Features Research Archives

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Wooden Jeep on display in France

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

Alex forwarded this amazing wooden jeep replica from France.



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Norman Saunders Art Work $22,000

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features, Women & Jeeps

Alex forwarded this to me.  What you see below is the artwork Norman Saunders completed for use on the cover of the 1969 edition of Man’s Conquest.

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For the Lover of Jeeps and Golfing Costa Mesa, CA **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features, toys, Unusual • TAGS: .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $6495.

For $6,495 I could buy a very nice real jeep, though I’d get in trouble for driving it on a golf course.

“LSV Carts has hundreds of Custom Golf Carts in stock please check out our other listings. If you don’t see what you’re looking for please email us at electriccartwarehouse@yahoo.com or Call (714) 595-9662 and we will gladly list it on eBay for you. fast 23mph 2009 4 PASSENGER 48V ELECTRIC GOLF CART 48V w/ LIGHTS WILLYS ARMY JEEP BODY STYLE.”


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Balsawood Jeep Kit from MODEL CRAFT

• CATEGORIES: Features, Models, toys

This is a picture of a boxed balsawood jeep kit held by the Australian War Memorial.  The information below comes from the website.

Description: Boxed balsawood kit of a Jeep. Box obverse is illustrated in two colours with a PT boat and a jeep with the legend ‘MODEL CRAFT’. The sides are illustrated with patrol craft and trucks, accompanied by the legend ‘Manufactured by Model Aircrafts 1 Bond St Sydney’. Reverse is printed in red and blue with a listing of the other model kits available. Contents consist of a thin printed balsa sheet and smaller plain sheet and six long stringers, all wrapped in the plans for the kit. The instructions are damaged.

Summary: Little is known of Model Aircrafts Ltd. A Sydney-based company established in 1928 and operating from premises at 1 Bond St, Sydney, they manufactured a series of boxed balsawood aircraft, truck and ship kits. The evidence of their production is based on their wartime output, which is imaginative and extensive – and includes contemporary subjects such as the Mitsubishi Zero and the Hawker Hurricane – but extremely basic and evidently restricted by Australia’s wartime austerity drive and materials rationing. Thus, wartime contents for aircraft frequently provide merely a simple block of balsa and a 2.5 cm square of sandpaper with instructions to ‘shape fuselage according to the illustration’. Wartime plans are often signed ‘J Mercer’.

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Toy Jeeps at Toycollector.com

• CATEGORIES: Features, toys

I ran across a forum thread which showed some different jeep toys.  Here are a few of them.  Go to Toycollecter.com to see all the pictures.

1. Here is an airport jeep

2. I’m not sure if this is a ‘CJ-3B’ or a Mitusbishi 3B.

3.  I thought this searchlight and flattie was great.

4. Apparently this was from Germany.

5. My sister would have collected this if she had known about it.

6.  The box and the toy jeep on top don’t quite match . . . but still neat.

7. There are several different color versions of this Nicky toy shown on the site.

8. A Mitsubishi with a big gun.

9. This was my favorite picture:  A replica packing crate for a 1/35 scale jeep in balsawood.

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1953 CJ-3B Fire Brigade from the Netherlands

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3B, Features, Fire/Police/Industry Vehicles

Here’s a great CJ-3B Fire Jeep out of the Netherlands I found on Flickr.  Note the heavy duty fenders. (for a look at a couple of old pictures of Fire Jeeps, check out this post )

“A 1953 Willys Jeep CJ-3B was part of the factory fire brigade at DE (Douwe Egberts) in Joure, Friesland. Together with its 1935 mobile pump, it wasn’t retired from stand-by duty till 2004! Now in a private collection.”

The pictures were taken by David Van Mill in 2007 at St. Nikolaasga, Friesland, NL


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M.H. Keough’s Watercolor Illustration of an MB

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features

I did some searches for ‘Willys Snowflakes’.  Not surprisingly, I couldn’t find any. However, I did find this wonderful watercolor illustration done by M.H. Keough from the UK.

She writes on Flickr, “I love painting military vehicles ‘settling in for the long rust’. There’s a quiet dignity surrounding these old warhorses that I hope my art conveys.”

You can see the photo on Flickr here.

You can go to her blog here.  Fine prints (22″ x 16″) are available through her website, however her online store seems down?


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It Is Getting Cold Outside

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features

Roberto tells me he is practicing his French.  Here’s an illustration he made the other day.  I believe it roughly translates as, ‘it is so cold even ducks will freeze’.  Yes, winter is here!  Of course, as always, Roberto slipped in a jeep . . .

