Features Research Archives

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1954ish Photo of the Willys Overland Factory

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images • TAGS: .

This photo shows CJ-3Bs and M-38A1s on the same assembly line. I would guess this was taken around the summer of 1954.


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Stebbins Service Testimonial

• CATEGORIES: Documents, Features, Old Images Jeeping

This 1947 Willys testimonial did not have a signature.

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1960 Jeep Family Jack-Of-All-Trades Brochure

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

This Jack of All Trade Jeep brochure was published in March of 1963.

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Francis ‘Jeep” Sanza Dies at Age 99

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

David Tracy at Jalopnik wrote a nice piece about the death of Vernal Patton’s Driver during WWII, Francis ‘Jeep’ Sanza. It includes the following video clip and a shot of one of the vehicles Sanza drove, one with a variety of mods.

Read more here: https://jalopnik.com/general-pattons-driver-during-world-war-ii-francis-jeep-1822777372


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1942 Photo of CGs and Jeeps on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images, Old News Articles

UPDATE: Here’s an original press photo used in the article at the bottom of the post.

“1942 Press Photo U.S. Coast Guardsmen in Armed Jeeps at East Coast Port. This is an original press photo. Anti-saboteur patrol “Vital war shipping must be protected on the docks as well as on the high seas,” was an official order by Vice-Admiral Russell R. Wesche, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, who equipped Coast Guardsmen with armed jeeps to protect valuable war supplies from any attempts at enemy sabotage. These armed Coast Guardsmen are shown getting their orders at an East Coast port before they start their patrol in the blitz buggies. Photo measures 9 x 7.25 inches. Photo is dated 10-20-1942.”

View all the information on eBay




(From a March 20, 2015 post) These Coast Guard men are protecting the ships and shipyards from saboteurs. The photo was published in the October, 22, 1942 issue of the Spokesman-Review.


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1958 Jeep Calendar

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

Niel shared a scan of his 1958 Jeep calendar. He says it puts a smile on his face every time he sees it. The only other calendar I have scanned is the 1961 calendar. Anyone know when these Jeep calendars first began and when (if) they ended?

1958-jeep-calender-fc170-1 1958-jeep-calender-fc170-2 1958-jeep-calender-fc170-3

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News Video About the Upton’s “Last Mile”

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos

Art forwarded this local (for me) news segment about the Upton’s story of completing the last mile of their around-the-world trip. More information and links here.

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1946 Antenna Installation Diagram on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Documents, Features

Here’s an oddball document for installing an antenna on early jeep station wagons.

View all the information on eBay



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Facebook’s Marketplace

• CATEGORIES: Features

Everyone once in a while readers have forwarded Facebook Marketplace ads with a jeep for sale. But, for the most part I have ignored this resource. I just didn’t think there was much there. I was wrong.

There are a large number of vintage jeeps for sale that I haven’t seen listed elsewhere. I’ve listed a number of them in posts for today. However, I know not everyone has a FB account, so that doesn’t create a dilemma for some folks. I don’t have an answer of that just yet. I also don’t have a system yet for efficiently searching the Marketplace on a national basis, so I don’t know how using the Marketplace will effect my time.

To see what is possible, I plan to do research into the Marketplace platform. It would be great if I could automate some of this stuff, making less work for me and more jeeps for readers. We’ll see how it goes!


This is an example from the Dallas Craigslist with a simple “Willys” search. Hopefully, FB will be allow complex searches like I do on Craigslist.

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Cross Greenland This Spring

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features

Seth shared this unusual opportunity. This Spring a group is crossing Greenland. The event is auctioning off a seat. The price starts at a meager $25k. Learn more on eBay



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Fred Weis and the Bobcat History

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine • TAGS: , , , .

Yesterday morning, SteveK asked to know more about the Bobcat products. Were they race products or something else? The terminology is so second hand, that I thought everyone knew it by now. I decided to send him a link to an article I thought I had published about Fred Weis and the Bobcat body from the February 1970 issue of Four Wheeler Magazine. It turns out I never published that article!

