Website Research Archives

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Builds: The Cheap Jeep & Its Ghost Town Adventures

• CATEGORIES: Builds, videos, Website

cheap_jeep2While it’s not a jeep in form, it certainly captures the spirit of a jeep in function. Two alternators, three batteries, and a host of features make this an unusual vehicle.  The most recent cheap jeep was launched in 1974 for the purpose of desert and mountain travel, not unlike the way original mountain bikers back in 1976 utilized old tough schwinn bikes to tackle the mountains.  It’s singular purpose –the next ghost town or bust — was a cheap, but dependable vehicle capable of on road and off road travel for thousands of miles over the period of a week.  This vehicle is still used and images and video from 2009 can be found on the website along with links to all the places these intrepid adventurers have visited over the past years (scroll to the bottom of the homepage). View the video below to learn a little bit about the unusual features of this vehicle (or go to their video page).

cheapjeepSteve Ricketts writes on the westernghosts.com website In 1974, I acquired a 1966 Pontiac convertible from another customer.   This time the price was $75.00.   Like the Chrysler Imperial, the Pontiac needed a lot of work.   After extensive engine repair and a transmission rebuild and modification, it was able to be driven to my house where the first Cheap Jeep (Chrysler Imperial) was stored.  The transformation from old cheap jeep to new cheap jeep began.   The finished product is what you see today.

cheap_jeep4It is highly modified, and works better for our purposes than anything we could buy today.   It is easy to repair on the road, and parts are readily available.  It carries more than “regular” jeeps and is a lot cheaper to replace should it become necessary to abandon.   I would really hate to take a $30,000+,  four wheel drive (Blazer/Bronco, etc.) on one of these trips.   At the very least, the paint and body would be badly damaged.   It would also be next to impossible to repair in the field, and a very real possibility exists that I would someday have to abandon it.   After all these years of use and modification, I still have less than $800.00 invested in the Cheap Jeep…and that includes the original purchase price.

Visit the Western Ghost Towns website here.

 
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Poster Art at Jeep4ever.ca

• CATEGORIES: Website

I was doing a Bing.com search of jeep images and ran across jeep4ever’s poster/sign/art page.  Check out all the images at Jeep4ever.ca.

jeep4ever_posterart

 
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Surplus City Jeep Parts Oroville, Ca

• CATEGORIES: Website • TAGS: .

Here is Surplus City Jeep Parts.  I have added it to the Parts Page list of Salvage Yards that specialize in jeeps parts. Their address is 4514 Pacific Heights Road, Oroville, California 95965.  Phone 800-353-3772.  Fax 530-534-6769.

surpluscity_jeep_parts_oroville

 
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Bantam Jeep Website

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, Website • TAGS: , .

I ran across this Bantam website the other day.  Its full of pics of a single Bantam.  I love the Bantam multi gauge.

There’s not much information on the website.  This is all there is: “Less than 3000 Bantam Jeeps were produced. This B.R.C. 40 is #2649. The date of delivery was “June, 1941”. Fewer than three dozen of these classics have been fully restored and this, I believe, is one of the best! Be sure and check out the additional pages of pictures of this Bantam listed below

1940_brc_photos

 
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Willys Colombia

• CATEGORIES: International, Website

Sebastian forwarded me the Willys Colombia website.  I realized I couldn’t find it because I was spelling Colombia wrong (my spelling:  Columbia).  I have now corrected all the other posts as well.  Ooops.

Anyway, there’s lots of great pics.  One section includes the official Guinness Book of Records Photos from the parade are there too.  However, one thing I haven’t determined is exactly how many jeeps were there.  I have seen the figures of approximately 300 jeeps and of approximately 370.  I tried to search Guinness, but had no luck.  Here’s a few of the pics.

willys_columbia_parade

 
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For BRC Lovers … Bill Spears Website

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, Website • TAGS: .

Bill Spears really seems to like Bantams of all kinds.  He’s got a website extensively devoted to exploring Bantams, including a detailed look at the beginning of the jeep.  His information seems consistent with what I’ve learned, though I wasn’t familiar with the Checker connection noted below.

Bill also has a list of Bantams, some with pictures and some just a rumor.  He also has gathered some images of Bantams in service.  Finally, Bill explores the relationship, or inter-relationship, between the “Checker Bantams”, which he calls a CRC, and the Bantam BRC.  It’s an interesting read.

