Features Research Archives

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January 1955 Jeep Sales Optimism

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features, Old Images • TAGS: .

This article highlights how optimistic Willys was going into 1955.


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1946 Berkey Aux Fire Dept Testimonial

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

This testimonial included a detailed list of fire jeep specs. 
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“Gold Plated” Executive Gift on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Models

Having the box makes this one unique. But, it appears the bumper has been broken.

“Made by Comet for retirement gift for WILLYS OVERLAND EXECUTIVES. This toy is in excellent condition, tires show very little play wear. Hard to find with steering wheel intact. JEEP embossed in tailgate is crisp and clear. “Gold plating” is in great shape with some tarnish that I will leave to the buyer to clean. Only blemish is right front bumper is typically broken. Box is in equally excellent condition. Both have been kept under glass as long as I’ve owned it.”

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1953 Woody Station Wagon Prototype Osprey, FL $39,000

• CATEGORIES: Features, Unusual, Wood bodies

This is a unique vehicle.

“1953 Willys Overland. Factory prototype. F head six cylinder. Right hand drive. This is the only one.”


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Trencher’s First Appearance?

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

This photo from the October 1954 issue of Kaiser Willys News got me thinking. Anyone know when the first jeep trenchers were manufactured?


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1955? Hardtop Brochure on eBay

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

UPDATE: Here’s another one of these rare brochures for sale. Thanks to Bill Norris and Derek Redmond for the extra pics. This brochure has been for sale on the same eBay pager for four years. Its on sale at the moment.

This unusual fiberglass hardtop was created by the Reinforced Plastics Corp.  I have yet to see one in the wild. Two journal articles (Chemical Week 1957, Volume 81 and National Defense Transportation Journal 1957, Volumes 13-14) both have announcements for the new top, pegging its inception around mid-1957. Unfortunately, Google will only provide snipped views of these University of Michigan scanned journals. The date of these journals suggests the lister of this brochure is probably wrong about the 1955 date for the brochure.

View all the information on eBay

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Photo of VP Hickman Price Descending Hill in a CJ-5

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images • TAGS: .

Ann says they tilted the camera for this shot. I can’t tell for sure. This photo was featured in the March 1955 issue of the Willys News and shows Vice President Hickman Price descending a steep gradel in a CJ-5.


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Japanese Envelope on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features, Postcards

Here’s an unusual piece.

“Vintage Colorful Japanese Jeep Envelope or Sleeve — New Old Stock… Newspaper like paper has colorful illustration on one side and line drawing on the other… Colorful illustration of a woman officer driving a jeep, a small doll dangling in the wind shield and a rose… Back side has line drawing of a little girl riding a donkey… There is also Japanese character writing… Good condition, new old stock, both top and bottom open… Piece measures about 5 1/8″ x 7 3/8″… ”

View all the information on eBay



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1949 Color Video of Exploring Southern Utah

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

This CJ-2A has the spare tire on the side and sports a Beck “ECONO” Model F3B-100 hardtop.


The CJ-2A has the same hardtop, but for some reason it no longer has a side mount tire.

Frazier spotted a wonderful color video from 1949. Credit for the one-hour length film goes to Ray and Virginia Garner. As I watched it the first time I was struck by the quality of the cuts, the closeups and faraway shots, and the overall sense of a narrative, despite the lack of sound. A little research proved that this wasn’t Ray’s first video. He’s got a long resume that stretched back to pre-WWII. He and his wife Virginia continued filming for years, traveling around the world, and made films for NBC and ABC News.

LINK FOR VIDEO==> Check out the one hour video that starts near Moab and ends within Canyonlands National Park. The jeep section begins at the 15:30 mark and lasts the rest of the film. You’ll eventually realize that there are two green CJ-2As, though I didn’t see a scene that ever showed both together. If you know southern Utah at all you will really appreciate this gem.

