Museums Research Archives

Jeeps that have museums

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Jeeps at the Museum of Military History in Kissimmee

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

Roving eWillys correspondent Tim Evans braved Hurricane Irma to file this report.

He wrote, “I arrived in Orlando, Florida, last Wednesday (9/6) to attend a conference, but found out late Thursday that it was canceled.  That gave me time to visit the Museum of Military History where I found a M38 and a M151 jeep. Then I began a long slow drive home to Kentucky Friday morning, arriving late on Saturday.”

Always good to see people taking their unpaid, completely volunteer, unheralded work as eWillys correspondents seriously. I may have to upgrade his title to Chief Hurricane Correspondent!

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Zamboni® Ice Resurfacers & the Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, Fire/Police/Industry Vehicles, Museums • TAGS: .

UPDATE: We had a busy, long weekend, Normal updates resume on Tuesday morning. In the meantime, here’s a rerun from 2010.

Eureka, Utah is a very small town.  I imagine it was even smaller when Frank Zamboni was born in 1901.  From those humble beginnings, Frank grew up to create one of the most iconic service vehicles ever:  The Zamboni® Ice Resurfacer.  I’m not sure why they have entered the public’s imagination in the way they have, but if you say Zamboni®, people know what the vehicle does.

In fact, the Frank J. Zamboni company is legitimately concerned about the name Zamboni® passing from being a description of an Ice Surfacer into a noun, which can spell death for a Trademark.  You’ll note on the website that Zamboni® is quickly followed by Ice Surfacer for that specific reason.  In addition, there’s an extensive discussion of the Zamboni® trademark here.

By now, you are probably asking yourself what all this has to do with jeeps? For about 7 years, from 1942 through 1949, Frank Zamboni attempted a variety of experiments to create a good ice resurfacer, mostly using different Jeep models. Below is a summary of the Zamboni® history from the company’s website coupled with pics I’ve found all over the web.  The CJ-3B Page also has some information.

  1. Model A was Frank’s prototype ice re-surfacer.  In 1949, he built the model below (which has been restored and still exists at Paramount Iceland in California):

2. Model B introduced the jeep to ice surfacing.  In 1950, apparently Frank decided he needed something more portable, so he came up with Model B, which used a War Surplus Jeep (I’m assuming MB?).  If you look closely below, you can see Frank connected a U joint to the steering column and then added another steering rod so that you could steer from behind the jeep.  According to the Frank J. Zamboni Corp:

In 1950, Olympic skating star Sonja Henie’s traveling ice show was practicing at Paramount Iceland, and she saw the Model A in action. She had to have one and asked Frank if he could build one in time for an upcoming Chicago performance. The deadline was tough, but Frank worked day and night, then loaded all of the resurfacer parts into a U-Haul® trailer. He towed the trailer to Chicago behind the Jeep he would install the parts on and assembled the Model B there.

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A Jeep on Rails at the Australian War Memorial

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums • TAGS: .

UPDATE: Thanks to Leigh for sharing some photos from his visit to the Australian War Memorial:

Jeep on Rails 3 Jeep on Rails 2 Jeep on Rails

Original Post (03/19/.2011) Greg’s found these image at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia. A little more research yielded a few stories and additional pics at the Australians-at-War websiteYou can see other Jeeps on rails used in Australia at

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The Gippsland Vehicle Collection in Australia

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

Leigh shared some pics and information from his visit to the Gippsland Vehicle Collection in Maffra, Victoria, Australia, which is about an hour or so east of Melbourne.

He writes, “The first photo shows a 1956 (this could be earlier due to shipping/conversion times) Willys 6-226 Truck. Fifteen vehicles with this configuration were introduced into the Country Fire Authority (Victoria) that year. The 6-226 was fitted with a BSA 17 LP Pump and 180 gallon (800 lit) tank.


At the time, the Willys was the only small four wheel drive truck capable of carrying a water tank of this size, however even with an output of 105 hp (70 kw) it struggled in steep country with its relatively high first gear. On loan from the Fire Services Museum of Victoria

Next is a 1943 Ford GPW depicting a vehicle from the 234th Medical Co. of the 4th marine Div. that served in the Pacific during WW2.


This is a Ford GPA with Australian Army Markings.


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Roger Martin and his Father Jim “Pee Wee” Martin in the Netherlands

• CATEGORIES: Features, International, Museums

UPDATE: Roger called me to provide a little additional info. First, the “young lady” with whom Jim is shaking hands is actually the Prime Minister of Defense for the Netherlands. Apparently, there were numerous other dignitaries and security was tight. 

