Reader Stories Research Archives

To Top

Greg’s 1956 DJ-3A Makeover

• CATEGORIES: Features, Reader Stories This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Greg tells me that a few years ago he was half-heartedly looking for a flat fender when found an old, modified (or perhaps more accurately hacked up) 1956 DJ-3A for sale. He bought it and began a complete refurbishing of the jeep into something he could dependably drive on-road and off-road. He credits Randy Ellers, his boys, and eWillys for a variety of the ideas he employed in his rebuild. The real credit goes to Greg himself, as it looks like he’s done some great work on this rig.


Greg writes, “I had been seeking a flat fender Willys off and on for several years, and had taken to surfing several jeep sites on the net in search of a suitable candidate for my goals.

I wanted something that I could keep true to the character of the Willys, but improve on the dependability and capability over time. When I found my jeep, the condition of the body is primarily what attracted me. The body was in better than typical shape for its age and I thought it would be a good start point for my vision. In fact I thought it would be roadworthy enough to make it a long term project while having fun jeeping it as I enhanced things.


As purchased, it was a 1956 DJ3A body on a late CJ3A chassis with an owner built roll cage, Vintage 8000# Ramsey winch, 10.50 x 31 Michelin tires on 7×15 wheels. After service as a runabout delivery vehicle in/around Auburn, AL, it eventually became an unlicensed farm vehicle for many years. Evidently the original hard top can be credited with limiting typical rust damage.

Shortly after I got it, I rebuilt both the three speed and transfer case. I also found a full set of 4 NOS 11” brakes to significantly improve stopping power. Soon after, I discovered the engine block was cracked so the search for acceptable re-power was on. Ultimately the Chevy 4.3L Vortec and TH350 transmission got the nod.


Over the course of the past 5 years or so, I’ve essentially gotten the jeep close to where I want it both in character appearance and performance. I’ve had it on a few club and Jeep Jamboree events and to date it continues to impress me. While it doesn’t have the creature comforts or modern flex suspension of the newer jeeps, it still does rather well on the trails, and we have loads of fun with it.

Continue reading

To Top

Forest Hill Lodge & Cabins Lake George, NY

• CATEGORIES: Features, Reader Stories This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.


Kevin Morgan shared photos of his 1947 CJ-2A that he purchased through eWillys. He bought it in the fall of 2013 and spent the winter restoring it. After purchasing the jeep, he happened to find a trailer, which he refurbished to match the jeep. Not only does he enjoy driving his jeep, but it also doubles as advertising for a lodge he recently purchased and operates in Lake George, New York. He’s hoping some day to have a Willys meet there. If you are interested in such an event, comment below or send me an email and I’ll forward it to Kevin.


Here is Kevin’s description of the lodge: Our lodge is 1950’s vintage with a mix of cabins and suites that we purchased this Spring and have been renovating (check us out at It’s Adirondack style, rustic and cozy, and we want to attract people who enjoy campfires and slowing life down a little.forest-hill-lodge-cabins-ny3 forest-hill-lodge-cabins-ny4

To Top

Doug’s ‘New’ 1972 CJ-6

• CATEGORIES: Features, Reader Stories This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Doug picked up this CJ-6 recently. As you can see, this is an example of a jeep that was nicer than the pics taken by the seller. It’s a really good looking jeep, especially with those hurricane rims 🙂

These are the new pics. Doug was able to get some good cloudy-day photos that helped show just how nice the paint is.

New Photos:

cj6-doug-4 cj6-doug-3 cj6-doug-2

Old photos: Between the shadows and the lack of closeups, it’s hard to tell just how nice the paint really is.


Continue reading

To Top

Gerald’s Summer Muddin’

• CATEGORIES: Features, Reader Stories This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Gerald got out with his kids for some summer four wheeling in Pennsylvania. Looks like he had a good time in the mud. It starts out pretty . . .

summer-2014-gerald1 summer-2014-gerald2 summer-2014-gerald3 summer-2014-gerald4


To Top

The King Family Jeep Tour

• CATEGORIES: Features, Reader Stories This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Jason and his family enjoyed a family jeep outing last weekend.

