Museums Research Archives

Jeeps that have museums

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A Jeep Wagoneer + a Ferrari = Jerrari • Top Speed: 140mph

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

The National Automobile Museum (the Harrah Collection) in Reno, Nevada, opened in 1989.  Most of the collection is based on Bill Harrah’s (gaming pioneer and avid collector) automobile collection.  Following Bill’s death in 1978, the Holiday Corporation bought Harrah’s Hotels/Casinos and more, including the collection.  Then Holiday announced they were going to sell the cars.  This ticked off Nevadans, so the governor stepped in and helped negotiate a donation of the cars by Holiday to a special non profit organization established for the purposes of a museum.

The museum was named among the top ten museums by Car Collector magazine, has been ranked as one of the best 16 car museums in the world by Autoweek, and has been selected the best Museum in Northern Nevada in Nevada Magazines’ Annual Readers Poll.

The collection appears to have only two jeeps.  One is a slightly modded CJ-5; the other is a Wagoneer that was outfitted with a Ferrari engine and called a Jerrari.

Here is the Jerrari as photographed by RenoDesertFox from Flickr.  Note the color of the first image is the correct color and the remaining images have had the colors tweaked by the photographer, but still show a good deal of detail.

1. Front view of the Jerrari (link to original)

2. Color has been tweaked. (link to original)

3. The Ferarri engine. (link to original)

4. Click on the image to more easily read the history. (link to original)

1. Here is the one image I have, again via RenoDesertFox, of the 1972 CJ-5 on display. (link to original)

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WWII Jeep at Small Museum in Auchonvillers, France

• CATEGORIES: Features, International, Museums

If you happen to be in France and staying at the Avril Williams Guest House, in Auchonvillers, France, you must take a trip across the street and visit the small museum.  There you will find a set of compact dioramas from several wars.  In the World War II diorama sits a restored MB or GPW of some vintage.

I found a pic of the jeep at this website, which follows someone’s journey through the battlefields of France.

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4 Jeeps in Museum Im Zeughaus Schaufhausen, Switzerland

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums • TAGS: .

According to the photographer, Massimo Foti, the Museum Im Zeughaus, located in Schaufhausen, Switzerland, is a very good museum, though it’s open infrequently.

Massimo writes on this Flickr Page: This is a very nice museum, solely focused on material used by the Swiss Army. It has an impressive collection of 20th swiss artillery and soft-skins, plus some cool AFVs. Its only drawback is that it opens only less than ten days each year… But since it’s enterely run by volunteers, I don’t complain. The pictures in this set were taken during various visits, using different equipment, so quality isn’t consistent and some older shots aren’t that great. But since the Museum isn’t very well know, I am including them to give as much visibility as possible to this excellent collection.

All of these photo’s were snapped by Massimo:

Here’s a CJ-3B:

Here’s a CJ-3A

Here’s a CJ-5

Here’s what appears to be a M-38A1 C, though it doesn’t have the ‘gapped’ split windshield.

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Hotchkiss M201 ENTAC at Musee Des Blindes, Saumur, France

• CATEGORIES: Features, MB, Museums, Website • TAGS: .

According to the website, in 2009 the Musee Des Blindes in Saumur, France, unveiled a Hotchkiss M201 ENTAC.  I do not remember ever seeing one of these.

As far as I can tell, this M201 is the only jeep at this particular museum.  These first and last pics are from this page on the M201 website.  The 2nd pic was on Flicker and taken by Massimo Foti.

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Roberts Armory Traveling Museum Rochelle, Il

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums • TAGS: .

Roberts Armory is a traveling museum located in Rochelle, Illinois.

According to their website, the museum “specializes in the acquisition and display of light armored vehicles and artillery used by the U.S. Army in World War II. During World War II reenactments the museum usually portrays the 70th Tank Battalion. The museum participates in WWII related displays, parades, motion pictures and reenactments throughout the United States.”

Roberts Armory has also been asked to participate in movies and shows.  Though Roberts appears to have a facility, unlike traditional museums, Roberts is only open for visitation on special days or by special appointment.

While Roberts only appears to have one 1945 MB, they do have a few different outfits for it.

