Features Research Archives

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Great Willys Picnic this Sunday at Lansford, Pa

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

Don’t forget that the Great Willys Picnic is this Sunday. Here are some pics from 2010’s picnic courtesy of Sellajeep.com.  You can also see some at the CJ-3A.info site.  Also, the original Nelly Belle will be there this year, too.

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Summer in Alaska

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

Paul reports that summer in Alaska has arrived, with temperatures reaching the blazing heat of the low 50s.  He tells me that the sun doesn’t set until 11:30 pm and sunrise is slightly before 4:30 am giving them 19 hours of daylight and five hours of twilight. While summer isn’t long, it sure is beautiful, as seen in Paul’s picture below.

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How About a Lift?

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

Alex spotted this pic.
Manchester (vicinity), Tennessee. Soldiers of headquarters company of the Armored Corps lifting a jeep to repair it at their bivouac area during Second Army maneuvers. Left to right: Private William Lowe, Captain Frank Yung, Private Sam Salen, and Private J.J. Nay. Reproduction Number: LC-USW33-027840-ZC.

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2nd Annual Ocean City Jeep Week August 25-28

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

HOG noted that the 2nd annual Jeep Week in Ocean City, MD, is only a couple months away!  You can learn more at the event website.

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Nellybelle to Attend The Great Willys Picnic June 12th

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

Glenn sent me the following note:

“I just received a commitment from Pam Weidel that she and John B. Haines IV will bring Nellybelle out to play at The Great Willys Picnic in Lansford, PA on Sunday, June 12, 2011.  This will be, I believe, the first all Willys event for Roy Rogers famous CJ2A Jeep since Ms. Weidel purchased it last summer.  Nellybelle was at AACA Hershey last October and resides permanently in Mr. Haines Race Car / Truck Museum in Pennsburg, PA.  Don’t miss being there if you are anywhere nearby.  I’m traveling 500 miles to be in the middle of this Willys spectacle.”

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Kd’s Old/New Flatties Surrey, BC, Canada

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPW (Ford MB), MB • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

KD restores and builds jeeps.  Here’s an example of what he has done.  This one is $22,000.



KD MANN 604 760 5220


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Custom Flatfender Pedal Car Farmington, UT **SOLD**

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

UPDATE:  **SOLD** Was $150

Brett spotted this unusual and one-of-a-kind pedal car.

“Hand made on old pedal car frame was done in the 70’s by a guy who lived by my parents one of a kind in good shape missing one pedal. seat moves for different size kids.”

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And Now For A Special Comment about the Idaho DMV

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

First, thanks for all the warm thoughts.  I did make it to Seattle today. Whatever they did in the hospital has improved the situation with Dad.  However, I also ran into few issues on the way up here.  Look for updates later tonight, but for now enjoy this minor rant of mine.


Dear State of Idaho DMV, thank you so much for my new temporary driver’s license.  Despite the size of the government of Idaho, you’ve taken the time to use this opportunity to remind me, in a personal way, of just how fast and awkward our bureaucracy continues to become and how quickly ones normal function can be curtailed by the state.

And here, I thought you were only asking me to renew my driver’s license.

To your credit, the lessons started quickly.  For example, I had no idea that my out-of-state check from Washington would be rejected with such zeal when I mailed in my initial driver’s license renewal application.  You see, my main bank is in Washington State and every other business, utility and government entity in Idaho seems function perfectly well using my checks.

Naturally, before sending you my check, I looked at the application to see whom I should make the check to and if there were any qualifications.  How silly of me to expect that you’d put a “we do not accept out of state checks” notice on the renewal application, or anywhere else for that matter.   I guess that qualifier is only for people in the know.

Of course, once I received the declined application in the mail, I headed directly to the DMV, the new one near the Boise Mall.  What I learned there is that your ability to manage lines and waiting times is impressive.  It really was.  I was in and out with my temporary license and my new car tabs in under 20 minutes.

The downside is, perhaps to make the process faster, you only issued me a temporary permit, unlike other states which manage to produce actual licenses when they renew a license, like California and Utah, the two previous states I called home.  Moreover, you took away my actual license, still good and valid up until my birthday.  This didn’t seem to be a big deal at the time, but that was before I tried to use the temporary permit.

