Features Research Archives

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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.”

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The Jeep Guy Resotrations from Scranton Pa

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

For a while I’ve run across Craigslist Ads for “The Jeep Guy Restorations” out of Scranton, Pa.  Well, before I had a chance to contact him to learn more, the owner Bob Foster contacted me.  He shares his history and provided some pictures.  You can learn more about his restoration ship on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Jeep-Guy-Restorations/273113772733381?sk=info  Thanks for sharing your story.  If you want to contact Bob, call him at 570 347-8998.

Bob wrote, “I inherited the business from my dad. He started the business in 1957. At first, we only did general repair work, but in 1963, my dad added bodywork and painting to our services. I helped him at a young age. Soon, I learned the fabrication of metal panels from my grandfather, who was a blacksmith that worked on the Erie locomotive shops here in Scranton, the anthracite capitol of the world. As a blacksmith, my grandfather even made his own tools. He passed down to me his knowledge of metalworking.

I started to help with the bodywork in earnest around 1969, eventually taking over the painting and bodywork. Most of the work was rust repair and full paints. Also, over time, I started to modify vehicles by cutting and shortening truck frames, adding dump bodies, making wreckers, and adding winches. I bought my first 4-wheel drive Ford in 1974 for $4,800 brand new. I still have it—I turned it into a wrecker. At my dad’s garage, we worked on Jeeps over the years, but not in large volumes. Not too many people in Scranton owned them in the 60s or 70s. To add to that, my dad did not like Jeeps: he had the impression that they did not hold up well.

In 1979, we bought a gas station, and my brother Ronnie joined us in running it. However, I had to oversee it and run the other shop, too. We later sold the station and bought 1 acre of commercial land, where I built a 40x30x16 garage for truck repairs. I still run out of the garage today. I added state inspections to the garage’s services in 1990. For most of the 90s and 2000s; truck repairs, vehicle inspections, bodywork, restorations, and modifications took up the bulk of my time.

However, in 2006, my wife and I were looking at projects that the boys at our church would enjoy, so I got the idea to find an old Jeep and work with them on it, getting it to run. So I advertised on Craiglist for an MB or CJ2A, and a young guy named Michael called in response. He lived about 20 miles away from Scranton, so we took our trailer and the boys along and bought one of his 40s civilian Jeeps. Michael is a WW2 reenacter, so he had his other Jeep painted OD green. It gave me the idea to do the same with ours.

Over time, WW2 and Korean War veterans that were my customers would come to the shop and tell stories about the Jeeps they drove in the War. As they grew older, I started to lose them as customers. However, because of their stories, I found a passion in restoring the Jeeps to remember the GIs that drove them. So after that, I bought two more Jeeps—they are like potato chips. This is the story of how I discovered my passion for army MBs and civilian Jeeps. They are a tribute to the men who drove them and worked on them.

As we were working on the Jeeps, getting them in running condition, people learned about my project. A worker at a local auto supply shop, an army veteran, told customers that had Jeep problems, “Go to that Jeep Guy over there. He’ll be able to help.” And the name stuck. For 40 years, I’ve worked on all types of vehicles, but now I’m looking to focus on Jeeps, both the old and the new.”

Here’s a project:

Here is another finished project:

Continue reading

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Wooden Jeep in Chateau in Europe (France I think)

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums, Unusual, Wood bodies

I spotted this on Flickr.  I thought it was the same wooden jeep that was spotted in France here, but I think this is a different one (the jeep below only had 8 slots, while the one in the link above has 9 slots).


According to the photographer Spottedlaurel, “There was a ruined Chateau just outside the village near where we stayed, and in one of the beautifully refurbished buildings there was a museum full of life-size things made from wood. F1 car, tractor, motorbikes, all sorts of things. The bonnet lifted up on this to show a wooden engine inside.”

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The Malt Jeeps: #1, 2, 3 & 4

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

A couple of us commented on that Hotchkiss jeep that is for sale (view here).  I mentioned that Hotchkiss didn’t start building jeeps in 1942, so I doubted the year.  Alex noted that a variety of early jeep parts were recycled through the E.R.G.M. works at La Maltournee.  Since it had been a while since I had checked out the Hotchkiss related m201.com website, I went there to learn more about the Maltournee  jeeps, which are sometimes called “Malt” Jeeps.

Well, it turns out that the name “Malt” actually refers to four specific jeeps:  Malt 1, 2, 3 & 4.  According to m201’s website:

Jeeps re-manufactured from WW2 parts at La Maltournée are often referred to as ‘Malt jeeps’. However, the term more correctly applies to four specially prepared jeeps, Malt 1, 2, 3 & 4. These were used at shows where they would be driven into the arena by a team of four men who proceeded to dismantle the jeep. The parts were then passed through a small opening before being reassembled on the other side and finally driven back out of the arena – all in less than ten minutes! Various special modifications made this possible, e.g. the bodywork being divided into two parts.”