1. Here it is with and without a top.

2.  Here it is with the 50 Cal gun mounted.

3.  Here it is in full armor.

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Sunbelt Auto Museum Las Vegas, Nv


The Sunbelt Antique and Classic Automobile Company & Museum at Las Vegas, Nevada, has several Willys.  I think you’ll find the last one most interesting …

First, we have this beautiful 1946 Wagon:

Here we have a couple pics of a 1948 Jeepster:

And now we have this beautiful ‘1943 Military Jeep’ …. Seriously, here’s the sign!  Sure lookings like a militarized CJ-2A to me.  See more pics as well. I sure hope they didn’t pay too much for that!

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Sgt. Richard A. Penry, Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial Military Museum

• CATEGORIES: Features, MB, Museums

Located in Petaluma, California, The Richard Penry Medal of Honor Memorial Military Museum appears to have two Willys.  One is well restored (though I have a question) and the Second one is part of a diorama and tipped on its side.

Here’s the first, a Slat Grille MB.  These images are from Wikipedia.  My question is … isn’t that front cross member from a GPW and not a MB? Or am I missing something?

The back of this MB:

Here’s the tipped over Willys.  I couldn’t find a better pic of this.

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Dezer Collection: Museum & Pavillion

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3B, M-38, Museums

UPDATE:  Both are still available.  The CJ-3B is now listed at Hemmings.

Located down in Miami, Fl, and formerly located at the Trump International Beach and Hotel, the Dezer Museum became a public museum in 2010.  It is now housed in a 250,000 square foot complex that showcases a collection of 600 cars, thousands of memorabilia items, a food court, shopping and more.

The collection currently has two jeeps.  One is a 1951 M-38 (which can be bought for $20,000) and a CJ-3B (which they have incorrectly listed as a 1951 and is for sale for $25,000)

Here are some pics of the CJ-3B:

Here are some pics of the 1951 M-38:

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Museum: Gilmore Car Museum & The “Checker” BRC-40

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

The Gilmore Car Museum in Kalamazoo, Mi, “includes eight historic barns, a re-created 1930s service station, a small town train station, and nearly three miles of paved roads.”  This complex houses a large and diverse collection of automobiles and automobile memorabilia in a truly unique setting.

One of the vehicles housed at the Gilmore is one of three BRC-40s assembled (or built or rumored to have been built) by the Checker Automotive Company.  I’ve looked into the various bits of information about the Checkers and there seems to be no better summary of the status of these unusual BRC Prototypes than what Bill Spears, who has written extensive about Bantams and early Jeeps, wrote in a Hemmings Blog Comment about the Checker:

The Checker ‘episode’ is still one of the great mysteries of the jeep story and I cannot figure out for the life of me why…. In Kalamazoo it is widely assumed that the Checker was built there from Bantam plans. Karl Pobst’s notes indicate that he did indeed send Checker the blue prints in three installments (and I would REALLY like to get my hands on those and I suspect they are still at Checker) but, my information is that three jeeps, two of them four wheel steering, were sent to Checker from Butler and they arrived in boxes as for shipping overseas. There is nothing at all to indicate in the Checker I had that it differed in anyway from a regular Bantam BRC. All the parts cast with Bantam numbers etc. However all the jeeps were completely disassembled for reverse engineering as it were to try to cost out the job. The parts were all put in a pile, then the cars were reassembled without regard for which parts went were. Thus, my car had a 4 wheel steer column, but it was two steer. One was sent to the Army and wrecked in testing.The car at the Gilmore still belongs to the Stout family I believe. Jim Stout, who knew what he was doing restored the car, but in a way tried to disguise it, and it sat in the Checker lobby for years as a Kalamazoo built car. I think Stout made an interesting contribution in making it possible to turn OFF the 4 wheel steering feature, but, the 4 steers were never really produced. If anyone has any information or leads I would sure appreciate hearing about it.

I found some good images of the “Checker” at the Gilmore museum from

Bill Spears has an extensive discussion about Checker and Bantam with images:

The site also has some archival images and information on the Checkers:

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The Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles in Lexington, Ne


The Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles is located at 606 Heartland Road in Lexington, Nebraska (just off I-80).  What this means is that I drove right by it, 15 years ago, and didn’t know it was there; However, at the time, we were traveling with 3 vehicles, in-laws, a 6 week old baby boy, 2 cats, and a everything we owned.  The trip was a 3 day move from the moraines of Madison, Wisconsin, to the mountains of  SLC, Utah.

