The September 1961 issue of Hot Rod Magazine included this reader-submitted photo. The owner explained that the jeep did well as a drag racer (in the stock 4cyl class I’m sure) when they weren’t using it as a plow jeep.
In September of 1961, Hot Rod Magazine published this article about the Saleea Al Jemel jeep club’s Sidewinder Cruise (first documented jeep club, formed in 1946) in Southern California. The article covers various V8 upgrades installed in flat fender jeeps, with a focus on Brian Chuchua’s Plymouth V8 install.
Thanks to Keith for the tip about Old Faithful.
Recently, Jeep shot a commercial highlighting a little known fact that a jeep named “Old Faithful” was awarded an honorable Purple Heart for its service in Guadalcanal and Bougainville during WWII (not to be confused with a jeep that was named “Purple Heart“). The jeep was later put on display at the Marine Corps Museum, but, according to an article in Adweek, it disappeared and its whereabouts remain unknown.
The September/October 1944 Army Ordinance reported on Old Faithful:
Old Faithful was a Willys built jeep that served four Marine generals through the Guadalcanal campaign and the Bougainville invasion. Old Faithful was officially awarded the Purple Heart for “wounds”–two shrapnel holes in its windshield received during the Jap battleship shelling of Guadalcanal on October 13, 1942.
Old Faithful, the first American vehicle ever to be so decorated, was retired from active service by official Marine Corps order on December 22, 1943. Faithful to the last, this jeep’s motor, which has never been overhauled, purrs as smoothly today as it did on the historic day of August 7, 1942, when it first rolled onto Guadalcanal’s famous Lunga Beach. During its duty in the Pacific area,
Old Faithful served as official car for many distinguished leaders, including the late Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, Adms. Chester Nimitz and William F. Halsey, Vice Adms. A.W. Fitch, and J.S. McCain, Marine Corps Commandant Lieut. Gen. Thomas Holcomb, his successor Lieut, Gen A.A. Vandegrift, and many others. In 1944, Old Faithful, after a long journey, arrived in heaven and now reposes in the Marine Corps Museum at the Marine Corps Air Station Quantico, Va.
Also in 1944, the Marine Corps Chevron included this photo and article on “Old Faithful”:
Battle-Worn Jeep Back In U. S. On Bond Tour
“Old Faithful,” first Marine jeep to be landed on Guadalcanal and among the first on Bougainville, was exhibited at the Plaza War Bond center in downtown San Diego this week in connection with the Filipino Day program.
The jeep was retired on Bougainville recently after having traveled more than 11,000 miles of jungle terrain as a command car. During its 18 months’ service “Old Faithful” served four Marine generals as well as carrying every ranking Marine officer and visiting official on the two battle-torn islands.
Previously, the jeep had been awarded a “Purple Heart” for holes in its windshield, received when a Jap battleship shelled Guadalcanal. It is on its way toward becoming a museum piece at the Marine Corps Museum, Quantico.
Here’s another photo of Kent Frost and his CJ-5 at the Needles in Canyonlands National Park, probably before it was a park.
This Utah State Historical Society photo by Jack Breed from 1949 is just beautiful! Three unidentified men are standing around a National Geographic Society Jeep, part of a Society exploration party into southern Utah. They are observing the site called “Crossing of the Fathers” at the Colorado River. I shared a color version of this photo back in 2013, but the black and white photo is equally beautiful.
As a former Utahn, I found this video interesting. I never knew that Mexican Hat was named for a rock formation (but I’ve only been through there once). The video is a half hour. To view it, click the photo below. Then, click the “Play” button.
