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The Camel Man of the Outback

• CATEGORIES: Features, Reader Stories

It was 25 years ago this winter … ouch .. has it really been that long ago … that I decided to join a small group on a bicycle journey of the South Island of New Zealand.  I was only 20, the youngest member of a troupe that ranged from little ol’ me all the way up to a couple who was 55 (and an adorable, long married, in-love couple they were).  Over a period of 3 weeks we hiked, biked, helicoptered, jet-boated, trained, vanned, laughed, talked and drank (well, some of us more than others) our way around the south island of New Zealand.  For a pretty sheltered kid of 20, it was an eye opening experience.

I certainly can’t forget New Years Night, 1985, in the tourist town of Queensland, where many people around my age gathered in the town square.  Everyone wandering around, hugging, kissing and meeting people from all over the world.  For a dorky geek like me, it was a temporary slice of heaven as I got to mack with some good looking women.  One beautiful young woman from Vancouver and I got along particularly well and …. ahem … back to our story ….

When the 3 week trip in New Zealand was over, and we were all stuffed with Ice Cream (best on the planet — but their cones sucked!), meat pies (these were soooo good), and stories, most of us adventurers returned home; however, the two ‘guides’ who organized the trip spent the next month or two wandering the Australian Outback in a vehicle they bought in Australia.  Several months later, one of the two guides, Brock, tracked me down in the San Juan Islands (I was working up there as a chef).  He told me that some day I HAD to go to the outback of Australia and see the stars.  He told me that the Outback was truly a unique experience and though we had seen many many stars in New Zealand (very little light pollution there), going to the Outback was even better.

To date, I haven’t made it back to New Zealand nor have I made it to Australia.  I haven’t even broken the southern hemisphere since that trip.  However, since then I’ve always lusted for Australia.

So, it was with great interest that I have cultivated a new friend from Australia named Hein who recently stumbled upon eWillys.  Hein is originally from South Africa and has lived, worked and traveled over much of Africa, Australia and Southeast Asia.  Recently, he took a 3 week jeep vacation into the Outback with his wife and daughter and took some photos for us (well, probably for themselves, too 🙂 ). I’ll be publishing the story of the trip in his jeep in the next couple days.  In the meantime, one the interesting side stories of the trip involved meeting the Camel Man.

The Camel Man

Hein writes, “I would have loved to spend more time with the Real Camel-man, but it was too early in the day and we were going in opposite directions.  Apparently he worked in the mines, oil and gas industry for many years, of which there is plenty out there believe it or not, and just got fed-up with the constant rat-race after money. That old fellow has been doing circuits of the desert for more than a decade with that contraption, at 20 km a day and no towns for up to 800 km in some stretches, can you imagine that life?

I suspect the little van might have had a motor in it initially. When that gave up the ghost he just reverted to a more reliable source of motivation.  In parting I actually told him that I might just come and join him in another decade perhaps? I am sure he has a few choice stories to tell and I could really enjoy listening to them while the camels plodded along or over a few camp-fires.”

Based on Hein’s description, I managed to find a couple blog websites which record other run-ins with the Camel Man. They noted he wore a special mosquito mask to keep the flies off and he also had one for his dog, though Hein never mentions seeing the dog.  So, on your next trek through the Outback, keep your eyes pealed for this one-of-a-kind traveler.  Thanks Hein!

Here’s Hein’s photo:

This photo is from Rod Thomas’s blog:

This image is from Flemming Bo Jensen’s blog:

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1948 Wagon Albemarle, NC **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Willys Wagons • TAGS: , .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was on eBay

“Thanks for looking at this rare old barn find that was parked for 41 years. I am listing for a relative that is second owner for approx. 2 years. This Model 463 has the original 138 Go Devil Flat Head engine. Carb has been rebuilt, new water pump, fuel pump and wiring. 3 Speed on column w/automatic overdrive. Runs and drives great and is all original except for wheels and tires. Spare tire came with the car.This model has the option of BOTH RIGHT AND LEFT HAND DRIVE. (Notice the two glove boxes.) The floor has the openings to change drive side. All body work was done with metal and welded and was extensive around all bottoms of doors, hatchback and fenders. This vehicle has a very nice paint job and is sharp but is not a concourse restoration, just a good  solid job. The rear left window is cracked, as well as driver side window. Windshield glass has been replaced. All new weather stripping around entire car. Original colors used on car were Luzon Red, Clear Maple and Mahogony Brown. All wood replaced and wood has been used tastefully (not orig. door panels) on doors and side panels. All photos of restoration will go with car, I have some of the pics for you to see. Seats have original coverings, they were only cleaned of mildew. Rechrome on orig. bumbers is immaculate and thick.

Everything works on vehicle except odometer, speedometer works fine as well as all electrical (lights, etc.) and guages on dash. Even the old heater works.This was an extensive rebuild and care was taken to keep as original as possible/practical. Engine and Transmission have not been rebuilt, just cleaned, serviced and run great. No smoke on starting, etc., cranks right up.

