Features Research Archives

To Top

Kid’s Jeep in Old Photo

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

Blaine shared this photo that includes this toy jeep. It was included in a thread on pedal cars, but I can’t tell if this is pedal or foot driven. There is no date on the photo.

https://www.autopuzzles.com/forum/featured-imagery/vintage-pedal-cars-your-posts-are-wanted!/

pedal-jeep

 
To Top

2 Structo Toy Jeeps Middletown, CT $90/each

• CATEGORIES: Features, toys

Bill shared these two structo kids’ toys for sale.

  1. Red Structo Jeep:
    structo-jeep-middletown-ct1
  2. Structo Toy Jeep “Doodle Bug”:
    structo-jeep-middletown-ct2
 
To Top

Transport Motor Company

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features, Old News Articles • TAGS: .

UPDATE: I’ve added information to the bottom of the post which discusses the shift of employees from the Transport Motor Company to the Kurland Motor Company in late 1948.

Unfortunately, I don’t have time to export this topic further, but Barry Thomas is doing research into California’s Transport Motor Company, which was the earliest supplier of Willys farm equipment in California. If anyone has more info about the company, Barry of would like to know about it. Comment below or email me at d@deilers.com and I’ll connect you.

Transport Motor was already a strong Willys reseller by the time WWII started, so they were were well positioned for post-war sales and service. This ad was published in the October 19, 1941, issue of the Oakland Tribune as part of a larger article:

1941-10-19-oaklandtribune-transport-motor-co

After the war, the company pushed Willys Jeeps and the associated farm equipment, though it is unclear which specific models/manufacturers of the equipment was being sold, as evidenced by this October 27, 1946, classified ad in the Oakland Tribune:

1946-10-27-oaklandtribune-transport-motor

This article from the March 28, 1947, issue of the Ventura County Star claims that Transport was the first company to make farm equipment especially for the jeep (I would need to see more evidence to believe that):

1947-03-28-venturacountystar-transport-motor-company

For unknown reasons, in late 1948 many key personnel from the Transport company left Transport for a new Willys dealer, Kurland Motors. Whether Transport survived this event is unclear (perhaps the Transport company was already defunct by this time).

 
To Top

Bantam Jeep Festival June 10-12, 2022

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features

This year’s Bantam Jeep Festival will be taking place June 10-12th.

2022-bantam-festival-ad

 
To Top

Jeep Customized with Bandsaw

• CATEGORIES: Features, MB

These Facebook photos from Alfano Mucci of Italy show a customized jeep with a bandsaw. The work was done by his father. Pretty cool!

italitan-mb-jeep-bandsaw-1 italitan-mb-jeep-bandsaw-2 italitan-mb-jeep-bandsaw-3

 

 
To Top

Body Bars

• CATEGORIES: Body Parts, Features • TAGS: .

Now that I’ve seen two of these repurposed bodies on Facebook, does that mean this is a trend?

Looks like some kind of replacement body:

body-bar1

 

1943 MB Body:
body-bar2

 
To Top

Another Sedan-topped Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, Sedan-jeep

Roger shared this photo from Facebook showing another example of a sedan hardtop on a jeep (link includes other car-like modes, too). I’ve been amazed at how many different times this was tried (see other examples here).

sedan-hardtop-jeep

 
To Top

More About The Barrel Cars

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

A few days ago I posted a video about the oil barrel cars in Thailand. Here’s some more info about them thanks to Bill.

=

 
To Top

Video Oil Drum Cars Out of Thailand

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

UPDATE: More info here.

Bill shared this video about little cars/go-karts made from oil drums. Nothing jeepy here, but they certainly are creative. I want to test drive one, but not in Thai traffic!!!

 
To Top

Collecting Jeeps in the Dominican Republic

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features
antonio-domincan-republic-jeeps009

Antonio and his jeep collection.

Antonio reached out to me from the Dominican Republic the other day. He told me he collects jeeps and was working on restoring an M-38. He needs the following parts: A windshield, the hood and the radiator front grill. Can be used but in good condition to restore. (If you think you can help him out with the parts he needs, email me at d@deilers.com and I’ll share his email.)

I wrote back and asked if he could send some pics. He generously shared the following pics and a short history of how he got hooked by the Willys Sickness.

