Features Research Archives

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Ray’s Surreys

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

Ray’s put together a nice collection of surreys. You can see them in a pic he sent me. He’s working on the pink Surrey. If you happen to have the steering column shifter rods for a DJ-3A, he’s looking for them.

raymond-robins-dj3as-surrey-lores

 
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Plastic Turning Company’s Topless Top

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: , .

UPDATE: This also ran in October of 2016. I’ve still not uncovered any more relevant information about these tops. However, I can tell you that the Plastic Turning Company suffered a break-in on March 15th, 1970. the company was located at 511 Lancaster St, Leominster, MA. 

In March of 1969, Four Wheeler Magazine featured Plastic Turning Company’s Topless Top. It was built from plexiglass and was offered in a clear and tinted model. The company was based out of Leominster, Massachusetts. Has anyone ever seen one of these out in the wild? I didn’t have much luck searching Google for other images.

1969-03-fourwheeler-topless-hardtop2-lores 1969-03-fourwheeler-hardtop-1-lores

 
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1943 Photo of Jeep Pulling Avenger on Carrier

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

The Press photo below appeared in at least one newspaper. On October 18, 1943, the Chillicothe Gazette (Ohio) published this pic and caption:

1943-10-18-chillicothe-gazette-jeep-pulling-plane

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Published April 9, 2021: Based on the bumper, I’d say this is a GPW. I had hoped to locate the photo in a newspaper, but had no luck.

“Vintage original 1943 press photo of Grumman TBF / TBM Avenger with Jeep on Wake Island, (approximately 20cm x 15cm), with “Keystone” press stamp & description to rear. OK condition, with wear.”

1943-12-17-seagoing-jeep-carrier1

1943-12-17-seagoing-jeep-carrier2

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This pic and caption came from a 12/2019 ebay auction:
Good photo of a stripped(?) jeep maneuvering a Hellcat aboard an aircraft carrier.

“1943 Press Photo Jeep toying US Navy Hellcat aboard an aircraft carrier. This is an original press photo. Autos – Jeeps – Somewhere off Wake Island – They say there’s nothing new under the sun, but here’s a picture of a Jeep, familiar to all as one of the most useful of the many instruments used in this war to date, at a novel task – that of jockeying a “Hellcat” aboard a carrier. This was one of the “flat tops” used to pummel the Japanese on Wake Island, October 5-6. Note two other similar ships in the distance Photo measures 8.5 x 6.5 inches. Photo is dated 10-15-1943.”

1943-10-17-hellcat-jeep-carrier1

1943-10-17-hellcat-jeep-carrier2

 
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Civilian 1/4 Ton Low-Hood Grilles

• CATEGORIES: Features

UPDATE: This post ran in October of 2016.

A series of emails about grilles led to the creation of this graphic. I believe my draft below is accurate based on the research I’ve done today, but if you see an error, don’t be shy about pointing it out. The grille I’m least sure about is the 1959 and later DJ-3A grille. I’m looking for more evidence that the late DJs used grilles with horizontal holes for attaching the parking lights, a necessary change because they used different parking lights after sn 14103 in 1959.

grille-examples-flat

As further evidence, the graphic below shows an early and late DJ-3A parking light schematics. This was assembled by Bruce Again and posted at the former jeeosurreygala.com site. I’ve combined what he published and turned it into this image:

parking-light-dj3a-image

The CJ-3B grilles were changed in a similar fashion in 1956. Derek has covered this issue well. And, as you can see below, CJ-5s were also switched in late 1956 or early 1957.  Continue reading

 
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JEEPS: Junior Emergency Everyday Production-Picking Service

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

Here’s one of those odd, jeep-related stories that has nothing to do with jeep vehicles. In this case, the April 26th, 1943, edition of the News and Observer out of Raleigh, North Carolina, published an article about the answer to a farm problem: JEEPS. The backronym stands for Junior Emergency Everyday Production-Picking Service, a group of mobile boys and girls who offered to help farmers with various farm tasks.

1943-04-26-news-and-observer-jeeps

 
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1943 Photo on Supply Route in Italy

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

Looks like a slat grille.

View all the information on eBay

“1943 Press Photo American jeep passes workers on a supply route in Italy. This is an original press photo. Italy — An American jeep rolls along the broad supply route in an Italian wilderness that a short time ago was a mere mule-track. Skilled United States engineers literally carved out the road during the battle for Naples, using bulldozers, cranes and Italian laborers to rush through the job.Photo measures 9 x 7.25 inches. Photo is dated 10-12-1943.”