So, I’d like to publish (perhaps I am republishing it) to better explain the Bobcat body and products. At the post’s bottom I’ve included a number of additional examples and information about the Bobcat. Then, on the next post, I discuss the Bobcat & Parkette fiberglass body histories.


Note the Cascade 4×4 club sticker on the hood.



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The Parkette and The Bobcat Body

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: , , .
My beautiful picture

Paul Parker, maker of the Parkette bodies, racing up a hill climb in Calgary in the summer of 1970. Photo courtesy of Ed Bray.

This is a companion article for the Fred Weis and Bobcat Body post. Much of this history is built from conversations, emails and comments on eWillys. I welcome corrections and additions.

In the late 1960s Fred Weis, who I understand ran a fiberglass products company, experimented with a fiberglass jeep design until he found one he liked. At the time he had been jeeping and jeep racing for a decade as part of the Cascade 4×4 Jeep Club. His first complete body was completed in 1969. By 1970, he was ready to produce them for resale. Fred’s bodies were built to be rugged, using fiberglass and wood.

The body was not intended to be an exact replica of the original body; instead, it met the needs outlined by Fred, who styled them (i would guess) to make them a little cooler. For example, the side steps reached the length of the body bend. The rim around the body edge was wider. The dash came with no holes. At some point, the body could be purchased with or without a tailgate and with or without a floor.

Fred also came up with two custom fiberglass raised hoods that provided more room in the engine compartment. One was a teardrop design (few were made) and the other was highly recognizable.

Long time jeeper Paul Parker decided to get into the fiberglass body business about the same time as Fred, so according to Ed Bray, Paul joked about buying Fred’s bodies, adding a side stripe, and calling them Parkettes. Another source told me that Paul did indeed do this, which led to a falling out to some degree between Fred and Paul.

Paul, who had been in the jeep parts business with his brother in Georgia before moving to the Tacoma area, began to build his own Parkette fiberglass tubs out of molds he built. They were very similar to Fred’s body. The biggest difference was that Paul’s jeep included a side stripe, similar to a hockey stick, that was designed to make the body side more rigid and set it apart from Fred’s body. Besides the side stripe, the body of the Parkette was better designed to fit the curve of the CJ-3A windshield. Fred’s body did not support the windshield well at all (I know this from personal experience with my Bobcat body).

You can see the Parkette stripe “hockey stick” on the side of the body. This was likely just a racing shell, given the lack of a tailgate. 

A family friend ran into the windshield issue as well.  Jim Carter bought a Bobcat body in the early 70s. The body arrived rough. The Carter’s sanded and primered the body, but when it came time to mount the windshield, Jim discovered it didn’t fit. He was angry. Many phone calls ensued. Next, Jim turned to Paul Parker, eventually buying a Parkette body. Jim, Pattie, and their two boys raced, trailed and streeted the jeep for years.


Early 70s photo of the Carter family’s “Otis” not long after the new Parkette body was installed.

At some point, Fred passed the business and molds on to someone else. The Bobcat molds were divided into at least two groups. I have some of the molds. I hope some day to make my own Parkette body.


A Parkette racing shell mold sits in the middle. A CJ-3B shell is at the far side. A floor is shown in the foreground (I believe that’s a 3B floor).

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1945 Photo Correspondent Robert Massell on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

UPDATE: Here’s another photo with Robert Massell in it.

“An original to the WWII time period photograph. Measures approximately 2.5″ x 2.5″ inches. This photo belonged to US War Correspondent Robert Massell who reported on the war from overseas for ABC’s Blue Network Company. He traveled throughout Germany with reporters such as Howard K. Smith-CBS, Robert Barr-BBC, Noel Monks- London Daily Express, Frank Conniff INS, and Bjorn Bjornson-NBC. ”

View all the information on eBay


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Color WWII Photos

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

Blaine shared two links that show color WWII photos from 1943 Italy, including the one below.

  1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2527908/Road-Rome-Rare-photos-chronicle-valiant-Allied-efforts-World-War-IIs-brutal-Italian-Campaign.html
  2. http://time.com/3881461/world-war-ii-in-color-photos-italian-campaign/


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Jeep Smoking Pipe **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was on eBay.

