Seth spotted this postcard depicting a jeep pulling visitor trams at the Wisconsin Deer Park at the Wisconsin Dells. Opened in the 1950s (see history here), the park still operates, but there’s no evidence that the trams are still used, The closest thing to a jeep tram is a kids train.
UPDATE: There’s another Hammock State Park postcard on eBay. The original post is from 2013.
“This is a very cool black/white postcard that shows a jeep “Conducted Tour – Highlands Hammock State Park in Sebring Florida” It is unused, but has a hand written date of 1955 on the back. It is in excellent condition.”
Highlands Hammock State Park ran tour trains from at least 1948 – 1962. As the first photo shows, they started with a CJ-2A. It looks like a set of benches on a platform with wheels. By 1962, the park shifted to CJ-5s. It also appears they added sides. I images that was safer. These are all from the State Archives of Florida.
Another example of a Jeep Train. This one is from St. Augustine.
This photo and caption was published in the Toledo Blade, August 13, 1943.
You can learn more about Fantastic Caverns here: http://www.ewillys.com/2012/11/22/bill-visits-the-fantastic-caverns/
“Springfield Missouri~Jeep & Tram Thru Fantastic Caverns~1960s Postcard”
UPDATE: **SOLD** Was on eBay.
This Winter Park Surrey postcard doesn’t pop on eBay very often. It shows a DJ-3A Surrey pulling a matching trailer in Winter Park, Florida.
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Here’s another view of the same combo:
UPDATE: **SOLD** Was on eBay. Here’s another one of these rare Arcadia Jeep Train postcards.
This postcard depicts how tram visitors used to tour the former Santa Anita ranch of “Lucky Baldwin”, who made millions in silver. According to the website, “Occupying the heart of the historic Rancho Santa Anita, The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden is a unique 127 acre botanical garden and historical site jointly operated by the Los Angeles Arboretum Foundation and the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation and located in the city of Arcadia.”
Paul spotted this unique Inspection Willys Jeep Truck at Just a Car Guy’s blog. I would guess this was sold as a truck with no bed. What’s odd is the extra cab thing on the top. Looks like it was part of another vehicle.
I’ve got more information about this jeep train called the Last Chancer from Helena, Montana, here.
“Original Vintage Snapshot Photo Jeep Powered The Last Chancer Tourist Steam Train Helena Montana dated 1964. Size is 3.5×5 inches.”
UPDATE: Was $8500. **Status Unknown**
JAAP correctly noted this was built from an Allis-Chambers M7 Snowcat platform. Here’s a restoration of a M7 for comparison: http://www.robertsarmory.com/M7-snow-tractor.htm
“Here is your opportunity to get a great piece of American ingenuity and history. This is a one of a kind train built back in the 1950’s by hand. I do not know anything of the man that built it but believe he must have had some railroad experience or a great understanding of how a train operates on the tracks. The train is built with front suspension that allows it to turn with the tracks along with allowing it to float into the turns with the spring suspension. The rear of the train is designed with the same setup. The drivetrain is built of a war time 1944 Willys Jeep. It has the L-head 134.2 cubic inch inline 4 cylinder Go Devil Engine. Followed up with a T-84 3 speed transmission. The transmission has what looks to be a custom transmission brake on it for slowing the train. The transmission is followed up by a shortened drive shaft to a narrowed rear-end to which came from the same jeep.
The motor spins free and everything looks to be in place as well as the transmission shifting. I have not tried to start it. Last time it was reported to be ran is when it was parked about 20 years ago. The rest of the train is built with a stout frame and a beautifully done engine cover hand formed from numerous sheets of skins to give it a period correct look of its time. The head light is from a 1941 Chevrolet car.
This is another Africa USA Jeep Train postcard. It’s a pretty good shot of the tram cars.
“Great old post card! The item in the pictures is the item you will receive. Free shipping anywhere in the continental USA. Reasonable rates for other areas.”
UPDATE: This is back on eBay
“Original 1945 Vintage Ad Ethyl Corporation Gasoline Curtiss Commando Plane,Jeep,Navy Boat.
In very good condition, measuring approximately 8″ x 10.5″ and is ready for framing.
Comes in a protective plastic covering with a backing board to protect from bending.”
Looks like a CJ-5 is underneath the train-looking body. The photo is from Manhattan, Kansas. The train is a Deibler Trackless Train.