Travelogue produced and narrated by Al Morton for San Juan County, Utah, in 1961. It covers the scenic sights of San Juan County, including Rainbow Bridge, Looking Glass Rock, Monticello, Blanding, Bluff, Recapture Canyon, the Valley of the Gods, Mexican Hat, the Goosenecks of the San Juan, Monument Valley; Hovenweep National Monument; Newspaper Rock; Natural Bridges National Monument; the Canyonlands Needles area, Angel Arch, and Dead Horse Point. A significant portion of the film involves a Jeep tour run by Kent and Fern Frost. Includes references to local industries, the Navajo Indians, and the settlement by the San Juan Mission in 1878-1879. Run time: 30 minutes, 3 seconds;
This 1963 photo shows a jeep exploring the Needles area in anticipation of Canyonlands National Park. The park was established in 1964.
UPDATE: Originally published 12/13/2011
Bruce provided this research on Surreys and found a picture of this very rare Surrey. Of the DJ-5 Surrey he writes, Only 30 were built on what looks like the dj platform. It looks to be 2wd using the full ‘JEEP’ wheel cover, rear spare, steps, 60/40 seats up front & rear seat, daffodil yellow & white interior & candy striped yellow & white top w/fringe.
According to the Saskkatoon Star Phoenix June 17 1968: “For many years a familiar sight south of the border particularly at southern hotels & resorts, the ‘Jeep’ Surrey has been introduced to Canada, Kaiser Jeep of Canada Limited, Windsor, Ont has produced 30 for a special program. Painted daffodil yellow & white interior, its chief characteristic is a yellow & white candy striped fringe top. It can also be outfitted w/fully-enclosing convertible top for winter motoring.”
For five days in July of 1961, then-Interior Secretary Stewart Udall, Canyonland-legend Kent Frost, and a posse of government folks toured the Caynyonlands area by jeep, boat and helicopter. The huge tour was Udall’s idea, which probably explains why National Geographic was invited on the trip. Udall’s efforts paid off with Utah Democratic Senator Frank Moss proposing Canyonlands National Park (learn more here). The bill was signed on September 12, 1964. What an amazing trip that must have been.
The National Geographic published the story in the May 1962 issue under the title, Cities of Stone in Utah’s Canyonland. The magazine only published one jeep photo, but they did include a map with tiny jeeps showing the route taken.
This 1955 article in the 1955 July/August issue of Willys News covered the recently completed Jeep Jamboree. The author reported that as part of an awards ceremony, the award for the oldest passenger went 68 year-old Mike Millard who was a former Rubicon Springs-Lake Tahoe stage coach driver. He must have had some great stories!
On another front, compare photo #5 to an original at the online archive of California. There it is dated 1958. Given this appears in a 1955 Willys News I’d say their date is incorrect.
These old photos I bought off of eBay show aren’t the best. They capture a weekend of jeeping somewhere in California, possibly the Rubicon.
The Toledo Blade published this story November 27, 1953. I wish the photos were better. Interestingly, the article doesn’t mention the Zamboni name at all.
The CJ-3B page does a good job covering the history of Operation Pineapple, a 1955 trip by three Sao Paulo Boy Scouts: Hugo Vidal, Charles Downey, and Jan Stekly. You can read everything about it here: http://cj3b.info/Finds/FindsPineapple.html. The Allpar site has additional information and a later photo of Hugo: http://www.allpar.com/racing/road-rally/operation-pineapple.html
Adding to those links, I have found a couple additional photos and more information about the trip. The first photo was published in the September 1955 issue of Willys News:
California’s Lodi News-Sentinel published a story about the last leg of their trip on January 18, 1956.
943 Press Photo Boys Clubs Collect Pennies to Buy a Jeep For the Army
This is an original press photo. Photo measures 9 x 7.25inches. Photo is dated 01-21-1943.”
First published (03/24/2011): A reader named Alan found these these classic jeeping images from the Four Corners area of the Southwest while scanning some slides, taken while on a jeep trip in 1961. Not only are the colors wonderful, but quality of the shots are fantastic. The slides came from Alan’s father-in-law and the CJ-3A, the yellow jeep in image 2, was his father-in-law’s father’s jeep. I will publish a couple more posts with more pictures later this week.