What is wrong with this car??? Other than mentioned above, there is a drop or two per day coming from the overdrive gear on LH side of the transmission when it sits. No other leaks. Car has been driven on trips of approx. 50 miles and no probems. Won 3rd Place at the Charlotte Auto Fair for 40-50s category on August 28, 2010.”

Continue reading

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Nice Rolling CJ-3A Chassis Abell, Md $400


This looks like a good price and a good start on a build.

“For Sale or Trade; Rolling Chassis from a 1948-1952 Jeep Willys CJ3a; Bought as a project many years ago, all of the work was done about 10 years ago and has been sitting covered in a barn since.  First picture was just after most of the work was completed, second picture is current. Just needs a good pressure washing. Frame has been sandblasted, and coated with POR 15, New body mounts, shock mounts, leaf spring mounts, shocks, shackles, front bumper, rear crossmember, transmission crossmember, and hardware throughout. Many other parts. Axles, transmission, and transfer case complete, engine is there but missing a few parts. No title. $400 cash or trade for Kayak in good condition.”

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New Top Denver, Co $500


No pics provided.

“This is a new tiger top (made by best top) it has never been opened. I bought the top for a project years ago and I never started the project. The top is for a CJ3B -53-64. Call Josh 720-432-1217.”

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1941? MB Mountain Ranch, Ca $11,000


This looks solid, but I suspect the price will inch down.

“Jeep is sitting on blocks waiting for its new owner. straight 4 all very original. Top and wind shield are here but not shown. Bob 209 754 1918”

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1962 Wagon Astoria, Or $1600

• CATEGORIES: Willys Wagons

The interior image suggests that the inside might be in good condition.

“wife wants parking back , 62 wagon,complete needs, clutch and tune-up,6-230 4×4 not to much rust $1600 obo trade for ? title in hand”

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1963 CJ-5 Leola, Pa $1500


This might be a good price.

“1963 Jeep CJ5 with Plow. Very old but runs and drives. Plowed with it last winter. It has the Hurricane F Head i4 and a 3 Speed Manual trans.

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1953 CJ-3B Knoxville, Tn **SOLD**


UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $10,000

Here’s a crawler for you.



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Year? CJ-2A Fort Worth, TX **SOLD**


UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $3500.

This is advertised as a 1942, but it looks like a CJ-2A to me.


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Wanted: Willys Jeep or Parts New Hampshire

• CATEGORIES: wanted

“I am interested in buying Willys Jeep or parts please call 802 730 2443”

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1949 Truck Albuquerque, Nm eBay

• CATEGORIES: Willys Trucks • TAGS: , .

Nice Truck spotted by HOG!

“Hello and thanks for looking! For sale is a 1949 4 wheel drive Willys truck professionally restored in 2008. This was a frame-off restoration. The truck has been used very little sine the restoration with 875 miles on the odometer. This was a painstaking, frame-off restoration that took over three years to complete. No expense was spared in this restoration. Everything was replaced new or rebuilt to factory specifiactions. The truck runs and drives like new. The 4 cylinder motor was balanced and runs like a swiss watch. The transmission and transfer case was completely rebuilt. Everything was replaced. New saturn overdrive was installed as well. The bed is new. The original willys-overland symbol was grafted in the new tailgate. Over 40 hours of labor went into this task alone. Besides the original gauges, Stewart-Warner gauges accompany a 6 volt tachometer. The interior has been upgraded and the there is a SIKKENS two stage paint finish on the interior and exterior. Please e-mail me with any questions. Thanks for looking and happy bidding!”

View all the info on eBay

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1946 CJ-2A Lakes Region, NH $5500


This looks pretty solid.

“1946 Willys CJ2A in great condition. This unit had a frame off retoration by the previous owner. It was converted to 12 volt with new steel body, springs, brakes, carburetor, fuel pump, wiring harness etc. No rust. The speedometer and gas guage do not work and I do not have a top. It should also have new tires as current ones are weather cracked. Troop style seats were added to the back but remove easily. $5500. Runs great, ready to drive. thanks”

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1946 CJ-2A Yuma, Az **Status Unknown**


UPDATE:  Was $2200. **Status Unknown**


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1953 M-38A1 Lakewood, Ca $5000

• CATEGORIES: M-38A1 • TAGS: , .

UPDATE:  Still Available and More pics

(05/10/12010) This appears to include a trailer as well.

“1953 Willy’s Army Jeep, New Top, New Interior, New Tires, New Brakes, New Mufflers, Runs, $5000.  (562) 883-0309”

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1943 GPW Salem, Or **SOLD**


UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $5000.

“1943 Ford Jeep with early 1960’s 170 cu in six-cylinder. 45,000 odometer miles. Original running gear with add-on overdrive unit and winch.”

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Diane’s 1944 GPW Restoration Site


Brian sent me a link to a website called “Diane’s Jeep“.  Diane lives in the UK and almost a year ago today purchased a 1944 GPW that she plans to restore.  She has had experience restoring other vehicles, but this will be her first jeep.  Diane’s Jeep Website has been chronicling her team’s efforts.