I searched and searched, but could only find one picture of a “Malt” Jeep, which is at the m201 site.  Note there appears to be a seam in the body at the rear wheel well so it can be disassembled (SEE PIC UPPER LEFT).  The bigger question is, what happened to those special jeeps?

I suppose it is similar to competitions like this back in 2009: http://www.ewillys.com/?p=39373

Or the more widely seen parade jeep that is quickly disassembled and re-assembled.

Or like this competition captured in Olyslager Organization’s book “The Jeep“.

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Jeep on Fire

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

Steve spotted this former police jeep in India on fire.  Nothing safer for kids to do than beat on a burning vehicle.  I’m sure the toxic fumes aren’t too bad . . .


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General George Patton’s Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, MB, Museums

Located at the General George Patton Museum of Leadership, this jeep certainly has some unusual modifications.  I found the pictures below on Flickr.  They were taken by Greg in 2009.

The Patton museum is located on the Fort Knox installation along US Highway 31W, just south of the US Highway 60 intersection.


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Jack Benny in Korea

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

Here’s a line-up of Military Police with Jack Benny in the front left jeep.


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Photographs from the LA Times

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

Bruce spotted these photographs from April 20, 1942 by George Watson.  These jeeps are practicing under the supervision of Major General George S. Patton.  These photos are part of the Watson Family Photo Archive.  In them you can see some Willys MAs, MBs and Ford GPs.  http://framework.latimes.com/2012/01/27/desert-training-with-gen-george-patton/#/0  

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Builds: Gary updates his CJ-5

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Gary sent me an update on his CJ-5 project.  Thanks for sharing Gary.

Gary writes, “I wanted to share a few pics of my project. I am very close to putting my body back on. (hopefully this weekend)

Also, I included a couple pics of an idea that I have for the old style master cylinder. I always hated having to unbolt the plate to check the fluid.

This is my solution- I took the cap and drilled and tapped it to 1/8 pipe threads. Then I took a small drill bit and opened up the vent hole that is on top of the cap so it could be filled with a JB weld type material. I threaded a tubing adapter to the top of the cap.

I purchased a fluid reservoir off ebay for around $10, this has a cap with a modern style vent and your brake fluid can be checked at a glance.

I don’t know if anyone else has tried this, but I see no reason yet why it will not work, but I will let you know if I have problems with it.

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MB in England from Flickr

• CATEGORIES: Features

Here’s an altered photo that turned out interesting.


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Flickr Photo of a MB

• CATEGORIES: Features

Here is Flickr photo of a MB by Sebastian


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Peddle Car Eustis, Fl **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: DJ-3A, Features, toys • TAGS: .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $675.

This looks a little like a Surrey pedal car.  I wondering why it is right-hand drive.

“Willys Jeep Peddler Car was restored approximately twenty five years ago. In mint condition.”

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The Mini-Beep

• CATEGORIES: Features, Unusual • TAGS: , .

UPDATE:  Oopos .. managed to forget the link to the cj2a page.

A reader pointed me over to the CJ-2A page where there is a video of a cool MBish mower.  Not wanting to just snag the video, I thought I’d do a search and landed on the mini-beep.html page.  It turns out they’ve been around since the 1960s!  Head on over to the CJ-2A page to see the video.

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My Cousin Eric’s 1978 CJ-5 Project

• CATEGORIES: Builds, CJ5, Features

UPDATE:  Eric shared some early pictures of his work.  

This summer my cousin Eric bought a CJ-2A in Idaho and trucked it back to his new home in Enumclaw.  This was his first jeep and it has been disassembled, now awaiting assembly.  It seems the Willys but has bit him, because he while waiting to assemble his CJ-2A, he bought a 1978 CJ-5 project that needed some cosmetic work.  He recently got that together and it looks pretty good.  I really like the copper color. Between our busy schedules I have yet to see this in person, but I hope to soon.

Continue reading

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Great old Jeep Sign at Brileya’s Chrysler Jeep Dealership

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

Rikk shared a picture of a great old lighted sign that still hangs at Brileya’s Chrysler Jeep Dealership, 1253 US Route 7, North Rutland, Vt.  It still works and  flashes between blue, pink, and white.  So check it out the next time you are in Vermont. http://www.brileyaschryslerjeep.net/index.htm


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Highly modified CJ-3B with Parkette Body on Stacey David’s Video

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos • TAGS: , .

Roberto forwarded this.  I’m not sure how old the show is, but this build has been around a few years.  You can see many more pics of it here.

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Finding Virginia: Adventures Along the Rocky Trail of Life

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Books, Features

I am proud to announce that “Finding Virginia” is now for sale at CreateSpace.  It has been the culmination of a year’s worth of writing and editing (and 46 years of living).  Please shamelessly encourage your friends, family, and neighbors to purchase this book.   Give it as a present to your spouse (really, they will enjoy it), your kids, other jeep lovers, car lovers, or whomever you know.  It is also useful for filling spaces in bookshelves.