He writes, “Last Saturday was our 4th annual family jeep rally through Parke County, Indiana (covered bridge capital).  Attached are some photos for your use.  The trip was a 30 mile round trip that took us through Bridgeton, IN.  The Bridgeton Mill just happened to be making flour the same day.  We anticipate twice as many jeeps next year to join in the trip.  Each year we pick a different route that includes another bridge. We passed three on our trip this year.







To Top

Knardly Rolls gets Busted — Sort of

• CATEGORIES: Features, Reader Stories • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Most of you are familiar with Paul’s stainless M-38 project that’s going on its 26th (?) year (He’s almost done). However, according to the City of Miami, the project is roaming the streets of Florida. I’ll let Paul explain.

For many years my friends have been asking me when the stainless Willys would be back on the road. Thru the years I tried to offer an accurate estimate of when I thought (or hoped) the Willys would be back together but as each deadline passed I realized my completion plans were wildly optimistic. Until today.

I just received official notice from the United States Post Office that not only is my Willys runnable, but during the first week of May 2014 my Jeep was cruising southbound on Biscayne Boulevard in Florida!

How cool is that? I feel like a putz, I had no idea I was finished with my long term rebuild but I can live with that. What really bothers me is my Willys went cruising without me, geeze after all I’ve done for my Jeep I’m quickly cast aside like a used kleenex when it’s time to play. Unfortunately my Willys had a bit too much fun and ended up running a red light. I know things happen and all that but now the city of North Miami wants me to send them $158.00 just because my little Willys turned renegade. There’s even an official photo recording this illegal event. Zowie!

I’m sure this ticket is real, it’s from: City of North Miami

Intersection Safety Program
PO Box 22091
Tempe, AZ 85285-2091

If that’s not enough to convince you I’m supposed to pay the fine to: City of North Miami

Payment Processing Center
PO Box 742527
Cincinnati, OH 45274-2527


And best of all the official driving infraction photo doesn’t show a Willys, the vehicle isn’t green (the old body color was OD but the local DMV called it green) and the license photo shows a different license plate design that what’s on my Willys so what’s an owner to do? I feel so cheap and used. I gave this Willys the best years of my life, I ate the cheap cuts of macaroni so I could purchase the parts necessary for rebuilding my Jeep, I stayed late in the garage ignoring friends just so I could have quality time with my Willys and this is what I get? My innocent Willys has turned Renegade and left me for a good time in sunny Florida so here I sit staring out the window watching fresh snow being deposited on the mountains!

My heart is broken, I’ll never be able to trust my Willys again. Yes I heard the often repeated stories about how your Willys will turn on you, how the good times will roll until someone better comes along but I didn’t believe this. I told my friends my Willys was different, my Willys is loyal and my Willys would never get into trouble. I’m so ashamed my Willys is like all the rest, just out for a good time and forget about everything else.

A word of warning to all who read these words…

Your Willys will get you into trouble!

Thank you

A very sad Paul Bierman

To Top

Scott & his Wagon’s Movie Adventure

• CATEGORIES: Features, Reader Stories, Willys Wagons This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Scott’s pre-movie wagon. Note the temporary passenger window.

Scott from Cincinnati shares his experience about the use of his Willys Wagon for a major motion picture. For him it was a positive experience. Thanks to Scott for creating this post!

In early march of this year I was contacted by a production co., showing an interest in pre 1955 vehicles for an upcoming movie to be filmed locally called Carol and starring Kate Blanchett. Apparently Cincinnati’s history and architecture is commonly used as a backdrop to post war NYC. I sent them some pictures and explained that my willys was in running condition and a few days later they called and offered to wrap the vehicle to use it as a prop NYC postal delivery truck.


US Mail Wagon and Dj-5 Mail Jeep


This green color is what they selected.

I sent more pictures and soon had a proof of their final rendering. To my surprise the scenes involving my wagon were less than two weeks away. After not hearing from my contact for a few days, I reached out and was, sadly, informed that the wrap contractor wasn’t able to meet the production schedule.

Somehow the conversation turned to paint as a possibility. Later that evening she found a body shop willing to do the job in less than a week on their dime. Coincidentally the paint color in the rendering was close enough to get them to agree to a very similar Woodstock green to factory.