You see, State of Idaho, no one believes the temporary permit is valid. They either chuckle and shake their head at it or look aghast, assuming it is a fake.   I’m no longer a person with the rights the power of a plastic ID bestowed upon me. Instead, I’m a sub human, I’m a second class citizen, I’m a paper ID’d pauper.  When I attempted to cash a check at a major bank – a bank I had been using for two years – they looked at my paper ID and said it wasn’t valid.  I responded it was, telling them the State of Idaho issued it and took my expiring ID.  They said they really weren’t supposed to take it, but they would make an exception in my case.  This was fortunate for me, as I had to get some cash to run north to Seattle.  However, I left puzzled wondering why something printed on plastic would seem so much more authentic than paper.  After all, I can guarantte that I can create a reasonably good fake ID in short order using photoshop and then transfer it onto either paper or plastic.  What’s magic about plastic?

As I traveled north, passing through Yakima, my tire blew.  After changing my tire and deciding to buy new tires before traveling any farther, I had to get a motel for the evening.  Well, it turns out the motel was not going to take my paper ID either.  You see, they don’t accept a temporary ID as a valid form of ID.  After the clerk explained to me that they didn’t accept the ID, he mentioned that I was essentially didn’t exist for the time being.  I too was coming to that conclusion.

However, the clerk took pity on me and said, while he wasn’t supposed to rent me a room, he didn’t want me to have to sleep in my car, so he’d make an exception in this case.  Well, gee, thanks Mr. stereotypical World of War Craft playing kid (yes, as he worked at the desk and, when not helping me, was playing WOW and looked like he had been playing WOW for years).

After putting my stuff in my room, I decided I was not ready to settle down quite yet, so I thought I’d go play some pool.  As I walked by the desk, I asked the desk clerk if he knew of any places to play pool in Yakima.  He didn’t play pool, he said, and didn’t really go out to bars, he said – and I’m not surprised by either answer from the WOW playing 21 year old – but, he did know of at least one place.  Then he added the kicker.  He reminded me that with my temporary license, I probably couldn’t get a drink.

Well State of Idaho DMV, that was the kicker.  My birthday is in two days and it is entirely possible that, as a 46 year old, away from home visiting my sick father, that your stupid temporary ID will make it impossible for me to enjoy a night out with my sister and cousin playing pool and having a few drinks.

So, until I return to Idaho and get my plastic driver’s license, I’m forced to accept my second class citizenry, paper ID and all.  How screwed up is a system that won’t let a 46 year old get a drink without ID, won’t let him rent a motel room (even bearing plenty of cash), and won’t allow him to do just about anything else?  If I’d known, I would have brought my passport, but funny how I assumed I was a citizen of the damn USA!

It’s always wonderful to have an educational opportunity thrust upon oneself.  In this case, I’ve learned just how fragile my existence as a citizen is. So, thank you Idaho State DMV.

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Unsual 8 Wheeled Willys Wagon

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

I spotted this unusual wagon at Jeep Forum.

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Trench Art Model Jeep

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

Matt spotted this unusual piece of Trench Art. Bidding on this just ended at $142.

“i have seen that ebay has a following for trench art. most people do not know what they are looking at when i show this to them. so im going to offer it to you guys.  its a copper jeep body. the bottom is made from 1/8 copper plate. thiner sides, seats 1/6 copper.  the weels are 1943 SL  50 cal shells. cut off.  the spare tire is a  F A 1942 50 cal    steering weel. S I 1942 30.06   head lights.  30 cal   E C  1944  , the hood cam off in my hand when i finly found this again after yeas in a box.   the hood had been glued back on. i never knew this. till now.  fits right back in place. a little new glue wont hurt it.weels work.  with solid brass rod for axles  front bumper is bent a little.   wind sheild works great.  stampped on the bottom.  J  ST.Felix  France 1944  can send more pics.  i will ship world wide.”

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Stephen’s kids love the new jeep

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

Stephen recently picked up this CJ-3A.  He’d always wanted a jeep and finally got one at age 50!  It turns out, the kids love it too.  In fact, he’s having a hard time keeping the kids out of it.  The kids wait for him to come home everyday to go for a ride.  Unfortunately, he’s having a little trouble with the valves and it’s just about broke their hearts that their fun has been interrupted.  As you can see, his little girl is very serious about her time in the jeep and still climbs in every day waiting to go.  Too cute!  It looks to me Stephen is having as much fun as the kids.  Thanks for sharing!


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My Grandfather’s European Trip in 1924

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

UPDATE:  I think this is a Fiat 501, Series 2, made in the 1920s.  