This CJ-5 used to ferry visitors around Baraboo. I visited Barboo about two decades ago, but alas never saw it. Must have already been gone.
You might remember that Ann and I visited the Shelburne Museum in June of 2013. According to this brochure, they used to have a jeep-train (which they called the museum barge). I’ll do some searches for more photos.
Here’s a rare jeep-train photo Marc forwarded. I’ll see if I can find more info about this. We stopped near here during our stay in Mackinaw City, MI in May.
This postcard of Africa USA includes one of their jeep trains.
“Take a step back in history and view this vintage souvenir postcard. This is a LINEN postcard. The postcard was published by Curt Teich Company ~ it is a C.T. Art Colortone and is number “6C-H8”, which indicates this postcard was printed in 1956.
This postcard features Giraffe and Rare Grevy Zebras at Africa U.S.A. located in Boca Raton, Florida. The giraffe is eating a tree in the background. Look at the right area of the postcard and you can see a train filled with tourists.
This postcard is a CHILD TICKET for the JUNGLE SAFARI. The back, printed in red, are the price for a CHILD’s TICKET (.85 cents) AND the breakdown of the Costs (Fare .77 – Federal Tax .08 – .85). The ticket number “78979” (each postcard has a different number) is located in the back left corner. This postcard is a used ticket ~ there is a punched hole through the postcard, which indicates it was used: “This Ticket Void When Punched”. The following information is printed on the back of the postcard: Giraffe and Rare Grevy Zebras as seen from jeep safari. These and many more strange animals are all roaming free in this 300 acre fabulous uncaged jungle zoo.”
Australian Bill Pidgeon (Wikipedia) had a successful career as an illustrator, painter and correspondent from the 1920s through the 1970s. A three-time Archibald Prize winner, one of Bill’s descendants (Peter Pidgeon) has created a wonderful website devoted to Bill’s life. Among the items the site includes are drawings and photos of jeep trains encountered by Bill in the Pacific war-theatre during his trip as a war correspondent for The Australian Women’s Weekly. In his ‘war letters‘ are some detailed observations about daily life in Borneo following it’s release from Japanese control.
One of Bill’s more interesting observations was recorded in Borneo. On August 16th, 1945, he wrote:
From Labuan another four and a half hours of sitting on a barge like a redhot waffle iron will bring you to the area occupied by the 24th Bgde. This is the land of the celebrated jeep train. Steam engines used to haul the train from Weston to Jesselton but on their hurried way out the Nips did their best to incapacitate the locomotives and the RAAF filled the boilers full of holes. So the engineers put iron tyres on the jeeps and shoved them on the rails and hooked the trucks behind.
Here is an example of an illustration and photo published on the site. There are others from an August 4-6, 1945, letter:
An additional illustration sketched by Bill that might interest restorers includes a detailed look at designs and colors used to mark one jeep train.
Here’s a great shot of a jeep on rails from the April 14, 1944 issue of Illustrated London News.
Sebastian’s in Colombia for a week and forwarded this article regarding a jeep train in Colombia. Here are a few photos and the link to the article (it is in Spanish).
Bob reports they’ve been running this Jeep Train in Galveston, TX, since 1951. I tried to find some old photos or articles, but didn’t have any luck.
The Lincoln Road Mall appears to be in Miami.
UPDATE: **SOLD** Was on eBay
The original Broward County Jeep Tram was launched by Hugh B. Cramer in 1946. Hugh brought five jeeps with him from Buffalo that could be linked together and drive out onto sandy beaches.
Hugh’s plan didn’t succeed, but a jeep tram did root itself in Hallandale. According to this article, the jeep trams were begun in 1982 as an adjunct to the bus system, but this photo suggests it happened earlier. The city paid for the majority of the costs. As of 1990 the trams were still running based on the picture at the bottom.
1. “You are bidding on an original press photo from 1980 featuring Tram in Hallandale. . Photo is 10” x 8” in size.”
2. You are bidding on an original press photo from 1990 featuring Voyager Tram… Broward . Photo is 10” x 8” in size.
UPDATE: Back on eBay
The Prehistoric Forest & Mystery Hill park in Marblehead in Ohio once featured these jeep trains. I guess jeeps and dinosaurs go together? The park closed at the end of 2010 based on what I’ve read. There is no date associated with the below card.
UPDATE: Was on eBay. **SOLD**
Here’s a jeep tram that is pulling tourists along the Huntington Beach Pier.