Given all the factors and distractions, I suppose it wasn’t the best time to stop at a museum.  However, we did stop when the rear tire blew out on the motorhome I was driving somewhere in the middle of Nebraska.  Now, I didn’t know this was the rear tire when the explosion rocked the motorhome at 65 mph.  No, I was pretty sure a crack opened in the middle of the highway and the devil himself had grabbed a hold of the rear axle, attempting to pull us all to the depths of Hades.  It wasn’t until I slowed (perhaps screeched) to a stop that I came to my senses (an started breathing again) and realized that it was only a tire.  My next step was to clean up my pants.

Importantly, it wasn’t just a tire that blew, because something was opened by the blast ….  a hole in the wheel well.  Though we didn’t realize the hole was there, the cats did.  So, in the middle of the night, after a long day of driving, with everyone asleep, those dumb Wisconsin farm cats (Dodger and Tucker) snuck outside (by opening one of the kitchen cabinet doors near the floor and then sneaking out the hole in the wheel well).  At about 2 am, one of our cats (Dodger) started crying outside the motorhome waking us all up.  It took all my effort not to strangle Dodger; the other cat, Tucker, didn’t reappear until we were packed up and ready to abandon him.  By then we were actually happy to see him.

Yes, that was not a good time to visit what appears to be a fine Museum, with over 100 military vehicles of all kinds.  So, just a tip, leave the cats and all your stuff at home.  Here are some pics of what you’ll see.

From is this cool image which includes a MB SlatGrille and a M-38A1:

I can’t remember where I found this image … oops.

From the Unwanted Blog, come these images of a M-38A1, a Schwimmwagen, and a Kubelwagen:

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Museums: BRC-60 #7 at the Heinz History Center


According to a report by Jim Allen in Offroad Adventures in 2005, there was a BRC-60 on loan to the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.  This BRC-60 was donated to the Smithsonian back in 1944.  It is the only known survivor of the first 70 BRC-60s (preceded by the BRC and followed by the BRC-40s) built by Bantam.

Anyone know if it is still there?

Here are two images from Jim Allen’s article:

And from a Belgium Jeep site comes this shot of a BRC-60

And I’m not sure where I found this …

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Museums: MB at the Cole Land Transporation Museum

• CATEGORIES: Features, MB, Museums

This MB is located at the Cole Land Transporation Museum in Bangor, Maine, and has an interesting history.  According to the museum’s website, “his 1945 jeep served with the U.S. Army during World War II in Europe. After the war, it was given to the French government (French nomenclature in still on the dashboard). It was rebuilt by the French, declared surplus, and shipped to Duryea Motors, Brockport, New York in 1982. Galen Cole purchased it for display in the Museum.

Perhaps its greatest claim to fame is that the mold for the Maine World War II Veterans Memorial, located on the Museum’s grounds, was formed around this jeep; therefore, the jeep that is the focus of the Memorial is an exact replica of this jeep. It was chosen as the symbol of WWII because personnel of all branches of the service during that war used jeeps-whether generals, admirals, or privates.”

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Silly Willy by Wildfire Manufacturing

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

I spent some time search for Jeeps in Museums today.  I discovered that in 1996 a museum with some wwII jeeps closed and the jeeps were purchased and sent to Indiana.  After a little searching, I am pretty sure these were bought by the National Automotive and Truck Museum of the United States (NATMUS), located in Auburn, Indiana.  This appears to be a pretty sizeable museum with a great collection of both stock and modified vehicles.

Sorting through images at different sites, I did eventually find an image of a GP (to be published later) located at NATMUS.  I sent them an email to see if I can get additional images and information (my emails to museums thus far have proven useless so far, with the exception of a gracious and quick response from the York Museum in PA).

One additional item I discovered while searching through some NATMUS images was this modified Willys Truck hidden in the background of a pic focused on the Popcorn Wagon (see pic to right).  Fortunately, I could identify the website emblazoned on the windshield and, viola, I found some great pics of this vehicle to share.

This truck, called Silly Willy, was built by Wild Fire Manufacturing for 1st Attack (Jeffrey Cook is president of both companies).  1st Attack is a company that specializes in the development of offroad emergency vehicles. You might know Jeffrey Cook from his days as owner/driver of the Monster Truck War Wagon that toured nationally.

Here’s some pics of Silly Willy:

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Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum


Josue dropped by the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum (WAAAM) and snapped these photos. The museum is located in Hood River, Or (I’ve been through Hood River several times and didn’t know this was there — guess I should have slowed down a little going through there ..).  Thanks Josue!