I was testing out my handheld scanner today that mom bought me for Christmas (yeah, I know, about time I did that).  It turns out, it works pretty well!  I decided to try scanning some of the 1924 images from my grandfather’s trip around Europe and Northern Africa.

My question is, anyone know what type of car this is?  I believe it may be a Durant Motor Company 1923 Flint e-55?  Grandpa appears to refer to it as the ‘Flea’, but the only two notations I have are kind of blurred.

I don’t know if they imported the car or bought/rent/borrowed it when they got to France, but they had plenty of resources, so it could have been any one of those.  The thing I couldn’t match up was the grille — I couldn’t find any grilles that matched the front of the grille below.

And though it might not be a jeep, I suspect traveling around Europe without a full top was as adventurous as any jeep trip would have been (they did have a light, but airy top they could throw over themselves)!  They started in France, traveled through Spain and into Northern Africa. They returned by ship to Marseilles, drove throughout Italy, then headed north through Switzerland and into Germany.  They ended the trip in France then took a plane to the UK.  I have over 400 photos, many of popular landmarks, making their path easier to track.  I hope to recreate part of the trip some day.

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Witness to War

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

CNN reported on Witness to War, an interesting website devoted to the stories of Combat Veterans.  I decided to search the site for “jeep” and discovered a story told by Tom Kennedy about surviving a blast in a jeep.

Click here or on the images below to view the video.

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Paul’s Jeep Project

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

There haven’t been updates at Paul’s Jeep blog since 2009, but there’s still plenty of information and images. You can visit it here.  There are also a couple videos, too.

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My Visit With Dan

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

UPDATE: Dan forwarded a pic of his yoke.  Despite grounding the sm420 rib, the yoke still won’t make it by the tranny while spinning.

For the last year, Dan has invited me up to take a look at his project: the rebuilding of his grandfather’s jeep. Well, I finally got a chance to drop by his remote Deer Park, Washington, home.  

As soon as I arrived, my gracious host gave me the cold beer he had promised, a very tasty bottle of Red Hook.  Soon after, his four kids wandered in the garage to see what kind of strange guy would drive all the way to Deer Park to look at a jeep and talk with dad.  Clearly unimpressed, they dashed back into the endless , densely treed property like baseball players from the movie Field of Dreams.

Meanwhile, Dan and I looked over his jeep and we talked about various issues he circumvented.  He said his goal was to build something functional that he wouldn’t be afraid to scratch and dent, so he didn’t sink much time or money into the body.  For example, the rust in the bottom of the body was repaired with some fiberglass and steel from the old body sitting across the driveway.  It was nothing fancy, but sound.  He was concerned it might not be nice enough, but I told him the most important thing is that it satisfied his goals, was solid, and got him closer to exploring backroads.

We also talked about his sm420 tranny. His yoke is hitting the side of the tranny, despite the grinding he has done (I should have gotten a pic of that).  He’s hoping he can find the slightly smaller V6 yoke.  Does anyone have one of those?

While we talked, his wife dropped by to say hello.  We chatted a bit and then she dashed off to finish supper.  Dan noted that he convinced his wife he needed a new garage to work on the jeep  by parking his jeep inside the existing garage.  That seemed to work, so he built a new shop around the jeep project just down the driveway.  It’s a fine man cave, clean, organized, with plenty of light.

I asked Dan to take my picture with his jeep and he kindly obliged.  After which, I left his piece of paradise to head south so I could hang out with my cousin and explore family history. So, many thanks to Dan for a pleasant time.  It was worth the drive!

Here’s yours truly.

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Sand Jeep @ Silver Lake in 2009

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

I spotted this great shot from Quadratecforum.com.

According to the post, his is a sand Jeep. It was the annual Mt. Baldy hill climb Spring 09. (Silver Lake State Park.) This thing was wicked. Easily won the class. He could stand it up at will and ride it as long as he wanted. Frickin awesome!”

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Flamin’ Willys BBQ

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

Mark from sellajeep.com forwarded a story he posted on his website.  Here’s a short excerpt below.  Drop by his website to read the entire story and see all the pics.

“The wagon was a whole different story. The thing was shot. I parted it out keeping the window trim, regulators, dash, and steering wheel, anything I might need in the future. The title said it was a 49. I couldn’t let it go because along the line I picked up a 47 Willy’s pickup.

The wagon was simply too far gone except that front end. A tree had landed right on the hood. That was the only real issue with the clip. After sitting in my barn with lots of thinking fluid, my friend suggested turning it into a BBQ grill like what they did on that movie “Gone in 60 Seconds”. Remember at the end of the movie, they are grilling in the back of an old car? Anyway, that sealed the deal.”

