Museums Research Archives

Jeeps that have museums

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Patee House Museum

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

Joe Keefhaver shared this on Facebook. The Patee House Museum in St. Joseph, Missouri, is owned and operated by The Pony Express Historical Association. Inside you’ll find two miniature jeeps on display. According to the signage, the larger 3/4-size jeep was built from a 1950 Crosley Station wagon, while the smaller 1/2-size jeep was all custom.

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This looks like a pretty cool place. Check out this exhibit: 

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M-38 @ World’s Largest Truck Stop

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

Jan posted this to her Facebook page. There is an M-38 located inside the “world’s largest truck stop” in Walcott, IA. We drove by that place and, had I known, we would have stopped and taken pics ourselves (that’s what we get for being in a hurry … grrrr).

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This random video of the world’s largest truck stop is from a “wheretheheckarethealbans” video.

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Echeverria Field GPW Dedication for Wickenburg VFW

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

Joe-in-Mesa’s daughter’s boyfriend’s father (way to suck him in Joe!) took this photo of a 1943 GPW dedicated to the memory of the Echeverria Field near Wickenburg, Arizona, and donated to the Wickenburg VFW. Obviously, it’s not a perfectly restored vehicle, but it does help provide a tangible memory for VFW visitors.


Joe searched and found a few more photos online:echeverria-field-pics-gpw2 echeverria-field-pics-gpw3

Here’s the VFW where the jeep is located, though Google did not capture the jeep outside:


Here is some location information about the air field. The location was not available via Google maps, so this is a hacked together location image:


1951 view of the former air field:


Some related links:

  1. Web page on abandoned air fields in Arizona
  2. Wickenburg VFW Facebook page
  3. Ghosttown Arizona information on Echeverria Field
  4. Echeverria Field on Wikipedia
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Museum of Off Road Adventure Opens Dec 6th

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

UPDATE: Opening date for the Museum of Off Road Adventure was moved to Thursday December 6th.

Original post Apr. 20th, 2018: Ted spotted this article on Hemmings about a new Museum called the Museum of Off Road Adventure in Clay Township, Michigan.

You can read more here:


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Ford GP at the Military Air Museum in Pungo, VA

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

John stopped by the Military Air Museum in Pungo, Virginia, the other day. There he found this nicely restored Ford GP. I asked him how he liked the museum. HIs response was,

Dave, The whole facility is extraordinary! Two surprises, 1) a hanger from Cottbus, Germany, was found intact but damaged. The guy bought it, had it disassembled, shipped to the states and restored and reassembled. Every thing inside is German with one Italian with some of the stuff experimental.
2) Same for a British control tower, every brick was shipped here, rebuilt, and what was broken or missing was replaced from Britain, not the States.



Additional pics:

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MacArthur Memorial Museum in Virginia

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

John also stopped by the MacArthur Memorial Museum in Norfolk, VA. The Willys MB shown in the pics below was donated by Chrysler (along with $100,000) and is supposed to be fully restored. There’s no indication that MacArthur used or drove in this jeep.

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1950s Photo From Norwich, NY

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

Joe saw yesterday’s photo from Seattle, which made him think of a similar period photograph. It hangs on the wall inside the offices at the Northeast Classic Car Museum in Norwich, New York, showing a portion of Broad Street in Norwich. (Broad Street is the main street).


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Miami-Dade County Transportation Building Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

Steve reports that this jeep can be seen inside the Miami-Dade County (Florida) Transportation Building. It appears to be a militarized CJ-2A with some MB parts (frame could be MB) with some diamond plating added to the rear cargo area.

As you can see in this pic, it is claimed the jeep is a 1945 WWII jeep. But, the CJ parts suggest otherwise. It appears the jeep is on loan form the Miami Military Museum at Zoo Miami.


This pic is from Yelp and shows the sign on the jeep and more of the display.




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U.S. Army Transportation Museum at JB Langley-Eustis

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

Gayland recently visited the U.S. Army’s Transportation Museum at Joint Base Langley-Eustis and shared these photos. Ann and I drove right past there, but didn’t have time to stop. I will have to visit there the next time I’m visiting my cousin in Virginia.

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Day 7 – Saturday May 5: There’s a Coffee Shop Here?

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums • TAGS: .

<– Day 6 – Friday May 4: Parker To the Rescue! | Day 8 – Sunday May 6: Somber to Soda –>


Geoff and David in front of the Ford GPs at the Alabama Veterans Museum.

Day 7: On Saturday, we spent a pleasant morning with Geoff and Kathy, then drove down to Alabaster, Alabama.


A short drive today from Huntsville, Alabama, to Alabaster, Alabama.

Today began with a 10am rendezvous with Geoff and Kathy at the U.S. Veterans Museum in Huntsville, Alabama. On our way to the museum we spotted this CJ-5 on the side of the road advertising a tire shop. It’s the first ‘feral’ jeep we’ve spotted during this trip:


We arrived at the U.S. Veteran’s Museum to find the museum already open and our entry fairs pre-paid (thanks Geoff and Kathy!!).

