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The Three Bantams: BRC, BRC-60 and BRC-40

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, Features This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

I guess I should have posted this at the beginning of the Festival, but I was pleasantly distracted all weekend. So, here is a post about the three Bantam generations. As the oral testimony shared by Gerald affirms, there were three different models of vehicles built by Bantam.  Here is more history about the Bantam vehicles.

The Original Bantam: Below are images of the original Bantam Bantam Reconnaissance Car. Here are some images from Life Magazine from Camp Holabird.  Here is a video of Duncan’s well done original BRC Replica (which also includes a BRC-40).

The Bantam BRC-60: This is the 2nd generation BRC-60.  The easiest way to identify the differences between the BRC and the BRC-60 is to look at the fenders, note the Original BRC fenders are round, and the entry point, which is a smoother slope on the BRC-40 as opposed to the bump in the original BRC.

The Bantam BRC-40: This is the 3rd generation BRC-40.  The easiest way to identify the difference between the BRC-60 and the BRC-40 is the grille.  Note how flat the grille is compared to the rounded grille of the BRC-60. The windshield is dramatically different, as the BRC-40’s appears much stronger.  Of course, there are other differences, but those are a quick way to distinguish between the two. Here is a BRC-40 that was for sale.

I guess I shouldn’t forget the Bantam ‘Checker’: Learn more about this at Bill Spear’s website.

Finally, just to show there seems to be an exception to every rule, Gerald forwarded this image.  I believe the front of this is a Bantam BRC-60, but the door area resembles the original Bantam.  The windshield has a higher ‘bridge’ across the bottom; which doesn’t resemble either the BRC or the BRC-60 in the pics above.   I believe this was a Russian Lend/Lease vehicle, but perhaps someone else could be more specific about it.

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Sunday @ the Bantam Festival

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Once again Gerald took the time to share some pictures with us.  Bob had some information about the parade. In fact, at some point Bob and Gerald managed to connect (see below pic). From both of their comments, it is safe to say the parade eclipsed the old parade record held by the Colombians. Congrats to all the participated.

Bob writes,”The word was that there were 1106 jeeps in the parade. It went on until 10:30, and there were 35,000 people lining the streets of Butler.”

Gerald writes, “After the concert and I strong storm last night. I’m done. There is always next year. I’ll be better prepared. It’s already on for August 2012. I’m sure it will be even bigger. The parade was what everyone was talking about. It was over the top. The locals lined up deep and main street was full. The official count is 1108, I think. Unofficially 1700. We got the record details will follow.”

Windyhill writes, “Great show! I stopped by the “ewillys” table and saw the brick! lol. We just got home, about a 6 hour trip. I modified my 18 trailer so I could tow two willys as one time, my 3b and my brothers stock 3A for this trip. The parade was great, loved being able to walk down the street after and be able to start at the Bantams go threw the WWII Jeeps,and then threw the 2A’s 3A, 3B’s etc by decade! Saturday we got held up with a trailer bearing so I missed most of the show and shine but we did run my brothers stock 3A and my 3B threw the playground! It rained early Saturday which made for a soggy pack up but all in all a great time and we will return!

Here is Bob’s CJ-3B


Ever see a factory set of 9.00 x 13 high floatation tires?   There was a Navy 3A with an original set.   Wow (btw,
I got alot of comments about the Mini Terras and rims on my Jeep.)

Check out this firepower.

Camp and footlocker

Have you ever seen these bezels? Are they stock? (Ed note: I don’t believe they are stock.  I’ve seen similar ones on Phillipine vehicles that seemed aftermarket.)

Now that’s a trailer.

Random Bantam,  that’s an odd statement, but true at the fest. (BRC-40)

The playground

And that’s a rap. They ran out of shirts at the parade.  Everyone was bummed about that.


ps. I’m drinking lot’s of coffee today and planning for next year.

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Saturday @ the Bantam Festival

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

I’ve been busy all day … any updates will need to wait until later tomorrow.

Sebastain had a great day at the Festival.  He posted pics in two different locations:



Meanwhile, Gerald has been working hard peddling eWillys.  In his spare time he’s been enjoying the Festival.  He starts again at 6:30am.

Gerald starting off at 6:30am Saturday:

The set-up

Gerald notes h may have just become you East Coast Rep.  Little does he know that as the East Coast Rep his salary will not be much different than mine.  Did I mention it is a volunteer position Gerald?

The Jeeps

Bantam BRC 40 (not the original bantam, but the third version following the BRC-60 and BRC)

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Updates from the Bantam Festival

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Only this update tonight ….

