Features Research Archives

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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.

View all the information on eBay

“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!


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2019 Fort Miles 4th of July Parade

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features

Joe shared these pics from the Fort Miles Living-History Group (261st Coast Artillery/1252d Service Command) participation in Bethany Beach, Delaware’s, Independence Day parade.  The pics were taken in the parade form-up area.  The group included both WWII & Post-War military vehicles.

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Photo of Woman and Pink Surrey on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

She sure seems happy. Anyone recognize the background?

View all the information on eBay


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Selectro / Husky / Dualmatic Hub Overview

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

UPDATE: For more information on the twin-lever Dualmatic designs, check out this post.


ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED JULY 8, 2019: Once again, this is more a working post than a polished one. And, it’s a long one. It kept growing and growing as I learned more (and became more confused).Of course, I am left with more answers than questions.

Essentially, I’m trying to figure out when Selectro hubs popped onto the 4WD scene, who controlled them, and how they evolved. That led to looking at Husky, Dualmatic, Watson and FreeLock hubs. I don’t have all the answers just yet … here we go …


Map of companies related to Jeep products in the 1950s-1970s. You can learn more about Thor and White Automotive here.and Free-Lock here.


1959/1960?: The Husky Company launches it’s line of Husky Hubs out of Aurora, Colorado. This hub one of two pieces of evidence of the Husky Company’s existence in Aurora; it has the Husky Company name and location on it:



A second piece of evidence was uncovered on a document found by Maury; the Husky Company was located originally in Aurora, Colorado.

Based on the information on the hub, the Husky company already had a patent awarded (not just filed, but awarded). So, which patent was that? My best guess at the moment is that this 1958 patent awarded to Clark Peterson has the most elements in common with the Husky Hub.

Given there were a couple intervening years between the patent (awarded in 1958) and Husky Hub (unclear when it was brought to market, but I’m guessing 1959/1960), it seems possible that the company altered the design before manufacturing it, which could explain the differences between the patent and the finished hub. The biggest reason I think the two are related is that both the patent and the Husky Hub have a narrow bolt down the center, a unique design not seen in another other hubs.

1961: In 1961 a new name was associated with the Husky Hub: Trade Winds, Inc, out of Boulder, Colorado. My best guess is that the Husky Hub company lacked capital, so it turned to Trade Winds (perhaps which bought a controlling stake in the Husky Company?) to re-introduce the Husky Hubs.

The company’s name is shown as “TRADE WINDS” on the hubs, but as “Tradewinds” in various trade journal ads, which is where it focused its advertising (such as Roads and Streets, American Beef Producer, and Pacific Chemical and Metallurgical Industries). It appears the hub ads only appeared during 1961 (and possibly 1962). I can find no evidence that text ads were placed later than that. Here’s an example ad:


This snippet appeared in a 1962 book, suggesting the Husky hubs may have been launched in 1961. Two other sources also indicate that Tradewinds had launched the Husky Hub in 1961

This detail image of a brochure for the Husky Hub is undated, but clearly shows the Trade Winds name.


This is a detail shot of a Husky Hub brochure from the 1960s.

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1969 Ad for the Boulder TowBarGuide

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

This ad from the September 1969 issue of Four Wheeler Magazine shows the Boulder TowBarGuid, a winch that wrests atop a towbar. The same issue included a story on the winch, though not much background was provided about the company. The winch was manufactured by the Hilmer Company out of Boulder, Colorado.



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M-151 Pencil Sharpener on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features

This is pretty cool. An M-151 Pencil sharpener.

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“Vintage Miniature Enesco Die Cast Military Jeep Willys Pencil Sharpener”

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Road Trip Starting Monday

• CATEGORIES: Features

Longtime readers remember that we purchased a DJ-3A that we named Rusty in September of 2016 in anticipation of our Alaska trip in the summer of 2017. A buyer on the East Coast recently purchased that DJ-3A and has paid us to trailer it to him. He’s getting a good deal on Rusty, while we are getting our costs for a road trip covered. It’s a win-win.

Unlike our normal tours, we plan to drive straight to our destination, then pretty much turn around and head back, though our return route will take us north with a goal of stopping at Glacier National Park, a place I’ve yet to see. Our goal is only to be gone about two weeks (rather than our usual 6-8 weeks).


Rusty right after we picked him up in Montana in 2016.

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Ramsey Company & Brochures

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

Claude Ramsey and his brother, Rayburn, originally founded Ramsey Winch Company as Ramsey Brothers Tool and Die in July 1944 to manufacture aircraft parts, tools and dies for Douglas Aircraft Company. Claude, realizing the need for a front-mounted winch for passenger cars and pickups, designed a crankshaft-operated winch (Model 101) to pull vehicles out of mud and snow. Demand for the Ramsey Winch increased to the point that the name of the company was changed to Ramsey Brothers Winch Manufacturing Company in 1947. In 1950, the company changed its name to Ramsey Winch Company when Claude bought out his brother’s share of the company.

Here’s a two-page brochure for the dual PTO units: DP-1 (for the Jeep Universal), DP-2 (for 4WD trucks and wagons), DP1-150 (for FC-150s), DP2-FY (for FC-170s).

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This twelve-page Ramsey winch brochure from 1959 covers a variety of products. I have three of these brochures, so if you’d like to purchase one for $10, let me know.

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Three Blue Surrey Slides on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

These slides feature a blue and white Surrey.

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“60’S – 70’S Amateur Color Slide Lot Photo Old Jeep Blue Chrome Pictures 03
Normal wear. Great shape.”

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The Errislannan’s Metamet Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

The Errislannan family of Western Ireland purchased a jeep from Metamet in September of 1959. You can read the story and see all the pics here (thanks to Barry Thomas from Farm Jeep).



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1953 Photo of M-170 Test on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

This old newspaper photo captured the testing of an M-170 at the Aberdeen Testing Grounds. Theres’ a description on the back fo the photo, but it’s not easy to ready.

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“8×10 inches with minor variation”

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Modified Canadian MB

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images, Unusual • TAGS: .

This Canadian jeep has some unusual modifications. The image was featured at https://captainstevens.com/military/mv/mvmarkings/, which takes a look at Canadian Military Vehicle marketings.


Photo Credit: http://Captainstevens.com W-LU GOC_4th Canadian Armoured Division (Canadian Army PA211629_jpeg) This appears to the the same jeep as in the colour photo above, just after it was customized for the General Officer Commanding 4 Canadian Armoured Division. They added roof, doors, flag staff and light and extension on rear of vehicle. It is carrying at least one wireless set.

It’s believed that this is the front of the above jeep. As you can see, a rounded topper has been added to the windshield. It appears to be a nice bit of work.  The windshield has also been converted into a vertical windshield.


Photo Credit: Major-General Worthington in the 4th Armoured Division GOC’s jeep Late 1943 or January 1944 L&AC

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Brazilian Rural Wagon Video

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos • TAGS: .

This Brazilian tutorial about the Willys Rural Wagon and Truck was spotted by Carl. Portuguese speakers might find it interesting.

I hadn’t noticed it before, but some of the Rural wagons and Jeepsters have a “Parkette”-looking fiberglass stripe along the sides. Maybe that’s where Paul Parker got the idea?


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December 1942 Article About a Modified Bantam

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old News Articles

This news clipping from the December 30, 1942, issue of Yank: The Army Weekly shares the story of a Bantam (no 1687) that was pieced together by the Ordinance Depot.