The WAAAM has only existed a few years, having first opened its doors in September of 2007, and already house one of the largest collections of flying antique aircraft and drivable antique automobiles in the country.  The museum appears to house 5 Jeeps:  1 Slat Grille MB, 1 Red Cross(?) MB, 1 M-38, and a couple M-38A1s (one with a sizeable weapon for removing trees, rocks or buildings that happen to block your path).

According to their website, ” Our collections are housed in two giant hangars — which together total 95,000 square feet. In addition to our antique collections, these facilities house a reference library, classroom, meeting rooms, and a community events area. Three additional hangars, totaling 37,000 square feet, are set aside for restorations.”

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The 1 1/2 ton offroad Crossley from the 1920s


I saw this and I had to post it.  There are apparently a couple of these left in the South African War Museum.  Due to their weight and the thin tire profile, these were poor offroad performers.

According to this website, “The British Army in India had a requirement for Armoured Cars for areas such as the North West frontier. A delegation was despatched to Britain to see what was on offer and particularly to look at the offerings from Rolls Royce as wartime models had performed well. As well as being expensive they surprisingly were unable to get over the gradient test on the cross country trial.

There was however also at the trials a 1 1/2 ton Crossley based on the chassis that had been intended for a Russian contract that came to nothing because of the Revolution. This was the chassis that was under consideration as a medium truck for India and eventually became the IGL1. It sailed through the trials and one was immediately purchased for an extended trial which consisted of loading it with 4 tons of ballast and driving 4000 miles round Britain. An order for 32 followed with bodies by Vickers. These were delivered in 1923 and a further order followed. Total deliveries were about 100.

All of these vehicles were fitted with solid tyres presumably to remove the risk of punctures but these were never very successful when used off road as their narrow profile inevitably led to the vehicle sinking up to its axles. Two of the armoured cars were also shipped to South Africa where the tyres also caused trouble and were eventually changed to pneumatic types. Both of these survive and are in the South African War Museum.”

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Malta National War Museum — Eisenhower’s Jeep “Husky”


In our continuing, virtually unending series on museums, comes the National War Museum in Malta.  This museum houses only one willys, but it is a rather famous Willys named “Husky”. Also, I’m usually pretty good with geography, but I had Malta (the isle of Malta that is) quite a bit west and didn’t remember it being an island!

According to this site, “This Willys Jeep was brought to Malta by General Dwight D. Eisenhower in July 1943. It was used by the Commander-In-Chief, Allied Forces, Mediterranean during his stay in Malta, preparatory to the invasion of Sicily. He named the jeep “Husky” after the code-name of that operation. Before crossing over to Sicily, General Eisenhower presented the jeep to Air Vice Marshall Sir Keith Park, Air Officer Commanding Malta. This jeep was subsequently used by Franklin D. Roosevelt when the American President visited Malta on December 8, 1943.”

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The Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills, Michigan


Of course, the Walter P. Chrysler Museum has its share of jeeps to display.  Unfortuantely, the museum website doesn’t show any images of Jeeps and, in fact, barely mentions them.  Can anyone provide some feedback on a visit experience to this museum?

TIDBITS: The CJ-3B Page chronicles a 2007 parade of old Willys that dropped by the museum.  Also, a museum-owned 1945 CJ-2A was for sale as of 2008.  I don’t know if it sold or not.

I made a few searches and found a variety of images from the Chrysler Museum.  Here’s a great pic that shows a range of jeeps with a Willys MA in the foreground:

I ran across a variety of images of this MB on the internet:

This is a 1945 VEC CJ-2A:

This is a shot of a Jeepster:

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Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art’s 1952 M-38A1

• CATEGORIES: M-38A1, Museums • TAGS: , .

I located a couple good pics of MOMA’s 1952 M-38A1 which was donated by the DaimlerChrysler Corporation Fund. I would suggest calling ahead to make sure this is still on display if you want to see it.  However, the M-38A1 is not the first jeep to be highlighted by MOMA.  In September of 1951, the Museum of Modern Art in New York decided to exhibit iconic automobile design as pure elements of art & design.  One of the eight vehicles chosen was the M-38, with the description as a “sharply rational vehicle”.  You can read more about that at the Jalopy Journal.

This pic is from a snapper of of NYC images for the NYCPIX blog.  There are some good, everyday sort of pics.  If you’ve spent time in NY, you’ll enjoy this site.

