Features Research Archives

To Top

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.”

jeep-replica-brooklyn-wi0 jeep-replica-brooklyn-wi1 jeep-replica-brooklyn-wi2

To Top

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:
Continue reading

To Top

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:

Continue reading

To Top

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.”


Continue reading

To Top

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”




To Top

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.


To Top

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.”

scraper-blade-ohio1 scraper-blade-ohio

To Top

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.


To Top

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).

alaska-or-rust-the-book0 alaska-or-rust-the-book1 alaska-or-rust-the-book3 alaska-or-rust-the-book4 alaska-or-rust-the-book5 alaska-or-rust-the-book6

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

To Top

1944 Photo of Marine Corps Correspondent in Heavy Mud on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

That’s some thick mud! The photo features Staff Sargent Edward Adolphe of 350 West 57 Street, New York City in the jungle mud of Vella Lavella in the Solomon Islands.

View all the information on eBay

“1944- U.S. Marine combat correspondent moving through muddy jungle on Vella Lavella in Willys “Press” jeep.”

1944-01-07-vellalarella-jungle-mud-reporter-jeep1 1944-01-07-vellalarella-jungle-mud-reporter-jeep2

To Top

1950s CJ-5 Brochure on ebay

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

This hard-to-find brochure is being sold out of Great Britain.

View all the information on eBay






“An original Willys Jeep CJ-5 sales brochure – Willys Jeep Universal CJ-5 Emblem of 4-Wheel Drive Transportion brochure

Contents Include:
Worlds Most Useful Vehicle
Jeep Versatility
Functional Design Jeep Economy
Jeep Durability
Power to all Four Wheels
Petrol of Disel Engine – Jeep Balanced Power
No of Pages: 8
Continue reading

To Top

Willys Overland Documents on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Documents, Features

This collection has a few interesting items, such as early (factory?) photos of the Porter & Reed Hardtops. But, I don’t see a ton of value here.

View all the information on eBay


To Top

1977 Flood Damages Postal Jeeps

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

This photo from 1977 shows some postal jeeps that were caught in a July flood. This was featured on the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum site.

“Postal inspectors were deployed to western Pennsylvania following a devastating flood, which was caused by a massive thunderstorm on July 19-20, 1977. These jeeps, swept away by the enormous force of the floodwaters, were recovered half a mile from the Windber Post Office.”


To Top

Willys America @ the Portland Swap Meet

• CATEGORIES: FC150-FC170-M677, Features

Paul, from Willys America, spotted an FC for sale outside the Portland Swap Meet. He also has a booth setup at location Hall E-2 #4389-90.


And, the FC-150 he spotted:



1959-fc150-port-swapmeet4 1959-fc150-port-swapmeet3


To Top

Russell’s Travel Center

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

One place I’ve yet to reach is Russell’s Travel Center, a gas stop on historic Route 66 along I-40, exit 369, Glen Rio, New Mexico. Don recently stopped in their to take photos of their 1948 CJ-2A, along with some other vehicles. This year, on my return trip, I plan to stop and see it!

IMG_6152 IMG_6153

IMG_6162 IMG_6154 IMG_6155

Continue reading

To Top

UPDATE: Photos from Expedition Sauterelle

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

UPDATE II: Thanks to Fred, we have a facebook link to a couple color photos and a link to diaries (in French) thanks to the Guy’s grandson David: http://www.vehiculesmilitaires.com/viewtopic.php?f=159&t=355&hilit=sauterelle

UPDATE: Jalopnik published this story in March 2017 that gives more background to photos Charles forwarded back in 2015 (see pics below). I couldn’t find much info on the trip pat the time.

Jalopnik’s story: https://jalopnik.com/the-incredible-25-000-mile-road-trip-through-africa-tha-1823690388

1956-expedition-sauterelle9 1956-expedition-sauterelle8 1956-expedition-sauterelle7 1956-expedition-sauterelle6

Continue reading

To Top

Thoughts on T-Shirts

• CATEGORIES: Features

I’ve been playing with some t-shirt designs. I’ve narrowed it down to three. Any thoughts?

