Four-Wheeler-Magazine Research Archives

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Desert Dog History and Ads

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

UPDATE: After spotting an ad I hadn’t published yet (seen below), I realized that there was Desert Dog history that existed among various posts. So, this combines all that into more of a narrative.

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If you have read eWillys for any length of time, you know I’ve been a fan of Desert Dog tires for years. I still have eight desert dogs, some solid lettering and some outlined, as shown in the pic below:xmas_2011_biscuit19_ditch3_lores

According to Louis Larson, the Desert Dog tire was launched in 1970. He knows this, because in 1970 he became the first person to test out the new style of tires (see the bottom of this CJ-3B Page article). The tires were given to Louis for testing and photographing.

David Maxwell, a former Formula tires salesman, reported that the tires were always made by Armstrong, but marketed through the Formula brand, the president of which was a friend of David’s (see David’s comment and many others on this post). The company made a large number of retreads, so a number of tires also had Firestone on the side, too.

The tires proved popular quickly. Les Schwab was a big fan of them and ran them on his jeep (jeeps?). He also sold both new and retread tires out of his main shop in Prineville (see Les Schwab’s biography here).

For PNW jeepers, the tires were a perfect blend for racing and for jeeping and the varied terrains of the PNW (sand, gravel, rocks, mountain sides, mud, etc … as Joe1148 highlights in his comment here .. though I can attest to it as well). On the downside, their road life was short (some estimate about 10k miles) and they tended to be noisy. The tires’ popularity gained them prominence, and soon they were added to charts showing tire options, such as this January 1972 ad:

1972-01-mini-terra-trail-blazer-desertdog

By 1973, Desert Dogs were being advertised in Four Wheeler Magazine (ads at the bottom of this post) and sold across the country. This Smith Jeep, Inc. ad from North Franklin, Connecticut, in the July 1973 issue of Four Wheeler Magazine is one example of an East Coast offering:

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Eventually, the Formula brand expand its offering. I don’t know when each of these tires was introduced (I think this ad is from 1975, but have to confirm it), but Formula was soon offering more tires choices:

desert-dog-X-tra-Formula-Tires

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King Top Manufacturing Company

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

UPDATE: This post has been merged and reworked after I figured out that the two tops were actually related. 

In July of 1963, Fresno-based Automotive Fiberglass Company placed an advertisement in Four Wheeler magazine for its new fiberglass hardtop. I wonder if the builder of this top was also a member of the Fresno Jeep Club?

This is the 1963 ad:

1963-07-fourwheeler-fiberglass-top-ad

July 1963 Ad from Automotive Fiberglass

This Automotive Fiberglass top appeared on a CJ-5 for sale in Fresno in 2010. It is the only jeep I’ve seen with an Automotive Fiberglass Top:

CJ-5 with 1963 fiberglass hardtop from Automotive Fiberglass. 

TIMELINE —
July 1963:
Automotive Fiberglass places ad in Four Wheeler Magazine;

November 1963: Top King Manufacturing files design patent for an altered version of the Automotive Fiberglass top;
February 1964: Top King top is advertised in the Four Wheeler Magazine;
September 1964: A more detailed ad is placed in Four Wheeler Magazine.

A few months after the Automotive Fiberglass advertisement, two design patents were filed and assigned to Top King Manufacturing. You’ll note that the rear side-angle has been reversed. The mid-section insert piece for the side was also changed, altered from a triangle shape to a rhombus shape.  Here’s the design patent information from the Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office:

 

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November 1963 Design Patent filing for Top King. Note that I haven’t had the time to investigate the designers mentioned in the patent. 

By February 1964, King Top was advertising the newly redesigned top in Four Wheeler Magazine. Curiously, the company listed its name as the Top King Fiberglass Company rather than Top King Manufacturing (could be a relic from the Automotive Fiberglass company days):

1964-02-fourwheeler-pg42-king-top-fiberglass-ad-lores

February 1964 Ad from Top King.

Seven months later, this second ad was placed in the September 1964 issue of Four Wheeler Magazine. The company had corrected its name for the ad back to Top King Manufacturing. Additionally, Top King announced it would soon have flatfender versions of the top available, along with a half cab version. Have any of these survived?