Here’s the archived description:
Movie (color, no sound, 57 minutes, 33 seconds): a home movie by Ray Garner shows various scenes in the deserts of the American Southwest. Ray and Virginia Garner take a road trip in a wood-frame station wagon, camping in the desert of Utah and Arizona. Scenes include Arches National Monument, sand dunes, the La Sal Mountains from Arches, cactus and other vegetation, Monument Valley, wildlife (caterpillar, lizard, insects, scorpion, “Hassayampa legend” sign; car travel in the desert; camping; a windmill pumping water; men climb El Capitan (Agathla Peak) in northern Arizona; the couple in a motorboat on the Colorado River. jeep ride at Dugout Ranch and Canyonlands, San Juan County; petroglyphs at Newspaper Rock; dynamiting a boulder to clear a path for the Jeep; Chesler Park and the Needles area; Indian ruins (Beef Basin?); small planes land and take off at Chesler Park; installing climbing ropes on rocks in Canyonlands to access Indian ruins; Wedding Ring Arch in Salt Creek Canyon; Indian ruins and petroglyph (“All-American Man”) in Salt Creek area. Final sequence shows more natural arches.

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Photos From the 2017 Mason-Dixon Willys Jeep Gathering

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features

I feel like I have seen these two jeeps somewhere recently ….

Thanks to Gray and Dave for sharing photos form the 2017 Mason-Dixon Willys Jeep Gathering on Sunday. The weather was perfect and both reported they had a good time.

Dave noted, “Great show on a beautiful day, though a bit warm for the end of October in these parts. I didn’t do any counting but, I’m estimating around 10-12 used parts vendors with everything imaginable related to cjs, trucks, and wagons, and around 40-50 jeep vehicles including civilian cjs, the trucks, wagons, FC, Jeepster guys and, the military vehicle group that included a military wrecker, a WWII deuce and several jeeps. All in all, this is a great show that gets better each year. Thanks to the Union Mills Homestead site for having us and to Mike for organizing it.”

Gray added, “Such a great show . Lots of parts for sale and everybody was so nice!”

Below are a mix of Dave and Gray’s photos. The first one shows this year’s award winners:



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CJ-5 Serial Numbers with AA at the End

• CATEGORIES: Features

A reader from South Africa sent the serial number of his jeep to me, asking when it was built. I concluded that the serial number indicated he has a 1966 CJ-5. The curious part is that he has AA’s stamped on the end of the serial number.Here’s an approximate example of his serial number: 8305 211XXX AA ….  It turns out, he’s not alone.

Here’s an example (again from South Africa) of a CJ-6 with the AA’s stamped into the serial number: http://www.4-the-love-of-jeeps.com/cj6-big-red-comes-to-papa.html

The internet also has a few references to others with the double AAs. What I think is going on is that as a part of converting left handed jeeps to right handed ones, the company that did it was also adding a set of AA’s to the serial number. Does anyone know of this to be the case?

CJ-6 serial number with AA’s stamped in it.

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Jeep Utility Wagon Brochure

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features, Willys Wagons

I snagged this early 1950s Jeep Utility Wagon brochure off eBay. It took some time to find an inexpensive one. It came with a small bundle of other brochures.

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1946 Photo of Fitting Hardtops in Japan

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images • TAGS: .

UPDATE: A previous version of this sold in August (see pics at the bottom). 

“This is an original press photo. Instead of manufacturing cargo planes for Japanese use, this assembly line is making US Jeeps fit for winter use. Japanese stocks of aluminum, plexiglass, rivets, iron rods and fabric are being fitted to jeep use. Photo measures 9.25 x 7 inches. Photo is dated 2-6-1946.”

View all the information on eBay

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Clark County, Nevada, Sheriff’s Office Jeep Posse

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

A little something to read from five years ago …

Originally published October 31, 2012: I stumbled across some Flickr Images of the Clark County, Nevada, Sheriff’s Office Jeep Posse. I searched for a website for the group, but could only find a Sheriff site.

Here are a few images from Flickr.





In February, 1952, Popular Science published a short article about this Jeep Posse.  Note the Slat Grille MB.

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Chuck Yeager Buys a Wagon

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images, Old News Articles • TAGS: .

This October 1954 photo and caption from Kaiser Willys News highlights Chuck Yeager’s recent purchase of a Willys Wagon (or maybe he was given it).


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1953 Photo of Fire Jeep on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

Interesting photo. It appears this has a bed extender on it. I don’t think I’ve seen that on a fire jeep previously?

