Features Research Archives

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Negatives of Early Jeep Wagon and Girl on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

There’s something about these two photos I find simultaneously hypnotic and eerie (maybe ghostly?). I can’t quite figure out why that is. I can feel the wind blowing in them.

View all the information on eBay
wagon-bw-negative-girl2 wagon-bw-negative-girl1


“*1940’s – 50’s
(2) 2 1/4″ B&W Negatives
** Jeep Willys Wagon **
*** Medium Format Film ***
See Photos”

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1946 Willys-Overland “GET A ‘JEEP'” Campaign

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Artists/Drawings, Features

UPDATE II: There was at least one GET A ‘JEEP’ mailer that was distributed to current and potential jeep owners. You can view that here.

UPDATE: As Terry pointed out, the GET A ‘JEEP’ campaign was likely a play off of the popular phrase Get a horse, the popular cry that greeted almost every automobile which appeared on the roads during the early years of the automobile. A 1930 article from the Saturday Evening Post also highlights the use of this phrase.

Starting in January of 1946, Willy’s Overland introduced the GET A ‘JEEP’ phrase to their Collier’s and Saturday Evening Post full-page ad campaign.


Examples of the GET A ‘JEEP’ campaign in the full page ads of the Saturday Evening Post.

The company also introduced a subtler GET A ‘JEEP’ magazine marketing strategy in the form of small cartoons.

So far,  I’ve only identified the publishing date of one cartoon, but I’m sure with time we can identify the others. As of a November 13, 1946, the cartoon ad campaign was still being used, but the December 14, 1946, full-page ad does not include that phrase.

  1. This GET A ‘JEEP’ ad appeared in the October 12, 1946, issue of Collier’s Magazine. Strangely, the only attribution is the “A product of WILLYS-OVERLAND MOTORS”. My conclusion is that this was a sneakier “ad” for the new jeep.


2. This version of the ad was published in a 1946 magazine. The cartoon print is available on eBay.


3. This one was found on Pinterest:


4. I’d published this one a few years ago. It was being sold on eBay.


5. This was posted on eBay for sale and labeled a 1946 ad:


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Photos of WWII Jeep Stuck in Sand on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

With all those people around, why not try to pick it up and out of the hole? These may have been taken on the Oregon Coast.

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“Three original photos of a flat fender Willys Jeep getting stuck in the sand. The bottom photo measures 2-3/4″ x 3-3/4″, The top two photos measures 2-1/2″ x 3-1/2″. Great condition.”


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Sportif, Dispatcher, Beach Comber, & Commuter

• CATEGORIES: DJ-3A, Features

As most folks know, Brooks Stevens was instrumental in numerous production and concept car designs. One of the lesser known projects was, apparently, an offshoot of the DJ-3A 2WD line. There are four documented designs, two of which became concept vehicles.


The Dispatcher and the Sportif concept cars.

  1. The Sportif: This DJ-3A-like vehicle appears to use the DJ-3A convertible windshield and hood, to which some stylistic designs have been added. There are a variety of undated pics at the Milwaukee Art Museum’s website which tags the images as being prototypes for the Canadian Market. A March-April 1995 Willys World article dates the pics to 1959. Brook Stevens is pictured in both images.


    Link to Milwaukee Art Museum

  2. The Dispatcher (aka Dispatcher Sportif) and Dispatcher 100: The Milwaukee Art Museum labels this simply as the Dispatcher, but other placed identify this as the Dispatcher 100 or Dispatcher Sportif. You can see all the pics at the Museum’s website.

    Dispatcher 100: Derek Redmond published a slightly different version of this concept at the CJ-3B page. It’s titled the Dispatcher 100 (has an insignia with the name on the passenger door) and it may represent a slight update or next evolution of the “Dispatcher” above. The cover on the passenger side cowl suggests this might have been made from the later model DJ-3A body (which used the hole for a heater vent).

