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Blue Star Aluminum Tops

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

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

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Here’s an ad that was featured on eBay.

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Here’s an example of the logo badge:

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Here is an example of the half tops:

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Actual top:

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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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Koenig Hardtop Brochures

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

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This is a good example of simple post that spun out of control. Initially, I wanted to look at some changes in Koenig’s CJ-5 hardtop model numbers over the years; But, that then expanded to a look at twenty years (or so) of brochures.

THE EARLY YEARS:

The timeline of the early Koenig brochures are pretty easy to identify based on the jeeps used. In later years, Koenig began using numbered ‘bulletins’ to identify brochures. At first, I thought the numbered bulletins should be ordered by ascending number, but after closer examination, I the later two digits of each bulletin number reflect the year of the brochure. As you will see, other brochure elements back this theory.

Before we start, you can find installation instructions for some Koenig hardtops here.

The earliest Koenig brochure I can find was published in an early Willys-Overland Equipment brochure (1949?). The models consisted of “Full Cab” and “Half Cab”. This brochure was included among a surprisingly large number of hardtop competitors’ brochures, including Worman tops, CarsonCraft tops, Boston Top tops, Sturdee tops, Porter & Reed tops, Body V7 Works tops, Blue Star tops, Lambert tops, Hills Custom Built tops and Meyers tops (which became sears tops and a company that was different from the one that produced later Meyer tops).

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This brochure circa 1949 showed half and full cabs on a CJ-3A:

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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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1947 CJ-2A Maryville, MO $22,000

• CATEGORIES: CJ-2A • TAGS: , .

It’s a crazy price. That said, it does have a nice example of a Blue Star hardtop and what appear to be late model Free Lock hubs.

“1947 Willys Flat Fender Jeep
CJ4-CJ Civilian Jeep
4 cylinder engine/4 wheel drive/spare gas tank/top/ with doors/spare tire/new brakes
100 miles on the rebuilt engine/all a regional
80,000 miles on mileage metor/ 3 rd roll seat
6 volt/converted to 8 volt battery
RUNS GREAT/ SELLING DUE TO ESTATE SALE”

https://stjoseph.craigslist.org/cto/d/1947-willys-flat-fender-jeep/6458867714.html

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Laurel C. Worman and the Worman Products for Early Jeeps

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

UPDATE: This article appeared in the 2016 Winter edition of Dispatcher Magazine. The original of this was posted in October of 2106 as a series of notes, but is now updated with text from that article along with some additional photos.

Willys-Overland equipment manufacturers experienced a range of successes and failures. One of those who entered the market at the dawn of the CJ-2A to achieve the former was Laurel C. Worman, a businessman who created the first set of jeep hardtops for different applications, most sold under the brand Jee-Cab.

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Early Willys-Overland branded Laurel C. Worman built hardtop.

EARLY YEARS OF LAUREL C. WORMAN:
Laurel C. Worman was born in 1898 in Toledo, Ohio, to Ernest and Clara Worman. He was the younger of two children. The boy’s father Ernest was a self-made man, who developed a large hardwood lumber business, something Laurel must have watched with fascination. When he was old enough, Laurel married Muriel Florence Jackson. The pair had two sons, Ernest “Ernie” William and Lester Lee Worman. The couple later divorced. By 1940, Laurel had remarried a woman named Ruth.

Perhaps Laurel’s father’s entrepreneurial influence led him to become a self-made man himself. While his early employment history has yet to be unearthed, by 1941, Laurel was president of Packard Toledo, Inc. Well known in Toledo automotive circles, Laurel later that year became a northwestern Ohio distributor for the new Willys Americar. It may have been the car that interested him most, but more likely it was the potential of the jeep, which had garnered automotive interest for more than a year.

About this time in 1941, Laurel C. Worman incorporated a company by the same name, under which he placed the Willys dealership. It was only one of several companies he would co-found. In December 1941, he went to Washington, D. C., as a dealer representative and gathered with other auto industry to reps to establish a ceiling on car prices, perhaps in anticipation of war. Four days after returning from his D. C. meeting, the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor.

The war doesn’t appear to have slowed Worman down. By 1942, he was placing ads in the Toledo Blade, arguing how “Willys Truck Owners Are Lucky!” Laurel noted that Willys-Overland had produced the most economical line of trucks. He told potential customers they would be well-served by the truck’s low use of gasoline and their rugged nature, two characteristics important for enduring war time challenges. Worman also made sure to note that Willys was the producer of the jeep, already famous by September of 1942.