1964-09-four-wheeler-top-king-fresno-ad-lores

September 1964 Ad from Top King Manufacturing.

 
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Fred Weis and the Bobcat History

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

Yesterday morning, SteveK asked to know more about the Bobcat products. Were they race products or something else? The terminology is so second hand, that I thought everyone knew it by now. I decided to send him a link to an article I thought I had published about Fred Weis and the Bobcat body from the February 1970 issue of Four Wheeler Magazine. It turns out I never published that article!

So, I’d like to publish (perhaps I am republishing it) to better explain the Bobcat body and products. At the post’s bottom I’ve included a number of additional examples and information about the Bobcat. Then, on the next post, I discuss the Bobcat & Parkette fiberglass body histories.

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Note the Cascade 4×4 club sticker on the hood.

1970-02-fourwheeler-fred-weis-bobcat-text

1970-02-fourwheeler-fred-weis-bobcat-lores

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Ad for an Autodyne Hardtop

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

UPDATE: A search revealed a second ad, this time in the December 1968 issue of Desert Magazine (pg 34). That same issue also included ad for VW fenders by the same company (pg 42). 
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This fiberglass hardtop for CJ-5s was advertised in the November 1968 issue of Four Wheeler. I’ve never run crossed one.

1968-11-four-wheeler-magazine-autodyne-hardtop-ad

1968 Desert Magazine Ad of the VW fenders:

1968-12-desert-magazine-vw-fenders-autodyne

 
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Directions for Muller Custom Top

UPDATE: Hard to believe it has been almost three years since I published this post!

I discovered these directions for the Muller Custom Top in the August 1965 issue of Four Wheeler Magazine that we’ve seen on nicely modified Fresno area Jeeps.  I’m considering building one of these for Biscuit and selling my Kayline.

Page 40 (last page of article) below:1965-08-fourwheeler-muller-top-pg40

 
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The McCain Hub Winch

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

UPDATE: Not many of these winches around.

While going through some old Four Wheeler Magazines, I came across two different ads for a McCain Hub Winch.  As best as I can tell, you attach it to the front hub, wind a cable or rope around it, and then start the front wheels turning, which would pull the jeep forward.  Also, the February 1969 issue of Four Wheeler Magazine has an article about the winch, but the seller wants $25 for it.  I’ll wait until the price drops.

This first pic is an ad for the winch:

This second pic shows an ad for Chachua’s Four Wheel Drive Center.  If you see #2, you can read about the hubs:

 

 
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Parmley Fiberglass Body Kit Ad from 1974

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

This Parmley Engineering ad appeared on the back of January 1974 issue of Four Wheeler Magazine.

1974-01-fourwheeler-parmley-ad-backcover-lores

 
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National Four Wheel Drive Association Photo From Ad

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

This National Four Wheel Drive Association Photo appeared in the February 1964 issue of Four Wheeler Magazine near the back cover.

1964-02-fourwheeler-photo-insidecover

 

 
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Ad for Hickey 4×4 in Four Wheeler Magazine

I ran across this unusual ad for the complete setup for an unusual 4×4 in the February 1964 issue of Four Wheeler Magazine. The prototypes and parts were being sold by Vic Hickey (or he was acting as an agent). Anyone have more information on this? It appears to be a four wheel drive dune buggy.

1964-02-fourwheeler-hickey-fourwheeler-ad

 
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March 1964 Issue of Four Wheeler Magazine on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine • TAGS: .

I like the cover photo.

“Some of the articles in this issue
supercharger kit for jeep and scout
land rover conversion chevy V8 swap
jeep wagoneer can holder easy way to solve a tricky problem
lady on the trail wives take to four wheeling too,with a little humoring
mighty 1944 military jeep the fanciest military in years
new convertible top for jeep gladiator
pancho villa land four wheel drive trip over old mexican trails
ghost towning in southern CA in the pinto mountains”

View all the information on ebay

1964-03-fourwheeler-magazine

 
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Shot of Jim Carter from Vintage Four Wheeler Magazine

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

I bought a May 1975 issue of Four Wheeler Magazine, because it was cheap. I didn’t find anything interesting in it until stumbled across a picture of Jim Carter racing through mud on the last page. Jim and his wife Patti were long time friends of my parents and encouraged them to join the fledgling Wandering Willys Jeep Club. Those that have read my book might recognize the name.