  3. Jeep Beach Comber: This fanciful 2WD vehicle looks inspired by the DJ-3A Surrey, one designs for beaches and vacation rentals. There’s only one image of it at the Milwaukee Art Museum. This appears to use the later model Willys hubcaps seen on the Surreys.
  4. Jeep Commuter 100: It looks to be a roomier version of the other vehicles, but with a top that allowed lots of visibility. There’s only one image of it at the Milwaukee Art Museum. This jeep also appears to use the later model Willys hubcaps seen on the Surreys. I can attest that the low windshield and low soft top (if that is a soft top) would have made it difficult for 6-footers like me to climb back into the rear seat.
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1945 Photo of Weasel Testing

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

This photo was published in the February 09, 1945, issue of the Saturday Evening Post, page 12. It shows a Weasel getting a muddy test with a jeep next to it.


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The Whens and Whys of the Willys-Overland “J” Logo

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

UPDATE III: Maury spotted the a “J” dealership sign example on this Miller Tools brochure:


UPDATE II: I’ve added two examples of ‘dark’ “J”s, dark (blue or black) background with white letters. Now that I think about it, I guess this is similar to the black and white newspaper versions.


CREDIT: Douglass, Neal. Harry Payne Motors, photograph, June 3, 1942; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth34338/m1/1/: accessed April 7, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Austin History Center, Austin Public Library. … MY NOTES: The photo year is more likely late 1947 or 1948.


From Willys World March-April 1991 issue.

UPDATE: This is best described as a working draft that Maury Hurt and I have constructed in the hopes of understanding Willys-Overland’s “J” logo better …. If you have input, please email me or add it in a comment at the bottom of the post.

In January of this year, Maury emailed me about a Willys/Cars•Trucks/Jeep logo that he was hoping to reproduce, wondering if I had any better examples of it. That simple email turned into a mission: Find out the history behind the logo.

Willys Cars Trucks Jeep

I have one of these patches. Not sure who created them or when.

It turned out that we could find no articles or discussion about the evolution of the logo. So, we spent a month looking through old brochures and advertisements to develop a theory of what it should look like, when it was used, and why.

What’s the logo supposed to look like?

Our first challenge was to determine what the logo was supposed to look like. As these examples show, different fonts and slightly different looks were used in the printing of the logo.

Willys Cars Trucks Jeep 2

Another patch example.


This was from a January 1946 magazine ad.


or even this one …


Our suspicion is that this is from overseas, possibly Australia? We don’t have a time frame on this one.

And, the list would not be complete without some matchbook covers:


How should the “J” look?

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1943 Color Photo of Smoke Screen Demonstration

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine

This photo was published in the November 20, 1943, issue of the Saturday Evening Post.


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1954 Wagon Brochure on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

This no reserve brochure is only $.99 (plus shipping) right now. It’s a good price on a nice brochure that folds out pretty large.

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“1954 Willy’s Jeep Station Wagon Original Sales Brochure. Condition is Used. Great condition! Shipped with USPS First Class Package.”




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Jeeps @ the Portland Swap Meet

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features

Paul Barry is at this year’s Portland Swap Meet in Oregon. He spotted several jeeps for sale.

Looks like a Parkway, but isn’t:

port-swap-lores1 port-swap-lores2 port-swap-lores3

A couple Jeepsters for $7000:



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Where Did March Go? Some Updates

• CATEGORIES: Features

March was a complete blur. Last I remember there was still snow on the ground here in Pasco. Now, the snow is long gone, the trees are budding, and the temperatures have warmed. I’m amazed I got any eWillys updates completed last month.

Speaking of updates, here are a few ….

The Funeral:

I wanted to say a final thanks to everyone who sent us well-wishes on dad’s passing. Anyone who has followed his story on here probably understands that, ever since his close call with death in 2011, all the years and time together since then have been a bonus. So, we were fortunate to have the extra time with him.