“My first vehicle was a Willys cj3 b that I bought in 1989, after several years using to work on it, I sold it. Several years later, in 2002,

I acquired another cj-3b which was very poorly rebuilt and I decided to convert it to military originality, (M-606 Sand desert in the photo), then I acquired an M-38-a1 and rebuilt too.

From, that moment I have not been able to stop. Now, I have several military Jeeps which I have rescued and rebuilt as best as possible.

I also have other willys from Japan and another from Spain, Ebro brand.

In the future I intend to create the first jeep museum in the DR. It would be located in my hometown, Constanza, a military city located in the center of our island, which is the coldest and highest city in the country.”

Here’s a good pic of his collection:

antonio-domincan-republic-jeeps008

This show one of Antonio’s sons jeeping with a 3B in the mountains of the Dominican Republic.

antonio-domincan-republic-jeeps011 antonio-domincan-republic-jeeps010
antonio-domincan-republic-jeeps007 antonio-domincan-republic-jeeps02

Continue reading

 
To Top

The ‘Jeep’ As a Light Tractor

• CATEGORIES: Features

Barry wrote a version of this article for “Farm Collector” magazine. It has been accepted, but he’s not sure when it will print. I was gratified to see he was able to use some of my research in it. I hope others can leverage their research with other aspects of eWillys.

https://www.farmjeep.com/the-jeep-as-a-light-tractor/

jeep-as-a-light-tractor

 
To Top

Mystery Hardtop and Doors

• CATEGORIES: Features, Parts • TAGS: .

TJ shared this ad for the doors (hardtop not for sale) out of Everett, WA. The doors are priced at $50 on Facebook. I don’t recognize the doors or top. Does anyone else recognize it?

“These doors fit a hardtop like the one pictured. They contour to the jeep body nicely and are complete with glass. Unfortunately the top is not available.”

hardtop-doors-unusual-everett-wa2 hardtop-doors-unusual-everett-wa1

 
To Top

1955 Blunder Boys Movie w/ Real Jeep?

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

Blaine spotted what appears to be a jeep in the background of this Three Stooges movie. The jeep appears at the 1:08 mark and is shot from a couple angles until the 2:35 mark.

Can you spot the jeep and what model does it most look like to you? To me there are elements that make it look like it was originally a jeep, but it also has some elements that don’t look correct for this particular model.

https://archive.org/details/166.BlunderBoys1955ShempLarryMoe

1955-3-stooges-jeep

 
To Top

Buick V6 History Video

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

Bill shared this video that provides some history about the Buick V6. What the narrator doesn’t mention is that by 1965 installations of the Buick V6 were already happening in places like Salt Lake City, where a local dealer was installing them. At least one article in Four Wheeler Magazine also mentions the modifications necessary for a Buick V6 install. Unfortunately, my jeep mags are still stored, so I don’t have the Four Wheeler article handy to share.

(The good news is that we are nearly done with our master bedroom remodel. Once we move in there, we can remodel our ‘family room/office’, which is where we are sleeping right now, where I plan to display and shelve my books/binders until I can remodel the shop … one step at a time)

 
To Top

Tractor Field Books

• CATEGORIES: Features

Since this post about a 1954 Tractor Field Book ad for the Farm Jeep, Barry has been able to track down some Tractor Field Books and post the information at Farmjeep.com. If you are a vintage tractor fan and haven’t heard of the books, I think you’ll like them.

https://www.farmjeep.com/tractor-field-book/

This page from the 1951 Tractor Field Book advertised the Universal Jeep, but post of the book covers standard tractors:

1951-tractor-field-book-jeep-ad

 
To Top

Trench Art Exhibit at NOLA National WWII Museum

• CATEGORIES: Features, Models

This article that Bill spotted mentions a trench art exhibit at the National WWII Museum, a place I still want to visit. I wouldn’t be surprised it there’s a few trench art jeeps there, too.

https://www.nola.com/entertainment_life/article_6542294e-1592-11ec-b22f-479c562f0e04.html

Here’s one example of a trench art SEEP at the exhibit:

 
To Top

Snow Day

• CATEGORIES: Features

Today we received our first “big” snow. Anything over a few inches is a big snow for us. So, I’ll be shoveling and using the tractor to clear some area. Thankfully, this stuff should melt pretty quickly over the next few days.

Anyone plow with a quad or ATV/UTV? Is that heavy enough to do a decent plow job? Most of my plowing is pavement (about a half acre worth). We could use a small little runabout vehicle for the property anyway.