Below is one of the Bantam’s that appears on Bill’s list of Bantams page.  Click on the image to get to the page.

BRC1707sm

 
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Website: The Find

• CATEGORIES: Features, Website

I did a search on a “CJ-5 gas tank” and stumbled across a website called “The Find“. It had search results from Tellico, zaib4x4, 4 wheel parts, and a variety of others. So, I did a few more searches.  It looks like a great way to compare online prices.  They have an iphone app as well.

thefind

 
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A YIPAO and Willys from Colombia

• CATEGORIES: Features, Website

Sebastian, whom I mentioned in this post (a couple posts down), taught me a couple things about Willys in Colombia today.

1) Willys are very popular in Colombia.  They started arriving during the 50’s and immediately became a sensation. They are still used regularly in the coffee plantations.  He assures us that every single coffee beam that we enjoy in a Colombian Coffee has been transported at some point in a Willys (most probably a CJ-3B).  There are cities and towns where you can see Willys everywhere, being used as work vehicles. For somebody from this country it would be like going back on time. They are also used as taxis, carrying people by the dozen. [Editor’s note:  Nice work Sebastian; I am sold on a trip to Colombia :-)]

2) There are many Jeep festivals in Colombia.  Most of them occur between September and October; they are called “Yipaos”.  The festivals were started in 1988.  The vehicles are driven through the main streets of a city and the Jeeps with the largest amount of objects carried with the most harmonious arrangements earn prizes. In fact, in February 2006, a Guinness World Records was established for the “Longest Jeep Parade” in Calarca, with a caravan of over 370 Jeep Willys vehicles.  It seem to me that we need to break that record back! Here’s an article about it on the CJ-3B page.

Sebastian also sent me a powerpoint with some nice big pictures of one festival. You just gotta see it to believe.  Check out the mud flaps … I’ve been looking for some older looking mud flaps!

yipao_cj3b

 
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Flat Fender Club of Butler Pennsylvania

• CATEGORIES: Features, Website

flatfenderclubofbutlerAs I mention in the post below, Sebastian wrote me yesterday and told me a little about the Flat Fender Club of Butler.  As I understand it, Sebastian launched the club website last year. It sounds like it’s kind of an ‘open source’ club.

Sebastian writes, “The Flat Fender Club of Butler is a very nice group. I am doing my best to help out.   A friend of mine from Colombia helped me with the logo and the t-shirt design and I started the blog at the beginning of the summer. The club is very informal, with no dues and no officers, only the president and founder Dave Zibrat (great guy!).  Butler is the place where the “Bantam” factory was located (the building is still there), and therefore it is the place where everything related to Jeep started.

It appears several of the club members are readers of ewillys and I look forward interacting with more.

 
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Lug Nuts

• CATEGORIES: Features, Vendors, Website

A reader asked about finding chromed lug nuts that had right and left hand threaded types.

I responded with this information:

I got my lug nuts from my local schucks store.  They carry the Mr Lugnut brand.  I needed to get some special ones due to the thickness of my cast aluminum rims.  However, I only needed right handed threads and not lefty’s. http://www.mr-lugnut.com/

Here’s a page that might be helpful too http://www.discountjeepparts.com/index.php/cPath/1714_302 It appears they have both right and left hand threaded chrome bolts that will cover the whole stud. Another thought (which doesn’t sound like much fun) is to knock out the left hand threaded studs and just go with right handed ones all around?”

lug_nut_website

 
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Attaching a Brodie Knob

• CATEGORIES: Biscuit, Features, Website

brodie_knobOne of the positives about living in Idaho is that there are lots of tractors and tractor stores nearby.  I stopped by one today and picked up one item I hadn’t yet purchased: a steering knob for my steering wheel for only $6.99 — the best price I’ve seen anywhere (I got it at D&B, a local farm/garden store).  Now, these aren’t legal in every state, but they are sure handy for jeeping and racing.

I brought it home ready to mount it, but realized I couldn’t remember exactly how to mount it, so I jumped on the internet.  The first thing I learned that a steering knob was actually called a Brodie Knob, which is where the term “doing a Brodie” comes from.