Thanks to perfect weather, my oldest son Karson and I drove Patterson to the funeral. The fact it was all back roads made it possible. I hadn’t driven the jeep that far since the Alaska Highway, so I didn’t really know what to expect. Still, we all agreed it was proper to have a jeep there, so we ignored the chance for a breakdown and drove anyway (but carried tow equipment just in case). The engine water temp gauge acted hot right away, so that made me a bit nervous on the drive, but there were no overheating signs, fortunately.

Just to make things interesting, the brakes were pulling to one side, so that made stopping all that more ‘fun’. And, the steering box was a little looser than I’d like, as I’d back off the ross box screw for towing it (but had forgotten about that), so we wandered a little. Still, the drive and purpose were worth any of those inconveniences.


I gave a short eulogy at the funeral (a little longer than the piece I published here) and managed not to crack with emotion as I read it. That was a win. Then, Karson and I managed to make it all the way back home without breaking down. Another win.

All-in-all it was a relatively happy event. We all understood where Dad was at in life, so there were more smiles than tears.

The Memorial:

I know some of you will be joining us at Dad’s Memorial. It is tentatively set for May 11th (a Saturday). The location has not been determined just yet.


The only travel plan we have marked in our calendars is a visit to Utah in early May. My daughter Kasia is graduating from college with a Chemical Engineering degree. She already has a great job in California lined up working for a long-established industrial insurance company (so we’ll be in the bay area at least a couple times over the next two years).


Kasia’s birthday just happened to be the same day as Dad’s funeral.

After that, we do not have any large trip planned (other than the White Rim trip below), though we are considering a September trip to Iowa to attend Dan’s FC Jamboree in Iowa. We haven’t traveled east that late in the year, so we thought it might be a nice change.

Canyonlands White Rim Trail:

My son Karson has invited me to join him on an exploration of the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park in early May, so after Kasia’s graduation, we’ll head down there.

He’s biked the length of the trail, but he thought I’d like to jeep it. So he offered, as an early birthday present, to rent a jeep in Moab and have us drive the trail’s 100 miles together. It was a very thoughtful present and I jumped at the chance.

I guess that’s all for now. I hope everyone is close to putting winter behind them and looking forward to some Spring weather!

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1954 Photo Repro of Jimmy Stewart in WW2 on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features

As I read it, this photo of Jimmy Stewart and other service members from WW2 was taken in 1944 and reproduced on January 15, 1954 (or maybe just used on that date?).

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“Well-preserved 1944 Associated Press 8×11 glossy photo of Jimmy Stewart, an Army major, driving fliers to their planes in Britain less than two months before D-Day. A pencil mark appears above Stewart’s head. On the back is an “Associated Press Wirephoto” stamp.”

1954-01-15-jimmy-stewart-ww2-1 1954-01-15-jimmy-stewart-ww2-2 1954-01-15-jimmy-stewart-ww2-3

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Wooden WWII Jeep on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Models

This looked like an interesting jeep.

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“Vintage WWII era hand made wood model of a U.S. Army Jeep. Missing front bumper blocks and one rear corner wire guard, overall good condition. Measures aprox. 5” x 2 1/2” x 1 3/4”, great bit of military folkart.”







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1943 Photo of Roosevelt in Casablanca on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

Note the modified side entrance of this jeep on the February 2, 1943, photo of President Roosevelt.

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1942-02-02-fdr-special-jeep0 1942-02-02-fdr-special-jeep1 1942-02-02-fdr-special-jeep2


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Coca-Cola-Themed FC-170(?)

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

Blaine shared this modified FC-170 (or is it an FC van?) with a Coca-Cola theme. Anyone have more info about it? It was posted to Pinterest.



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Updates Resume Thursday

• CATEGORIES: Features

Tuesday’s funeral went well. My oldest son Karson and I drove Patterson (1956 DJ-3A) to the service as a nod to dad. No time for updates until Thursday morning.

