Unusual Research Archives

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The Tucker ‘Tiger’ Combat Car

• CATEGORIES: Unusual, videos

Ever since I saw the movie about Preston Tucker I always wanted to check out one of his cars in person (which I talk about here). Despite the fact I found one near my Sister’s house in Roy, Wa, I still haven’t gotten there yet! Btw, here’s the official Tucker Car Club Site.

Prior to building the Tucker cars, he lead the development of a Combat Car.  To my surprise, today I found a video of the Tucker Combat Car.  Designed for World War II, but never purchased by the Military (to the best of my knowledge), the film mentions and shows the car; strangely, I never really thought this was real until I saw it in this video.

Here is an original video press release (parts 1 & 2) that explains Tucker and his new car.

And, a video promo of the movie Tucker- The Man and His Dream

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Swamp 4×4 Lutz, Fl $12,500


It used to be a CJ-5.  Apparently, these aren’t recent pics.

“this was a 1967 jeep willy i took every thing off of it but the frame at first but when i drove it it had so much more potential so i made a frame for it and lifted it it about 14 inches it has 37 inch tall tires and there 7.50 wide custom fit with 20 inch wheels. has a 3 speed high and low tranny with a p.t.o. winch which is the sickest part about it. it has diamond plate hood/floor boards,and dash.15 gallon fuel cell and a sweet exhuast system and snorkle.everything works a larger radiator and a 15” electric fan runs at about 160 to 180 degrees.it has a flat 4 cylinder engine that has a redictulous amout of bottom end.call or text joseph.813 476 4088 12,500 obo these are not recent pics i will text some recent ones if wanted”



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1955 Fire Truck Vidalia, La **Status Unknown**

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

UPDATE: Status Unknown. Was listed at $2100

I’d like a closer look at the bed to see what makes this a fire truck.

“1955 Willys / Jeep FIRE TRUCK, Kaiser Supersonic 6 cylinder, 4X4 works, runs well, Needs brakes bled and new home.”


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Bantam BRC-40 Columbus, Oh eBay

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, Unusual

Thanks to Jim sending the link on this.  Obviously, this is a rare event.

“1941 Bantam Reconnaissance Car (BRC-40).  Restored – starts, run, drives great.  The vehicle was originally purchased  and restored by a pretty well known figure in the Bantam Auto Club circle sometime in the late 80’s/early 90’s.  I have a one page letter from this person detailing his efforts to obtain and restore the vehicle (which I will give to the buyer).   It passed through a few owners until my purchase in 2001.  Over the years I have upgraded/corrected various pieces and parts.  It comes with a few spare parts, manuals, and a top.

The vehicle is 99%+ complete and accurate.  The body tub is original – ie. not a reproduction like many others out there.  The items that I believe are incorrect (or missing) are:

The choke and throttle knobs are the not the early “bulls-eye” type – although I have what I believe to be one correct replacement.

The oil pan does not have a skid plate – although I have a correct, original oil pan with skid plate that needs to be cleaned up and attached.

The rear tool box lid locks are incorrect.

The reflectors are of the King-Bee type (as used on the FORD GP) and I believe should in fact be Triflex SR-71s.

When I purchased the vehicle, it had a reproduction windshield frame.  It was a pretty accurate copy, but a reproduction nonetheless.  I sold it to another BRC-40 owner and acquired an original frame a few years back.  It needs some work (arms straightened, etc and needs the latches to the cowl when in its upright position), but it’s in pretty nice condition.  In fact, it has most of its original paint.

The front bumper is an OK reproduction, but I acquired a much better replacement from Ken Hake which has the correct rivets and hand crank guide.

Lastly, in the spirit of full disclosure, I am not sure the front leaf springs are correct/original.  They may be correct, but again, I am not 100% sure. Lastly she needs a good bath – she has sat in my barn with my other vehicles for the past nine years and has collected a coating of dust and dirt.  It was near freezing when I took the photos – I put a new battery in her and she started right up.  Lastly, after sitting for nearly nine years, the brakes are a bit mushy.  I’ll see if I can rectify this prior to sale (no promises).”

View some of the pics on eBay or many pics here.






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One more Double Ender

• CATEGORIES: Unusual • TAGS: .

Here’s a VW Bus DoubleEnder posted at Flickr.


Here’s an earlier post about double enders.

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The Ensign 100

• CATEGORIES: Unusual • TAGS: .