From Wikipedia, “Brodie Knobs were widely popularized, especially on the west coast of the U.S., during the 1950s. Their intention was to be used primarily as addition to a Hot Rod. The knob was used to spin the steering wheel, rapidly in one direction or the other, while accelerating, to cause the tire(s) to spin while rapidly whipping the car 180 degrees or half of a “doughnut”. Hence, comes the term “lay a brodie”. In the 1950s and 60’s a person could go into any local “Pep Boys” and choose from a large variety of brodie knobs, with every conceivable theme, from “Candy Apple colored”, “Product Logos”, to “nude women,” and everything in between, some automobile dealerships even used them for advertisements. They were very useful during a period of auto manufacturing, when power steering was truly a luxury…. ”

thehotrodgirl_2064_125192I also discovered that there’s a wide variety of knobs that I didn’t know exist.  For those growing up in the world of hotrods, they probably aren’t surprised, but the knobs I have seen are generally all tractor related. Other names for the Brodie include the Suicide Knob, Granny Knob, and Steering Wheel Spinner

Check out the different kinds of knobs offered through thehotrodgirl.com.

 
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Crystal River Jeep Tours

• CATEGORIES: Features, News, Website • TAGS: .

Once again, wandering the internet today looking for information on mounting my steering wheel know resulted in several interesting posts.

This post is about a jeep tour business out of Marble, Colorado called Crystal River Jeep Tours.  You can visit the website or learn more about it from this 2008 trip with some video and this post with videos as well.

Here’s a little bit about the tours, ” Crystal River Jeep Tours is located in Marble, Colorado, where the pavement ends and the beauty begins.  CRJT was established in 1951 and ranks among the oldest adventure tour operations in the state. Take one of our guided tours to historic Crystal City and the Crystal Mill, experience the breathtaking views and wild flowers along the Lead King Basin road or the valley panorama from the top of Sheep Mountain. Overlook the Yule Marble Quarry from Treasure Mountain, or experience the Devils Punch Bowl at the foot of Schofield Pass.  Our guided tours are an experience found nowhere else in the world, which skirt the edge of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass wilderness area in the White River National Forest.”

crystal_river_jeep_tours

 
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Broken Down Heroes

• CATEGORIES: Features, Website

I discovered recently that an eWillys’ reader named Bob has created an ongoing photo essay on junked cars from America’s past called Broken Down Heroes.  For me, the black and while photos capture a sadness, a silence of vehicles trapped and forgotten as trees, bushes and grass slowly overtake and swallow them whole. Great work!  Here’s a couple photos.

 
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Website: Classic Military Automotive

• CATEGORIES: Features, Website

green_invasion_star_100x100Here’s a recently launched website that focuses on military vehicles called Classic Military Automotive.  The site also has a classified section.

According to the website, “Classic Military Automotive specializes in the sales, restoration and maintenance of 1941 to 1954 military jeeps and light weight trucks. We are located in the Sonoma County Wine Country of the greater San Francisco Bay Area.  Our customer base is primarily in California though we have sold vehicles to customers from all over the USA and abroad.  We are experienced in complete frame-off restoration down to minor maintenance.  If you have any questions, or other needs, don’t hesitate to e-mail us at gpajeep@yahoo.com or call Terry at (707) 542-4353.”

Visit Classic Military Automotive

 
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Year Specific MB & GPW Sites

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPW (Ford MB), MB, Website

I found a website called 1943MB.com the other day and thought that it had some useful information.  I didn’t realize it until now, but there’s a list of similar sites.  While they look similar, they appear to have at least some different information (I didn’t investigate too closely). For example, the 1941MB.com site has a link to a slat grille rebuild.

One cool feature is the Napa Online Website Link for parts.  Here’s a snapshot of it below.

napa_parts_1943MB_website

 
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Life Magazine Photo — Oops

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine, Website • TAGS: .

“I kept telling Larry, take the stairs, take the stairs! But no, he had to show off!”

From Life Magazine

oops_steps

I just love these old pics!

 
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Life Magazine Photos — Scotch Tape

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine, Website

Ever gotten stuck? Who needs a chain when you got Scotch Tape!  There’s plenty more photos from this very obvious photo op.

scotchtape1

scotchtape2

scotchtape3

scotchtape4

scotchtape5

 
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A large number of Jeep Brochures

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features, Website

Jim sent this my direction.  Theres a number of varying Willys and Jeep brochures from early years up to today.