When I lived in Utah, I used to travel down to the Moab area, find a piece of slickrock (similar to the type of rock the jeep below is traveling down), throw my sleeping bag on a flat surface, and fall asleep under the stars (and there are lots of visible stars down there). At sunbreak in the morning, the light would cause the slickrock to turn intense reddish colors. Southern Utah is one of my favorite places to explore.
First published 09/02/2012: The February 1948 Issue of Popular Mechanics Magazine published this fascinating look at the Bountiful City Jeep Posse, an organization that worked as a volunteer Search and Rescue and Fire Fighting group out of Bountiful, Utah. Started in 1946, the organization is still in existence.
I found this article that provides additional history from the 2006 in the Deseret News. Though they own fewer jeeps and have more trucks, they are still helping their community. I’ve contacted the newspaper to see if I can communicate with the members to get some more information about them and, possibly, some additional jeep pictures.
The Images below all come from the Popular Mechanics Magazine article. Note the jeep in the background of the bottom image on page 3 has a full cage, the earliest example of a full cage I’ve seen.
Following the article, I’ve included pics of two ads, too.
Some neat photos from some Colorado Jeepers.
UPDATE: It looks like a few of these photos are reversed, especially the one below.
Frazier discovered these 1962 Canyonlands trip photos within the digital archives of the University of Utah. He’s a big Landrover fan, but also has a soft spot for old jeeps, too.
He wrote, “I thought you might be interested in these pictures I found in the University Of Utah’s digital library. They were taken during the filming of “The Sculptured Earth”, which was a film to promote the creation of Canyonlands National Park. You’ll have to excuse the university watermarks, but they are some pretty great shots.. (and yes, as you’ve probably found out by my email I’m a huge Land Rover fan…. But I have a deep obsession/respect for the vehicle that started it all!)”
According the to the University of Utah, The Sculptured Earth (see the photos below and more here)” was a 45-minute film promoting the creation of Canyonlands National Park, produced by Charles Eggert in 1962 at the request of Interior Secretary Stewart Udall and the National Park Service.
This jeep looks more like a mobile home than a fighting vehicle. The soldiers are located on Tarakan Island.
“A VERY STUNNING ORIGINAL WW2 PRESS PHOTO THAT MEASURES 21CM BY 17CM DETAILED INFORMATION ON THE BACK PLEASE CONTACT WITH ANY QUESTIONS WILL BE LISTING SIMILAR ITEMS”
Dan spotted this Flickr thread that shows old photos from the Hemet Jeep Club. There are also multiple photos of a great looking CJ-5 with an unusual bumper setup. You might remember these great LIfe Magazine photos from a 1949 Hemet Jeep Club Anza Calvacade.
Here is a link to view the old photos Dan found (you have to browse between the photos to see all the old jeep pics). I’ve copied a few of the photos to share below:
I’ll be doing updates during the day at some point Sunday. Until then, here’s a photo from a jeep trip we took during Memorial Day Weekend, 1981. I believe it was taken somewhere on the east side of the mountains probably in the hills above Cle Elum. I was 16 at the time and dad was letting me drive most of the trip, so I was having fun. Our CJ-5 is on the left. Click on the photo to make it bigger.
It’s a dirty business, but hunting down jeep stories takes me through all types of content. In this case, I had to search through several pages of bare female breasts and bodies until I found this story about a Yakima Jeep Rodeo from the March 1959 issue of Modern Man. I can report that accompanying the enthusiastic models were several other interesting stories . . .
I found this jeep related article in a School Bulletin from 1968. Not a lot of information, but I thought it was interesting it was there in the first place. It documents a trip into the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in New Mexico.
This National Four Wheel Drive Association Photo appeared in the February 1964 issue of Four Wheeler Magazine near the back cover.
Here’s a second set of Jeeping negatives from Borrego, CA.
“This auction is for TWELVE original, vintage an early c.1950’s B/W film photo negatives showing people with old cars, Jeeps on Anza Borrego desert in San Diego
,or Imperial County.The negative was converted to positive to see the image.”