1943-10-12-italy-supply-route1

1943-10-12-italy-supply-route2

 
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1962 Custom Wagon Build From Australia

• CATEGORIES: Features, Jeep Rods, Unusual, Willys Wagons • TAGS: , .

Blaine shared this unusual wagon build from Australia. Note the side mounted air cleaners.

https://www.whichcar.com.au/features/gavan-julie-starr-thomas-1962-willys-jeep-wagon

 
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Robert Max and The Long March Home

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images, videos

I don’t remember how I found this video (maybe from Facebook?), but it turned out to be a compelling one. Before his death in 2020, New Jersey resident Robert Max was the last known survivor of the Nazi WWII force laborers. A few years ago, he wrote a book about his experience, then narrated the following forty minute documentary video (playable for free on Vimeo). There’s a pretty interesting twist at the end, too.

Here is Robert Max in a jeep at Camp Atterberry in 1944:

Click on this image to go to the video page:

 

You can learn more here: https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/2021/11/26/nj-jewish-wwii-vet-subject-bob-max-long-march-home-documentary/8718280002/

 
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A Jeep in an English Hedgerow

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

Bill shared this video about a jeep owner in England who discovered an MB in a hedgerow, only a short distance from his house. Going by the name “British Gollum”, he does a great job of breaking down some details of the tub and how he’s identifying it. It truly is jeep archaeology.

 
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Chuck Conners, Dodge Truck, and Desert Dogs

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

For you Desert Dog lovers out there, Gordon shared a 1977 magazine ad that showed Chuck Conners pitching Dodge Trucks. Interesting enough, the truck was equipped with Desert Dogs (unmentioned in the ad).Unfortunately, I downloaded the pic a week or so ago and can’t locate it at the moment.

However, I was able to locate a commercial, also featuring Chuck, that has a
shows off a 1977 Dodge Pick Up PowerWagon D-200 with Desert Dogs on it (possibly from the same photo shoot). The tires are given a closeup at the 19 second mark.

 
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Searching for an M-29 Weasel FC

• CATEGORIES: FC150-FC170-M677, Features, wanted

UPDATE: I mistakenly listed this as an M-59, but I must blame the chills, fever, and general immune-system mayhem caused by my booster shot. That booster kicked my butt! But, I am all better now.

Grace’s husband and brother-in-law are searching for this M-29 Weasel FC. If anyone can provide help, please contact jeepFCcollector @ gmail.com (remove the spaces around the @).

“They have been looking to locate this M29 Weasel based FC cab vehicle. They have traced it from CP Riders (letters on the doors), to an Illinois farmer, to a broker 20 years ago in Dakota Illinois. They have made contact with that broker who says he sold it to a company in Pennsylvania who intended to use it for rescue and recovery on a Pa. mountain pass.”

B1016272-4223-4380-B13A-DB286F45400C

 
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1946 Fortune Article on Willys-Overland

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine

UPDATE: This post was published on eWillys November 15, 2014. I don’t normally post whole articles, but there is a great deal of interesting information within it. I’m reposting this today because there is some additional information about Mr. Clement Miniger and his Auto-Lite company leading a syndicate to buyout John North Willys’ stock in 1929 (Learn more about Miniger And Willys Light here).

1946-08-fortune-mag-pg81-closeup-jeeps

A variety of pre August 1946 CJ-2As in different colors waiting to be shipped from Willys-Overland’s Toledo plant.

This fascinating article was published in the August 1946 issue of Fortune magazine. It’s a LONG article that covers the history of Willys Overland Corporation from it’s bankruptcy in the early 1930s to it’s post-war market positioning. There is not much information specifically about jeeps, nor many jeeps photos. But, if you want to understand how the corporate structure evolved, it’s a good article.

One particular chart published in the article was Willys’ research on paved roads. The company felt that jeeps would be very popular in outer countries, due both to the brand and the lack of paved roads. To meet that demand, Willys planned to export 25% of all jeeps.