What’s the book about?  
It’s about jeeps, love, the history of the jeep, love lost, the San Juan Islands, my dad’s health fight, how to get kicked out of college, how to  grow up in a jeep club, how not to sail, how to get stuck in the woods, cooking, my thoughts on a variety of subjects, and the reasons why I started eWillys.

Who’s the target audience?  
Readers of eWillys are  first and foremost the target.  People who like adventure and travel should enjoy it too.  Women especially enjoy the ‘love’ story aspect.  People who are frustrated with the economy will, I believe, relate to my frustrations with it too.

The book can be ordered through CreateSpace and, later, through Amazon, though Amazon pays me less.  The price is $18.39.  If you want a signed copy, I will need to order some books, sign them and then mail them to you.  You can email me for more info — d@ewillys.com and put “signed copy” in the subject line.  These will cost a little more due to the cost of me shipping to you.  I will take a check or paypal as payment.

I am willing to both sign books and attend signings.  I can even bring Biscuit if necessary, depending on the weather and distance.


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WILLYS JEEP CJ-3A home made WOODY, flat fender, old car photo 4″ x 6″

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images, Wood bodies • TAGS: , .

Bidding starts at $1.99.

“Beautiful new professional print (4″ X 6”) from a old 35 mm slide (KODACHROME TRANSPARENCY, no date imprinted) of a WILLYS JEEP CJ-3A (I think) with a HOMEMADE WOODIE BODY . Neat looking Willys Jeep with a wooden enclosure over the driver/occupant compartment. Don’t know the year for sure. No idea where or when the picture was taken. Written on the slide is, “Feb 1952”. Much better than scan, crisp and clear. Any distortion or glare is from my digital camera. Ruler does not show up on actual photo.

Please note, my prints are not made from a home computer, as some have questioned, they are printed by “Denver Digital Imaging Center” a division of “The Slideprinter” in Denver, Colorado U.S.A. From their web site: “For 33 years The Slideprinter has set the standard in making prints from transparencies… We are still the experts at making beautiful prints from slides…”


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Mini Jeep Article from 1956

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old News Articles, Unusual

Glenn forwarded this article from 1956 and featured in “Willys News”.

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1955 CJ-5 Davison, Mi . . .Priceless

• CATEGORIES: CJ5, Features, Unusual

This just made my day.  It will run, too!

“According to the internet, “The Jeep was the most reliable and favorite vehicle of the armed forces.” This one won’t be any of that, but here’s a brief ‘Ratrospective’ on this creation. We took a stunning, low mileage and rust free Willys Jeep, tore it off the frame and cut it into several pieces (settle down, we’re just kidding).

This salute to our armed services started life as a 1955 Willys Jeep. We pulled the body off the frame, lengthened it twenty inches and narrowed the back half of it eleven inches. We then channeled the body over a 1984 Chevy S-Blazer 4×4 frame that had a small-block Chevy transplant. We added the dual quad intake and a couple of old Holley carbs. We fabbed our own zoomies, took some Army-issue backpack frames and direct mounted them to the floor for back rests. Seats are U.S. issue blankets torn in pieces. Some of the flooring and the seatbelts are courtesy of a wrecked Michigan State Police cruiser. We’ve got 4 Jerry cans out back for a fuel tank and a canteen over-flow tank for the radiator. Air Cleaners are drilled helmet liners and zoomie covers are olive drab soup cans wired together (we kept losing them when we fired it up). If you plan on ever driving this, there’s a pick and shovel mounted so you can dig your own grave. Battery box is U.S. Army issue tool box. It’s got a pre-historic Mallory coil and distributor for fire power. Zip ties hold the tilt front end closed (for now) but you’ll need a better solution. We don’t quite have the shift linkage figured out so you’ll have to come up with something. Right now the shifter is out in front of the windshield.

The Rat does run but we haven’t had the guts (stupidity) to drive it. We will be selling this vehicle as ‘PARTS ONLY’! It does come titled as a 1955 Willys. Miles are not actual. Buyer will have to pay a document fee of $190 or 5% of the sale price (whichever is less). Plus 6% Michigan sales tax and a title transfer of $15. Sorry, but we all have to pay taxes.

You’re gonna need a trailer (Rat trap) to pick this up. We will help you push it on board, but you’ll have to handle everything else. Any questions? We check email once a day. You can also call Fergy at(810)653-4111.

There is no reserve on this auction but we think it’s worth millions.

This will make a great project, art study or urinal for the discerning buyer.”


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Anderson Township’s Fire Volunteers’ Jeeps

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old News Articles

Roy sent this Jeeps News’ page.  The caption is self explanatory.  You can see the jeeps much better if you click on the image below.  I think Anderson Township is in Ohio.

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MB from Flickr in Utah

• CATEGORIES: Features

Here’s a beautiful shot from what appears to be southern Utah.


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CJ-3Bs out of India on Flickr

• CATEGORIES: Features

I spotted these Mahindra 3Bs on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nirvo/5701286862/sizes/z/in/photostream/

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MB from Europe, France Maybe?

• CATEGORIES: Features

Here’s a cool picture.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/_pec_/5760936022/sizes/z/in/photostream/