Here’s an interesting, rare offroad vehicle built specifically for Mining.  I first discovered it at Hemmings and then ran across a detailed story about it at OEMOffHighway.com.  I couldn’t find any more pics or information about them.

From OEMOffHighway.com, “The Ensign 100 was rated at 1.5 tons and was built around a frame made from 2x4x0.25 in. steel tubing, on to which a body fabricated from 1/4, 3/16 and 1/8 in. plate steel was welded. The standard power plant was Ford’s 52 hp, four-cylinder 192D diesel industrial engine, although Deutz or Perkins could also be ordered.”

From AVRider


From Hemmings:





From the OEMOffHighway.com:


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Yamaha Rhino GI Kit **Status Unknown**


UPDATE: The website for Tippman is down. I can only assume that these kits did not sell well enough and the company went out of business.

I know what you are thinking … how can I turn my boring Yamaha Rhino into a flat fender looking offroad vehicle?  I’m sure this has kept you up at nights?  Well, you need not lose any more sleep, as Tippman Design has developed exactly the package you need.  It’s like a VEEP for the ATV crowd.

According to the Tippman design website, “the first of our products [is] the GI Kit for the Yamaha Rhino 660 and 450 with the ability to be installed on all Rhinos built prior to 2009. We are working on the fitting of the new 2009 Rhino design. The club car GI Kit is on the drawing board as well, production date to be announced.”

The base price for the package is $2200 plus shipping.

Here’s a standard Yamaha Rhino (Ok, I think this is standard; I don’t really know)


And here’s a Rhino with the Tippman GI Kit installed.





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Gold Chain Jeep Monessen, PA **SOLD**


UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $150.

You got to appreciate the seller who apologized on Craigslist for putting a jewelry ad in the parts section (as if violating the orderly sanctity of Craigslist was a mortal sin), but I appreciate his sensitivity and his logic is sound.  Not the greatest pics.

“sorry posting in parts but dont think to many of jeep guys are looking in jewlery. nice and unique, call mark”



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Builds: Chad’s Ford Model A Roadster PU Willys

• CATEGORIES: Builds, CJ-2A, CJ-3A, Features, Unusual, Willys Wagons • TAGS: .

Here’s a wonderful build, an experiment by a reader named Chad.  He wanted to know what a Ford Model A Roadster would look like if Willys built it. So, naturally, he built one himself!

He writes, “Did all of it myself except the upholstery, in my home garage. It’s got a flathead V8 for power and took between 6 and 8 years start to finish. The dDrivetrain is flathead V8 adapted to a C-4 automatic adapted to Dana 18. Front axle is Dana 27 w/Corvette discs….rear is Dana 44 with one piece axles and Lock-rite geared 4.27.  I thought maybe it would be a four year job, but stuff happens  and there was a whole lot of headscratching to make things look ‘somewhat factory’. I used as many factory parts as I could but not necessarily the way they were used ‘by the factory’…..(those are Jeepster tailights, but they aren’t mounted that way on a Jeepster, just as an example).”

Great work and thanks for sharing!





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Hadley Engineering — The Veep

UPDATE: Additional links — The Hadley Engineering Brochure and VEEPS vs. SCAMPS and other model.

Based on a reader’s inquiry, I decided to do some research regarding the Veep.  I’ve seen a few of these for sale over the past couple of years, but it doesn’t happen often and I really knew nothing about them. So, here’s the little bit I learned.

According to the Dune Buggy Archives, the Veep was sold as both a completed jeep and as a kit by Hadley Engineering, which was based at 1778 Monrovia, Costa Mesa, CA 92627 (maybe they are still there).  The company claimed that any Beetle or Karman Ghia could be used to build a Veep in about 40 hours.

I’ve only seen two engine sizes so far, a 1600 cc or a 1800 cc VW motor.  The suspension, frame, and running gear is all VW.  Most of the veeps appear to use a replacement M-38 body, though one ad below claims a ’42 body (mb or gpw) was used.   The gas tank is mounted in the front, which simply looks odd when you open the hood.  Below is a couple brochures and some misc Veeps.  In the posts below are some additional Veeps.

I’m still hardly an expert on these, so if you have additional information, I’d love to learn more.







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Builds: Gary and his Friend Lawrence

• CATEGORIES: Builds, CJ-2A, Unusual

Gary has become a regular reader.  His green CJ-5 is undergoing a makeover, with a body purchased off craigslist coupled with a rebuilt motor (134 F is in the machine shop), including a new engine kit and re-ground crank.  You can see his starting jeep in the pic below. Gary is also working on a spare tire carrier for the back of his CJ-5 which he plans to share when it is finished.  Thank for sharing!

