Features Research Archives

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Bobbie Howard’s Willys-themed Key Chains $10

• CATEGORIES: Features

Bobbie Howard makes waterproof key chains with Willys insignias. I asked some Facebook readers about them and they all said the product was a good one. They cost $10 and include free shipping. At this point, it looks like she only works from Facebook, so you’ll need a FB account to order them.



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1945 Photo of Jeep Navigating Water on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

That looks miserably cold.

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“Wonderful original Acme Press photograph showing a US Jeep with soldiers driving through floods”


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Some Crazy Drivin’

• CATEGORIES: Features

Me looking over the valley at an overlook in Glacier National Park.

I don’t know what it was about Friday, but through the course of our 14 hour drive from Great Falls, Montana, to Pasco, Washington, we encountered more rude drivers and more poor driving than we had over the rest of our trip. Maybe it was something about Friday and the weekend, but people just had no patience.


On Friday we drove home to Pasco, but we definitely took the LONG way.

We began the day at 5:30am. Our goal was to get to Glacier National Park before the crowds arrived. We reached the eastern entrance at 8:00am, but by then the eastern visitor’s center was already packed solid. So, rather than linger, we began our trek across the Going to the Sun Road. Here are some pics from Glacier:




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Photo of FC-150 w/ Mobile Deluxe Bumper on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

The seller puts the date at 1954, which is clearly incorrect as the FC didn’t exist yet.

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Heading to Glacier Today

• CATEGORIES: Features

Just one post Friday. We are getting up early to drive to the Road to the Sun Road in Glacier. Here’s a video of what we hope to see (the weather ti supposed to be this good).

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4 Lane Bliss to 2 Lane Torture

• CATEGORIES: Features

Me standing on the walkway at Giant Springs State Park. Note the trees in the background bending to the wind. The wind plagued us all day.

On Thursday, we drove from Minot, North Dakota, to Great Falls, Montana.

The drive started off nicely, with a flat, smooth, four-land highway. North Dakota really knows how to build a highway, or at least they know how to build Highway 2. The road was great all the way to Willston, North Dakota, which also is the border between North Dakota and Montana. Along the way, we enjoyed wind blown grass against countless deep blue ponds and lakes. So Idyllic.

Naively, I thought all of Highway 2 would like that. As usual, just when you are cruising down the highway of life, life throws you a curve … or in this case takes away two of your lanes and turns the remaining two lanes into whoop-d-doos. Adding to that, Mother Nature cranked up the wind until our average MPG dropped from 24mpg to 18mpg.

This made for a long drive between Williston and Great Falls. Still, we made it safely to Great Falls.

Our reason for spending the night in Great Falls was to see if Giant Springs Heritage State Park had made any updates to its smelter exhibit. The exhibit is a walking tour through the remains of the Montana Smelter, the first industry that came to Great Falls. It was a state-of-the-art silver-lead smelter designed, built, and controlled by Anton Eilers; which is the reason he is considered the city’s father of industry.


PHOTO CREDIT: Montana State Archives. The smelter, built in 1887, fills most of this photo. To the right is the manager’s residence and in the foreground you can see the spring for which Giant Spring is named.


Yes, the tour is still there, along with the remains of one of the blast furnaces.


After our quick tour, we walked down to see the park’s core attraction: the Roe River, the shortest river in the world. The water bubbles out of a spring, then flows 200 feet, before tumbling into the Missouri River.


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Fergus Falls, MN, to Minot, ND

• CATEGORIES: Features

Not much to report from Wednesday’s drive.

Yesterday we drove from Fergus Falls, Minnesota, to Minot, North Dakota. We started the drive by briefly meeting with Minnesota Chris so we could see his unrestored 1959 CJ-3B in person. His floors are in amazing shape.

From there, we drove to Morehead, Minnesota, which is right on the border and across the Red River from Fargo, North Dakota. The Dairy Queen in Morehead invented the Dilly Bar (which I’d never had … I can now cross that off my list) and also has the world’s largest Dilly Bar, proudly displayed outside DQ.


World’s largest dilly bar is over my shoulder. I’m enjoying my first-ever Dilly bar.