  1. Basic eWillys logo. Nothing fancy:
  2. ewillys-tshirt-flat-loresThis one is ‘louder’ and more colorful:
  3. ewillys-tshirt7a-flat2-loresI didn’t overthink this one too much. Just whipped it together:ewillys-tshirt4-willys-sickness1-flat-lores
To Top

Episode 2: Throwing Wrenches

• CATEGORIES: Features

Check out the second episode of Throwing Wrenches. Didn’t catch the first one? See it here.

To Top

Jeep Sales & Service Sign Pacay, PH **Status Unknown**

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

UPDATE: **Status Unknown** The listing has been removed from eBay for some reason.

This is a 13.5″ sign spotted on eBay by Chris. It’s located in the Philippines.

“This Auction is for this Vintage Jeep Dealer Sign . It is rusty in places and a little dirty but I did try to clean it and may not be completely flat as well but it may still need more cleaning after you receive it. I treated the rusty places so it’s not too bad anymore .

It measures 13 1/2 Inches at its longest measurement And is heavy metal sign not plastic or decals stickers.

I auction signs for customers here and I keep contact information if you need more information on this I will contact original owner of this and see if can get more information for you . or if you like I can get you contact information from the owner just let me know in advance

The age and condition of this is seen in pictures so look closely before deciding to bid because by bidding you are in agreement to bid to win and keep this item as The pictures are part of the item description.”


To Top

Year? Press Photo of DJ-3A **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: DJ-3A, Features, Old Images

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was on eBay.

I’ve seen full-color postcards of this image (see bottom image), but not a black & white press photo. Seller lists this as a 1954, but I doubt it was any earlier than late 1955.

“Original factory photograph , 8 x 10 , original factory stamp on reverse , ” Kaiser Willys Motors , Toledo , Ohio” ”




To Top

Motor Patrol Colorado Jeep “Long John”

• CATEGORIES: Features, Unusual • TAGS: , .

I can’t remember where I found this, but I thing it was part fo the Denver, Colorado, St. Patrick’s parade. Anyone know anything about this jeep?


To Top

Unusual Sedan CJ-3B From Facebook

• CATEGORIES: Features, Sedan-jeep • TAGS: .

Those folks not on Facebook might have missed this well done CJ-3B with a sedan top.

cj3b-sedan1 cj3b-sedan2

To Top

1957 Press Photo of Mine Detector eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, M-38, Old Images

UPDATE: Another example of this photo was posted to eBay back in 2014 (see photos at bottom).

View all the information on eBay

“1957 Press Photo Edmond Kulanski checks a jeep-mounted mine detector in Virginia. This is an original press photo. Mine “Sweeper” Fort Belvoir, Va.: Developed by the Army Engineer Research and Development Laboratories at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, this jeep-mounted mine detector is checked by Specialist Edmond Kulanski, of Shaker Heights, Ohio. The device automatically stops the vehicle when it locates a buried mine. The movable search-head can be controlled by the driver of the innovations worked out by the military and civilian scientists engaged in vital research for the U.S. defense establishment, which offers unlimited opportunities for qualified applicants. Photo measures 7 x 9 inches. Photo is dated 03-14-1957.”

1957-03-14-mine-dector-willys1 1957-03-14-mine-dector-willys2


Continue reading

To Top

Happy Birthday, Happy Easter, Happy April Fools

• CATEGORIES: Features

It’s Ann’s birthday, the big 50! And, no, this is no April Fool’s joke. So, Happy Birthday to my lovely wife and Happy Easter to all of you!

My out-of-this-world wife!


To Top

Tom’s Jeep Weathervane

• CATEGORIES: Features

Tom added a Tonka jeep to his weather vane. I like it!