Gary also provided pics of his friend Lawrence’s jeeps.


The first of Lawrence’s jeeps is a CJ-2A which he cut and converted to a two wheel drive truck. Lawrence is pictured here.


The next is a cj3B with a 2.8 chevrolet engine and a T14 transmission. (He calls it a John Deere Jeep).


Last is a M38 A1, with a few upgrades.


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Mini Jeep Garden Tractor Des Moines, IA **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Unusual • TAGS: .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was no Price

The seller is interested in some trades, including a “tandem axle enclosed trailer or Toy Hauler such as a roadmaster campmaster, Work & Play or similar. I may also be interested in a Jeep Wrangler, a nice 3/4 ton pickup for towing a trailer on trips, Classic Car in driver condition, several nice items for my gun cabinet or ? Email me with photos, descriptions of your item(s) to trade and your proposal”.

And, from a previous ad:

“You are looking at a Roof Palomino riding mower. There were a few of these produced with the Jeep Body in the 60’s and 70’s by the Roof Mfg. Co. was in Pontiac, IL. This one has had a few very minor modifications from the original such as the roll bars and there has been a couple of holes cut in the sheet metal that can easily be repaired (see pictures) just finding one of these being sold is quite a task. I have decided to sell a few of the rarest garden tractors out of my collection if you know anything about these you will know this is a really good price. This would be a great golf cart or advertising item. Serious inquiries only”


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The Topeka Hiway Mower

• CATEGORIES: Machinery, Unusual • TAGS: , .

UPDATE: I recently ran across an article discussing a pre-war Topeka Hiway mower built from Ford truck parts: http://www.farmcollector.com/tractors/mowing-tractor-zmbz14octzkel.aspx I haven’t looked any deeper into this information.


This is Joe’s DiMaggio’s Topeka Mower in Wisconsin (see more pics here)

One source argues that the Topeka Hiway Mowers were built by ‘Shorty’ Meinhardt, who founded Meinholt Machine and Welding in Topeka Kansas. Shorty’s grandson Dean Fechter now runs the business. According to Meinhardt’s cousin, the first mower they built rolled over and broke Shorty’s back. But, that didn’t stop them from building more tractors.

Yet, according to at least one data plate, the Topeka Hiway mower was produced out of Irwindale, California, a product of the American Hoist & Derrick Company. Can anyone clear up the discrepancy between producers of the mower?


According to Marty Henson in 2009 there were three versions of the mower:

I have kept records of all of the people I know who have these mowers and information about the style, age and attachments. So far I have found three distinct styles. The oldest style appears to date to the late 1930s and uses Ford-style sheet metal and running gear. Examples are owned by collectors near Seattle, Wash., and Hartsville, Tenn.

The second style closely follows a CJ Willys/Jeep and uses a Continental 4-cylinder flathead engine, 3- or 4-speed transmission, and Dana 18 transfer case. The mower attachments on these were either a sickle bar or rotary. I think later mowers of this style included a windshield. I have found two examples of the later style Topeka Hi Way mower. One was recently sold by the Montana Highway Dept., and the other is in Lyons, Colo.

Most, if not all, of the mowers were painted yellow. To date, I have recorded the names and addresses of 11 owners in eight states. Just today I added two more contacts. By including my previous letter in your magazine, you have generated many of my contacts. I’d like to receive information from your readers about anyone who has one of these mowers or knows where one might be found. Thank you for producing such a wonderful magazine and assisting me in researching the Topeka Hi Way mower.

Here are some examples of the jeep version of the Topeka Mower:

This was for sale in December of 2014:

This one was for sale on eBay in Ohio in 2009 (see more pics here):






This one was for sale in Baker City, Oregon, in 2010 for $400.

Here’s an orange one:topecka1


From the CJ-3B Page.  There’s a second pic here with the windshield up.


Here’s a fancy one from the Antique Tractors Page


  1. Farm Collector Magazine
  2. My Tractor Forum
  3. Lesser known tractors
  4. CJ-3B Page
  5. Here’s a tractor called a Topeka, but looks different
  6. 1960 article about Topeka Mower
  7. Partial article from 1959
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1953 Topeka Hiway Mower **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Machinery, Unusual • TAGS: , .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was on eBay.