Gerald reported in just a few minutes ago.  Much fun had by all.  There were jeeps everywhere.  He hasn’t gotten the official parade count, but he said people were rolling in for hours.  Thanks Gerald!

Gerald notes, “Things were great tonight at the BantamFest Jeep Parade.  All I can say is there were hundreds………. here’s a couple shots.  i will get an official count on Saturday.”

The staging lot with the Lost Biscuit (Thanks to Gerald, I’m attending virtually.  Rub me for good luck!)


They were coming in for hours

Late model line ups

General shot.  It was packed

Main Street in Butler

Finished off with a late night tire change from NDT’s to the Turbines with Mini Terras for Saturday.

Already met some cool people, Maine to Australia.

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Will They Break the Record?

• CATEGORIES: Features This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

The Bantam Festival is about to get underway.  One of the goals of the festival is to break the world record for the longest parade of Jeeps, a record currently held by a parade held in Colombia.  With more than 500 jeeps already registered for the parade, it seems breaking the record is a real possibility.

Just some quick math … 500 jeeps at approx 10 ft is a mile if parked end to end.  That means if there is a jeep length between them, the parade will already be 2 miles long.  Other jeeps will certainly join as well.

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Unusual Shriner Flattie

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

This is a Willys Jeep that was assembled from parts and pieces in the early 1960’s by Joe Ferrero and used as a Shriner’s parade vehicle through the early 1990’s. It appears to be a DJ-3A.

They acquired the Willys needing repair. With a minor ressurection – this vehicle is functioning as a parade vehicle. Features include all the bells and whistles (literally), a squirting telephone, bottle openers, and a keg that is accessible through the side of the vehicle.

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Gerald’s Family is Ready for the Bantam Festival

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Gerald is all ready for the Bantam Festival.  Note that I will be riding with him in spirit, as he will have a picture of me and Biscuit on or near his jeep.  So, stop on by, say hello, and get your picture taken with my picture. 🙂

Gerald writes, “We had my Dad’s 46 (red), Brother’s 48 (blue) and my 63 (cj3b) all in the same place for the first time.  My brother also has a 50 M-38 to add but here’s the 3 at the Butler Farm show with a couple other flat fenders from our club.”

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Tugger: The Jeep 4 x 4 Who Wanted to Fly Trailer

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

UPDATE:  Brian reports the Tugger is now at NetFlix.  Also, it appears Tugger now has his own website.


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Fire in the Hole! Tales from the FC Get Together

• CATEGORIES: FC150-FC170-M677, Features This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

UPDATE:  Click here to read Steve’s Report on the whole weekend, including his personal adventures

I may not be the smartest cob in the corn patch, but one thing I do know, it shouldn’t require gloves to start a M-677 Forward Control Jeep.  But, I quickly learned that Steve’s FC isn’t your ordinary vehicle.  It really does require gloves, because it has a manual choke.  And by manual, I mean he uses his gloved hand.  Ordinarily, I like this bit of ingenuity, but after a couple rotations of the engine, fire exploded out the carb, making all four of us — me in the passenger seat, Steve in the driver’s seat, and Jeff and Mitch in the rear spots where there should have been a rear bench seat — nearly jump out of the vehicle.  Fortunately, Steve had everything under control.  I could tell this by the way he immediately pulled off the glove and beat out the fire with it.  No, this wasn’t a ride in an FC; it was a ride more akin to Mr. Toad’s Excellent Adventure.  🙂

It all started with Mitch stopping by the house this afternoon to join me on a drive in Biscuit to Tacoma to drop by the FC Get Together. I neglected to mention to Mitch that this was Biscuit’s first drive on an interstate. I figured it wasn’t that important.  Given the confidence he already felt in the jeep after it wouldn’t start right away (loose positive cable), I figured we’d test it on the interstate before I mentioned the ‘Hey, did you know this was the first time I’ve driven Biscuit on an Interstate?’ factoid.  Fortunately, Biscuit behaved well throughout the journey.

Upon arriving at the FC Event, Mitch and I were warmly greeted by Blaine, Steve, Dave and others.  Mitch already knew several people as he owns a couple FCs, more for property decorations than actual use I think as they remain future projects — a status held by many FCs it seems — but none-the-less beloved by him.  But, whom am I to talk, as I have plenty of future projects of my own ….

Not long after arriving, Blaine and I enjoyed some fun trading war stories from the relationship and dating fronts.  Between the two of us there were plenty of “what was I thinking” and “should it really be this hard”.  Once we finally dissected the female pysche and concluded we had no chance against such formidable opponents, he suggested I take a look at a flat fender model jeep he made in his early teens from cereal boxes.  It was pretty cool, so he has promised to send pics (don’t forget Blaine!).