This photo is also from a NYC image blog.

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Malabar Farm’s CJ-2A in Lucas, Ohio

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

Bob forwarded me a pic of a CJ-2A from the Malabar Farm Historic Landmark in the Ohio State Park System for the museum series.

Bob wrote, “Here’s a shot of the Jeep they have down at Malabar Farm near Mansfield, Ohio. Every Sept there is a small gathering of Jeeps there. Louis Bromfield, the property’s former owner, had several Jeeps on the farm during his lifetime. He used them to get around the farm, along with his dog, to supervise farm operations. As a side note, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall were married in the main house on the farm on May 21, 1945.”

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Aberdeen US Army Ordinance Museum, Aberdeen PRV GRD, MD

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums

Continuing with our museum series, Bill Maloney has captured a couple pics of this nicely restored 1943 GPW.

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National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey

• CATEGORIES: Airborne Lightweight Jeeps, Museums • TAGS: , .

I’ve decided to create a new category that tracks the early jeeps located in museums.

Bill Maloney has shot a variety of early jeeps, among other vehicles, that appear in eastern US Museums.  Below are some of the images he has taken at the Militia Museum of New Jersey, in Sea Girt, NJ.  One of the more unique vehicles is the Prototype Extra Light Air Drop (see other lightweight jeeps here). Bill doesn’t provide any info about this particular light weight jeep, however Mark Askew, in his book RARE WW2 JEEP, identifies the vehicle below as a later version of a light weight jeep made my chevrolet.  There is an earlier version of this vehicle that had, at the very least, a slightly different grill and different lights.

Click here to see all of Bill’s 4×4 pics.

Here’s an extended MB Transport Willys (Ok, I don’t really know what the official name for this is).  I assumed these were built special for the Coast Guard?

This is a pilot version of the CJ-2A.  Note the location of the spare tire.

Here is an example of Bantam’s BRC-40.

This is a pic of the Austin Champ:

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Reason #63 for a trip to Italy

• CATEGORIES: Features, Fire/Police/Industry Vehicles, Museums, Old Images, Website

Some of the folks over at the website had a discussion regarding the Museo Storico Piana delle Orme – Latina (Italy).    The museum describes itself as a “historical theme park designed to accommodate one of the largest and most diverse collections in the world: planes, tanks, locomotives, wagons, radio, weapons and hundreds of military vehicles, agricultural tractors, threshers, trams and coaches, tools and thousands of objects of all types and sizes. Dedicated to the twentieth century, the Museum is a journey through 50 years of Italian history. 14 themed to tell the traditions and culture of the peasant, the great works of improvement, the Second World War but also to show the vehicles and means at the dawn of industrialization and great toys with which children entertained themselves.

For the purposes of ewillys, the highlight of the trip might just be the opportunity to check out these two modified flatties a little closer (ok, hopefully we could find many more highlights as well!)

In the foreground, we have a MB that has been converted into a tow truck.  Behind, and to the left, is a jeep with a water tank(?) on the back of it.  Maybe a water transporter?  This photo was taken by “Captain Bill”.

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The Three Wheeled CJ-3A APU

• CATEGORIES: Museums, Unusual • TAGS: , .

UPDATE 2:  Learn More here

UPDATE:  As noted in the article below, these were developed by O. E. Szekely & Associates, who also created the modified CJ-3A for the Navy.  The APU pictured in color below is from the Miramar Marine Corps Air Museum in San Diego.

I keep thinking that I’ve seen all the different jeeps that were ever built.  But nope, here’s another one I’ve not seen before,  discussed on this Argentinian website. Both the pics below and the video are from that website.  It’s really cool!


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Brian goes to Vienna and all we get are jeep pics ;-)

• CATEGORIES: Features, MB, Museums

Brian, who’s now our Visiting European Correspondent (did I mention it’s a volunteer position?), found this beautiful MB in Vienna at the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum while visiting Vienna, Austria.  Brian mentions that this museum of military history contains ‘everything from 1600 on up’ that’s war related.

Brian writes:

“This jeep was extremely clean. It is in such great condition that I wondered if it is a repo-tub.   The only thing missing was the radio that mounts behind the driver.  They indicate this jeep was used for patrols.  Note the four allied flags: Russia, British, American and French; the jeep was issued to all four allied forces policing Austria and the flags denoted that no one country was ruling Austria.”