Some examples below

 
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A great plug for Dataplates4U.com

• CATEGORIES: Features, Website

Our intrepid Afghan Bureau Chief, Buck, has safely returned from his all-expenses paid stay in Afghanistan, courtesy of the Federal Government.  He’s jumped back into his restoration project and had this positive report to file about his experience with Dataplates4U.com experience.

Buck writes, “I am nearing the end of my jeep restoration and was in need of data plates for the jeep. I had only the original patents plate left because all the others were long lost in the annals of time so replacements were required. I began the research and started talking with Robert at Dataplates4u.com (a small business in the Netherlands).  Luckily the serial number was still readable so I was able to have him stamp the appropriate information onto the plates. Everything is dead-nuts accurate down to the fasteners and the font on the stamping. Take a look, the man does outstanding work and reasonable as well…I paid $156 USD for all four plates, stamping, fasteners, and shipping from Holland. As you can tell there is no way I can be disappointed with the result.

dataplate5

dataplate1

dataplate2

dataplate3dataplate4

 
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Website: Updated CJ-2A.com

• CATEGORIES: Features, Website

A Quick Clarification: This post relates to the CJ-2A.com site and not thecj2apage.com.  Both great sites.  Thanks for reminder Sean!

Sometimes I don’t get out and check out other jeeps sites often enough.  So, I was browsing a bit today and dropped by the CJ-2A.com, which now has a new format.

One of the coolest new tools is the CJ-2A parts list and manual.  The tool allows you to browse through and find lists and manual excerpts.  So, if you don’t have a manual handy, I think you’ll find this really helpful.

cj2a_page_logo

 
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Used Jeep Parts at Jeep Republic

• CATEGORIES: Website • TAGS: .

I ran across the Jeep Republic website after seeing an ad for it on the Denver Craigslist.  I’ve never been there myself nor know anything about it.  Phone numbers include: 303-806-9100 or 800-827-2418.  The physical address is 3350 S. Federal Blvd. Englewood, CO 80110. You can contact them via the web here.

republic_jeep_parts

This is the third Jeep Salvage Yard I’ve found.  The other two are J&W, which is in Antelope, California, and the Kingston, New York Salvage Yard, which I haven’t found a website for yet.

 
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Seat Cushion Examples

• CATEGORIES: Features, Website • TAGS: .

UPDATE:  These are no longer for sale.  I keep this post just for ideas.

jims_seats

Jim writes, “I’m tired of not having anything out there anymore for Willys. For example, the only replacement seats you can get for an early Willys are either military or black vinyl.  How boring! There are no more bikini tops of any variety – everyone pretty much runs the same boring top.  Continue reading

 
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Postlets

• CATEGORIES: Website

Here’s an interesting idea. I just ran across a website called postlets, which allows users to create an advertisement once and then have it syndicated to other ‘classified sites’ such as craigslist, facebook, google base, etc. What it doesn’t do, at this point, is list items on auction sites.
postlets

 
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Dino Danieli’s ww2jeep’s website

• CATEGORIES: Website

Back in 2002, or thereabouts, Dino launched a website he calls the GPW – MB – CJ 2A/3A/3B – MC/M38  Visual Reference site.”  It’s got some really useful visual information, including a dataplate page that I used tonight while reviewing a jeep.  Unfortunately, it appears to have been last updated in December of 2006.

One of the coolest images I came across was developed by Darryl of Darryl’s Garage (see below).  Darryl appears to love restoring old vehicles.  He also documents those restorations wells.  Two restorations he has done include a 1943 GPW and a 1943 Bantam Trailer (both of which I’ll highlight tomorrow).  These are excellent overviews.

So, the image that Darryl created is a beautifully done chart that follows the changes, on a monthly basis, to the GPW and MB bodies.  Nice work Darryl!   You can see what he did below (and you can find it on Dino’s site here):

darryls_body_chart

 
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Rolligon: Picture of the week @ theFCConnection

• CATEGORIES: FC150-FC170-M677, Website • TAGS: .

I thought this picture was pretty unusual.  Surf over to the FC Connection website to learn more about the Rolligon, a vehicle based roughly on the FC-170.