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Carson’s “CarCraft” Hardtop

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features • TAGS: .

UPDATE: This post started out as a post about Koenig hardtops, but that lead to updates on the Car Craft and Blue Star hardtops. I should have the Koenig post done for Saturday morning.

This updated post provides more info on the CARCRAFT hardtop. An early Special Equipment catalog contained two different versions of the Carson Machine & Supply Company’s Car Craft brochure. I’ve added a third brochure at the bottom which I’d found off of eBay years ago. Here are two real-world examples: one jeep and another jeep.

This brochure was published back in 2017. It features a CJ-2A and does not have the stylized CARCRAFT branding. Instead, it shows a plain “Car Craft” brand with a space added.

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This is the first time I’ve published this brochure. It includes the new CARCRAFT branding and used a CJ-3A jeep:

Scanned Document Scanned Document


This brochure was available on eBay in 2013.  It appears to be the company’s signature brochure for the hardtop. I haven’t tracked down another copy:


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Blue Star Aluminum Tops

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features • TAGS: .

Rooney77’s Blue Star Top for sale

UPDATE: This post from 2014 has been updated with additional brochure examples. See all the Blue Star hardtops documented thus far:

(From 2014) This Blue Star aluminum top was built by the Blue Manufacturing Company, founded in Kansas by Max Blue circa 1946. ‘Blue Star’ was the brand name used on several products he produced.  There’s some conflicting information, but it appears In 1946 Blue Manufacturing was building aluminum airline parts. About that time, as a hobby, Max began building aluminum boats. He also tried manufacturing and selling jeep hard tops.

Demand was so great for the boats that in 1948 he leased space and built boats full-time. Meanwhile, he either sold or abandoned the jeep top business altogether. Given only a few Blue Star tops have surfaced over the last few years, I imagine he didn’t sell too many of them.

However, Max was able to sell boats. By 1953 the company was building 1,000 boats a year. In July of 1953 he moved the company from Goddard, Kansas, to Miami, Oklahoma. There are various articles into 1960 that talk about the Blue Manufacturing Company. However, the company appears to have ceased boat production in 1964.

This brochure featuring a CJ-2A is the earliest example I have of this top. It was part of an early industrial equipment book.


Here’s another example, this time with a CJ-3A:


Here’s an ad that was featured on eBay.


Here’s an example of the logo badge:


Here is an example of the half tops:


Actual top:


Here are some photos of actual full hardtops:

blue-star-hardtop3 blue-star-hardtop2 blue-star-hardtop4During the summer of 2013 a seller on eBay had two jeeps with Blue Star tops for sale:

Jeep 1)

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Jeep 2)

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1941 Photo of Bantam BRC-40 in Longview, WA on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Bantam-FordGP-WillysMA-EarlyJPs, Features, Old Images

Good photo of a Bantam BRC-40 laying in wait during some war games in Longview, Washington.

View all the information on eBay

“This is an original press photo. Trucks – United States. One of the army’s newest and most lethal weapon carriers is this tiny “jeep” or 1/4 ton truck, mounting a machine gun. Behind the gun is Private Earl Bever and at the wheel is Corporal Anton Stefanski, of the 32nd Infantry of Fort Ord’s 7th Division, now engaged with the defending/Blue forces in resisting the “Red” attack in southwestern Washington. Longview. Photo measures 10 x 8.25 inches. Photo is dated 8-21-1941.”

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Photo of Jeep Being Carried by Cable Car on Ebay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images

This photo shows a jeep being carried up to the remote city of Valais, Switzerland.

View all the information on ebay

“This is an original press photo. Air Lift: Iserables, a mountain village with a population of 1500 located in the Canton of Valais, Switzerland, is so completely isolated that it must depend on this aerial cable car to get supplies from the rest of the world. In addition to the jeep, the special attachment under the aerial car has carried everything from a baby carriage to a cow. Photo measures 8.25 x 10.25 inches. Photo is dated –none.”

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Kermath Sea Engine w/ Hydro Jet Seven Valleys, PA $500

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Engine, Features

Jordan spotted this unusual combo. This package creates an early jet powered boat using a Kermath modified L-134 and a Hanley Hydrojet. I’ve included a Kermath brochure and links to the development of the Hydrojet by Keenan Hanley at the bottom of the post.