The following morning I drove the willys there and inspected their facilities and current projects, a berlinetta here, a classics Mercedes there and even a frame off corvair, obviously they were overqualified for the job at hand. Initially the shop was hesitant to take the project on, after they realized how much metal, body and prep would be required. I agreed to furnish all necessary hard parts at my cost and they would provide the paint, as agreed with the production company.


Thanks to Willys Overland for supplying this wagon sheet metal!

So how do you find new sheet metal overnight? After many hours calling the usual suspects, whom all agreed that a driver’s quarter panel was too big for overnight delivery no matter the cost, I finally found an ohio willys parts retailer and they promised to have it for pickup in the morning. A buddy agreed to drive to Toledo and pick up the parts and, of course, walcks came through for all of the remaining soft parts and seals needed a few days later, after paint. That Saturday I visited the willys in the paint booth and let’s just say I was speechless. On Monday the production folks were going to the shop to apply their temporary decals and special effects, with filing to occur the next day. 

Continue reading

To Top

Dennis Drives Across the US in his CJ-2A

• CATEGORIES: Features, Reader Stories This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

2014-dennis-trip-across-usDennis recently moved from Ohio to Astoria, Oregon. A few weeks ago he decided to drive his CJ-2A (w/out an overdrive no less) the entire way. He had a few hiccups along the way, but otherwise arrived safely. You can ready the entire post from the CJ-2A Page here:


To Top

Jason’s Family’s Jeep Trips through Indiana

• CATEGORIES: Features, Reader Stories This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Jason emailed me the other day asking about some wiring specs for a Jeepster. Thanks to Colin’s wiring diagram, his father got a Jeepster running that hadn’t idled in thirty years.

Jason and his family own a variety of jeeps. Each year as a family they take a drive through Parke County, Indiana (Covered Bridge Capital) on Memorial Day Weekend. Sounds like fun! Here are a few pics:

Jeep_1 Jeep_2



To Top

Jake’s jeep ‘Lil Beasty’

• CATEGORIES: Features, Reader Stories • TAGS: , This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Jake’s jeep was handed down from his grandfather to his uncle and now to him. As you can see, it had undergone some unique modifications. Jake decided to refurbish the jeep, saving what he could of the modifications while returning other portions to a more stock look. I think it looks great. You can view higher resolution photos of this project here:

Here’s Jake’s story:


Lil Beasty inside a gymnasium following its makeover.

Please as you read this take note of the doors, tub, tailgate, fenders, bumpers, windshield, cab, cab seat and maybe some other little things. I know the end product is not a STOCK cj2a but it looks good. I am trying to get info on who might have done this awesome metal work job 50+ years ago. Thanks for any info anyone can give me. 🙂

Okay, here is what I know about my great grandpa’s jeep. It is titled as a 1946 cj2a. Has the overhead valve f 134 engine in it. Had a column shift tranny but the side shifters have been welded so they cant move and a floor shifter was added. I was told he got the jeep in the 70s from a gas station in Michigan. He used it for 25 years to plow snow at a church. The plow that was used is shown in picture 1.


When he passed away my great uncle got the jeep and it sat in a barn for at least 10 years.—pictures 2-4a show this—.

jake-cj-2 jake-cj-3 jake-cj-4

We loaded the jeep up back on 2009 and that is when the project began. The jeep appears to have a custom body. Except the grill. We gt the jeep home and noticed it had heavy gauge steel. Everything is thicker then it should be except the grill.— thick fenders, body, doors and hood. They look to have been custom made by someone who knew what they where doing.

Continue reading

To Top

The Johnson’s 2014 Moab Adventure

• CATEGORIES: Features, Reader Stories This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Jim provided a report on his family’s 2014 Moab adventure.

He writes, “Here are some pics of our adventures at the Easter Jeep Safari. We all faired pretty good. The 1953 CJ-3B ended up breaking a rear axle on Kane creek, but with Russ’s many years of Willys driving experience he was able to finish the trail with it. The 1947 CJ-2A blew the balls out of the front axle but due to Jakes finely tuned Willys repair knowledge he was able to make a quick repair. And my 1962 CJ-5 suffered and broken headlight and a scratch down the side from a scrub oak.(that’s what I get for wheelin and texting). All in all it was a great trip and we can’t wait for next year.”