For an unknown reason, JIm isn’t racing their jeep Otis, but someone else’s (or this photo is earlier than 1975). I do recognize that helmet though.

1975-05-fourwheeler-jim-carter-peak-putters-lores

 
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Mini Terror Tire Ad

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features, Tires and Rims • TAGS: .

I always thought these were mini-terra tires, but they were advertised as “mini-terror” off road tires.  I found this ad in the February, 1974, issue of Four Wheeler.

1974-02-four-wheeler-mini-terror-ad

 
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Parmley Engineering’s Jeep Replacement Body

As many of you know, I am very curious about the fiberglass aftermarket bodies made for the jeep.  While I’ve seen most models for sale over the years, I have yet to run across Parmley Engineering’s fiberglass body, one of the more unique ones ever created.

After wrecking his CJ-5 in the early 1970s, Californian Tom Parmley, a machinist by trade, decided to build himself a better body for his still-good chassis.  He wanted the body to legally accommodate  wider tires, a dash box with more room, a hood that was lower, and other features.  So, he built and tested his dream body with great success.  Along the way, he received so much positive feedback that he created a kit so others could easily install a Parmley body on their CJ-5 Chassis.

So far, I have only located two resources that document this body.  One is the February 1974 issue of Four Wheeler Magazine, which featured a multi-page article about the new body.  Additionally, at least two issues of Four Wheeler Magazine also have ads for the Parmley body kit.  The other resource is a June 1975 Popular Mechanics article.  The Pop-Mech article also shows off the fiberglass top he invented (at least I assume it is fiberglass).

Here are a couple publicity photos taken by Tom Parley and published in the Feb 1974 issue of Four Wheeler:

1974-02-four-wheeler-parmely1-lores 1974-02-four-wheeler-parmely2-lores 1974-02-four-wheeler-parmely3-lores

This image shows the Parmley with a top and is from Popular Mechanics.  Note the top example sports Desert Dogs …

1975-06-pg11-parmley-fiberglass-cj5-body

 
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Bountiful Jeep Posse and Racing

• CATEGORIES: Features, Racing • TAGS: , .

Having lived in Salt Lake City for ten years, I know the area pretty well. So, I’m surprised by just how active the four wheel drive clubs were in the valley.  For example, I just read a short article about the Utah County Jeepettes, a group of women (I think wives of jeepers) that organized events.  In addition, there were Jeep Posses in Utah County, Salt Lake City, and Sevier County, Utah.

As you can see in this picture, taken at the 1970 Pioneer Jeep Rally in Bountiful, held by the Bountiful Jeep Posse, this wasn’t just about Search and Rescue. Racing had become popular, too, just as it had taken hold in many other places. The first Pioneer Jeep Rally was held in 1965. By 1970, the event attracted racers from several intermountain states.  Two main events were held at the Pioneer Jeep Rallys, a hill climb and an obstacle course.

The article and picture below were published by Four Wheeler Magazine in July, 1971. To me this picture could easily have been taken above the city of Bountiful or Centerville.  It looks like the staging and parking was done along the valley’s bench.

 
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Contourtop from an April 1967 Four Wheeler Ad

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

**** If you have any Four Wheeler Magazines from the 1960s or 1970s and you don’t want them, I’d love to get them.  I’d like to record more of these unusual aftermarket items. Just email me at d@ewillys.com ****

I ran across this unusual Controurtop Hardtop in an ad from the April 1967 issue of Four Wheeler Magazine.  I’ve never seen one of these for sale on Craigslist.

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Topless Top in Four Wheeler Magazine on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine • TAGS: , .

This “Topless Top” article appeared in the March 1966 issue of Four Wheeler Magazine.  Given the top was made of plexiglass, I suspect it is unlikely there are many remaining (if any).  I have bid on the issue, so I hope to have better images and more information if/when I win it.

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