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A Ford Jeepster

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

Bob spotted this unusual project on the web. I had meant to publish it many months ago, but I seem to have forgotten to do that. I only have this one image.

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The Flat Fender Club of Butler Drops by the Reunion

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

Sebastian wrote me yesterday, telling me he and some buddies made a special trip to visit the Willys Spring 2011 Reunion.

He writes, “Yesterday I went to the Midwest willys reunion in Mason OH. Altough we did not take our jeeps, some members of the Flat Fender Club of Butler went there to see some nice willys. It was a busy day, about 4 hours each way (from Pittsburgh). A very long day as you can imagine, totally worth it as shown in the pictures: http://flatfenderclubofbutler.wordpress.com/ (top post). I thought you may want to take a look.”

Here’s a couple of his images. See all of them at the link above.

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Another gun mockup

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

A reader and his son have been restoring a CJ-2A and have mocked up their own .30 cal gun.  They shared the below pic with me.  Thanks!

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Area 51 Jeep (and a mockup A-12 Spy Plane)

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

I spotted this unusual image today. It was published along with some other declassified photos from Area 51 (which doesn’t exist btw) and published on National Geographic’s website.   I wished I had a close up of the jeep.  I’m glad there’s a guy standing in front of the jeep or I would have thought it was a toy jeep.

One time I drove north on the extra-terrestrial highway (Nevada State Route 375).  I’ve driven all over the west and that was one of the strangest highways I’ve ever driven.  There were several different events that left me certain there was some strange things going on out there.

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Shep’s Mock Browning M37

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

Shep built this custom M37 and thought others might be interested in it.  Thanks for sharing!

Shep writes, “Just wanted to show you some pics of the dummy gun I made a couple days ago.  This dummy gun for the most part is based on the browning M37; which was actually put on tanks instead of Jeeps in Korea.  But I thought it was one of the coolest looking of the Browning .30 cals so decided to use its specifications.  For the main box of the gun, I used an old piece of 1/4 inch 3×5 tubing, which I found was a mistake because almost all other pieces I welded too it was close to 1/8 inch, thus the voltage on the welder had to turned way up to penetrate the box.  The barrel shield was the hardest part.  I had to measure all of the distances correct, and I couldn’t start drilling with 13/16″ bit, I had to work my way up.  The handle on the back is an old axe hand I cut down and threaded.  The bolt shucks back and forth and the sights flip up and down.  The gun pivots up and down as well as side to side.  The pedestal has an ammo can bolted to the side for realism.  I still need to drill the bolt holes for where it mounts in the back of my Jeep, but overall I think this is gonna look good in the M38A1.  The gun also comes off the pedestal, I hope to make an attachable bipod for it in the future.  Hopefully I get pulled over because the cop thinks it’s real, that means I did a good job making it!”

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Spring Willys Reunion Update

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

Bob’s been busy with his camera this morning on what appears to be a beautiful Saturday in Mason.  He reports that fun was had at a local Mongolian BBQ last night, keeping some of the folks busy until late.

See all the photos here.   There seems to be a little something for everyone.

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Pics from the Spring 2011 Reunion

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

Bob’s got the first group of pics up from the 2011 Spring Reunion.  I have selected a few to share below, but click here to view all of his images at his flickr site. I’ll check for updates tonight.

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A CJ-3B Buried in the Snow in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3B, Features This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Someone is saying to themselves, “I knew I should have put the jeep in the garage.” This CJ-3B is located in Iqaluit, a Canadian town way up and out there, in relation to me anyway.  The photograph was taken just a few days ago (as best as I can tell) by Ron Wassink.  I think the jeep is for sale, too, for those that want to take a REAL road trip, but bring your back hoe to dig it out of the snow.

From Wikipedia, “Iqaluit was founded in 1942 as an American airbase, geographically located to provide a stop-over and refueling site for short range fighter aircraft being ferried across the Atlantic to support the war effort in Europe. Iqaluit’s first permanent inhabitant was Nakasuk, an Inuk guide who helped American Air Force planners to choose a site with a large flat area suitable for a landing strip. Long regarded as a campsite and fishing spot by the Inuit, the place chosen had traditionally been named Iqaluit – “place of many fish” in Inuktitut – but Canadian and American authorities named it Frobisher Bay, after the name of the body of water it abuts.”