Below is an image of how the jeep looked before she started.  It appears pretty stock and in fair condition.  There is plenty of work to be done!  Check out pictures of the progress that she has made. Good luck Diane!

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Wooden Car

• CATEGORIES: Features, Unusual, Wood bodies • TAGS: .

Tommy emailed me this unusual build (note it is a car and not a jeep or 4×4).  After a little searching, I found this on ebay as well. If you haven’t seen some of the wooden jeeps featured over the years on ewillys, check them out.  For a really fast wooden car, check out this supercar.

According to the email, it is a wooden body built in 2009.  “This custom wooden car rides on a 1986 Toyota truck frame and gets power from a Chrysler 318 engine.  It is driven by an automatic transmission and has merely 1,800 miles on its speedometer. The whole body is made of cedar and its interior is just as over-the-top as the exterior.”
You can see many more pics of this on ebay

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1963 Truck Albany, Or **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Willys Trucks • TAGS: , .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $8000

Here is a sweet truck.

“1963 Willys 4X4 PickUp for sale. Aprox 98000 original miles. Super Hurricane 6 cyl engine, runs strong and smooth. Koenig PTO winch works great. Beefy bumpers front and rear. This is a clean nearly original truck; upgrade from vacuum wipers to electric. Paint and body are in very good condition- no rust. This truck has been very lightly used, never abused. Great for farm truck or trip to the car show! A must see! $8000 OBO”

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1962 M-38A1 Whittier, Ca **SOLD**


UPDATE:  **SOLD** Was $2000

It needs a fuel pump, but looks pretty good otherwise.

“F-head engine, Warner Gear T90 Transmission, Transfer Case Spicer 18, Front Axel: Dana 25, 5.38 gears, Rear Axel: Dana 44, 5.38 gears, Green in color, New gas tank, Re-built starter, new battery, Does not require smog check, 4×4, Built in tow bar.”

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1967 CJ-5 Hellam, Pa $1500


You can’t fault the seller for honesty.

“I am selling a jeep 1967 cj5. It is a very rare tuxedo mark 4 model. Lets be clear this jeep needs some work. The brakes are untested. I had it running this summer and has some new parts on it. It has a fiberglass tub and front end. dauntless v6 with a saganaw 4 speed trans. I never drove it on the road and can not guarantee anything. I bought it from a garage as abandoned and do not have a title for it. frame looks good tires are shot. top is old, but is in ok condition. Justin 717-424-7462”

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1945 MB Oakland, Ca $5000


It looks like this has a few updates.  Note this has a rare center seat (spotted by Josh).


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1948 CJ-2A Valders, Wi $8000


This looks well restored.

“This little girl got her second chance at life. She’s a 48 that was stripped to her frame and redone. There was 14,901 miles on it when I got it, so the motor is untouched and starts right up. I put 152 miles on her so far since I finished her. The body is all Steel!!!! Not a Bondo bucket like a lot of them I’ve seen. I replaced all the rusted areas with the original thickness steel, not the cheap reproduction panels. Seats were redone to original specs. This one was not ordered with a rear seat so the factory plugs are still there! The suspenion has all new shocks, bushings, bolts, brake lines, brakes, everything. She still has her 6 volt electrical system. Now if you are looking for one for the originality this might not be for you. First off you couldn’t get a blue with white wheels jeep in 48. Also, the frame and axels are out of a CJ3B (stronger then the CJ2A), comes with the original axels if you want. And I added turn signals to make the drive easier. I did this jeep to be USED, not a trophy getter, so it is not 100% perfect. Thats why I did the things I did, but she still won best of class at the one car show that I did take it to. I DON’T HAVE TO SELL IT. So no low ballers or tire kickers. I just thought I’d let someone else have fun with it, and I’d start another project. My cell phone number is 1-920-901-6568”

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1952 M-38 Saratoga, Ny $6500


It sounds like a low mileage, solid jeep, but isn’t completely stock (rear bumper for starters).

“1952 jeep willys m38-1-a beautiful condition, only 7490 mi. frame in body rock solid . Engine runs great. This was school owned it was only used on bus garage grounds. its an original army jeep from the korean war era was what they drove around in on the show MASH. call 518-860-8857 T.Y. was on road as of this month. taking off road this week.”

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1961 Truck Blackfoot, ID **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Willys Trucks • TAGS: .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $1900

“1961 Jeep Willys Pickup Project. Color is Blue. 6 Cylinder. Was running when parked years ago. Needs some glass but a good truck to start your project with!”


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1947 CJ-2A Smithfield, PA **SOLD**


UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $1000. 

Here’s a jeep needing a new body according to the seller.

“1947 Willys CJ2A. Needs Restoration. Tub is shot so it will need a tub. Drivetrain is complete and Frame is solid. Need to sell!! $1,000.00 O.B.O.”