Features Research Archives

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2019 Toledo Jeep Fest: Aug 9 – Aug 11

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features

The 2019 Toledo Jeep Fest will be a three-day event this year, August 9th – August 11th. You can see a schedule of events here: https://toledojeepfest.com/plan-your-weekend/schedule-of-events/. We can’t make it this year, but maybe we can get to the next one.



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Stratton Lift Phoenicia, NY eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Parts

Andy’s auctioning this rare Stratton Lift. It’s missing the arms. More info on the lift. Also, Andy’s selling the rusty CJ-5 that was carrying the lift (see bottom pic). You can contact Andy at aponcic@aol.com for more info on that.

View all the information on eBay



stratton-lift12 stratton-lift11

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Bryce’s 1953 Truck

• CATEGORIES: Features


Last winter I was standing in my driveway when a guy I didn’t recognize pulled up and asked if I was the guy who ran eWillys. My mind jumped to three things, was he a reader? Was he a stalker? Or was he someone angry at something posted? Before I was done thinking it through, my mouth was answering, “Yep, that’s me!”

Fortunately, he was a reader. His name was Bryce and it turned out he lived just a few houses down and owned a 1953 truck. I told him I’d like to see his truck sometime. Yesterday, ‘sometime’ finally arrived.

Bryce has owned this truck since the early 2000s after his mother spotted it for him. Recently, it’s needed some restoration, especially in the cab area. He’s redone the upholstery and switched the non-stock bench seat for more comfy bucket seats. He’s got a few things to finish up before it’s road ready again, but when that time comes, he said he’d come by and show it off. So more pics to come!


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Chuck’s “new” 1951 CJ-3A Hits the Trails

• CATEGORIES: Features

Chuck bought this CJ-3A just over a week ago and already got it on the trails. He shared a couple great pics of it.

He writes, “The new Willys was in its element this weekend blazing the trail – first ones in cutting and winching downed tress across the trail. I went with two Rubi TJs and kept up no problem. The Willys doing what it was meant to do and doing it exceptionally well!”

“That said, the 51 Willys wasn’t without issues. The front pumpkin was milkshake and rusty. Had to take it apart /clean. Transmission was a little milky. I just changed every single fluid in everything. It also has electrical gremlins. The battery blew up and I spent the night in a auto parts parking lot. New battery, changed the alternator from a three wire to a one wire, did some rewiring and was back on the road with just hand tools. Can’t do that with a new JK or JL! Anyway, put over 300 miles on the Jeep in three days. It was a great adventure. The Jeep did fantastic but I’ll be happy when I get a chance to rip out all the wiring and start over – it really needs it for me to feel it’s a dependable rig.”

These two pics are way above Bass Lake back by Clover Meadow / Granite Creek area called Jackass Meadows in California:



This pic is on the Bald Mountain trail above Shaver Lake. (It’s a listed Jeep trail):

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1943 Photo of Camp Croft Submersible Jeep on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

The Camp Croft mechanics explored creating a submersible jeep.

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“1943 Press Photo Army Mechanics at Camp Croft Make Army Jeep Submersible. This is an original press photo. The Army Jeep is a “submarine.” Army mechanics at Camp Croft, South Carolina, waterproof the motor and other vital parts and then traveled along the bottom of a shallow lake. The tube in front is an elongated exhaust pipe. Photo measures 9 x 8.25 inches. Photo is dated 07-03-1943.”



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Spotted in Fortaleza, Brazil

• CATEGORIES: Features

This guy provides rides along the beach in Fortaleza, Brazil. Maybe’ he’s a jeep lover? Thanks to Tom for sharing this cool pic.



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1943 Tunisia Pics From the Saturday Evening Post

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

These two pics featuring multiple jeeps in Tunisia appeared in the May 29, 1943, issue of the Saturday Evening Post, pages 20-21.


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1943 Ad for Wilsonite Sunglasses w/ Ford GP

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

This Wilsonite sun glasses ad included an illustrated Ford GP. It was published in the October 02, 1943, issue of the Saturday Evening Post.



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Puget Sound Boondockers 4WD Club Patch

• CATEGORIES: Features

I was able to purchase this old jeep club jacket patch. The Boondockers was a club based out of the south sound area, mostly Auburn (minutes from where I grew up). As of 1972 they had 11 members, most of whom had CJ-5s. I can’t remember ever seeing the club logo ever, but the group is documented in the PNW4WDA Region 1 book from 1972.



I now have jacket patches from several PNW clubs. I hope to secure some more.

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Video of Steven Ward & His MB Readying for France

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

UPDATE: (if the video below is incorrect, here’s the original story with video)

This news video shares the story of Steven Ward and his MB getting ready for the trip to France. There were a quite a few jeep community folks who were there, including Ron Fitzgerald and Scott Schiller, both of whom did a variety of videos on Facebook like this one.

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California’s New Dismantler License

• CATEGORIES: Features

This photo has been floating around Facebook the last few days and, not surprisingly, folks are all freaked out about it. Of course, most never bothered to read the whys, the hows, and the exclusions surrounding it.


