Features Research Archives

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1953 “I’ll take the Jeep” Ad For a CJ-3B

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

I’ll take the jeep, too! This early CJ-3B ad is in the May 7, 1953, issue of the Heppner Gazette Times one I hadn’t seen.


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1942 Illustration of an early “Jeep”

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old News Articles

The September 24, 1942, issue of the Nyssa Gate City Journal out of Nyssa, Oregon, published this interesting illustration.


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Packaged Pump Brochure

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

This is a brochure for an early pump.


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Photo Negative of FC-170 Howe Fire Truck on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

I’ve inverted the photo to give a sense of what it might look like printed.

View all the information on eBay

“Original factory photograph negative , 8 x 10 , also includes factory envelope , 8.5 x 10.5 , listing is for both items.”



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1961? Howe Commando Fire Truck Brochure on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

The numbers at the bottom suggest to me the date of this brochure is September, 1961. But, this still has the split glass, so those numbers might not be referring to the date.

View all the information on eBay

“Original non color sales sheet , 8.5 x 11 , printed both sides , three file holes at edge”

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Several Interesting Photos from eBay Seller

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

Darrins, a seller on eBay, has these two photos, plus a few others you might enjoy viewing.

View all of Darrin’s Jeep photos here

  1. This FC appears to have a custom camper:
  2. I wish I could see more of this jeep! Note the unusual hardtop and front bumper/fenders.unusual-mods-to-jeep
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Restored MB Custom Truck

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: , .

This 2013 post from Offroad Action popped up while I was searching for something else. It highlighted the rebuild of an MB-turned-truck in Europe. There are a variety of photos showing the rebuild process.



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Willys Sign on the ACAA Facebook Page

• CATEGORIES: Features

Anyone know the history of this unusual Willys sign. I know I’ve seen it floating around before, but can’t remember where. Was it ever an actual sign?


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Redlands Geckos Jeep Club Plaque **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was on eBay.

Seth shared this vintage jeep club plaque. The Redlands Geckos Jeep Club was based out of Redlands, California. It was in existence by 1963 (based on this article) and was around as late as 1977 (based on this article).

“You are viewing a 1960’s Vintage Relands Geckos Jeep Club Metal Oval Plate Plaque! You will receive exactly what you are viewing. This plaque is a unique handmade item and weighs over 1 lb.”


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1956 AD For The CJ-5

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

This ad promoting “8 reasons why the ‘Jeep’ does more jobs … better!” appeared in the March 15, 1956, issue of the Heppner Gazette Times in Heppner, Oregon. Interesting that it shows a dual pane windshield.


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Australian CJ-3B Gala @ the CJ-3B Page

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

If you haven’t read this, take a look at the CJ-3B page and check out this story on the Australian CJ-3B Gala.



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Tyler’s Vintage Jeep Desk

• CATEGORIES: Features

Tyler built this desk out of parts he gathered at last year’s Great Willys Picnic. Here are a few more pics.

“I just wanted to share my computer desk I made from some parts I picked up at last years great willys picnic. That I found out about thanks to one of your posts. I took up the project as a way to teach myself welding. I designed the desk to also work with my simulation steering wheel and pedals so I can drive jeeps in video games at my jeep desk. The last thing I set up was two stage led lights in the headlights for added style :).”


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Posters are **SOLD OUT**

• CATEGORIES: Features

UPDATE: I awoke to poster sales, so I’m sold out. I should have a handful left for the reunion, but can’t guarantee that.


Original is on the left, the reproduction on the right. The colors are closer than they appear, as the original has caught some extra light from the window on the left.


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1946 Photo of Wrecked Jeep on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

The jeep ran into the rear of a lumber truck, injuring a soldier and his girlfriend.

View all the information on eBay

“1946- U.S. Soldiers Examine the Wreckage of a Willys Jeep on Santa Mesa Blvd. in Manila.Photo measures approx. 7″ x 9”



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Ad For Mobile Arc Welder

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features


This three page brochure for a General Electric 200 AMP Mobile Arc Welder appeared in a Willys Overland Sales book circa 1950.

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1943 Photo of Jeep on Muddy Road in Tunisia on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

This one was published in Life Magazine.