Soon, everyone’s attention turned to the repair of a fuel line.  Most of us gathered around the FC-150 like a bunch of lookie-loos.  Some of us pressed against the front windows looking at Jeff install a fuel filter to provide cleaner fuel to the carb.  You’d think with our goofy smiles we were kids all lined up , leaning on a glass counter trying to decide on the flavor of ice cream we wanted; it was a pretty funny site, not lost on the folks behind us snapping pictures. Of course, I was at the glass too, staring inside the cab when the repair was declared successful.  Mission complete, now for the next challenge.

The next challenge didn’t take long and came in the form of Steve’s M-677 that sports a 289 Pontiac (?).  You’d think I could tell you what the engine was because, due to the lack of an engine cover, I was staring right down at it, with the fan blade just a little ways away from sending me to the hospital.  Fear not, for it was all part of the adventure I told myself.

As mentioned, there was fire, but Steve got that fixed and we were on our way.  It turns out that a V8 powers a M-677 really well. As Jeff and Mitch held on in the back, Steve showed us that the old truck still had life in it, accelerating pretty quickly despite a flat spot in the carb.  As Steve chauffered us, passersby were injuring their necks, craning them as they wondered what type of unearthly vehicle it was. As for the passengers, I don’t think any of us stopped laughing the entire time. For Mitch and I, it was only our second FC ride ever and, at least in my case, the best one!  So, many thanks to Steve for taking the time to give us a ride.

Shortly after the ride was over, Mitch and I headed back for Biscuit’s 2nd time on the Interstate.  We had fun and look forward to next  year’s get-to-gether. Apparently, it will need to be at a new location, so if anyone has any ideas for next year, please send them to me.

Oh yeah, the Get Together lasts through Sunday, so you still have time to check it out if you are in the Seattle area.


Below:  This was before we all lined up to ‘help’ fix the gas line problem.


And last, but not least, is Steve’s fire breathing M-677.  The ride was quite literally a blast!  Thanks  Steve.


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The 2011 3rd Annual FC Get Together Tacoma, Wa

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

UPDATE:  Don’t forget, it is this weekend!  I plan to be around Saturday afternoon.  See you there!

Dates:  August 5, 6, 7, 2011.

This is an FC only event open to anyone interested in Jeep FC Trucks and Fleetvans.

People and trucks can arrive at the rear parking lot after 3 p.m. on Friday Aug 5th.  The parking lot has a 6 foot fence and gate that is locked each night.  The gate will be unlocked Sat and Sun at 9 AM.  We will have a barbecue on Saturday.  There are covered areas (for people & barbeque) in case of rain.
Motels in the area are:
Best Western Tacoma Dome Hotel 253 272 7737
Courtyard by Marriott Tacoma Downtown 253 591 9100
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites 253 539 2020
Travelodge Fife 253 922 0550
Please spread the news.
For any questions, please call me at (253) 759-5932, or email.
Gaylord Mingo


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Bantam Testimony about the Jeep Origin

• CATEGORIES: Documents, Features This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Gerad found this fascinating bit of testimony from Bantam about how the company and the Army worked together.  This seems particularly appropriate given the upcoming Bantam Festival.

BTW.  If anyone wants to take pics and send in reports from the Festival, I will try to do updates based on what I receive. email me about it at d at ewillys.com

Gerald writes,”A few years back I went to the Henry Ford Archives Library in Detroit to research the Jeep.  I found this document.  It is cool.  It was hand typed and the original, Henry read it himself.  The research librarian shook me down, I showed him I knew my shit, then he showed me the good stuff. The Le Croix collection.  I used white gloves and all. Anyways.  Good Bantam history for the record.  This is Bantam’s testimony of what went down.”

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Prototype? M-274 Mule

• CATEGORIES: Features, Other 4x4s, Unusual This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Brian spotted this.  I don’t know enough about these to know if this is a prototype or not.

1950? Prototype Willys – M274 Army Mule
Rolling chassis,
4 tires, both axles,
no engine.
Purchased by previous owner’s father
at Kaiser-Willys factory auction (Toledo OH)
Around 1960
(Kaiser bought Willys in 1953,
AMC bought Kaiser in 1970).
Price: $650
Information Email: jonharknes@yahoo.com


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Mike and his Electric M-38 Need Your Vote

• CATEGORIES: Features, M-38 • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.


UPDATE 2: Bill says Mike needs your vote.  Click on this link and then click the “VOTE FOR THIS FINALIST” (You will have to fill out a short form).