2022-01-06-snow-day-lowres

 
To Top

Maury’s Lighters

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

Maury shared a pic of four of his lighters. I don’t know the exact dates, but made my best guess as to  the order they might have been manufactured. Maybe someone else has a better guess?

jeep-lighters-maury-lores

My guesses:

1) The Willys Motors is likely the earliest, possibly not long after the merger with Kaiser. It didn’t take long after the merger for “Willys” to take a back seat to ‘Jeep’, so my guess is 1953/1954.

2) The 4 Wheel Drive one is my guess for second, maybe 1954-56. Kaiser was ramping up the advertising and “4 Wheel Drive” was definitely a prominent element of that.

3) The yellow-blue logo is from 1957ish. That logo appeared on a number of brochures of that era, including this one from 1957.

4) I can’t tell if the red ‘Jeep’ light is plastic/glass or a combination, but I will guess that one is the newest one? It kind of feels like late 1950s or early 1960s to me.

 
To Top

Pics from Facebook

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, Features, Old Images • TAGS: , .

I don’t think I’ve shared this specific jeep-trailer photo. It was posted by Morihisa Ochi on the G503 Facebook page. He’s posted a number of interesting WWII-jeep photos.

jeep-trailer-conversion-wwii

Here’s another interesting photo from Morihisa Ochi. It shows a Ford GP that’s been converted into more of a truck and a radio jeep.

radio-jeep-phillipines

No date on this photo posted by the Maine Forest Rangers on Facebook:

maine-forest-fire-jeep

This customized jeep was on g503, posted by Graham Thrussell.

custom-jeep-g503-fb

Roger Martin pointed me to this jeep with a modified hardtop sitting on the back:

jeep-sedan-hardtop-fb

Roger also pointed me to this unusual tracked mb:

jeep-tracks-fb

Mario Maipid posted this May 09, 1943, article to Facebook. It indicates the FTC gave credit to Bantam for creating the jeep.

1943-05-09-ny-times

 

 
To Top

Article About Importing a Mini-Jeep from Alibaba

• CATEGORIES: Features

Bill shared this article about one person’s experience importing an electric mini-jeep via Alibaba. Included is the cost of shipping and importing the jeep, which raised the cost of the jeep by about 40%.

https://electrek.co/2021/06/09/that-1700-alibaba-electric-jeep-someone-bought-it-and-heres-what-showed-up/

mini-jeep-alibaba

 
To Top

Late 1940s? Photo of Jeeps & Men Welcoming W-O People on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

This old photo shows a series of early wagons lined up, along with a committee of men, to welcome the Willys Overland Motors Service School to Seattle. That might be Boeing field?

View all the information on eBay

“1950’S WILLY’S JEEP DEALERSHIP SERVICE MEN SCHOOL SEATTLE PRESS PHOTO ORIGINAL. THIS IS AN ORIGINAL PHOTO. NOT A COPY.  MEASURE 8 X 10 INCHES. ”

1940s-willys-overland-seattle-photo

 

 
To Top

“Submarine Jeep” Transmission Trouble

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

Bill shared this video. It is part of a series of videos about its creation and challenges.

 
To Top

A Different Kind of “Fire Jeep”

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

The video highlights the saving of a jeep that’s been through a fire.

 
To Top

Happy New Year 2022

• CATEGORIES: Features

2022

The year 2021 was a bitter sweet year for us. We lost two people we love (our moms), gained a new home in Prosser, brought to that home the jeeps, yet to make everything work, I’ve had to let eWillys go, or at least leave it on life support. In fact, over the last six months I’ve used my computer less than I have since sometime in the late 1990s when I was using an iMac, one of those Bondi Blue iMacs; that was 2 x-wives ago! Wow, time flies.

Instead of working on the computer improving eWillys, I’m outside removing stumps, inside remodeling another of our interior spaces, or pondering where we are going to put a new barn. Instead of doing updates in the early AM, I am walking the dogs down the driveway to open the gate, eating breakfast, and doing some puzzles on my phone. Instead of pondering the narrative structure of my next book–October Gold, a book that intertwines Japanese Gold, American POWs used as Slave Labor, and the State Department’s denial of their reparations from their use as slave labor–I am wondering if I should just get an old jeep with a snow plow or get a snow plow for my tractor.