Naturally, no funeral is complete without a quick engine check on the jeep …


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1950 Mechanical Bola Patent

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features • TAGS: .

A patent for a Mechanical Bola was patented on September 23, 1952, by B.D. Manning with the purpose of helping a single person rope and manage cattle. The drawing reminds me of the early modified Texas hunting jeeps like this one.


“A peculiar trait of such cattle is their curiosity with respect to motor vehicles. They soon become accustomed to jeeps, for example, and will come up to examine one, particularly if the motor is running. One can drive right up to a bunch of cattle in a jeep, without any of them taking the trouble to move, so long as the driverstays in the car.

With the device of my invention attached to aj eep or other auto vehicle, it is a simple matter to capture a single animal without waste of time, or if it becomes necessary to inspect or treat a large number of cattle for Screw-Worm or other disease, this may be done expeditiously, for if the rest runoff at the casting of one animal curiosity brings them back shortly if the driver moves his vehicle about a bit.”


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Willys Production Employee Award Pin on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features

Anyone familiar with these pins? Asking price is $295.

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“gold filled sterling silver. working screw pin back”

jeep-pin-willys-award1-lores jeep-pin-willys-award2-lores

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1944 Photo of Jeep in Which a Nurse was Wounded on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

A nurse was wounded in this jeep on Saipan in 1944.

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1944-09-10-nurse-lynch-wounded1 1944-09-10-nurse-lynch-wounded2

QUANTITY: 1 – See the other original WWI & WWII photos that I have listed.
ITEM: Original WWII CONFIDENTIAL photo of Jeep that US Army Nurse 2nd Lt. Helen Lynch was wounded in on Saipan, 1944. Part of a large group of original PTO photos that I am listing. Most are of the Invasion and Occupation of Saipan and a few are of Tinian.

DATE: 1944 – photo does not glow under a black light.
SIZE: 3.75″ x 5”
CONDITION: Very Good; See scans..
BACK: Has paper tag with hand-typed description. Stamped “CONFIDENTIAL”. See last scan.”

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Jeep Pics From Ebay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

Here are an assortment of jeep-related pics on eBay

  1. British Airborne jeep with littler attached. This is a negative. Seller has other, similar negatives.
    View all the information on Ebay:
  2. Person in jeep. View all the pics on eBay:
  3. 1945 Photo of USMC jeep. This photo comes from a scrapbook that includes a history of its owner, Marine Captain Lewis Brazeal: View all the information on ebay:
  4. 1944 Photo of US Navy Officer in Penarth, Wales, with Welsh Terror on the jeep hood. View all the information on eBay:
    1944-jeep-welsh-terrior-hood1 1944-jeep-welsh-terrior-hood3 1944-jeep-welsh-terrior-hood4

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Thermos Powered Jeep Production

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

This ad by the American Thermos Bottle Company was published in the May 22, 1943, issue of the Saturday Evening Post. I believe the takeaway from this ad is, If Thermos products are good enough for workers building jeeps, than they are good enough for the average American. However, there seems to be a lack of evidence that Willys and Ford employees were using Thermos products.



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Just a Few Updates Today

• CATEGORIES: Features

Updates will resume Saturday, then get interrupted again by a return to Seattle with my kids for Tuesday’s funeral. After April 3rd things should return to normal.

I discovered after dad’s passing that he had saved (thanks to his mother) most of the letters he sent home while he was in the Navy (1952-1955). I spent the last two days reading and scanning them. So, I ran out of time yesterday for most updates.

When he entered the Navy, Dad owned (most likely) a WWII jeep that he drove all over, including up to Brighton to ski (which is still a ski area above Salt Lake … the letters detail just how ski crazy he was .. and, he would work at Brighton after his Navy stint). Anyway, he left the jeep in the care of his parents and two brothers. In various letters, he advised them to be careful with it, to run it, to maintain it, and finally, as this letter shows, he asked them “Don’t wreck my jeep.” … a few months later, my grandfather sold the jeep for a Dodge PowerWagon, with dad’s blessing.