2014-moab-jim1 2014-moab-jim2 2014-moab-jim3 2014-moab-jim4

To Top

Robert and His Father’s Rebuild

• CATEGORIES: Features, Reader Stories This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Robert sent this wonderful note to me. He asked me to share it in case it motivates others with their projects.


My name is Robert and I am writing to thank you for hosting ewillys because it has had a great impact on my life. My father and I decided to get away from the rock crawling scene and build an old willys jeep with a small block Chevy motor because my father was a GM mechanic in the 80’s. However, being from Pennsylvania almost all old jeeps have fallen victim to the rust of the northeast, and as a result, finding a willys worth having was no easy task. After several failed trips to purchase potential projects I stumbled onto ewillys and my father and we decided to purchase a jeep from the west coast.

My father called on over 50 ads from your site and eventually got a call back from the owner of a 1942 GPW with a SBC 305 in Portland, Oregon. The seller was willing to deal with shipping the jeep! Therefore, in early December of 2010, we blindly purchased the jeep sight unseen and prayed it would eventually arrive at the house. The jeep arrived at our house in Pennsylvania a few days before Christmas! The truck driver spoke very little English, but did advise that the jeep ran very poorly and had almost no brakes at all. However, a few negatives could not overcome to excitement my father and I shared upon confirmation that we had not wired some stranger thousands of dollars for a mythical willys, and the jeep was wonderful.


After the long awaited arrival of the GPW we decided to that even though the gas tank said “remove from boat when fueling,” and the seats were mounted on handy angle we would test the brakes and drive the jeep if at all possible. We determined that we could take a short drive down the cul-de-sac since I could not physically push the jeep when the brakes were applied. As we drove in front of the house the transmission was screaming louder than the motor and steering column was far from safe. That being said, we had to see what a barely running 305 would do in the light willys jeep. Therefore, taking the condition of the jeep into consideration it felt like we were flying when we came back past the house. We began to slow the jeep far before the stop sign and made the turn into our drive way to end our first drive. To our surprise, when my father depressed the clutch pedal to the floor the clutch did not disengage, and as you can imagine this quickly became problematic because the one brake that was sort of working could not even begin to slow the v8. This put us on a crash course with the garage door! Fortunately, my dad is quick on his feet and killed the ignition in the nick of time which allowed us to stop before hitting the house.


Continue reading

To Top

Sebastian’s Story at the CJ-3B Page

• CATEGORIES: Features, Reader Stories This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Derek just posted a great story Sebastian wrote titled “Three Willys Jeeps and 2,500 Miles in Between. It covers his life with jeeps, both in Colombia and in the U.S., and includes lots of great photos.


To Top

Ed Wilson’s Jeeps

• CATEGORIES: Features, Reader Stories This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

You may remember Ed Wilson’s father’s Egypt photos from yesterday. Well, Ed’s got a couple jeeps himself (a 1962 CJ-5 and a 1947 CJ-2A). Both have an unusual story.

Ed reports from Canada, “This is my first jeep that I got almost 20 years ago and have still not completed a restoration. Long story… but when I was buying it I was in the owners home looking at original photos in an album. I was very focused on the purchase and pictures, but then realized that I was in a room surrounded by gold records on the wall! It turns out, I was sitting on Bryan Adams bed in his bedroom of his family’s house. I ended up having a long talk with his mom and step dad.”


Here is the picture of my jeep with Bryan Adams step dad and his wife…not Bryan Adams mom the day of purchase. Note the winch.


This is after some use.


Now it’s ready for some work.

Ed’s second jeep is a 1947 CJ-2A. He writes, “My 47 cj2a has an interesting story as well. I purchased it from a guy that worked all his life in his dad’s jeep dealership. He has had a jeepster all his driving life and you can find a picture of it and his story in the link below. It is also a Kelowna jeep. His dad was named “Mr. Jeep” by Willys. You can learn more about “Mr. Jeep” by reading this story about “Mr. Jeep’s” first Jeepster (that he still owns):

To Top

1955 Jeep Journey to Hole-in-the-Rock in Utah

• CATEGORIES: Features, Reader Stories This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

The author is leaning on his white CJ-3A. I do not know the author’s name (but would like to know).