First off, am I thrilled about this law? Not at all, but what the heck is the state of California supposed to do?

The Problem: California has a big problem with less-than-honorable parts resellers buying, stealing, obtaining vehicles, stripping them for some or all parts, and dumping the rest. An average of 1.2 million vehicles are abandoned every year (that is more than 3000 per day, though of course they aren’t all the result of illegal parts resellers).

That means the state has to deal with identifying, moving, and disposing tons of vehicles daily, along with any related hazardous waste. Let’s say it costs $100 to tow/handle/dispose of each vehicle (a low estimate in my opinion). That’s $120M each year. Thus, it’s not a trivial operations or budget issue.

How does this affect hobbyists?: There are exclusions for said hobbyists. For example, “Any person engaged in the restoration of vehicles of the type described in Vehicle Code Section 5004 or in the restoration of other vehicles having historic or classic significance” is excluded.

“The owner of any premises or property used in conjunction with any agricultural, farming, mining, ranching, or motor vehicle repair business” is excluded.

“The owner of any premises on which two or more unregistered and inoperable vehicles are held or stored, if the vehicles are used, or intended to be used, for restoration or as replacement parts or otherwise in conjunction with any business of a licensed dealer, manufacturer, or transporter, or in conjunction with the operation and maintenance of any fleet of motor vehicles used for the transportation of persons or property” is excluded.

If you’ve got a better idea? Then contact your state and suggest it; because, your state will likely be doing something similar, as this issue is a national problem. Look at these stats from the early 00s:

Among U.S. cities, Seattle police received about 4,200 reports each month in 2002, the New York City Sanitation Department picked up over 9,200 vehicles in 2006, while Philadelphia police towed over 32,000 abandoned cars in a 40-day period in 2000. One year after Michigan implemented a statewide data system for tracking towed vehicles, over 92,000 abandoned vehicles were removed.”

Given also that pretty much every town has some section of the law that discusses abandoned and junk vehicles, it’s seems obvious there are car abandonment issues everywhere.

So, in my opinion, this California law is specifically focused on shifting the cost of vehicle disposal away from the public and back onto parts resellers who are trying to skirt disposal costs. However, the marketing of this law clearly has to be rethought, as it sounds draconian to hobbyists everywhere (based on the Facebook responses).


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Beattle Bailey Disposes of His Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Comics, Features

Speaking of disposing with vehicles, Gayland shared this lighter looks at jeep disposal.


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Blitz Buggy(?) Fire Truck Lincoln Park, NJ $9500

• CATEGORIES: Features, Fire/Police/Industry Vehicles, Willys Trucks

UPDATE: Still Available.

(06/1/2019) This has a working pump and a freshly rebuilt flathead 6. The Blitz Buggy Fire Truck’s I’ve seen (one from 2014 & CJ-3B Page) didn’t have the pump on the front. So, I’m not sure if this is a hybrid Blitz Buggy or something else.


“Nice Willy’s fire truck. Working 500 gallon a minute pump with brush gun. Fresh rebuilt flat 6 .”

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1958 Jeepers Jamboree Photos

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images, Old Images Jeeping

These 1958 Jeepers Jamboree photos reside in the UC David digital archives. They were taken by Jervie Henry Eastman.

Eastman also shot this photo of Ted Corder’s Willys dealership, located in Susanville, California. I’d say this was taken in the late 1940s?

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Auto Part Jeep Sculpture $94.99

• CATEGORIES: Features, Models

Roger Martin spotted this jeep sculpture on Facebook. I don’t see it as being “Authentic down to the last detail”, but still a neat little item. The price isn’t so neat though.


“Authentic down to the last detail a jeep is ready for off-road adventure. Armando Ramirez transforms recycled bicycle and automobile parts into a realistic miniature replica. His creativity is fascinating. Ramirez does not give his sculptures a fine polished finish therefore smudges and scratches may be present.”

auto-parts-jeep-2 auto-parts-jeep-3

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Austin Champ Fire Fly Engines

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

As I’ve mentioned, I once made the ‘mistake’ of buying three Austin Champ fixer-uppers to save them from being crushed. Despite that experience, I joined the Austin Champ group, as sometimes I find Champs for sale and post the links on the site.

The other day someone posted a 1955 ad for the Champ Firefly, which was a type of fire engine built on the Champ chassis. I’d never heard of them, so thought folks might find these ads interesting.

Here’s a an actual Austin Champ NSL 418 Firefly Fire Engine:

The next three ads were all listed on this site: https://www.aviationancestry.co.uk/?searchQuery=Fire+Armour&startYear=1909&endYear=1980

The first two ads, from 1954, are for Champ Firefly Airfield Crash Trucks:

1954-austin-champ-rapid-rescue-ad3 1954-austin-champ-rapid-rescue-ad2

This 1955 ad is for Fire-fighting. I’ve yet to see pics of one of these restored.1955-austin-champ-rapid-rescue-ad

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1943 Postcard of Flying Jeep on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Postcards

This was illustrated by Reg Manning.