“1953 Press Photo McCloskey & Burke inspect donated jeep with fireman Pizzatola. This is an original press photo. This Jeep, equipped with two-way radio, was donated by the New Orleans Fire Department to the Fort Pike Volunteer Fire Department for communication between the two departments for fires along Cef Menteur. Highway Safety Commissioner McCloskey and Deputy Fire Chief Patrick Burke inspect the jeep. The fireman is Sam Pizzatola. Photo measures 10 x 8.25 inches. Photo is dated 09-22-1953.”

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Photo of Jeeps & Trucks in Field on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

UPDATE: Barry noticed that this may very well be a photo with FDR in the passenger side of the jeep. 1) He spent extended periods of time in Georgia, 2) the side would have been cut to make it easier for him to get in the jeep, and 3) it looks quite a bit like FDR.

No date on the photo. The jeep to the left has had some modifications done to the entry area.

“Press Photo The Army jeeps shown in a field –
This is an original press photo. The Army jeeps shown in a field Photo measures 11 x 7 inches. Photo is dated –none.”

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1942 Photo of Ford GPA Test

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

I don’t think I’ve seen this photo. That looks to be an early GPA to me.

“1942 Press Photo U.S Army Amphibious Jeep Proceeds into swollen Ohio River. This is an original press photo. Turning off the highway it proceeds into the swollen Ohio River between Fort Knox and Louisville. The Propeller is put in motion and its Ship Ahoy. Photo measures 10 x 8.25 inches. Photo is dated 04-10-1942.”

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Jeep Willys Bar Little Rock, AR $1000

• CATEGORIES: Features

It’s different.

“I built this bar about 8 months ago out of an unrestorable 50s Jeep Willys Wagon. Thought that it would be a great center piece for the man cave I was going to build. It has working Edison Light Bulbs. My wife informed me after building it that my young children would not be allowed near it because it has rust on it. Oh well. It is up for sell. $1000 boo.”



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October 1954 Optimism at Willys Motors

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features, Old Images, Old News Articles • TAGS: .

This October 1954 photo and caption from Kaiser Willys News underscores how confident Willys Motors was about the coming year and their new CJ-5 model. About this time there was an explosion of new brochures and mailers, so Willys Motors did what it could to generate excitement about the commercial and utility market.


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1960’s Jeep Sign (Paper) on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

This is a neat piece.

“1960s Jeep original dealership showroom two sided paper sign, size 15 by 17 inches, condition is good, any questions please send an e-mail, USA shipping will be $8.00, overseas at extra cost.”

View all the information on eBay




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1946 Photo of Jeeps in Stalingrad

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

That’s a stark photo, but also a very thoughtful one if the photographer is correct.

“1946 Press Photo Jeeps and Studebaker Trucks That Helped Russia Win the War. This is an original press photo. This is typical of the destruction of Stalingrad, where workers and farmers pitched in to help the Red Army hold. These two Russian Chauffeurs say jeeps and studebaker trucks helped Russia win the war. They suggested Strohm take this picture so he could tell the American people they appreciated the things we sent them in lend-lease. Photo measures 9 x 7.25 inches. Photo is dated 10-04-1946.”

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Links to Fire Jeeps in Portugal

• CATEGORIES: Features, Fire/Police/Industry Vehicles

Roberto Flores’ search for fires in Portugal tangentially led to a finding a few links to blogs with fire jeeps on them.

This first set of photos is from a 2008 post on a Portuguese website. According to a translation, “On the day of [the jeep’s] baptism, the Father said in his address: “The first-aid jeep is intended to fill a very important gap in this Corporation, which is to be able to turn to places of difficult access or even of the city, where it is not justified to move a heavier car.”





This second fire jeep resides at the Fire Museum at Dafundo in Portugal. This 1947 CJ-2A was acquired in 2010, then restored.


This last website from Catalonia only shows one photo and it’s not the best angle. Still, the parking lights suggest it is a 1946 or early 1947 CJ-2A. It’s not clear where this one is located, other than in Portugal.



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Prospecting Brochure For Dealers

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

This 11″x17″ brochure, targeting jeep dealers and sales personnel, is large enough to be framed. However, since it is printed on both sides, it doesn’t make much sense as a poster.

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Ford GP Camp Croft Postcard on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, Features, Postcards

Good look at a Ford GP.

“VINTAGE POSTCARD – CONDITION: VG/some corner wear *SEE SCANS BELOW OF BOTH SIDES. DATE/ERA: c1940s. Standard Size 3.5×5.5 Inches.”

View all the information on eBay