In other words, my mind is simply not focused on ewillys or jeeps. This isn’t just an isolated moment; It isn’t the result of contemplation following our mother’s deaths. It also isn’t the result of the fact that at age 56 I am now fully retired, meaning I don’t have to work (but being a work-a-holic, I have to be doing something). Instead, it’s been true since we bought this place.

This doesn’t mean eWillys will come to a dead stop. But, updates will continue to be infrequent and I don’t expect them ever to return to their full glory (Unless someone else wants to step in and do it). I guess the question is, what do I do with all the bits and bytes that constitute eWillys?

That is the big question, a question for which the answer has been elusive. Perhaps I can answer that question in 2022?

In the meantime, we’ll continue to remodel. This summer I hope to do more about redoing the shop area; My hope is to set this place up so we we can entertain folks, so we can hold some kind of annual vintage jeep event, something a little different and unique, hopefully in 2023. But, we’ll see how 2022 progresses.

I hope everyone’s 2022 is fantastic!

 

 
To Top

Wild Man Willis Ray Willey

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

UPDATE II: This post was originally posted in January of 2011 (yes, hard to believe it was eleven years ago!). The post covers some of the history about Willis Ray Willey, which is a pretty cool name for a site about vintage jeeps. Who else had a name that includes both “Willis” and “Willey”? Anyway, this post is full of some great and useful comments. It’s taken on a life of its own.

======================================

UPDATE: Thanks to Mike for sorting out Willis’ real name. He was Willis Ray Willey, while his twin was Willard Roy Willey.

It might not surprise you that my interest in history has led me to become the family historian.  As a part of my self-assumed title, I make it a point to look through the family albums and scan images whenever I’m visiting.  This morning while looking through my grandmother’s album, which contains images from Fighting Creek, Idaho, the place her parents homesteaded in 1911 (they actually won a land lottery), I stumbled upon the unusual photograph of a man in an early motorcar that I show below.  I called mom over and asked her if she recognized anyone in the photo, as I didn’t.  She said she didn’t either.

About mid-day I was talking to my aunt (mom’s sister) and briefly described the photo.  I described the guy as ‘wild looking’.  Well, my aunt said that there was once this guy with the name of Wild Willy or something that used to be a colorful character around the Spokane area.  I got curious about who this guy might be and why the unusually nice photo, for a photo taken in 1933, ended up in a family photo album.

So, I powered up Google’s image search feature and input a variety of search strings until I spotted a picture of a guy who looked like the guy sitting in the car.  The story accompanying the photo said his name was Willis Ray Willey and, while he didn’t have a jeep,  he had quite the unusual, adventurous story.  So, I thought I’d share a brief summary of it.

To read more about Willey, visit this article from Nostalgia Magazine. Willey reminds me of the Camel Man, who Hein ran into a few months ago in Australia.

In the picture above, we appear to have Willis Ray Willey in his 1904 REO, the first year that the Ranson E. Olds Automobile Company built a car.  This photo was taken in 1933 (note the ’33 on the license plate).  The photo is taken with the Monroe Street bridge and the Spokane Falls in the background.  Willey planned to drive this car from Spokane to the 1933/1934 World Fair in Chicago.

You’ll note that Willey is only wearing shorts.  It turns out that Willey was a sickly youngster.  After examining him, a doctor suggested that he improve his constitution by exposing himself to the elements.  So, over time, he reduced the clothes he wore, eventually only wearing shorts whether winter or summer.

Apparently, that did the trick, as he never got sick, at least not until he was on his trip to the Chicago World’s Fair.  See, it turned out that simply wearing shorts wasn’t very common practice and, in fact, wasn’t tolerated.  People complained when they saw him and police would arrest him, with many arrests occurring on his way to Chicago.  According to Nostalgia Magazine, he did make it to Chicago, where he was arrested again. However, this time they cut off his hair and beard and he promptly got sick and remained sick for 3 months.

Now in the photo above, you’ll note that along the side of the seat it reads “Postcards 3 for 25 cents”.  One of the ways Willey made money was by selling postcards of himself; I guess he recognized just how much of an oddity he was.

If you look below, you can see two of the postcards he sold.  One is of him on Treasure Island in San Francisco, with a dog, a coyote, a turtle and multiple possums (click on photo and scroll down to see closeups).  The other is of him ice skating at LIberty Lake (thanks Jerry).

Yes, quite the character indeed!