The account below was during his second week of basic training in San Diego. He was 19 at the time:


The letter reads,

Dear Mom,

We have started on our second week and things are still a little hard. I got your letter about the electric razor and stamps. You can send me both of them. Also, you can send me some cookies and candy. I am glad to hear about Carl, give him my best. I hope the weather is better out there than down here. It is hot in the day and cold at night. Say hello to everyone for me,

Love Karl

P.S. Don’t wreck my jeep .. write soon.



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2019 FC-Roundup is This Weekend

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features

The 2019 FC Roundup in Phoenix is this weekend. We had planned to do a surprise appearance by flying into the event this year, but dad’s surprise exit shuttered those plans. Since next year is the last year, I have let Ann know that we will be down there no matter what.

I brazenly borrowed these pics from Steve Elkins, who posted about the early arrivals on Facebook.

2019-fc-roundup5 2019-fc-roundup4 2019-fc-roundup3 2019-fc-roundup2 2019-fc-roundup1

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1948 Popular Homecraft’s Wander Wagon Junior

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine, Willys Wagons, Wood bodies • TAGS: , .

UPDATE: The complete set of plans for the Wander Wagon is shown below. Previously, I’d only had the first part of the build scanned.

In 1948 Popular Homecraft Magazine did a two article series on the construction of a home built Jeep Station Wagon. The name for the custom wagon was the Wander Wagon Junior. The project was shared with readers over two issues, the 1948 Jan-Feb issue and the 1948 Mar-Apr issue. I was finally able to locate a copy of the Mar-Apr issue, so now the full build is shown below.

PART I: January-February 1948 issue:

1948-jan-feb-home-woodcraft-wander-wagon3-lores 1948-jan-feb-home-woodcraft-wander-wagon4-lores 1948-jan-feb-home-woodcraft-wander-wagon5-lores 1948-jan-feb-home-woodcraft-wander-wagon6-lores

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1959 Patent for a Portable Reeling Device

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

The patent for this portable reeling device was filed on December 25, 1962. It isn’t just for a jeep, but a jeep-like vehicle is shown and referenced. I’ve never seen any evidence this was ever manufactured; anyone else?



From the patent, “Now with more particular reference to the drawing, FIGS. 1, 2, 3, and 4 show an embodiment of the invention with a jeep as the means to drive a power driven communication wire reel 16. The communication wire is retrieved and wound onto the communication wire reel 16 by activating outwardly an adjustable speed disk 31 with a clutch lever 20. The power to perform this function is derived from a power take-off 38 from the engine.

Persons familiar with jeeps of the military variety know that such jeeps have a transmission which connects the motor to two shafts which are connected in parallel. One of the shafts drives the ground engaging wheels of the vehicle while the other shaft is connected to a power take-off. This power take-01f may be used to drive a hydraulic system or other attachment. In this case, the power take-off 38 is connected to the shaft 37 and thence to a universal joint 36 and, from there, to the clutch for driving the reel. A pressure spring 35 is held in place and away from a spinning friction power disk 33 by means of a bearing 34 which is fixed to the friction power disk 33. The constant pressure which is exerted on the bearing 34 forces the friction power disk 33 outwardly and against the adjustable speed disk 31. By moving the clutch lever 20 to the left, a pivot 40 in a clutch lever support plate 22 will force lever lugs 39 to the right.”

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1944 Jeep Toy Project From Home WoodCraft

• CATEGORIES: Features, Models, toys

The November/December 1944 issue of Home Woodcraft featured this “realistic” jeep toy-of-the-year. If you need high resolution versions of this, comment below or email me.

1944-11-12-home-craftsman-jeep-toy-lores 1944-11-12-home-craftsman-jeep-toy2-lores 1944-11-12-home-craftsman-jeep-toy3-lores