View all the information on eBay



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Progressive Farmer Magazine Jeep Ads

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

Generally, my interactions with ebay sellers have been excellent. But, of course, it was only a matter of time before I received some damaged goods.

Recently, I got a good price on three Willys-Overland Progressive Farmer Magazine Ads from the late 1940s off of eBay. However, the packaging was less than stellar; in fact, it was so poor that the package arrived like this:


Inside, each of the ads was torn in the same spot, meaning the USPS was a little too rough with the package (though I do think the seller’s poor packaging is really the primary issue).

Worse, the ads were wrapped in cellophane, without any kind of backing, making them difficult to remove without tearing the pages worse:


The good news is that upon being notified the seller refunded my money in its entirety and let me keep the fairly worthless ads. Still, I can eventually scan them and repair them in photoshop, some day.

And now for the Ads: This ad does not have a date on it, but given the “J” logo, I’d say it was December of 1945 or January of 1946, page 11:


This next one is from July of 1946, page 19:


This one is from May of 1947, page 49 (it also appeared in the May 1947 issue of the Country Gentleman Magazine):


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Johnstown Four Wheel Drive Plate eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features

Maybe this bit of nostalgia will appeal to someone?

View all the information on eBay



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Thor Winch $650 … And the Related Brochure

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

UPDATE: Here’s a Thor PTO winch for sale. See the brochure for it at the bottom of the post. (Thor also made hubs).


thor-pto-winch1 thor-pto-winch2 thor-pto-winch3 thor-pto-winch4

“A late 1960’s Thor T-100 Pto 8000lb winch. Popular on old Willys and jeeps,
Very hard to find, in Excellent condition as far as running properly.
Hasn’t been used since the late 70’s always been stored in a dry place no rust, has some paint missing from being moved around over the years.
Asking 650$ Obo
I have no use for this but I’m sure someone restoring a project Jeep or Bronco would love to have an original winch from the era.’


Original Post from December 2016: 

The Thor line of winches. Thor also had a line of hubs.

thor-winch-ad2 thor-winch-ad


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Early Four Wheeler Magazine Covers

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine


R. H. Carroll took the time to create a website displaying a wide array of off-road and dune buggy magazines. His plan included posting images of early Four Wheeler magazine covers, as seen here: http://99wspeedshop.com.s3-website-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/fourwheeler01.html (This helps me as I’m still looking for 1962 and 1963 Four Wheeler magazines).

This link shows you the Home page for the entire site. As you click through, you’ll begin to see that he spent a good amount of time creating this. Another neat feature are the timelines for the various magazine genres. Just the Go-Karts/Karting section alone is unique and interesting.

Below is one timeline example. Check out the Hot Rod/Street Rod/ Custom Magazine timeline here: http://99wspeedshop.com.s3-website-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/menu03.html


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Ernie Pyle’s “First” Book: Home Country

• CATEGORIES: Books, Features


Most of you probably know Ernie Pyle from his wartime articles and books. However, prior to WWII Ernie Pyle had already made a name for himself as a widely traveled columnist under the title “Hoosier Vagabond”. Between 1935-1942 he and his wife traveled extensively across the US, north into Canada and south into Mexico. In 1947, after his death, some of his articles from this pre-war time were bundled into a book called Home Country

In his homespun style, Ernie shares his experience climbing to the top of the newly build Golden Gate bridge, learns the challenges of being a white professional wrestler in heavily hispanic Laredo, Texas, and tells the tales of some regionally famous (at that time) folks like Rufus Woods, a local Washington State character who had a significant impact on Eastern Washington, yet was a name I didn’t know.

Near the end of the book he interviews the inventor of the Ross Steering box, David Ross. Matriculating with an engineering degree from Purdue University in 1893, Ross contracted Typhoid shortly after leaving college. A doctor advised him to be outdoors to regain health, so he returned to his family farm and began tinkering. He developed the box and other inventions that made him wealthy. Ernie Pyle’s description and stories of the Ross provide some great insights into who he was.

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1951 Photo of Troops Pushing Jeep Over Hill on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

That looks like an uphill slog!

View all the information on eBay

“1951 Press Photo United Nations troops push jeep over hill during Korean War. This is an original press photo. The powerful jeep was unable to negotiate a muddy hill, so manpower took over. United Nations troops pushed the jeep and a trailer up the hill. About two dozen men helped. — Korean War – Troops U.S. – Living & Weather conditions Photo measures 9 x 6.5 inches. Photo is dated 11-08-1951.”

1951-11-08-korea-troops-pushing-jeep-up-hill1 1951-11-08-korea-troops-pushing-jeep-up-hill2

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Just a Few Updates Sunday

• CATEGORIES: Features

Happy Father’s Day! Just a few updates today.

This story hit the news over the weekend. It’s a heartwarming, yet sad story.

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Candy Bomber Returns to Wiesbaden

• CATEGORIES: Features

My German cousin Heinz shared this story of the 98 year-old “Candy Bomber” returning to Wiesbaden.