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Len’s 1942 GPW

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Len says he became a jeep fan while watching episodes of MASH. Despite being interested in jeeps, he waited to buy his first jeep.  Finally, three years ago, he took the plunge and found a 1942 GPW in Eastern Oregon. He brought it back to his home near Seattle to start a rebuild.  He thought it would take one year.  But, as many jeep enthusiasts learn, it took him more time than expected.   Now at the end of year three, he is almost done.  Though he has learned a lot, he swears he will never do another jeep rebuild.

The jeep itself had a pretty rough body, probably because it was raced for a short while.  However, the front of the frame and frame horns were in amazingly great shape and original.  Every part of the jeep has been pulled apart and rebuilt.  His goal has been to build a jeep out of original, rather than replacement parts.  The engine runs well and sounds great.

Len believes the small pits and dents in the body and fenders adds a nice historical feel to the project. Amazingly, he has managed to locate a variety of parts out of junkyards around the Seattle area.  For example, he has found two original pintle hitches from junk yards.  He has found all kinds of F stamped bolts.  He found a prototype, pre combat, rim. He found a headlight bucket.  The list of parts he found was surprising!

One of the most amazing stories he told was that the jeep didn’t come with a hood that matched the original body.  Since the hood was in poor shape, one of the things he began looking for was a better hood.  One of his buddies mentioned that his father had a GPW hood.  Len picked up the hood and was stunned to see it had striping similar to his jeep.  When he got it back to his garage he discovered the hood matched the body exactly!  After Len investigated things further, it turned out his friend’s father had sold the jeep to the guy in Oregon.  So, Len now had the original hood of the jeep.  Even better, the original hood numbers were still readable.  Talk about a small world!

Len’s goal with his jeep is to complete the rebuild, drive it for a few years, and then donate it to Fort Lewis, because the Fort’s museum doesn’t have a WWII jeep in it, though it does have later models.  Len still needs a few more items to complete his build, one being a ford script driver’s seat.  I’ve got a lead on one for him, but if anyone knows of any others, please comment below.

Len mentioned that his wife has been a big support of his effort, though their agreement includes one demand by her:  She gets to drive it first.  Congrats on the great rebuild.

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Willys ‘Fruit’ Truck from Vietnam

• CATEGORIES: Features, toys

Glenn forwarded this unusual toy on eBay from Vietnam.


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Ted’s Jeep Collection

• CATEGORIES: Features

Ted dropped me a note today thanking me for helping sell his CJ-3B.  He also offered to share some pictures of his jeep collection. After seeing the pictures,  I thought everyone else would like to see them too, especially his 2A which has more gadgets on it than a swiss blade knife!  Thanks for sharing Ted (and looks like the kids enjoy the jeeps, too!).


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Bantam Festival Sets the Jeep Parade Record

• CATEGORIES: Features, News

The Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival organization received official recognition from the Guiness Folks that they set the Parade record.  Read more here.

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Willys Truck Options

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

It seems to be a Willys/Jeep Truck and Wagon day.  So, let’s start with this old brochure Glenn forwarded to me.  I’d like to see a brochure that shows all 50 options referenced in the brochure.  Note this is a brochure put out by Willys of Canada.

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Robin’s Willys Truck with a Tow Package

• CATEGORIES: Features, Willys Trucks

Robin spotted this nifty truck with a rare towing package.  He has shared a bunch of pictures on Flickr.  Here are a few below.  Cool truck!


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M&M Flattie

• CATEGORIES: Features, toys

Ann bought me this M&M Jeep from the M&M store when we were at Times Square (the last one there).  While a cool little toy, it seemed a bit overpriced until I spotted the same toy at Amazon.com for TWICE the retail price! http://www.amazon.com/Military-Vehicle-Candy-Dispenser-Jeep/dp/B002XOBIWU

For a better price, go straight to the online M&M store

Ann was having fun, too

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Anyone have Deestone D503 Tire experience?

• CATEGORIES: Features, Tires and Rims

Greg wrote me with a question for readers.

“Been researching tires for my Dad’s CJ3A restoration project lately. The closest thing I’ve found to a mid-sixties style mud tire that he want’s to use is a Deestone D503. Just wondering if anyone has any experience with this tire (7.00 x 15), or perhaps has a more economical or even modern tire with similar tread characteristics. For our purposes with this jeep, visual is as important as off road performance. Oh, price is a consideration too. These retail for around $130-145, plus tubes, mounting, shipping, etc etc. One issue I’m having with this tire at the moment is the diameter.   29.8″ versus the 26 or 27″ it’ll replace.   I’m ok with slightly larger, but I worry about getting too big.”