After a little ice cream, we went to go see a 76-foot Viking dragon ship, which is housed in the Hjemkomst Interpretive Center in Moorhead. When we arrived at the Center, we learned it would cots $10/each to see the ship (and the museum, but we had no time for the museum). While we debated whether to see the ship, we went into the gift shop and quickly found a couple items to purchase.

As we were checking out (and still deciding about whether to enter the Center), a Center worker (a woman probably in her 60s) announced to a Center manager (a woman in her late 40s?) that she was quitting that day with no notice. Instead of the manager taking the employee aside, the manager began chewing out the now-former employee right there (I can see why the woman might have wanted to quit).

As you can imagine, things got a little awkward, so we high-tailed it out of there. Here’s a pic from the web of the boat we didn’t get a chance to see.

We left Morehead, crossed over the Red River, and drove to Fargo’s visitor center, where we donned some hats and re-enacted a scene from the movie Fargo.


To get you photo taken by the Visitor Center staff, just ask them. They’ll had you the hats and take the photo.

After Fargo, we drove north to Grand Forks, then headed west to Minot (pronounced ‘My Not’ … thanks Chris!). The drive was long and quite flat to Minot, but the road (highway 2) was in great shape. It was also a pretty drive, with plenty of small ponds and lakes along the way. There was also almost no traffic; that was great!

The biggest surprise of the day happened in Minot. There, I discovered that Minot’s Marketplace grocery store has the largest gluten-free section, by far, I’ve ever seen; how is this in Minot … it’s crazy! That’s a pretty big deal to me, as feeding Ann can be a challenge on the road.

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Photo of Pat Etherton Driving a CJ-2A on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

Clewiston is in Clewiston, Florida. I could not figure out who Pat Etherton is.

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“1952 Press Photo Pat Etherton drives a jeep in a Clewiston field. This is an original press photo. Hand Winch on front of jeep is a handy gadget for the driver who overestimates the capabilities of his “mount.” The cable is hooked around a nearby tree (if there is one) and elbow grease does the test. That’s Pat Etherton of Clewiston at the wheel. Photo measures 8.5 x 6.75 inches. Photo is dated 01-27-1952.”

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Tractors & Spam

• CATEGORIES: Features

2019-07-16-austinToday we drove from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Along the way, there were several cool stopping places, so we took advantage of them.

The first, the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum, was in Waterloo, Iowa, (and yes, ABBA’s Waterloo song hits me every time I read a Waterloo sign). We arrived just after the museum opened, so we had the place pretty much to ourselves. The museum is free and is full of restored tractors, interactive displays, history, and nicely arranged exhibits. It’s worth a stop if you are in the area.


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John Deere also offers free tours of the nearby Engine Works and Drive Train Operations (see the bottom of this page for more info). Unfortunately, we didn’t have time for that.

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Two Jeep Toys from Frank

• CATEGORIES: Features, toys

Frank shared these pics of toys his neighbor gave him. Anyone familiar with either?

The first toy is an odd one. The rabbit in the bubble spins as the jeep moves.

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The second toy is a puzzle, as it’s in a CJ-2A box, so he’s not sure if this toy had it’s own box and the neighbor got confused or if it came in the 2A box. With all the nice details, one would expect the base would be correct, too.

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Photo of Marine Sgt. Dinnigan in Korea

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

Marine Sgt. Dinnigan was photographed by Life Photographer David Douglas Duncan in this photo of the Sgt sitting on an MB. The image was shared by his son; what an amazing photograph of his father.

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Soap Box Derby Jeep Freeport, NY $250

• CATEGORIES: Features, Models

I’m not sure if this is really a soap box jeep, but still a neat vintage piece.


“Willys Jeep vintage wod soap box derby car! homemade very cool! Measures 52″ long. This is a great vintage piece that was made with pride, just imaging the father son team that raced this with pride for the US Army. Please take a look at the pictures, jeep has some missing layers of plywood, a broken bumper and one rail is missing on the back.”

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Oh Deere, A Traveling Gothic

• CATEGORIES: Features

I tried to tell her that it wasn’t a ‘pole’, but that didn’t stop her ….