I’m taking a break for the night, but don’t worry. Roger Martin and his father Jim “Pee Wee” Martin have been busy in the Netherlands. Roger’s father was invited over to participate in some WWII events and visit numerous museums. I can’t say exactly which photos go with which musuem, but they are still interesting to look at. Thanks for all the photos Roger!


Roper Marting (left) and his father Jim Martin (right).


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Hanksters Hot Rods’ New Showroom in Florida

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

John dropped by the new showroom at Hanksters Hot Rods‘ in Daytona Beach, Florida, and took a few pics of their jeep. Admission is free and all donations go to the local YMCA.

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First Cavalry Division Museum

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

Gayland visited the First Cavalry Division Museum in Fort Hood, Texas. He saw a variety of jeeps and other military vehicles. Here are some of the photos. I can’t believe the museum spelled “Willys” incorrectly.

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Fort Houston Museum in San Antonio

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

Tim & Cathy’s rental jeep

Tim and his wife Cathy rented a jeep in San Antonio and explored the city. Tim wrote, “We rented a Jeep (again) wrangler and visited many area attractions, including the River Walk, and the LBJ Ranch. At the Army Medical Department AMEDD Museum at Fort Sam Houston we found Jeeps in medical service, including an M-718, M-170, and a 1942 Willys.”


1942 MB Slat Grille






Early Ambulance

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Wednesday March 23rd: Blizzards & Balloons

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

Lost as usual.

Today’s goal was to drive from Albuquerque to Pueblo, Colorado (See yesterday’s post here). Mother Nature had a different idea.


Today we drove from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Cortez, Colorado

We woke on Wendesday morning to learn that Mother Nature had decided to spoil the Coloradoans early spring by sending a wintery blizzard through the Denver area. Winds accompanied the snow (it remained very windy in Albquequerque as well), causing a snow plow to tip over at the Denver airport. We didn’t have to read much of the news to decide that we were ready to save Colorado for another day. So, we altered our plan to drive up the eastern slope of the Rockies in favor of driving the short route home through Utah. However, another issue appeared when we made that decision; it seemed that we only had a narrow window through which we could get over Oregon’s Blue Mountains (on I-84) between storms. This meant we couldn’t mess around too much on the way home. We had to get going. But, first we wanted to stop by The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History’s gift shop (Ann wanted some bomb shaped shot glasses) and then visit the Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum, aka the Albuquerque Balloon Museum, before heading for Cortez, Colorado.

We visited the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History during our trip last year. They had some cool gifts, including a set of shot glasses and wanted to buy. When we walked into the gift shop, look what we found! 1956 CJ-5 (serial number 10006) purchased by the federal government, complete with a data plate. One of the more interesting mods was the RPM gauge on the grille and a custom bump on the hood. When I saw those mods I got very curious about what was under the hood, so I pulled the “I run a large vintage jeep website” card. Of course, they had no clue who I was, but they let me open the hood anyway. It was all stock, except for the mice droppings; someone hadn’t cleaned under the hood in a while. I concluded the gauge and hood were likely not original to the jeep, hence they were painted black.

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James @ the American History Museum

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

James was visiting Washington, D.C., this week and found this jeep hanging from the ceiling of the American History Museum.

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U. S. Veteran’s Museum in Huntsville, Alabama

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

UPDATE: Maury found the cool video of the Pygmy. Wyatt noted that the Ford GP was formerly Mayor Fred Heine’s jeep, one that he bought and used on his farm and famous as the first jeep sold to the public.

The U.S. Veteran’s Museum in Huntsville, Alabama, has a great collection of early jeeps. I found these photos on Trip Advisor.

From left to right, looks like the Ford Pygmy, a Ford GP, a Bantam BRC-40, a Willys MA, and an Willys MB Slat grille.

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Techatticup Mine Ghost Town — Nevada

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums, Willys Trucks, Willys Wagons

The Techatticup Mine camp was established 1861. The camp is part of the oldest, richest and most famous gold mine in Southern Nevada. Now a tourist attraction, it includes an old Willys truck and, in some photos, a wagon.

The Techatticup Mine camp is located just outside the small town of Nelson Nevada in Eldorado Canyon. It is well reviewed on Trip Advisor. Businesses in the area offer historical mine tours and scenic blue water kayak trips on the Colorado River at the mouth of Black Canyon below Hoover Dam.


photo credit: Bruce Zimmerly


photo credit: Jack Freer


photo credit: Jack Freer


photo credit: Bruce Zimmerly


photo credit: Evan Reinheimer

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CJ-3A at the Milwaukee Public Museum

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

Andrew spotted this blue CJ-3A in the Rain Forest area of the Milwaukee Public Museum and took most of these photos. The staff informed him that it was used by a museum research team in the 1980s. According to the museum’s webpage, the team collected specimens in Costa Rica during 1986. Since the CJ-3A’s license plates are Costa Rican, they may well have used the jeep in Costa Rica and brought it back with them.