I stumbled across this neat forum article about a group of friends who decided to check out Hole-in-the-Rock, Utah, in 1955 after reading a National Geographic article (probably this one). So, in a fleet of three vehicles (looks like a 1949 CJ-3A, a CJ-3B, and a MB/GPW), they set off from Los Alamos, NM and drove to Escalante, Utah, before venturing into the Hole-in-the-rock area. Most of the photos that were taken are in areas now under the water of Lake Powell.

According to the article’s author, “My jeep was a 1949 CJ3 and it was a wreck when I got it. I think it had never been lubricated. I had to replace all the universal joints and overhaul the engine. The cab was aluminum and I bought it at Sears. The red jeep was an old military model. My friend had bought it and built a wooden cab for it himself.”

I wanted to contact the author of this story, but I can’t figure out how to register (says registration is closed) to the forum. Furthermore, I can’t figure out to contact an administrator. I’d like to contact the guy (he was 94 as of 2007 — likely passed away by now), because he doesn’t know what to do with the photos he’s taken.

The author’s notes in a separate post, “I wish I knew some historical society or such that would be interested in the slides I have. None of my relatives and friends are interested in these things. I suppose eventually they will be put in a big cardboard box and auctioned off for a high bid of $1.”

Since that was his wish, I’m going to preserve his story in total here, so I’ve post it below. You can see the original post here: along with the follow up comments.


Kaiparowits Plateau: A journey from the archives to Hole -in-the-Rock Crossing 1955

This trip was inspired from a National Geographic article in the 1950s. This magazine had several articles on little known areas of the southwest. Most were in very isolated areas with few, if any roads and trails.

A party of three Jeeps set out from Los Alamos NM to Escalante Utah. We arrived in Escalante about noon time, and then proceeded to find our way to the Hole in the Rock crossing. So named because early Mormon Pioneers lowered wagons and horses to the Colorado River, and then rafted across the river at this point.

Leaving Escalante we headed off in a South-easterly direction. The maps we had showed the distance to be approximately 50 miles.

We passed some remarkable formations, This was known as Dance Hall Rock. Locals had dances here periodically.


The Dance Hall Rock in Utah, 1955

After awhile we came to the dreaded fork in the road. As we debated which fork to take, a man appeared on horseback. He asked if we knew where we were going, we said we knew where we wanted to go, but not how to get there. He gave us directions, and on we went. He neglected to tell us what obstacles we would find. After several miles, we came to an enormous outcrop of slick rock, and the tracks we were following ended there. It was obvious that we had to cross the rock, We did that rather easily.


Continue reading

To Top

Juan’s Grandson’s New (old) Pedal Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, Reader Stories This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Juan showing his grandson a CJ-3B. Juan is passing on the joy of jeeps.

Juan shared this neat story about restoring a pedal jeep for his grandson Francisco. The email was written in Spanish, so I translated it as best as I could.

Juan writes, I am pleased to talk to you about something incredible that happened to me.  A few days ago a jeep friend, Alejandro Galvan, messaged me, telling me that there was a pedal jeep for sale in acoatepec  bazaar. They were selling a pedal jeep like the one my parents gave me when I was almost two years old.

The next day my brother and I went to see it. We bought it, cleaned it and compared it with a photo of my toy jeep from 60 years ago. We were surprised to discover that it is identical, except for a few modifications such as different tires tires and a windshield. I plan to ask the person who sold me if they know the source. Maybe there’ s a chance it was originally my very own toy. How amazing that would be!

Since my grandson just turned on year old and it was his Catholic baptism, we gave it to him. To my great astonishment, when my grandson saw it I could see in his eyes the joy. After the celebration, my brother and myself began restoring it to look like my pedal jeep. I’m very pleased with the way it turned out. Warmest regards from Coatepec, Veracruz, Mexico.

BEFORE RESTORATION: You can see the photos of Juan’s original pedal jeep in the photos in the first picture.




AFTER RESTORATION: (I wish I’d had one of those as a kid!)



To Top

By Jeep to Freedom: Woolf Blint’s Amazing Tale from WWII

• CATEGORIES: Books, Features, Reader Stories This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

UPDATE 2: This is a hard book to find.

UPDATE: I just finished reading this book.  I was hooked from page 1.  It’s an amazing tale about a man who starts the war in Norway as a Commando whose team is trying to disrupt Nazi attempts to create an Atomic bomb.  Soon, he is fighting in North Africa, where he becomes a POW.  Eventually he escapes and becomes a medic at the Russian front for the Russians as they advance westward.  Some of the details are surprising and unexpected.  While with the Russians he finds a jeep.  Commandeering it, he begins a risky trek westward with a questionable priest. 