1946-08-fortune-mag-pg80-building-lores 

WILLYS-OVERLAND

THIS JEEP-RIDING AUTO INDEPENDENT IS TAKING NEW LEASES ON LIFE AND ITS OWN REAL ESTATE • THE BOYS IN THE BACK ROOM ARE DOING FINE

ln the years between the depression and the second world war, the once great Willys-Overland Co. clung by its nails to a niche in the U.S. automobile market. Gamely, it tried to sell the public a mousy little car, with a tough, four-cylinder engine, which was the cheapest thing on the road to run. Itself battered into receivership and reorganization by the depression, Willys had the patently sensible idea that such a car, guaranteed to get people from here to there at a minimum expenditure for fuel and upkeep, would be a blessing to a hard-pressed public that had not been similarly served since the demise of the models T and A Ford. But the public was proud, if poor, and more conscious of the millinery than the engineering of a car. When it had to buy cheaply it found the used-car market much more tempting. During most of those years Willys’ production ranged below the break-even point. bln 1940, a mere 27,000 cars were built. Now Willys-Uverland is coming up for the postwar round with a product line still topped by a light passenger car-with a four or a six-cylinder engine, buyer’s choice. It will probably be as cheap to buy, give or take a few dollars, as any 1947 car on the market, and possibly less expensive to operate and support than any of its competitors. And though it will be considerably more stylish, inside and out, than the prewar Willys, it will have, at most, simple good looks rather than breath-taking beauty. If that were the whole story, one might wonder why some people think Willys-Overland is an exciting proposition among the auto independents today, and why some mighty big boys in the automobile industry appear to be sparring for position in the peculiar, complicated Willys-Overland hierarchy.

Unquestionably Willys has fresh charms. To name four:
1) The tough, four-cylinder motor that was the bread-and-butter item in the prewar Willys is the same motor that powered the Army Jeep, which became an international byword during the war. As the largest producer, by far, of the Jeep, Willys-Overland became the beneficiary of this enormous, war-born prestige (and also added a tidy sum to its treasury). Ten days after V-J day, Willys was in production on its civilian or Universal Jeep, of which it had sold around 28,000 by June 1, despite plant shutdowns totaling eighty-three days owing to strikes in suppliers’ plants.

2) Under way at its giant Toledo plant is a Jeep-inspired line of Willys utility vehicles including (a) an all-steel, all-purpose station wagon, (b) a sedan delivery truck, and (c) a low-weight, medium-duty truck with a combination four and two-wheel drive. All are powered by an improved four-cylinder Jeep engine and feature the Jeep snub nose and square fenders. All will be produced in 1946, and can be run through the same assembly line if necessary.

3) Because the rugged, lightweight vehicles in the Willys line are peculiarly suited to the exigencies of foreign motoring, in which the paucity of paved roads and the steep price of gasoline are forbidding factors, the company has decided to throw 25 per cent of its production into export. The development of a foreign market of such proportions is steadying to the seasonal economy of an automobile company. And Willys’ new top management is richly experienced in the export field.

4) Finally, many an economist, foreseeing an era of inflation, high taxes, and high gasoline costs, will agree that the hour in the oiiing is ripe for an automobile that places operating economy above fashion appeal. Willys is confident that its traditional economy car is, at last, accurately attuned to the times, and that its 1947 passenger model can bite into a solid and sustained market, both here and abroad.

Continue reading

 
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Anti-Spam Changes Might Result in Spam or Other Issues

• CATEGORIES: Features, News

Recently, I learned that Akismet, the plugin I pay $100 year to manage my spam, announced that eWillys get too many spam requests (which isn’t my fault), so I must now upgrade to the $400 a year program.

Yeah, that’s not happening, especially given I’ve shifted into fewer updates and am no longer charging advertisers (thanks again for your past support guys). So, I’m testing out a highly rated, but free, version, called Antispam Bee. I may also need to add a captcha addition window to comments (where you are given 2 + 2 and you have to enter “4” …  I think you fine folks can handle that math).

So, I don’t know how well Antispam Bee will work or if it will interfere with non-spam comments. If you feel like your comments aren’t posting, please email me at d @ deilers.com, and I will see what needs to be adjusted.

For those interested, here are the spam comments from the last few months:

2021-11-21-spam-akismet

 
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Dad Rolls His Jeep Down a Hill at Icicle Creek, Wa

• CATEGORIES: Features

UPDATE: First posted in 2010, this is a follow up to the post below which shows my family’s first jeep, a somewhat modified CJ-5.

One fine, sunny, beautiful Saturday during the summer of 1975 (or thereabouts – no family member can quite remember the exact year) my father drove his CJ-5 up a chuck-hole filled hillside trail at Icicle Creek, near Leavenworth, Wa.  He didn’t make it to the top; instead, he rolled his CJ-5 down the hillside.  Herein is the story and images.

I suppose it is appropriate that the images of dad’s wreck in the WWJC Scrapbook aren’t as clear as I had hoped, because the memory of it is also fuzzy.  I’ve tried to color correct and sharpen the pictures as best as I could, but even the clearest of pictures can’t really tell the story of the impact of his tumble down that hill.