“Willys Jeep engine block casting number 804380, and Hanley Kermath HydroJet. I’ve never attempted to start. $500”
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1948 CJ-2A Delta, CO $7500


Appears solid.

“Selling my 1948 jeep Willy’s with a flat head four cylinder and a Manuel 3 speed trans. Thing runs and drives great fun clean little jeep. All original drivetrain no rust. Asking $7500 obo open to trades.”

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1954 CJ-3B Social Circle, AL $6500


Seems worth a look.×4/7011994746.html

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“1954 Willys CJ3B 4×4 2nd year with the Hurricane, overhead valve motor. It has the flat fenders and taller hood. The previous owner had the motor rebuilt and the body is good. It has new seat covers, new water pump, electronic ignition, electric fuel pump, lock-out hubs and good tires.
There are seat belts for 4 and it’s street legal.
Could be restored, hot rodded or driven as is. $6500 firm”

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230 Racing Intake Manifold in Maumee, OH $3000


Franco spotted this custom Argentina-built intake manifold for a Tornado 230. The seller describes it as a head, but it looks to be an intake manifold.

“Jeep 230 racing head,built 1970 in Argentina,complete with 3 Weber carbs,never used,built for the Tornado engine.$3000.00 419-461-3416 OH after 6 pm. ”



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1962 DJ-3A Tonapah, AZ **Status Unknown**


UPDATE: Status Unknown. Was $600.

This was a convertible DJ-3A. There might be some useful parts left, as few of which are unique to the DJ-3A.

“I have 1950s Willys Jeep for sale. It’s a solid project!No rust. Was gonna Rat Rod it.She’s looking for a new home, way too many project’s, need to downsize. Asking $600.00 OBO. Make me an offer.”

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1942 MBT Willys Trailer Chandler, AZ **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: trailer

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $550.

Might be a reasonable price.

“This is a WWII Willys MBT trailer. Has rust, make a good hauler or adventure trailer. Priced right.”


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1955 CJ-3B Montesano, WA $16,500


UPDATE: Still Available.

(09/19/2019) Looks in good shape.

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1955 High Hood Willys, nut and bolt restoration super clean 99% original parts completely rust free. this is a 3 owner fully documented Jeep only 28K original miles on the stock 4 cyl, 134 hurricane motor, original numbers matching engine and running gear, original body and tub. Updated to 12 volt. Runs and drives great. Includes new white top and full doors, also have an overdrive for the trans and other misc parts. Super clean, never wheeled since restoration, always stored indoors heated shop. Will consider trades for a 4 door Jeep JK 2014 with cash on my end.”


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1946 VEC CJ-2A Boise, ID $2750


UPDATE: Still Available.

(10/14/2019) This has a column shift, a governor and a PTO.

“I have top many jeep projects, so this one needs to go. Early model Willys CJ2A that has the 3 speed on the steering column rather than on the floor. There is also the PTO shifter, but no PTO winch or other devices. The engine looks fairly original. This is a project and will need some rust removal, etc. Clean Idaho title I am open to trades for a car hauler or high end lead throwers, or other interesting items”

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1946 CJ-2A Chico, CA $4800


UPDATE: Still Available.

(07/16/2018) Has updates. Might have a VEC body.

“This jeep has a 1975 odd-fire 3.8L (231 ci) v6 with Offenhauser 360 aluminum manifold and Holley 4bbl carb. Also has automatic trans, warn overdrive, 4.88 axle ratios, 11″ brakes all around (just converted to silicone brake fluid so new wheel, master cylinder and soft hoses!), dual fuel tanks, full roll cage and a back seat (needs to be reupholstered). Have soft top with all hardware, but needs new top. Also needs paint and new tires (lots of tread but very old).”

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Year? GPW? Rigby, ID $2000


UPDATE: Still Available.

(10/25/2019) Not sure how much value is here, but may be a GPW. It’s listed as a 1947 Ford.

“1947 ford , willys Has axles and all a original No engine”

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W-O Canvas Soldenized Duck Soft Top

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

Rear view of the W-O Canvas Top on a VEC CJ-2A. The PTO pump looks to my untrained eye to be an MP Universal Jeep Packaged Pump Model 12M-WJ.

UPDATE II: I’ve added a second version of the W-O Canvas Top brochure (tan brochures). they come from a Willys-Overland Equipment Book that, based on other brochures contained in that book, was likely published earlier than the brochures that appeared in the original version of the post.

