Mechanix Research Archives

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1946 Plans for Electric Jeep in Mechanix Illustrated

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine, Models, Old Images, Old News Articles • TAGS: .

UPDATE: I wonder if this electric jeep pictured in the November 05, 1943, issue of the Arizona Republic newspaper was the inspiration for the Jeep for Junior published in 1946?



The post originally ran in 2014: These plans for an “Electric Jeep for Junior” come from a September 1946 Issue of Mechanix Illustrated Magazine.

Search ebay for original issues of the September 1946 issue of Mechanix Illustrated

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Mechanix Illustrated Magazine: Jiving up the Jeep, Articles 1-4

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine, Old News Articles • TAGS: .

UPDATE: Steve obtained copies of article #2, so now this list is complete!

Nine years ago there was a post about “Jivin up the Jeep”, which referenced a series of articles in Mechanix Illustrated Magazine. At that time, I could only locate articles #3 and #4. Steve Zamell just shared the earliest of the four with me (Thanks!). And, I found a poor image of article #2 So, below you’ll find information about all four articles.

According to the information on this Modern Mechanic Post, the October and November 1946 issues of Modern Mechanic magazine each included an article titled “Jivin up the Jeep” that shares various modifications. Those articles were a big hit across the US, as readers from all over sent in follow up suggestions and ideas. That led to an additional two articles, one in April of 1947 and one in November of 1947. I’ve shown the pictorial portions of the articles below. There’s additional content on the 1947 links.

From October 1946 Part I – A few Jeep ideas:


From November 1946 Part II – I just bought a cheap issue of this magazine. I’ll update these poor pics found on a current  eBay ad once I receive my copy of the magazine. Looks like this article covers the creation of a custom hardtop:

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From April 1947: Custom Tops

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Squirrel Cage Article and Photo

• CATEGORIES: Magazine, Old Images, Old News Articles • TAGS: .

UPDATE II: Bob Westerman shared a few cage photos he’s found during his research:


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UPDATE: Dan tracked down this detailed explanation of the Squirrel Cage:


The November 9, 1948, issue of the Evening Star ran a short article on the Squirrel Cage. A February 1949 issue of Mechanix Magazine ran the same photo (and it’s more clear).

The Evening Star photo and caption:


The Modern Mechanix photo and caption:

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Rube Goldberg Illustrated Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features • TAGS: .

I found this illustration of a Rube Goldberg (yes, of the Rube Goldberg machines) drawn jeep from the September 1946 issue of Mechanix Magazine. I’m not quite sure what the UNO on the grille means.



Below is the full page:  Continue reading

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McCahill’s Review of the Jeep Wagoneer

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine • TAGS: .

In a comment from the post about the FC-150 review by Tom McCahill, Mike remembered seeing McCahill’s review about the Jeep Wagoneer. It didn’t take me long to find a cheap copy of the May 1966 issue (pg 87) that featured the surprisingly enthusiastic review of the Jeep.

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1957 Mechanix Illustrated Article about the New FC-150

• CATEGORIES: FC150-FC170-M677, Features, Magazine • TAGS: .

In honor of this weekend’s FC Northwest Gettogether in Tacoma, Washington, I thought this article was appropriate. McCahill isn’t shy about some of his ‘beefs’ with the new FC.

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1952 Photo of TV Repair Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine • TAGS: .

Steve forwarded this gem. This photo and article were published in the February 1952 issue of Mechanix magazine (pg 76). The article highlights two entrepreneurs who decided to provide home tv repair service by refurbishing a trailer into a mobile repair station pulled by a CJ-3A.


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Ford GP in Mechanix Magazine

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

Here’s a photograph from a December 1941 issue of Mechanix Magazine that shows a Ford GP participating in war games at the dawn of the US’s official entry into WWII.

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Modern Mechanix Tests the Jeepster and Station Wagon

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine, Old Images • TAGS: .

In the January 1950 Issue, Modern Mechanix took the Jeepster and Station Wagon for test drives.  Below is page 1.  You can see all the pages at the Modern Mechanix Blog.  In summary, the review isn’t all that flattering.

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Robin Hood Popcorn

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine, Old Images, Willys Wagons • TAGS: .

I like reading books about the history of odd subjects.  Whether gum, beer , milk or salt, if it is a history about something food related, I want to read it.   A few years ago I read a fun little book about the history of popcorn called Popped Culture: A Social History of Popcorn in America by Andrew Smith.  I was surprised to learn how many different kinds of popcorn there are, having grown up on the basic non-branded yellow variety.  So, when I spotted this article about popcorn trailers that were pulled by Willys Wagons, I thought it was interesting.  Below you can see the trailers built by Clyde Gould, see one of two wagons that pulled them, and learn about his attempt to create a popcorn business.  Unfortunately, the article doesn’t indicate how successful he was or what happened to the trailers.

You can read the entire article here:

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Remote Control Jeep from 1952

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

This ad was featured in a 1952 Modern Mechanix Magazine advertisement.  It advertises a remote control jeep that “goes forward . . reverse . . left . . right.  It’s called a “electra-JEEP”.

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Modern Mechanix Article on Rocket Brakes & a Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine, Old News Articles • TAGS: .

UPDATE: Originally published 12/15/2011

Nothing about this idea sounds good.  Mechanix discusses the attempts to use rockets for braking in their June 1946 edition of the magazine.  One of the vehicles tested was a military jeep, with a special pyramid behind the driver to protect in case of a roll.  It almost looks like the driver has a seat belt.

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The Jolly & Renault: Competitors to the DJ-3A Surrey

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old News Articles, Unusual • TAGS: .

UPDATE:  Glenn spotted this unusual competitor to the DJ-3A Surrey.  The seller calls it a Jolly, though the magazine picture below suggests it is actually the Renault (thanks DC).  The one shown below has been in the Newport Beach area for years and was once owned by the founder of Armor All. It is up for auction on eBay.

Included in the Auction is a picture of a Mechanix article that discusses the DJ-3A Surrey, the Jolly and a Renault Beach Wagon.  I tried to find the original article, but couldn’t.  However, I did the other Modern Mechanix articles about jeeps listed in the posts below this one.  Great stuff!

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Modern Mechanix Magazine Article about Kids and a Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine, Old News Articles • TAGS: .

This article ran in the September 1949 issue of Mechanix.  This might just qualify as the first Hi Hood!

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Modern Mechanix Magazine Article on Jeeps

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine, Old News Articles • TAGS: .

Mechanix ran this article and picture on the future of the jeep in December of 1944.  I think I might have this picture somewhere else, but never new its origin.