UPDATE: I ran this post a couple years ago.   Mike is now entering an international electric vehicle contest and needs your support.  Head on over to the CJ-2A page to see how your vote can support him.  Thanks for the heads up on this Bill.

Here’s an M-38 that’s mostly original except for the electric modifications.   The owner, Mike Picard, plans on keeping it stock, but restoring it some more.  The drive motor is a Netgain Warp11 Permanent Magnet DC.  It’s got 18 NAPA GC8V, 8.00 Volt, Lead-Acid, Flooded Batteries. It is still in progress as of the date of this webpage.  View all the information here.

This picture was from December 2008.  Work is ongoing.


Front Battery rack (8):


Back Battery rack (8):


The charger, controller, fuses, etc are all here, under the driver’s seat where the gas tank used to be.  This provides good access and good ventilation along with protection from the weather.




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2nd Annual Northern Ohio Flatfender Gathering

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Event, Features This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

On September 25, 2011, Bob will be hosting a flat fender gathering.

The2nd annual Northern Ohio Flatfender Gathering will be held at his house on Sept 25th. Please contact Bob at jeep3b(at)gmail.com. He will provide lunch, restroom facilities and a camp fire.  He has plenty of room for parts to sell and trailers if you haul to it.

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Butler, Pennsylvania, with 70 2D Jeeps

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Butler will display 70 2 Dimensional Jeeps as part of the Bantam Festival.

“Our town is taking its own creative spin on the Jeep.  Seventy 2D wooden jeep sculptures have been painted by local artists and are now parked all around Butler.  Be sure and stop by the Information Booth Friday night where you can get the locations of all of the Jeeps.  While you are in town, take some time to explore our streets and see how many Jeeps you can find!  Downtown Butler’s shops are also offering a shopping passport that you can pick up at Parade registration and the Downtown Information Booth.  If you visit several shops, you could win a gift certificate valued at more than $200!

The Associated Artists of Butler County is holding the “Man & Machine” art exhibit opening from 7 to 9 PM on Friday — concurrent with the parade. The exhibit will be held at The Art Center, 344 S. Main Street, below the Court House.  Admission to the exhibit is free, and light refreshments will be served.

The theme is anything related to the interaction of humans and machines, from the art and inventions of Leonardo DaVinci to the development of the Bantam jeep and other modern machines.  The original artwork and unique jeep-related souvenirs and T-shirts will be available for sale.

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Bantam Festival Update

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

The Bantam Festival is nearly here.  Below is an update.  Click on it for more info.

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Sebastian Enters a Car Show

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Sebastian has been busy touring Pennsylvania and getting to know the locals.  In these shots, his CJ-3B hob nobs with some sophisticated friends.

He writes, “Last Monday I attended the Walnut Street Invitational Car Show here in Pittsburgh with my 1953 CJ-3B. It was a great event; I was amazed by the neighbors I got at the event, a couple Lotus, a Ferrari and an Aston Martin. Take a look of the pictures at the blog (bottom 5 pictures at the link): http://flatfenderclubofbutler.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/welcome-28/

You can see Chuck Curty in one of the pictures. He is the one that restored my Willys and in a very irresponsible moment decided to sell it to me! haha. Unfortunately he left the event early because of rain and I did not have the chance to take a picture of the military jeep he took to the show.

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Jeremy’s Fan Stand

• CATEGORIES: Features This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Not letting anything go to waste, Jeremy has put an old rim to good use.

He writes, ” The TRUE Willys enthusiast uses old Jeep tires and rims as a fan stand, rather than donating to the scrapyard. Behind the fan you can see the newly restored frame from my 43 Willys.”



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Sebastian Finds a Jeep on Bimini

• CATEGORIES: CJ-7, Features This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Sebastian snapped these photos of this right hand drive jeep.

He writes, “Last Saturday I spotted this beautiful Jeep in Bimini Island (Bahamas). See attached pictures. Some very interesting features such as the steering wheel at the “wrong” side, a quality roof, lateral seats, nice speakers, and extended back. I did not see anyone around so I don’t know who the owner is or what is the car for, maybe a private recreational vehicle? or a public taxi like in Colombia? not sure, but definitely I envy the person that drives this jewel on the beach.”

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A “True Jeep” From Fiat

• CATEGORIES: Features This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

My son spotted this as the dentist’s office.  Motor Trend is reporting that Fiat is producing a true jeep for Europe, one that will be both crossover and a trail rated versions.  No pics of the concept or final version have been released just yet.  There are plans to sell this in the US, too.