Here’s another Jeep-smoking pipe. These jeep pipes don’t appear very often. You can view two other examples here.

“This little pipe looks unused and is a WWII souvenir brought back by a US GI. The wooden part is about 2.5 inches long. See photo. This was in my WWII toy display for many years. It would look great in your toy JEEP or real JEEP collection. Made in FRANCE!”


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1951 DeAnza Trail Jeep Cavalcade

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features, Magazine, Old Images • TAGS: , .

1951-07-motortrend-jeep-gymkhana-calvacade-pg1-1The May 1951 issue of Motor Trend captured the 3rd Annual DeAnza Trail Jeep Cavalcade. The author, Ernest Reshovsky, titled the article “Jeep Gymkhana”, possibly attempting to reference timed automobile or equestrian contents designed to test driving skill, though to my knowledge the Cavalcade was not a timed event.

1951-07-motortrend-jeep-gymkhana-calvacade-title1951-07-motortrend-jeep-gymkhana-calvacade-text-lores 1951-07-motortrend-jeep-gymkhana-calvacade-pg1-2 1951-07-motortrend-jeep-gymkhana-calvacade-pg1-3



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Conch Jeep Train Key West, Florida

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

UPDATE: Mark shared this closeup photo of the Jeep Train ‘Engine’.


Original Post — Jan 19, 2013: Here’s a jeep train out of Key West, the ‘world famous ‘Conch Tour Train‘.  You can still find the Conch Tour Trains wandering Key West.  Here’s a picture of one.  It looks to be a CJ-5.  Here’s an article about them.


Vintage Conch Tour Train Pics:  Check out all those shrimp boats in the background. you can just make out the jeep trapped under the shell of the train body.

State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/77312.  Picture taken by Barron, Charles.


State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/77286.  Picture taken by Barron, Charles.


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Jeep Promo-Kit Sammamish, WA $50

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

Ted shared this one. It’s on the newer side, but for $50, seems like a cool thing to have in your jeep (old or new).

“Jeep promotional toolkit from 2006. In a plastic case with hatchet, multitool, knife, etc.”




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1943 Photo of Slat Grille in Italy on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images • TAGS: .

Not much info on this road’s location other than Italy.

“1943 Press Photo A jeep rolls up the newly finished Italian Road. This is an original press photo. A jeep rolls up the newly finished Italian Road Photo measures 7.75 x 7.25 inches. Photo is dated 10-15-1943.”

View all the information on eBay



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Willys Rally May 18th-20th

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features

Casey shared this followup reminder about the Willys Rally. They expect a bigger crowd this year due to the recent JP Magazine article.


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1952 Story About Boy Scout Trip in a Willys Truck

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

Scott shared a link to this 1952 story about eleven Boy Scouts who drove for 73 days across the country and back in a single Willys truck. It’s worth a read:


Here’s how the story begins: “In the summer of 1952 I was one of 11 Boy Scouts from Glen Ridge who joined Troop 3 Scoutmaster George Gimbel on a 73-day cross-country adventure. The trip took in 22states and two Canadian provinces. Nineteen fifty-two was years before the construction of the Interstate Highway System, so all of our travel was via state and local roads. We saw the country up-close. We camped out every night in national parks, state forests, and Boy Scout camps.”


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4 Door Wagon w/ Suicide Rears

• CATEGORIES: Features, Willys Wagons • TAGS: .

Scramboleer Dan shared an Old Willys Forum thread that has pics and a discussion of a 1954 four door wagon that has two rear suicide doors. Later on, the thread contains a video link with Paul Barry sharing a photo of a 3 door wagon with one rear suicide door. At this point, the unknown question is … was this modified at the factory, at Fairmont, or somewhere else? In the meantime, we all seem to be unanimous in our jealously of the new owner 🙂

http://www.oldwillysforum.com/forum/showthread.php?13094-Suicide-door-Wagon-Does-exist (there are more pics in the thread)

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Maury’s New Batter Topper

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Maury share how he tackled making his new-style battery look old school. you can follow the thread at earlyCJ5.com.