Yesterday we slowed down a little so that we could check into our hotel early and get Ann some rest. To kill some time, we did a little sightseeing.

First, we stopped in Peoria. The city took us by surprise. Peoria sits on a river bank overlooking the Illinois River. Knowing nothing about the city, I had assumed it would be a small city with an industry feel. So, we were surprised to see a fairly modern looking city with a park along the river that lined much of downtown. Our reason for stopping there was to take a photo with a huge American Gothic statute, one that has spent the last decade traveling around to different museums.


That stop got us looking around the city a little bit. There’s a really cool looking Caterpillar Visitors center downtown (see this site for some pics), but it didn’t open until 10am. We couldn’t wait that long, so we took off, but we’d like to visit again to check out that, the “The Art of the Brick” display, and some of the other spots.

Here’s Ann at a nearby monument in downtown Peoria.


Downtown Peoria. That’s Lincoln on the building looking at a War Memorial.

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Thumbs Up for a Champaign Storm

• CATEGORIES: Features

We’ve stopped in Champaign for the night. Just as we entered the city, a storm arrived. By the time we found the statute of movie critic Roger Ebert, which sits outside the Virginia theater in Champaign, Illinois (now showing John Wayne in Red River), sheets of rain could be seen and gnarly clouds were everywhere. We saw lightening and heard the thunder that followed. Thankfully, there was no rain falling on us. All three of us thought it made for a great storm, worthy of three thumbs up!!


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Bernd’s CJ-5 Is Still Working Hard

• CATEGORIES: Features

Bernd’s been busy with his CJ-5. Last we saw it, he was using it to set up a local train for a public event in Austria. Recently, he needed to transport a diesel engine to a repair shop. These ordinary, utilitarian-type tasks is exactly how we often used Dad’s jeep.

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1965 CJ-5 Tux Park IV “Surrey” Lake Murray, SC $38,500

• CATEGORIES: CJ5, Features • TAGS: .

Ted shared this unusual blend of a Surrey and a Tux Park. It sure looks nice. The seller doesn’t mention that the Surrey upgrades are incorrect for this model, but the seller is correct that if you want something unique to bring to a jeep event, this qualifies.


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“1965 Jeep CJ-5A Tuxedo Park Mark IV – An “upscale” Jeep was named after the upscale Tuxedo Park in New York, which was the birthplace of the tuxedo. Elvis drove a similar Jeep in the 1965 movie “Tickle Me” which also starred Julie Adams. Tuxedo Park Jeeps were also driven in President Lyndon Johnson’s inaugural parade in January, 1965.

This special edition Jeep came standard with chrome bumpers, wheel covers, column shift, fold-down rear license plate, fold-down windshield, and a little more highway-friendly rear gear. Standard running gear is a 4-cylinder engine and 3-Speed manual transmission. Optional equipment on this one includes the surrey interior & top, 4-Wheel-drive, and “full” passenger seat. It has been retrofitted with seat belts for safety. Just like Elvis’ Tuxedo Park, this one is finished in Marlin Blue. Continue reading

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No Updates Sunday

• CATEGORIES: Features

Another long day on Saturday (fortunately, we spent lots of it talking and very little of it driving), so no updates on Sunday. Rusty has a new home. After a short visit with Merlin Hansen to see his new place, we are heading home. We should make it to Champaign, IL, by Sunday evening, where we plan to take a photo with Roger Ebert.

This April 22, 2013 photo provided by Thompson-McClellan shows a bronze statue of Pulitzer Prize winning film critic Roger Ebert giving his famous 'thumbs up" sign in Champaign, Ill. The statue will be unveiled Thursday, April 24, 2014, outside the Virginia Theatre in Champaign where Ebert held his annual film festival. Ebert died in April 2013.  (AP Photo/Courtesy of Thomspon.McClellan)

This April 22, 2013 photo provided by Thompson-McClellan shows a bronze statue of Pulitzer Prize winning film critic Roger Ebert giving his famous ‘thumbs up” sign in Champaign, Ill. The statue will be unveiled Thursday, April 24, 2014, outside the Virginia Theatre in Champaign where Ebert held his annual film festival. Ebert died in April 2013. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Thomspon.McClellan)

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2019 Northern Ohio Flatfender Willys Gathering

• CATEGORIES: Features

Here’s the latest info from Bob Christy about his September jeep event.


