are just some of the images I found:

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

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


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


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Flint’s Schoolbus Wagon

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

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


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Toledo Lucas County Library

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


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CJ-5 Surrey

• CATEGORIES: Features, toys • TAGS: .

Speaking of unique Surreys, Mike wrote the following Comment:

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

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

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The Best 4×4 So Far . . .

• CATEGORIES: Features

Steve forwarded this to me.  Pretty funny.

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Flickr Photo of a CJ-2A

• CATEGORIES: CJ-2A, Features


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Video of two “SAS” Replicas

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

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

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Front Page News from a Colombian Yipao

• CATEGORIES: Features, International • TAGS: .

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finished Install before New Exhaust:

Here is close up view of drag link end:

Arrows point to Borgston Joint and shaft support bearing:

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

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Wagner-Trac on a CJ-2A

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

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

According to the information at the video’s homepage:

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