Copies of the book can be found:

By Jeep to Freedom on Amazon

As part of the original post, I found this blog entry related to Woolfs jeep journey.

To Top

Vintage Racing Photos

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features, Reader Stories • TAGS: , , This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Ed Bray and his parents raced jeeps for years throughout the West. They built two Fiberglass Bobcat bodied race jeeps. In fact the family was friends with both Paul Parker (Parkette Fiberglass Body manufacturer) and Fred Weis (Bobcat Fiberglass body Manufacturer).

Their first jeep with a bobcat body was built on a military frame and powered by a 327 with 365 HP.  Below is Ed’s mother at the start of a race in Calgary where she won an obstacle race. A year ago Ed spotted this jeep, still powered by the same motor (he recognized the sound), driving in Spanaway, Washington.

My beautiful pictureThe next jeep the family built in 1976 started with a factory ordered CJ-7 frame. They stretched a Bobcat body 13″ and installed a Chevy 350/350 LT1 motor set back 8″ with a B&M Turbo 400 w/reverse manual shifter. They added a Wagoner 44 in the rear and a Scout 44 in the front. They raced the jeep in SCORE events, ran the Mint 400 four times, and tried the BAJA 500 in 1980, but DNF’d.  The first picture below is from Riverside and the second from the Mint 400.

riversite-flattie-ed-bray mint-400-flattie-ed-brayEd’s father Don died in 2001. Ed has been refurbishing the family CJ-3A that started it all.


To Top

Sandy Nearly Crunches Ted’s Plow Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, Reader Stories This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Ted’s CJ-5 was narrowly spared by Hurricane Sandy. Great pics!

Ted writes, “Hey Dave, here’s a few shots of a huge tree that came down during Sandy and almost got my new plow truck. I almost moved the CJ and my dump truck in back round before storm but never got to it. I got real lucky, the little CJ pushed her way through three and two feet deep snow storms later in the year!!!”



To Top

J.B. Martin: St. Bernard and His Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, Reader Stories This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Jim forwarded this wonderful story to Derek who forwarded it to me. It’s a heart warming tale of a man and his jeep told by the man’s daughter. A mechanic by trade, J.B. Martin, from Richmond, Missouri, drove a ‘beefed up’ 1945 MB. According the article he is credited with taking “children home in a snowstorm, a doctor to a snow-bound rural home, his family for bobsled rides, and in two days got around 60 cars started.”


J.B. Martin and his jeep. Photo from the Richmond Daily News — Richmond, MO

To Top

Always FOLLOW a Half Track . . .

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features, M-38, Reader Stories • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Paul forwarded these pics to consider. The moral is, always follow a half track!

Last Saturday I visited the local military vehicle show and I saw an amazing sight.  Among the various military trucks, Jeeps and one half track on display there was a Willys  M 38 which had suffered a bit of body damage when the previously mentioned half track didn’t quite stop soon enough.  I don’t know the reason for the meeting of these vehicles but the attached pictures show the results of contact between one very light and one very heavy military rig.  The poor M 38 got the worst of this bump but the half track also suffered when it received a scratch in the paint on the front drum.  Sad to see but I don’t believe anyone was hurt.”

m38-halftrack-rear-ended1 m38-halftrack-rear-ended2 m38-halftrack-rear-ended3

To Top

How to stop a Jeep with a Ping Pong Ball …

• CATEGORIES: Features, News, Reader Stories This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

This was first published July 2, 2010.

A reader named Sam called me today.  He told me he had a great story to share.  Hopefully, I’ve remembered most of it correctly.

For a little background, Sam is retired after a lifetime of building hotrods, drag racing and owning a shop in Sacramento, but now operates a small flattie-oriented shop in Arvada, Colorado, where he fixes, modifies and maintains Willys (and probably a few other vehicles) for fun.  I’ll be explaining more about Sam (and some of his great suggestions) in a future post, but for now you have enough information to understand why a Jeep owner, in some distress, had his Jeep towed to Sam’s shop to investigate a problem.