It was a club weekend on the ‘east side of the mountains’ in Leavenworth, Washington.  For Washington Jeepers, the east side of the mountains means anything on the east slope of the Cascade Mountain range, where the surroundings transform from western muddy trails, deep dark green of cedar trees, and gray, drizzly, cool weather into Ponderosa Pines, sunshine, sagebrush, and dust.  Within an hour of Seattle, you could (and still can) transform your jeeping experience entirely.

This particular weekend I remember, and  say this without certainty as these are more like flickers of a 10-year-old’s memory, that we were staying in some kind of community-center-like building where we all slept on the floor in sleeping bags in a large open community room (I later learned this was a University of Washington property).  For the club, it was one big campout.

For me this seemed perfectly normal as the club really was a big extended family — these were people I saw more than my own aunts and uncles, grandma and grandpas.

Continue reading

 
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Early 1970s Photo Includes My Father

• CATEGORIES: Features

Chris Holmes posted this photo to the PNW4WDA Facebook group the other day. The first thing I spotted was the brown jacket worn by the man to the right of the group; it’s the color of the Wandering Willys Jeep Club. Looking closer, I realized that guy was none-other than my father! Apparently, he had taken part in the shuttle of special needs kids into the Woodland Park Zoo in North Seattle.

Looking more closely, I realized that the front of our CJ-5 was pictured just to the right of Dad’s back. one tell-tale sign is the horseshoe welded to the front of the winch plate. Given the jeep pictured was before Dad’s topsy-turvey roll down the hill at Icicle Creek outside of Wenatchee (summer of 1974 or 1975), this photo was likely taken in the early 1970s.

1970s-dad-wwjc-woodland-park-zoo

 
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CJ-2A w/ Beautiful Hardtop From Argentina

• CATEGORIES: Features, Wood bodies • TAGS: .

Diego Collia posted photos of this CJ-2A with a beautiful hardtop from Argentina on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/837017479769475/permalink/2093832107421333

cj2a-jeep-wood-top-argentina-1 cj2a-jeep-wood-top-argentina-2 cj2a-jeep-wood-top-argentina-3 cj2a-jeep-wood-top-argentina-4

 
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Photo of GPW out of Nagasaki

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

Morihisa Ochi posted this photo on FB of a GPW in Nagasaki after the Atomic Bomb. The top is interesting. According to him, “GPW in Nagasaki, Occupied Japan 1945 After a big factory near Ground Zero was blown off by Atomic Bomb, USMC used this area as a rifle range.”

gpw-softop-japan-fb

 

 
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History of Bikini/Bimini Tops?

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

UPDATE IV: Barney sent a photo of his rare Whitco Bikini Top attached to a 1971 CJ-5 (with his dog Manny smiling in the back). While not exactly like the bikini tops we saw in the later 1970s, it likely represents the first production example of what became the bikini top (if defined by attached to the windshield in the front and held in place by straps in the back)

bikini-top-barney

UPDATE III: It appears the definition of the Bimini top is that it is open in the front, which isn’t consistent with the tops we’re discussing below ….  I’m trying to determine when/where the top cover originated that, in the front, connects to the windshield, then goes over a mid-bar (usually a roll bar), and, in the back, is held in place by two straps from either side of the top.

Here’s a DIY Bikini top made from a 4-by-4-foot canvas tarp via Four Wheeler Mag: https://www.motortrend.com/how-to/diy-bikini-top-willys-jeep/

UPDATE II: This Whitco brochure shows that the company was advertising a “Bikini” top during the 1960s, though it isn’t the design of top (like the one below) I was hoping to document. This top is closer to a Surrey top design.

UPDATE: Vernon notes that these were also called Bimini tops, a term I think came from the boating world?

Maury asked me if I knew when bikini tops were first produced. I don’t have any information on this.  My guess is they arrived for jeeps in the mid-1970s as none of my earlier parts catalogs show the bikini top as an option. Anyone remember when they first started seeing them?

Pic for reference:

bikini-top

 
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1947 CJ-2A Franklinville, NY **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: CJ-2A, Features • TAGS: , , , .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was For Trade.

Lots of custom work on this flattie.

1947-cj2a-franklinville-ny5 1947-cj2a-franklinville-ny6 1947-cj2a-franklinville-ny7 1947-cj2a-franklinville-ny8 1947-cj2a-franklinville-ny9

“Looking for trade offers only really, not even sure I want to let it go. Just bored and looking for the next thing to tinker on since I don’t have room to store them.