This photo was taken by “Retinal Fetish” on Flickr.


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National Museum of the USAF in Dayton, Ohio

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

John took these photos at the National Museum of the USAF in Dayton, Ohio.

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Jeeps at the Tennessee Museum of Aviation

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3B, Features, Museums

Someone posted these photos from the Tennessee Museum of Aviation (Sevierville, Tennessee) on the G503 Facebook page. I didn’t get the guy’s name and the post is too old for me to locate him. Looks like a fair number of jeeps there. The CJ-3B originally from Stillwater, Oklahoma, might be the most interesting of all the vehicles. I wonder how it landed in Tennessee.


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Hemmings Highlights the Omix-Ada Jeep Museum

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

Thanks to John for forwarding this article on the Omix-Ada Jeep Museum in Atlanta, Georgia. I’m looking forward to reaching Atlanta and seeing this in person, but still don’t a southeastern trip planned yet.


Willys MA, Bantam BRC 40, and a Ford GP. Just a few of the Omix-Ada jeeps.

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Military Jeeps on the SS Jeremiah O’Brien

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums • TAGS: .

Paul Barry from Willys America and his wife Jane discovered these two jeeps on the SS Jeremiah O’Brien. Moored at Pier 45 in San Francisco, it’s the last unaltered Liberty Ship from WWII. These days it operates as a living museum teaching tourists. You can learn more at the SS Jeremiah O’Brien website.

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Don Visits the New Mexico Museum of Military History in Albuquerque

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

Don shared these photos of jeeps from his visit to the the New Mexico Museum of Military History Albuquerque, New Mexico (That is the Facebook page … it’s website doesn’t appear to be working). This place is only about a mile away from the jeep dealership that has the CJ-2A in it. Note the Ford GP! Don sent a selfie this time 🙂

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Merlin Visits the Top Kicks Museum

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

Anyone familiar with West Virginia’s Top Kicks Military Museum? If not, it’s worth a look. Merlin stopped by the other day and filed a detailed report on his blog. The museum has an extensive Jeep collection that even includes a copy of the CJ4 Jeep and a 6 wheeler.


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FC-150 & GPW at the College of the Ozarks

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

On the CJ2Apage Facebook site Neil shared a couple jeep photos from the College of the Ozarks in Branson, Missouri. The first is a 1957 FC-150 inside the Tractor Museum.


Neil shared this photo.

There’s also a GPW in the Ralph Foster Museum. In the photos below, the same jeep is shown in two different locations. So, I’m not exactly sure where it is currently located.


Neil shared this photo.


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Don’s Colorado-New Mexico Trip Continues

• CATEGORIES: Features, M-38A1, Museums

Don was in Denver, Colorado, and stopped by the Forney Museum of Transportation. Inside he found this nice looking M-38A1.
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He also stopped by the El Pinto Restaurant in Albuquerque (which he recommends). There he spotted this 1945 GPW.



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CJ-2A at Larry Miller Dealership in Albuquerque

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

Don will be spending the next month traveling through New Mexico and Colorado. Lucky for us, he’s watching for jeeps. He spotted this redone CJ-2A at a Larry H. Miller Jeep-Chrysler-Dodge Ram dealership in Albuquerque. I guess we’ll be stopping in there during our next visit!


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Cite de l’Automobile Celebrates Vehicles in Uniform

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

Hugo forwarded a link announcing Cite de l’Automobile’s July 25 & 26 Vehicles in Uniform event. The museum is in Paris, France. Even if you decide that’s a little far to travel for the weekend, poking around their website is pretty interesting. It looks like they have an amazing collection.


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Bantam BRC-40 @ the Pennsylvania Military Museum

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

Don visited the Pennsylvania Military Museum a couple days ago and discovered it houses a Bantam BRC-40. Had I known this we would have made an effort to get there during our trip in 2013. Thanks to Don for taking some photos for us!


The Pennsylvania Military Museum is located on Business 322 in Boalsburg; three miles east of State College.  It is one of 26 historic sites and museums on the Pennsylvania Trail of History, administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC).




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Jeeps @ Fort Eustis in Virginia

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

The United States Transportation Museum in Virginia has a few jeeps. With a 50,000 square-foot building and four outdoor parks there’s plenty of space for vehicles of all types. I’m sure some of you have been here?

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