And now to Sam’s story … The owner of this willys had tried to drive his jeep to work, but the jeep stopped working while driving down the road.  So, the owner pulled to the side of the road, waited a moment, and started it up again.  Sure enough, it fired up and the owner drove onwards.

Another few miles down the road the jeep shutoff again.  So, the owner repeated the process:  pull over, restart, and continue onwards.

At some point, this re-occuring process became too much for the owner to bare, so he called a towing company and had his jeep towed to Sam’s.

So, Sam looks the jeep over.  He starts it up and, sure enough, after a little while it shuts down.  He knows it has an electric fuel pump and suspects that could be causing a problem, so he unhooks the hose from the carb and points it into a gas can.  Then, he turns on the fuel pump.  Sure enough, after a little while, the fuel dribbles to a stop, yet he can hear pump still pumping ….. hmmmm, Sam thinks to himself.

He decides to try an experiment.  He knows the owner only fills the tank to half full, because if the tank gets too full gas leaches out of somewhere (I can’t remember where Sam said  it leaked).

Sam decides to fill up the tank all the way, because he suspects there might be something in the tank.  Sure enough, he fills up the tank and out pops not one, not two, but three ping pong balls.

As Sam explains it,  the sucking power of the fuel pump was pulling the ping pong balls to the outlet area of the tank(where the fuel line connects), stopping the fuel from exiting the tank, which shut down the jeep.

How’d the ping pong balls get there?  Well, that still remains a mystery ….

So, the moral of this story is that even the mightiest jeep can be humbled by an even mightier ping pong ball.  And, a side moral, is that buying a locking gas cap is a pretty good idea.

To Top

‘Blitz’ Rides Again!

• CATEGORIES: Features, Reader Stories This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

John told me that his dog Blitz loves riding on his CJ-3A.

He writes, “I take my dog for a ride almost every day. He likes to ride on the hood. It’s the funniest thing. People wave,point and smile. I even had one lady follow me and stop me to take a pic. I think that dam dog likes willys more then me.”


To Top

Lake Jeeping from 2010 in Spooner, WI

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPA (SEEP), Reader Stories This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Louie asked me if I’d be interested in some pictures from the 2010 Redbull Historic Military Club gathering, which included jeeps, seeps and floating trailers. I did not know those Bantam trailers floated so well!


Louie writes, “For a number of years a military collector ( Kevin Kronland of Spooner Wi.) held a 3 day event at his Cranberry farm. He had almost 100 vehicles of his own and our Redbull Historic Military Club would attend with about another 50 to 100 vehicles. Of course we all had a great time showing ,driving,and talking about our vehicles. He had a DUCK, a GPA, and other collectors brought there am fibs to run in his cranberry pond. (A real lake.)





Continue reading

To Top

A CJ-3A Barn Find with only 6,000 Miles

• CATEGORIES: Features, Reader Stories This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

A reader shared the following story about stumbling on a barn find somewhere in the Southeast. This is just a reminder that there are still some great finds out there . . .

My son and I went for a drive yesterday. Weather was sunny and warm. We stopped to get gas and decided were to go: a nearby town we hadn’t visited in a while. As we went through town, then turned down a side street that took us to the outskirts of town. The road was lined with old shacks and barns. As we passed by an old church, out of the corner of my eye I spotted two headlights and a slotted grill tucked in a old falling down barn. I immediately hit the brakes, turned around, and stopped to look. There was a older man in the yard.
I asked him if that was an old willys.
He said, “ya a 1953. It has 6,000 miles on it.”
“Can we take a look?”
He said, “sure!”
The old man explained to us he had traded a tractor back in 55 for it. He drove it for a year and parked it. It’s been there ever since. It was the most Original willys I have have ever seen. It had about 1 inch of dust on it and fern Boxes in it. After talking with him I asked the ‘Question’.
“Would u like to sell it?”
Real quick he said “No”, then walked away to his house. No goodbye. Nothing. Just walked away and went in his house. Weird. But now I know after all the reading I’ve done what a true barn find looks like. I hope it doesn’t sit there and rot. There was no rust on it. It was stuck in time. All original seats,bows, spare tire, tires, back seat, wipers,foot steps, mirrors, every thing.
So, I decided to stop from time to time and check on it. Maybe he’ll give in, eventually.