“Jeep is preparing a new subcompact SUV crossover for the middle of calendar year 2013. It will be built in Europe on a Fiat platform, but Jeep promises it will have significant off-road capability. Jeep CEO Mike Manley told Motor Trend, ‘It will be a true Jeep. It has to be, for us. There will be an all-wheel-drive version, and a Trail Rated version.'”

View more here at Motor Trend (Note:  The vehicle pictured is a disguised version of what they will produce.)

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Air Force Special Forces Seek Robot Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Thanks to John for sharing this with us.  The final design of these vehicles could be very interesting. It has to carry two fighters, gear over rough terrain under cover of darkness.

“Self-driving cars may already seem like a dubious idea to most drivers, but the U.S. Air Force wants to raise the stakes. U.S. Special Forces soldiers may soon trust their lives to a stealth robot jeep that can autonomously carry them to their target and back, through mountainous terrain under the cover of nightfall, without alerting enemy patrols.

The robotic vehicle must have the ability to carry two warfighters and up to 700 pounds of gear over more than 18 miles of rugged terrain, according to the request for information issued by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). And it must be capable of navigating enemy territory stealthily, day or night, under any weather conditions. “The mission will be executed under the cover of night and the system must be able to work autonomously with only minimal inputs from the warfighters,” says the AFRL. “The hostile area does not have radar, but they do have patrols who will respond to visual and audible cues if they detect something out of the ordinary.”

The AFRL also requested that the robotic vehicle must fit within the cargo hold of a CV-22 Osprey, the tilt-rotor aircraft that carries Marines around Afghanistan and ferried Osama bin Laden’s body out of Pakistan.

Plenty of academic and private teams have developed robotic vehicles capable of some autonomous driving, either on their own or as part of DARPA’s Grand Challenge. Google has even tested its self-driving vehicles in the San Francisco Bay Area. But driving on paved roads is a far cry from navigating rough terrain and perhaps having the capability to actively avoid possible enemies. Still, the Air Force lab has wisely sought out “new ideas from hobbyists, enthusiasts, teams and organizations that have not typically done business with the government in the past.”

The recent notice precedes an upcoming request for proposals that would award $200,000 to each of up to five teams for stealthy design concepts. Each team would eventually have the chance to compete for a $2 million contract to build a prototype of their dream robotic jeep.”

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Black Diamond Auto Parts Sign Black Diamond, Wa

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

On the way back from picking up the new top for Biscuit a couple of weeks ago, Karson and I took the scenic route back to Renton and passed through Black Diamond (a very small town).  We pulled into a local mini mart and as I exited the car I looked up to see this old sign, still standing.  It is a very tall sign and I did my best to get as close as I could, but my phone’s camera just didn’t do a great job.  However, if you could see it clearly you would see what appears to be a CJ-3A on the left side.

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1977 CJ-7 + 1984 Corvette **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features, Unusual • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

UPDATE: Was on ebay.

From the “I had this corvette and jeep sitting around see … and it suddenly ocurred to me to combine them” department comes this unusual combo.  There is work left to do.

“This vehicle was built by taking a 1984 corvette, removing the body, moving the radiator back and the gas tank forward.  Then I wrapped the jeep body around it. The jeep body is welded to the steel corvette chassis. I took the jeep body panels down to bare metal. I painted the car myself. It was the first time I ever painted a car (although I have built several other major conversions). The paint looks good from a few feet away but it does have some major runs in places. It was painted approximately 1 year ago but I think the runs can still be sanded out. Although there is very little body filler there are some dents I didn’t fix before painting. Most notably a couple dents on the hood and around the rear corners.
The car runs, drives, stops, steers, shifts, etc. I have driven it but never more than a couple of miles. The motor runs and sounds really nice.
I installed a gage cluster from a 2001 Silverado. The speedo, tach, oil pressure and voltage gage all work.
The chassis is all corvette so it has the legendary C4 aluminum wishbone suspension, aluminum independent rear suspension, aluminum driveshafts, four wheel vented disc brakes, etc.
The car is titled as a 1969 Specially Constructed vehicle, body type: CV for convertible. The title is clear and in my name. It is on planned non operational status right now. The car is smog exempt in California because of the year. The VIN has been welded onto the frame in the front but it should probably be stamped in a couple more locations. The old Corvette VIN is still on the dash and needs to be removed. …. See more on ebay”

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Jiffy Jeep Performance at the Bantam Festival

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Here’s a look at another quick-assemble jeep performance.

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Norm’s 1962 Wagon

• CATEGORIES: Features, Willys Wagons • TAGS: , This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Norm shared a pic of his 1962 Wagon.  He notes that yes, the split windshield is from the wagon, but the chrome is from a 50’s wagon.  Nice looking rig Norm!