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George Carpenter’s Peep Adventure

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old News Articles

Howard wrote to me this morning, sharing the news that his father George passed away yesterday.  In remembrance, Howard wanted to share an article from Stars and Stripes about the time his father jumped out of a jeep just before it was shelled. You can read the article below.  He noted that his father always referred to the jeep as a peep, even the Wranglers!

Howard writes that his father George was “an advanced scout in A Troop, 94th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized) of the 14th Armored Division. They earned the official designation of “The Liberators” because they liberated about 200,000 allied POWs from German prison camps, as well as several concentration camps. It’s interesting reading if you ever have time to google it, as is their involvement in the Battle of Hatten-Rittershoffen.”

I asked him if they had jeeps while Howard was growing up. He wrote, “We never had Jeeps growing up, though he always mentioned them when we saw one. My 18-year-old son got a beat up 1989 YJ a couple of years ago, and even through his Alzheimer’s Disease my father would enjoy riding with no top or doors and would always mention driving across Germany in one. My son has developed a strong interest and is reading up on restoration, and has said he intends to always keep a project going on when he gets out of college. I guess that means he’ll always stay broke!”

So, this post is a tribute to George.


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1948 Willys Custom Wagon Virginia Beach, Va eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Jeep Rods, Willys Wagons • TAGS: .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was on eBay.

(08/15/2011) They never built them like this!

“You are bidding on the the most amazing Willys Woodie Wagon for sale today.  This Woodie is drop dead gorgeous and demands all of the attention everywhere it goes.  Below is a list of items detailing the Woodie:

  • Constant show winner – Trophy winner every show
  • 1 of a kind custom build street rod
  • Well over $75,000 to build this show winner
  • Draws a crowd whenever we take this rod out for shows or cruise – From 5 years old to 95 years old they all love it
  • GM 350 V8 engine
  • GM 350 transmission (automatic)
  • Custom air ride on all 4 wheels (MFG  by Air Ride technologies)
  • Vintage Air Conditioning (Ice cold)
  • VDO gauges
  • Colorado custom steering wheel
  • Ron Francis wiring
  • Ididit tilt steering column
  • Power front disc brakes – Rear drums
  • Custom seats, interior and rear wood headliner over $8000
  • Custom dual exhaust
  • Dash mounted view finder by Guide
  • Custom surfboard rear view mirror (inside) with dual tear drop outside mirrors
  • Custom 18 inch wheels with spinners (custom built)
  • 4 new 265/35/18 Bridgestone radials
  • Billett valve covers and chrome accessories
  • Custom made old school air cleaner
  • Custom painted pin stripping with flames
  • Custom molded running boards
  • Custom 2 piece windshield with all new molding
  • Custom LED rear tail lights and brake lights
  • Canvas tan roof with ribs
  • Custom made roof racks for shows and display

This is by far one of the finest street rods I have ever owned.  There is no way that you could build this woody for the buy it now price of this auction.”

Continue reading

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Roberto’s Latest Drawing

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

Roberto forwarded his latest drawing to me.  I think he had a lot of fun drawing this one!

He wrote, “It´s a a cartel or poster drawn for the 18th International Meeting of Classic Military Vehicles of the Guixaró 2012, Catalonia, Spain, organized by the Classic Motor Club of the Bages, Catalonia, Spain. I call it “Where is Willys?”…Obviously, after the influence of “Where´s Wally?” art.”


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More New Mexico Scams

• CATEGORIES: Features

Mike reports that the Albuquerque scams are back.  He reports that he “responded yesterday to an ad (too good to be true) for a running flattie 1940’s jeep with pto winch for $500 located outside of ABQ., NM. (just needed a tuneup and minor radiator repair)”  After he emailed the seller, the post/scam was quickly pulled.  So, if you see something ridiculous coming from that area, please report it.

Thanks Mike!

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1946? Ford? Jeepster West Valley City, Ut **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features, Jeepster, Unusual

UPDATE: Bob from Ohio bought this.  I can’t wait to hear more about it.  Was listed at $1000.

Bob forwarded this to me via the CJ-2A Page. It’s an odd duck. I am thinking it it is a shortened Jeepster on a CJ frame.