View all the information on eBay

“Photographer: Eliot Elisofon
Title: “Jeep Skids Across Muddy Tunisian Road”
Size/Media: Approx. 6.5″ x 8.5″ Glossy fiber silver gelatin
Vintage shot of a jeep skidding on a muddy Tunisian road in 1943 by noted photographer Eliot Elisofon while on assignment for LIFE magazine. This image was published on p.18 of the April 26, 1943 issue of LIFE magazine.”



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Replica Jeep Brooklyn, WI **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features, Other 4x4s • TAGS: , .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $2900.

UPDATE: As Blaine pointed out, we’ve seen this exact type of vehicle before: http://www.ewillys.com/2014/03/07/mini-beep-kit-from-struck-kit/

“This is Jeop Willy’s replica that my dad and I built. It’s true 4×4 and is also amphibious. Has brackets to mount a trolling motor in the rear to take in the Lake or stream. Has high and low range gears. Kohler gas motor, fun to use around the farm or camp. Has receiver hitch as well.”

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The Placer Gold Miner Ornament

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

NOTE: This post was formerly part of the JEEP-HERDERS MOVIE and EL DORADO JEEPHERDERS post, but I’ve split that post into three, each updated with some new info and/or pics.


Over the last decade, I occasionally saw vintage jeeps with bronze casted placer gold miners on the hood. For years I’ve wondered about where these originated. They turn out to have an interesting history. Moreover, different castings over the years has led to slightly different designs.

It was a member of the El Dorado Jeepherders who first began selling them. From Ken Hower on Pirate 4×4:

Gold Miner Hood Ornament History:
In 1970, Mike Arnold opens Arnolds For Awards in Shingle Springs, CA (Acrylic Awards | Crystal Awards | Glass Awards | Corporate Plaques).

– In 1970, Mike Arnold goes to Alaska to a Gold Rush Event, since the history of gold mining in California looking for a tie in for his business. At the event, Mike finds an artist who has cast these Gold Miner statues. Mike buys a handful and returns to California.

– 1971, Mike installs the Gold Miner on his hood for the Jeepers Jamboree. Mike is a member of the El Dorado Jeepherders, the first organized 4-wheel drive club in the United States. He brings a few statues on the Jamboree to sell, and a few are bought.

– El Dorado Jeepherders adopt the statue for their club and nearly every member of the club, now has a Gold Miner statue hood ornament.

– Ken Collins is the owner of Placerville Jeep. He is also, one of the founders of the Jeepers Jamboree, along with Mark Smith. Ken buys statues from Arnolds Awards and begins giving them away to customers who buy a jeep.

– Chuck Walker. Yes, the Walker behind the famous Walker Hill on the Rubicon, is a sales man at Placerville Jeep. He is there, when Ken Collins is giving them away. Chuck decides to split from Placerville, and open his own dealership in Sacramento, Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep. He also begins buying the statues and giving to his customers, this is why you see them on Dodge and Jeep around Sacramento.

Back in the day, the retail cost of the statue was $20. It costs far more than that now, simply to make them.

Merlin Scott (a Rock Award winner for lifetime achievement of service on the Rubicon Trail had his Dodge truck stolen a long time ago. They recovered the vehicle. The only damage, his Gold miner was ripped off the hood of his truck.

I want to thank Kevin Arnold and Mike Arnold of Arnolds Awards for telling the story this morning. I want to thank Merlin Scott for telling me who to call. So many of the old timers that pioneered wheeling are passing away, so I think it’s important to preserve that history and those stories. Also thank John Arenz, President of RTF for filling in the names that were forgotten.

I put the link already, but Rubicon Trail Foundation has taken it upon ourselves to be the custodian of that history. Spend some time and go to the website and read through the history of the Rubicon Trail.


After posting this original post a couple days ago, I began looking more closely at the photos of miners I had. Moreover, Mike shared a photo of his miner that includes “Placerville Hardware” on the rear. That got me thinking: given the miners have been produced and sold over the past 50 years, there could be several variations. Then, I found a reference from Jim Allen that some special promo miners had been produced. Here’s what I found among the miners I have documented:
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El Dorado Jeepherders Jeep Club

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

In 1945, a movie called the Jeep-Herders was released. Not long after that (most likely between 2 to 6 years), several folks formed the El Dorado Jeepherders jeep club in the Placerville area of California. My assumption is that the name of the club came directly from the movie.