A docent welcomed us to the museum and proceeded to show us around, telling us stories. When we first met him, I specifically mentioned that Ann was an Air Force veteran and that she’d been a weapons specialist. I’ve learned to do this because the older docents often assume that it’s the men that served and the men who know weapons (I can’t tell you how many folks assumed that I was the veteran when we used to drive around in Ann’s old Mustang with the Purple Heart plates).

I don’t believe the docent meant any harm and Ann claims it doesn’t bother her (I think it in fact does), but multiple times the docent assumed it was Geoff and I who knew things about guns such as the carbine vs. the rifle (Geoff did, but I didn’t have a clue; I could hear Ann under her breath answer his question) or his comment about our boys and the Purple Hearts (Ann’s received the medal, but it’s not a point of pride for her …. In fact, women have been awarded Purple Hearts since the first winner, a nurse from Pearl Harbor in 1941.) Eventually, Ann excused herself and wandered about on her own for a little while.

Apart from that minor issue, it was fun to wander around the museum with Geoff and Kathy. Of course, I enjoyed the jeeps the best, especially the Ford Pygmy and later Ford GP. It was the first time I noticed just how different the Pygmy was to the later models. Geoff knew enough about early Ford trucks to point out some of the parts Ford had used on their prototype Pygmy. Here are some pics:


Ford Pygmy, Ford GP, Bantam BRC-40, Willys MA, Willys Slat Grille


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Day 6 – Friday May 4: Parker To the Rescue!

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums • TAGS: .

<– Day 5 – Thursday May 3: Rainy Day Quilts | Day 7 – Saturday May 5: There’s a Coffee Shop Here? –>

DAY 6: Today we drove from Paducah to Huntsville via the Sam H. Werner Military Museum. It was almost a total bust, but Parker Lowndes saved the day!



Today’s drive from Paducah to Huntsville

Today we had one objective: To visit the Sam H. Werner Military Museum in Monteagle, Tennessee, a museum that just opened last year in 2017. I’d seen pics of prototype jeeps, prototype lightweights and more and couldn’t wait to visit.

Once again, for the first half the drive, rain came and went. About noon, the rains finally left us. It was great to have some dry weather again!

We reached Monteagle at 1:30pm. The Werner Military Museum isn’t far off the interstate, so within a few minutes we were sitting in front of the museum. But something was noticeably wrong. The gates were locked and no cars were in the parking lot.


But it’s supposed to be open today!!!! NOOOOOO…..

Hmmm …. This can’t be good. The hours were Wed-Sun, 10-3, so it should have been open. But, it wasn’t. I looked to my left and there was a sign, torturing me. It read: Jeeps to Tanks, Come in and Visit Us …. trust me, I’m trying to get inside!!


Desperate, I turned to the website. There, I found two folks with emails and phone numbers. The first one went to voicemail. The second one went to Parker Lowndes. Thankfully, Parker answered.

Parker explained that the volunteer who should have been at the museum had to leave early. Could I come back tomorrow? I explained that I’d come a long way and had to head south to Huntsville later in the evening. After a short conversation, Parker offered to meet us at the museum but couldn’t be there until 4pm. I said we’d be happy to wait. It turns out, it was worth the wait.

It was real pleasure to meet Parker and learn about the museum. He took time out of his Friday evening to open the museum just for us and guide us through it. He explained that the museum has only been open a year, serving about 1000 visitors so far. They are looking for more volunteers, to rebuild vehicles and operate the museum. They also need to sort through lots of items; they are not lacking in museum content. If you are interested in helping, contact the museum.

Parker also mentioned that the museum will be hosting a Military Vehicle Show & Swap Meet May 18,19 & 20 for anyone interested.

The museum itself is divided into two large buildings. Here are a few pics from the first:


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Russell’s Travel Center

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

One place I’ve yet to reach is Russell’s Travel Center, a gas stop on historic Route 66 along I-40, exit 369, Glen Rio, New Mexico. Don recently stopped in their to take photos of their 1948 CJ-2A, along with some other vehicles. This year, on my return trip, I plan to stop and see it!

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Jeeps @ the Southern Museum of Flight

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

GMWillys and his lovely wife visited the Birmingham Alabama’s Southern Museum of Flight the other day and took some photos for us. He notes that the museum is fairly impressive, given the relatively small space. And, the jeep count is at three: an M-38, an M-38A1, and a CJ-V35. See the pics below.

The M-38:
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The CJ-V35:


The M-38A1 (hidden behind a plane):


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Sam Werner Military Museum

• CATEGORIES: Airborne Lightweight Jeeps, Features, Museums

I saw this one Facebook. I didn’t realize that the Sam Warner Military Museum in Tennessee had such an extensive collection of jeeps, including some airborne prototypes. I will make it a point to visit there during my May trip.

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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:

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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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