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.
This photo comes from the New Canaan News Online and shows how the New Canaan troops used to jump a jeep with their horse. Click here to read the article about the New Canaan Mounted Troops.
The photo of Joe Jackson, Jr., below was published in several different newspapers based on this google search. He must have had a very loving wife to live in a jeep while touring Europe!
According to the article, “Joe is wearing a 64-year-old clown costume that belonged to his late father as he tries out the jeep station wagon he will use for touring Europe. Joe, who carries on a comedy act originated by his father, will use the station wagon for a dressing room and living quarters with his wife.”
The Milner Library at Illinois State University has a collection of Circus Memorabilia, including a nice digital archive. I’ve selected a couple of images that show jeeps Numbers 3, 4, and 5 from the Ringling Barnum Circus.
As you can see below, No 3 is working hard holding up Carmen Barrigon, while No. 4 lazily watches.
Meanwhile, No. 5 is doing all the heavily lifting. The photographer, Sverre O. Braathen, calls this a Ford Jeep, but it looks like a CJ-3A the way the bumper is bolted onto the frame, though it also has a CJ-2A windshield. The rear PTO is raising the platforms for seating. My circus book has a good shot of the PTO setup from the rear, but I haven’t had a chance to scan that.
Yesterday I received a book I purchased earlier this month called “Circus and Carnival Trucks 1923-2000″. Though mostly about trucks, the book includes several pictures of jeeps. One of the pictures shows a jeep modified into a performance prop called the “Little Red School House”. Essentially, it’s a mobile school house that can be brought into a performance and then quickly driven away.
Trying to find other examples of this, I discovered a great thread from the CJ-2A Page about a jeep ownerwho managed to track down the history of a early CJ-2A his father bought from the Ringling Brothers Circus. After some help from the forum and some research, he discovered several photos of his jeep all dressed up as “Lilliput”.
The Illinois State University has some pictures of Lilliput. Here are a couple. You can view more pics and the entire thread related to the re-discovery of Lilliput at the CJ-2A Page.
2) http://digital.library.illinoisstate.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/circus/id/908/rec/109 (you can just see the pto bar sticking out from the rear of the jeep).
Here’s another example of a performance jeep. This is the “Little Red School House”. The picture is from the side. The second looks more like a jeep.
4) This picture is on page 50 of the book I mentioned at the beginning of this post.
Kam the elephant starred for the Bertram Mills Circus during the 1950s and into the 1960s. Initially, Kam drove a modified MB/GPW. It looks like it had an updated motor. Unfortunately, the only images I have found of Kam on the jeep are from the above poster and from page 240 of “The Jeep” book (a black and white photo which I don’t show). In the photo, as in the poster, there is a hump in the hood, which I assume is the result of the engine swap. The jeep has the usual WWII attributes: tool indents, rear floating hubs and other details. Unlike the poster, the photo shows the fenders were left stock and flat, rather than rounded as shown in the poster.
Eventually, according to the site Silodrome, the circus bought a 1959 Series 1 Land Rover and modified it with a “central steering wheel and a huge, padded seat over the rear axle”. The picture below is also from Silodrome. Here is a very short video of him driving it. Kam’s customized Land Rover has been found and is being rebuilt.
This photo was at a Pacific History site, though it isn’t clear to me whose site this actually is. The picture was part of a Honolulu Star-Bulletin newspaper and likely was taken in 1946. According to the caption, “Seems someone wrote in and complained that the newspaper photographer’s Jeep looked “like it belonged in a circus,” so when the circus actually came to town, the photographer obliged. Note the chrome wheels, bumper and grill on this surplus GPW, and the fabric-wrapped steering wheel. I’d be willing to bet the body isn’t olive-drab any more. Suggestions? I’m guessing bright blue.”
On January 7, 1953, Ringling Circus clown Paul Jerome posed for photographer Joseph Janny Steinmetz. The reason for shooting a clown in a jeep on the beach is unknown; however, Steinmetz lived in Sarasota, FL, so maybe the location was convenient. Both photos are from the State Archives of Florida.
Note the jeep has both bowholders and possibly a spare tire carrier on the driver’s side.
I spotted this 1950 picture on the Buckles Blog, a blog that presents circus history from all over the world. I with this picture was bigger. According the blog post, “Here we see a Jeep with a power take-off in the process of raising the sides of each seat wagon. The outer corners were supported with long braces and then the front end of each vehicle would be lowered to form a grand stand.”