The internet claims that the El Dorado Jeepherders is the oldest jeep club in existence, however I could find no dates to confirm this. One claim puts the club’s roots in early 1950. By the early 1950s, there were several clubs in existence in the West, including the two earliest that I know of: the Yakima Ridge Runners and the Hemet Jeep Club. A copy of the club’s original bylaws can be found on eBay. Here are pics of them:

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Jeep-Herders: The Movie

• CATEGORIES: Features

UPDATE II: See some still shots from the filming that show a couple Ford GPs.

UPDATE: This post once contained information on the El Dorado Jeepherders jeep club and their association with the placer miner and his pan ornament. I have moved the that information to this link.



In 1945, Planet Pictures, a new venture founded by two stuntmen, produced it’s first movie: Jeep-Herders, a full-length movie shot in color on 16mm film. Planet PIctures’ goal was to produce movies that could bypass theaters for play in schools and churches, as 16mm projectors were very common at the time and much cheaper than the 35mm projectors. In addition, there was growing interest in 16mm for large audiences, as an industrial film on 16mm was shown to a crowd of 6000 in 1945. (click on this link and scroll down a page).

The plot of the movie was pretty pedestrian, “A wildcat oil outfit is seeking to take over the ranch belonging to Pop Martin and his son Bob and daughter Helen. Bob sends his ex-army pals a “stay-way” message, which brings them on the double. The WW II vets use their jeeps, first for a cattle roundup, and then to round up the gang of crooks, including the crooked family-lawyer Thatcher, brains of the gang.”


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Canfield Folding Wrecker Calgary, Canada **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .


Glenn’s selling this hard-to-find folding wrecker made by Canfield.

“Want to stand out at the car show this year guys? Here’s your chance, The second image will give you an idea of what this thing looks like once it’s put together I’ve only ever seen pictures of one of these before and this particular one I brought in from North Carolina of all places

This is an extremely rare Canfield folding, PTO winch included and correct for the time. But not necessarily the right one for the Wrecker but no one will ever tell the difference as it is the same brand that Canfield used and the same capacity. Also included is the extension boom”




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1949 Ad for the World’s Most Useful Vehicles

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

Another Willys ad from Eastern Oregon. The ad was published Thursday, October 27, 1949, in the Heppner Gazette Times.


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Willys Equipment Scraper Blade? Columbus, OH **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features, Parts

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $200.

Anyone recognize this scraper blade? Aftermarket Willys equipment?

“This is an unusual scrape blade. Appears factory made and has a farm jeep style top link. Came from farm sale with other jeep attatchments. Haven’t found who made it.”

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1946 Ad for the Newly Announced ‘Jeep’

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

This ad was published in the tiny Oregon town of Nyssa, August 29, 1946.


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Post Trip Items: Alaska Or Rust!! 2107 …. The Book

• CATEGORIES: Alaska Or Rust Trip, Books, Features

<– Post Trip Items: German Documentary w/ Alaska Or Rust Folks –> | Day 21 – Saturday May 19th: Mr. Infamous –>

UPDATE II: Merlin has created an order page for the book. Payment by check or credit card (no PayPal), check preferred. Directions are all on the order page. After April 20th all books will be direct from publisher and more expensive.


We may have a handful of books for sale at the Midwest Willys Reunion, but probably not too many.

UPDATE: I confirmed with Merlin that the first run of hardcover books will cost $40 and that will include shipping in the continental US. The book is 144 pages with over 300 color photos.  After that, the book will be available through Blurb.com at a cost of $42 + shipping (I suspect they print and mail them to order).  When Merlin is ready, he will create a book order page on his website. He will only be accepting checks or money orders. I will let you know when he’s ready.

Printing number one of the book will be hardcover edition.  I really like the hardcover so I will probably only release a paperback down the road, or maybe just print some and sell them at shows.  As soon as I have the postage details together I will start accepting orders for books and I will setup a blog post with instructions on how to pre-order.

Merlin Hanson has authored a photo book on our trip to Alaska and received his first full proof yesterday. He doesn’t plan to print a lot of extra books, but I would be curious to know if anyone has any interest in purchasing a copy (I thought of this last night and still need to check with Merlin about it).

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<– Post Trip Items: German Documentary w/ Alaska Or Rust Folks –> | Day 21 – Saturday May 19th: Mr. Infamous –>