1947 steel tub Willys CJ2a stretched about a foot and sitting on a 1979 CJ5 chassis. YJ springs, fresh built 258 (built by Steve Damon) oil catch can, crane cam/lifters, heavy crankshaft (early model with 7 counterweights great for low rpm no-stall) Keith black pistons, head and block surfaced, T18 4 speed with 6.32:1 low gear, D20 transfer case, Ford 9″ rear end & D30 front (with lockers) 3:54 gears, 35×15 tires, custom oak dash/center console with all SpeedHut gauges (GPS speedo), hi-output single wire charging system, Kicker speaker pods, kicker amp/10” sub, integrated roll bar, Griffin radiator, MSD ign, “monstaliner” coating on body, no rust many more pics and parts but this is getting long.

I like all sorts of vehicles so shoot me a [worthy] trade offer and if I’m interested I’ll message you back to exchange more”

 
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1943 War Bond Poster on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

Micah shared this ebay auction of a War Bond Poster. The price has already hit $183.49 as of this post with just four hours to go.

View all the information on eBay

“Great original WW2 poster sent to schools for bond or stamp drives to buy jeeps. It measures approximately 35 by 45 inches. Some condition issues, but a great vintage poster. See other auctions for more WW2 posters.”

war-bond-poster

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‘Jeep’ Matchbook w/ Post Hole Digger on eBay

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

Here’s a neat matchbook featuring a jeep with a post hole digger. It still has matches.

View all the information on Ebay

“Post WWII vintage matchbook for Jeep – Fort Worth Willys Overland Co., Fort Worth, Texas. Willys Overland Motors, Inc. Toledo Ohio. Great image is very similar to the 1945 press release of the CJ-2A Post-hole digger demo.”

forth-worth-matchbook-jeep-post-hole-digger4 forth-worth-matchbook-jeep-post-hole-digger5 forth-worth-matchbook-jeep-post-hole-digger6 forth-worth-matchbook-jeep-post-hole-digger7 forth-worth-matchbook-jeep-post-hole-digger8

 
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Quackpot Poster on eBay

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

Adam shared this ebay auction for another Quackpot poster. The image below is from a 2013 auction (it’s a better quality image than the one posted to eBay).

View all the information on ebay

1944-motor-pool-quackpot-poster1

“THIS AUCTION IS FOR ONE VINTAGE, ORIGINAL “QUACKPOT MAINTENANCE” U.S. ARMY CONSERVATION PROGRAM POSTER

DATED – 1944, 20X14 INCHES IN SIZE

VERY GOOD SHAPE OVERALL. SOME SMALL TEARS ON EDGES. THE POSTER WAS FOLDED IN THE MIDDLE SO IT HAS A CREASE.

PRINTED ON POSTER: U.S. GOVERMENT PRINTING OFFICE -1944- 0-612414
ARMY CONSERVATION PROJECT NO. 121-021

SHIPPED ROLLED
RARE,VINTAGE JEEP/WW11 POSTER”

 
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2022 Holy Toledo! Calendars are Now in Stock

• CATEGORIES: Features

The 2022 Holy Toledo! calendar is now in stock and ready for your holiday purchase!

2022 Holy Toledo COVER

 
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Finally, All Three Jeeps in the Shop!

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Cosmic-Crisp-Race-Jeep, Features • TAGS: .

Yesterday, with cold weather arriving soon, I took advantage of a warm, but very windy day, to pull Biscuit off the trailer and put it on the hoist. Now, all three jeeps are in the shop.

But, before we gathered the jeeps, both Ann and her son Daniel, who has been helping us around the property, each took the race jeep for a run in the pasture.

Here I am giving Daniel a ride. Unfortunately, my long legs preclude me from shifting into second gear (that’s how tight it is). Once I fix that, I can go much faster.


Here are some still shots. First up is Ann in the cockpit:
2021-11-15-ann-race-jeep

Here’s Daniel just finished with a run around the pasture:2021-11-15-daniel-race-jeep

Ann’s stomach surgery this summer, which as helped her in numerous ways, including solving her several adverse reactions to gluten (unsure why?), has also helped her lose quite a bit of weight. This has helped reduce her over all pain and also allows her to easily fit into the race jeep. Though she didn’t drive too fast, she did have fun racing around our back pasture. Once she gets used to it, I expect she will enjoy racing at a PNW event.

Continue reading

 
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David Tracy Finds a Stolen(?) FC-150

• CATEGORIES: Features

Jalopnik’s David Tracy recounts his adventure with a “barn-find” FC-150 that seemed too good to be true. As the story unfolds, you’ll see that you just never know about these jeeps.

https://jalopnik.com/im-not-saying-i-bought-a-stolen-car-but-im-also-not-sa-1848029778

jalopnik-fc-story