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1949 CJ-3A Eatonville, WA $2500

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3A, Features

Thomas is selling his CJ-3A. He’s in the process of rewiring it. The supersonic head is a definite bonus. Email him at tkas0213@gmail.com

“1949 Willy’s CJ3A. Currently 3/4 finished wiring new reproduction harness. Ran prior to rewiring and has sat for 8 months. Has multiple spare parts. Comes with rare supersonic head currently attached to the original L134 flathead. Have title in hand and ready to go. Moving out of the country in a few weeks and need to sell as soon as possible. ”

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Dodge Truck “Built to Take It” Video

• CATEGORIES: Features

Chuck shared this pre-jeep video about how Dodge tests its trucks to make sure they are tough.

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Cletrac M2 in 1943

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

Update: this looked like a modified MB to me at first, but smarter folks than I straightened me out!

Kees Heids spotted this ‘tracked jeep’ in a Frontline segment on WWII. It looks different from the O’Laughlin.

You can see the jeep between timestamps 11:55 – 11:58. It appears only for a brief couple of seconds.

Here’s the pic:


Here’s the video:

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Man Killed When Vintage Jeep Falls off Block

• CATEGORIES: Features

Patrick spotted this story.

The Ridgecrest, California, earthquake resulted in a one death. The man who died was working on a flat fender when (they presume) the quake knocked the jeep off of the jack and blocks and onto him. I couldn’t say if he was an eWillys reader, but none-the-less my deepest sympathies go out to his family.

There’s more information here: https://people.com/human-interest/nevada-man-killed-earthquake-working-on-jeep/

Be careful out there!


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Beautiful Weather For a Drive

• CATEGORIES: Features

No updates today. They’ll resume Thursday morning.

We spent all day yesterday driving. Thankfully, the skies were beautiful and the temps moderate. A perfect day for towing.


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1950 Photo of MacArthur and Jeeps in Korea on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

I can’t see General MacArthur too well.

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“1950 Korea General MacArthur Jeep Convoy Road to Yongdungpo 8×10 Orig News Photo”

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U-Haul: Adventure in Moving

• CATEGORIES: Features

Rusty awaiting his chariot .. he had to wait longer than we anticipated.

Let me start by saying that I’ve rented U-Haul trucks, trailers and dollies in the past without issue. So, I guess it was my turn …

I picked up the trailer in Pasco at 8:00. They were quick to get it hooked up for me, so quick that they didn’t hand me any damage sheet. Just in case, I figured I’d take a quick look at the trailer to see if there was any damage. It was good that I did, because I saw a bent light.

To be honest, I didn’t check it all that closely (I figured that’s what U-Haul is supposed to do when a trailer it turned in at a U-Haul location). So, I snapped a pic to record the damage just in case.`

Apparently, the Pasco location does NOT check their trailers closely, because when we arrived in Renton (3 hours later) Ann took a closer look at the light and found it was broken. We thought about just zip tying it in place, but felt that, given the length of the trip, we ought to get it properly repaired.


After a couple calls and a visit to the U-Haul website, I finally got through to a U-Haul rep. He was great. He promised someone would arrive in an hour. To U-Haul’s credit, a tow truck driver named Richard from Lynn’s Towing arrived on time, but he didn’t have the parts to fix the trailer. Richard, a forty year tow truck veteran, said I’d need to swap the trailer. He suggested I call U-Haul and tell them I needed a new trailer.

Well, after a couple phone calls, I found myself transferred to a dead phone line. Sigh.

However, while I ran into an awkward call system, Richard didn’t waste any time. He got himself connected with a local U-Haul to explain what happened. Then, he organized another tow truck driver to pickup our trailer, take it back to U-Haul and bring back a new trailer. This was all done as I was holding on the phone with U-Haul. Soon, Richardhad it all taken care of and he told me to hang up the phone.

So, instead of spending the night in Spokane, we spent the night in Renton, then headed out early this morning.

U-Haul’s slogan used to be “Adventure in Moving”. Yesterday, the company lived up to that for sure!