“46 Ford Jeepster a one of a kid. Needs a lot of work but has a lot of potential. I bought the car 16 years ago and haven’t had the time or money to get it restored. It has some transmission problems and other minor problems, dead battery, etc. Has new tires. I need to sell it as soon as possible and the price is negotiable..”

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A Couple Willys Trucks

• CATEGORIES: Camping, Features, Unusual, Willys Trucks

Robin emailed me the other day asking how rare Willys trucks with tow packages are.  Before answering her question, I did some searches to make sure my answer, which was yes, was correct.  That’s when I came across these two pictures.  One is a beautiful Willys Tow Truck and the other is entirely odd ball.

This is a picture that is being auctioned on eBay:

This image was taken by Randy Brown on February of 2010:

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Snow Blows

• CATEGORIES: Features

The last hour of our 31 hour drive from Long Island to Rapid City, SD, was the longest of our trip.  The running joke between Ann and I was that the weather always seemed worst when i was driving.  Well, this time she took the brunt of the bad driving.  With 45 minutes left as we drove into the hills on I-90  just before Rapid City, the snow started falling hard.  With temperatures hovering around 27 degrees, the snow stuck immediately.  The closer we got to Rapid City, the more the snow fell and the snowier the freeway became.  Every mile got worse as the freeway turned white; snow rules were the norm and ‘lanes’ vanished.  We were happy to arrive, tired, rummy, and ready to sleep.

Once we arrived at the motel, after talking with travelers coming from Montana and Wyoming, coupled with reports that it would snow heavy on Saturday, we booked a room for two nights.  So, after two days of racing west hoping to miss the snow, instead we find ourselves buried under it for the next two days.  But, it’s not so bad being trapped in a motel room with Ann …. below is the view out our window.

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History Czar Interview

• CATEGORIES: Features

For his 100th podcast, the History Czar, Paul Bruno, interviewed me last weekend while Ann and I were at Niagara Falls. We discussed a variety of topics during our 48 minute conversation, including my upcoming book, eWillys, my background, and our mutual frustration regarding a jeep museum, or lack thereof.   (The site containing the interview is no longer available).

During our conversation, Paul kindly labeled me a jeep historian; pre-eminent was his adjective of choice.  However, there are many expert jeep nuts out there who know more than I, so don’t let all his kind words fool you:  I’m still learning!

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Overnight with Andy and Wallis

• CATEGORIES: Features

On Sunday night, after our brush with the law at the NYC’s water reservoir, Ann and I stopped in the Catskills to spend the night with Andy and Wallis.  Andy has a few jeeps he wanted to share with me, but we got there too late to look around, so we went down to a local restaurant for a few drinks and some delicious dinner, before returning to the cabin.

Our nightcap for the evening was to watch an episode of Pan Am, because Andy had just sold a jeep to them for use in an episode of the show.  If you watch the episode, you can spot the M-38A1D (the identifier is its unique passenger side piece that runs around the top side rim along the rear of the body).  Here is an example of a stock M-38A1D.

Only a few minutes away from the that start of the tv show that featured the jeep, the power in the cabin suddenly shutdown.  There seemed no cause for the power outage.  We heard no wind, saw no rain, and experienced no weather problems at all.  Sure the power would come back on, said Andy and Wallis, just wait a few minutes.  So, we waited five minutes, then ten minutes, and longer.  While Wallis and Andy apologized, Ann and I were perfectly happy, as it was quiet and peaceful, with the flicker of candles and the fireplace firelight filling the rooms.  Eventually, we gave up  waiting for the power and went to the sleep.

In the middle of the night, power (and civilization) returned, with the tv and the lights powering on.  So, we shut down the lights and tv and went back to sleep.

The next morning Andy took us over to Terry’s Jeep Farm, a visit I highlighted yesterday. When we returned to his place, he showed me a few of his jeeps.  Below are a few pictures from the tour.  I’ve also included a link to the 11/13/2011 tv show of Pan Am.  Thanks to both Andy and Wallis for their hospitality!!

http://beta.abc.go.com/shows/pan-am (click on 11/13/2011 video)

Here’s Andy and I in his property cart, a really handy way to get around.

Here’s a nice original piece of Ford Windshield Glass

Based on feedback he has received, Andy believes this GPW had a top added during the Korean War by the motor pool to turn it into an Ambulance.  Andy had this for sale back in October, but it didn’t sell a the price Andy wanted.