View more pics

Continue reading

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Year? CJ-2A Swamp Racer Tarpon Springs, Fl $3500

• CATEGORIES: CJ-2A, Racing, Unusual • TAGS: .

Hurray!  I finally have some pics of an flattie swamp racer.  I knew one of these would pop up sooner or later!

“F-Head 4 cyl jeep engine complete, T-90 transmission fresh rebuild. Dana 18 or 20 transfer case. Complete racing elctronic ignition. Spare duplicate ignition system. Autometer gauges, Autometer procomp memory 9K 5” tack. Removable steering wheel
pass and driver seats with 5 point harness. Sweet racing rack and pinion. Sway bar.  Dana 30 open knuckle ft. diff. 5:38 gears.  “44 flanged axle rear” 5:38.  1- piece tilt front end. Full roll cage.  Ldder bar coilover shocks rear. 3 gal alum. fuel cell.  Fire extinguesher. # plate.  Ar pick up box. Rear mounted alum. core radiator with all plumbing. Battery box with acc cables + hold down. Pan hard bar.  Drive shaft loops F+R. Tow hooks F+R. Smached 9000X16 military tires. Fresh blue paint. Rear mounted kill switch. Metalic clutch disc + pressure plate. 2X2 into 1 header.  New 500 holley carb (raced one time). Carb adapter. Alum. gas pedal. Also some other general spare parts.  $ 3,500 OBO CALL RICK 813-3682730 DONT E-MAIL I WONT RESPOND”



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A Ford F1 — From California to Karachi, Pakistan


As I note in the above post, I was checking out the 4×4 Offroaders of Karachi when I found this gem of a story.  It’s a beautiful rebuild.   I’d sure like to know why the builders wife wanted an F1;  a rather strange request!  Here is an excerpt:

Soon after we got married, my wife Sabiha asked me to get a Ford F1 truck for her. I tried my best but could not find any in Pakistan. Some thirty years later, on one of her visits to America, she found one in a small town called Dry Town near Sacramento, California. She convinced the owner to sell it to her and I think she got it for $140 (exact amount she has not told me – only that it cost more to have it towed to our friend Javed Akber’s house in Sacramento). Till we could figure out how to have it shipped to Karachi, for over a year the Ford truck remained parked in Javed’s garage (while their own two cars remained out in the open).”  Read more …






Here’s many more pics of the build

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Duke Edwards == Hot Rod Artist

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features, Unusual

I found the image below on eBay. The bidding has ended, but I”m sure it will return. I thought it looked very similar to Brian’s CJ-3B (or former CJ-3B — did you ever sell it?). After located a pic of the CJ-3B, I concluded it must have been used as the model of the drawing.

One image below is the drawing and one is a shot of the CJ-3B from the CJ-3B page (See more pics of it there — It’s a beauty!).

According to an old ebay listing, this particularly drawing is a run of 250 prints of a drawing by artist Duke Edwards.  I didn’t know who Duke Edwards was, so I did a google search and found the information below from the ‘Automotive Art Gallery‘.

“Duke has been “doodling” for almost 40 years but had limited his clientele to friends and local car clubs. Since making his work available to the public, he has received international recognition and has pieces on museum display as well as in private collections. For just “doodling” Duke is amazingly talented.”



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Project Flattie with Aluminum Body Canton, Ga **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3A, Unusual • TAGS: .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $4100

“New Aluminum CJ3A JEEP body on a new 1973 CJ5 powder coated frame. This frame allows the use of a V8 engine. Powder coated Dana 44 rear, Dana 30 front, and Dana 300 Transfer case, are geared for the new tires installed on the polished aluminum wheels. A complete new power disc brake system is still in the boxes. New parts include a new fuel cell, fuel line, wiring harness, body mounts and suspension parts. All the parts for this project cost over $17,000, not including the powder coating, windshield frame and original front grill. I don’t even want to think about how much was spent on powder coating parts. I will offer delivery within a reasonable distance. Call for a list of all the new parts included with this offer. May trade. Call me with what you have.”


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1947 CJ-2A Middle Grove, Ny $500

• CATEGORIES: CJ-2A, Unusual

1947_cj2a_middlegroveUPDATE:  Price dropped to $500 — I love this one.

(08/30/09) What’s this chain drive? There’s no transfercase.  I’ve not seen anything like it.