This jeep brochure from an early Willys-Overland Special Equipment catalog highlights the first production soft top for the CJ-2A. It was labeled a W-O Canvas Top. The material used wasn’t your average canvas, at least according to the brochure. Instead, it was 10oz soldenized duck. That description meant nothing to me, so I attempted to decipher it.

Scanned Document

Scanned Document

These two brochures were published in a Willys Industrial Equipment book. It appears Willys-Overland changed up the name slightly to the Willys Canvas Top, though in the text the W-O Canvas Top name remains the same as above.



The biggest mystery was the term “soldenized”. Not even the internet knows what “soldenized” means. The fact that the term probably describes a means of mildew or waterproofing makes sense, and Robert Ackerson described it similarly in his jeep book, but that’s more a description of the result of the process, not a description of the process itself.

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FJ-3 Vs. FJ-3A


In a discussion about FJ-3s and FJ-3As, I wondered why I was confused about the grille FJ-3s had. After looking at some pics and brochures, I realized that the brochures I had all showed the FJ-3 with an FC-like grille. Yet, all the production model images I could find had a horizontal grille. I don’t know when or why the change was made; perhaps it had to do with the intellectual property issue associated with the normal ‘jeep’ grille vis-a-vis the US Post Office?

Also of note, the front bumpers in the brochures are different and the brochure FJ-3s lack panel-side windows, whereas the production models have them.

The FJ-3A, which, as I understand, was targeted at non-USPS businesses, dropped the FC-looking grille design and went back to the vertical tines. The production models were consistent with that. Based on the brochures and pics, the panel-side rear windows were not carried over from the FJ-3 either.


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May 1957 FC-170 Postcard on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

This appears to be an introductory mailer for the FC-170.

View all the information on eBay

“Hello, You are looking at an ORIGINAL bi-fold Postcard
1957 Forward Control JEEP FC-170
Eccher’s Jeep, Ferndale, Pa.”




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1947 CJ-2A Yorba Linda, CA $6500


UPDATE: Price dropped to $6500.

(07/23/2019) Looks in good shape. Has a Buick 225.

“1947 Willys cj2a for sale. This Jeep has Buick v6 225, t90 transmission, Dana 18 transfer case, and warn overdrive. Vehicle mileage is unknown odometer says 6k. Comes with many other parts. Please ask if you have any questions.”

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1948 CJ-2A John Day, OR $6500


UPDATE: Still Available.

(10/14/2019) Seems worth a look.

“stock six volt 4cyl.all stock”



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1959 Wagon Scio, OR $8500

• CATEGORIES: Willys Wagons

This looks in good shape.

“59 Willy’s wagon 4×4 with pto winch. 3 speed all original. New tires runs and drives awesome”

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1946 CJ-2A Chico, CA $3000


It runs and has a column shifter.

“1 owner runs straight body title in hand. Please no tire kickers.”

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1948 CJ-2A Kaltenkirchen, Germany 23,900€


This jeep reached Germany vis Venezuela. It’s a mix of military and civilian parts, so it’s not very original. In addition, the body has some odd features. I thought it might be fiberglass, but can’t tell for sure.

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“23,900 € (gross)
VAT not included

This Willys Jeep was produced in 1948 and shipped to Venezuela. Probably the jeep served there in the military. The original SUV was recently brought to Germany and here extensively revised and refined in some areas. For example, the electrical system was switched to 12 volts and received a modern fuse box. The front axle got additional freewheel scars. The mounted powerful winch provides even more applications.

Thanks to the extensive work, this Willys is also in very good condition in detail.
Treat yourself to this original all-rounder for new adventures.
We have access to more vehicles in different states!”

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1950 CJ-3A Bellingham, WA $2485


Unusual hood scoop.

“V8 Corvette 1969 Engine, 4×4. Run and Drive.”

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1967? CJ-6 Worcester, MA $500


Listed as a 1967, this has a 1955 0-10 KS speedo and the faux battery box lid.

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1952 CJ-3A? Benton City, WA $10,000


No pics provided.

“52 willys cj2a lots of history with this jeep been dragging It around for almost 30 years body rough, frame in good shape out boarded springs w/lift only 3 buck shot mudders international 44 axles”