“1947 Willys Jeep. Fold down windshield frame (Has Willys Script) . Has a chain drive set up on transmission. Full time 4 wheel drive. 16″ Wheels. Has custom foolproof brake setup on transmission, instead of on the wheels. Has a rebuilt 1978 Ford 2.3L 4cylander. I dont think it has been fired since rebuild becuase it has no spark. I Believe it needs a new distributer. Has VW radiator with electric fan. Nice swivel bucket seats. Tub is solid. Everything has been reinforced. I bought this from an old master mechanic that did alot of work to it, and then it sat in his garage for many years, without ever being run. No paperwork. DOES NOT RUN! A GREAT PROJECT OR ALOT OF GOOD PARTS!! Needs to be finshed, i have too many other projects. It would be a great hunting rig when running. Better/ Stronger than a fourwheeler, and still small enough to fit on trails. $500 FIRM. No Tire Kickers. Call 882-1505 if intrested”



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A Crosley Farm-O-Road

• CATEGORIES: Unusual • TAGS: .

As mentioned, Crosley designed and built the Crosely Farm-O-Road and also provided plans to the Crofton Marine Engine Company, from which they built the Crofton Bug.  Jim has a friend who has teh Farm-O-Road which he has shared with us below. Thanks Jim!





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Crofton Bug

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Unusual

Crosley was the maker of some of the prototype lightweight Jeeps the Army and Willys considered building.  Apparently, Crosley continued down this path of lightweight utility vehicles.  One of the results of this efforts was designed by the Crosley company and called a Farm-O-Road.  The Crofton Bug, based on the Farm-O-Road design was actually produced by the Crofton Marine Engine Company.  Only about 250 Crofton Bugs were built between 1959 and 1962 (or 1963).  Like the jeep, these had some farm tools you could attach to these ‘mini jeeps’.  You can learn more about this 1100lb vehicle at Tom’s Crofton Bug website.

Thanks to Gerald for finding these two pics.



Here’s Tom’s Crofton Bug and a few of his pics.  Drop by his website to learn more about the Crofton Bug and see more images and brochures.



Links to the Crofton Bug:

  1. Tom’s Crofton Bug Website
  2. Crosley Auto Club Site
  3. From the Motortopia Website
  4. From the Cars at Large.com website
  5. McLellans Brochures about the Crofton
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1968 M-274A5 Danbury, Ct $4600


I don’t remember crossing paths with one of these.  Maybe it would make a good go-cart with some remodeling?

“1968 willys mechanical mule 2cyl 4×4 4speed excelant restored condition $4600 obo call Bruce 203 241 0142”


** The below image is NOT an image of the above item for sale — it’s only representative**


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1953 Mitsubishi Wagon? Oklahoma eBay

• CATEGORIES: Unusual, Willys Wagons • TAGS: .

This is a right hand drive Mitsubishi.  The claim is that this is “This is an exceptionally clean & original vehicle“; however, it seems to me that front should look like a CJ-3B, not a CJ-5 (please correct me if I’m wrong about this!!).  I can’t help but think there’s a genuine effort to mislead people.

“This Jeep is equipped with aftermarket  all weather tires, aluminum mag wheels, original seats, headliner panels are in very good condition if not excellant, all original. Factory spare still has clear wrapping on it. Passengers visor still has factory protective plastic on it. Small tears in rear seat rear in cargo area, other wise interior is exceptional condition. This is an exceptionally clean & original vehicle. No restore yet, none needed other than paint is poor quality & it has a fiberglass hood, steel ones are available….”

View all the pics on eBay


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1950s CJ-3A? Kamiah, Wa Auction

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3A, Unusual

I’m guessing this is a  CJ-3A.  It will be going up for auction.  Those are the most unusual doors I’ve ever seen.

“To be sold at Auction. If you would like more information email tiger@tigerauctioneering.com or call 208-503-0235 and place your bid.”



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Just in time for Halloween

• CATEGORIES: CJ-2A, Unusual

I love the comment by the seller of this frankenstinien vehicle: “unique cab style”.

“1948 Willys Jeep CJ2 in non running condition. Could restore or make a parts Jeep. Odometer shows 26626 miles, true milage unknown by me. I purchased as a project and never did get to it. Body and frame seem decent, the floor of the rear area is rusted through as seen in picture. Unique cab style. Has 540 PTO on rear.  I do have the seat frame for it but not upholstered. Will have to be hauled or trailored. I live near Dixon IL 61021. Can either use PayPal or pay cash when picked up.”

View all the pics on eBay