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As an automotive dealer seemingly in the thick of things in Toledo during WWII, there’s no evidence he formed plans for any jeep equipment. But, as a Willys dealer in Toledo, he certainly would have stayed abreast of the CJ’s progress and must have saw potential in the jeep following the war.

THE CJ-2A ARRIVES:
When the CJ-2A was introduced to the public in July of 1945, options included a front soft top ($55) and rear soft top ($39). The first civilian hardtop half-cab, according to Fred Coldwell in his Preproduction Civilian Jeep book, didn’t go into production until the fall of 1945. Somewhere around that time, the Army asked Willys-Overland to design a full steel cab for the late 1945 MBs. The result was a stretched version of the half cab, but it never went into production. One probable reason was that steel was in short supply. Another reason was that they were heavy.

In August 1945, Worman invited prospective buyers to visit his dealership and see the new “Universal ‘Jeep’” for themselves. The amazing “4-in-1” vehicle was advertised as a light truck, a light tractor, a runabout, and a mobile power unit. But, it still lacked the comfort of a full cab, a fact that must have been apparent to Worman as he engaged customers and sold jeeps through ’45 and into ’46.

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Perhaps after hearing from dealers and customers that they’d prefer a hard top over the canvas front and rear tops, the Willys-Overland decided to contract with Laurel C. Worman to produce a line of hardtops. The hardtops would be made of aluminum, which, unlike steel, was amply available and light.

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1953 CJ-3A APU Wichita, KS **Not For Sale**

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3A • TAGS: , .

UPDATE: **Not For Sale**.

Looks like it has an APU hood and a blue star hardtop.

“Very Solid Willys, NO RUST!!!!!
OHV 4 Cyl.
31″ tires. Have stock wheels and tires.
Blue Star Aluminum Hard top.
Mastercraft seats.
Very fun to wheel, but sat in the garage last couple years.
Clean Title! So no dealing with trying to get a title.”

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1951 CJ-3A Barnesville, MN **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3A • TAGS: .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was Make Offer

Has a Blue Star top.

“1951 willys cj3a
– Clear title
– complete L head
– transmission and transfer case are free.
– 4 original 16″ wheels
– solid frame
– blue star top with doors
– extra parts included
Best offer or trade for other willys parts”

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1946 CJ-2A + Parts Jeep Denver, CO $2400

• CATEGORIES: CJ-2A • TAGS: .

It looks like this has a rare blue star hardtop.

“46 willys jeep running project.
Really good running L-head go devil 134 (original flathead 4 cylinder)
3pd dana18 Tcase. 5.38 gear ratio
Near new BFG mud terrains 31/10.50 15
Need brake adjustment to be driver
Body in pretty good shape for nearly 70 years old. Little rust, solid floors,
Needs TLC but good project. Bought to restore but plans changed
Comes with another parts jeep tub and chassis. ( axles brakes springs etc.) has vin tag but no title on parts jeep.

Will discount if sold with a different set of all terrain 31″ tires
$2400 complete or best offer, trades considered, cash talks”

http://denver.craigslist.org/cto/5067762504.html

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1952 CJ-3A Midwest City, OK **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3A • TAGS: , .

UPDATE: Was $1500. **SOLD**

This jeep includes a rare Blue Star Hardtop.

“1952 Willy Jeep CJ3A 4×4, 4 cyl, standard, fold down windshield, has towbar, and spare tire. It comes with an aluminum hard top and soft door frames. I don’t know if it was factory or aftermarket.

Was told that it ran 5 years ago. I couldn’t get it to turn over, it’s stuck. Has some rust in the floor. Can be fixed easily, because it’s all in flat areas. And needs seats recovered.”

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1950 CJ-3A Byron Center, MI **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: News • TAGS: , .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $3750.

Rare suicide doors. Anyone recognize the hardtop? Could be a Blue Star aluminum top that’s been customized.

“cool little jeep from montana.very original late 40 early 50s. runs ,drives and stops.flat head 4cyl. has cool hardtop and rollbar with suicide doors. 6 volt with generator neat,neat,neat.”

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Mining Mountains of Bondo in a CJ-3A

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3A, Women & Jeeps • TAGS: , .

Before restoration began on this CJ-3A This has a Blue Star hardtop.

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After Restoration (and with his wife Lauren posing in front of it)

The CJ-3A in the top photo was listed on eWillys back on August 30th, 2012. It looked pretty sound to me, but according to buyer and restorer Scott Mills, a mountain of bondo was underneath the paint. Beautiful work Scott!

He writes, “I found this 49cj3a on your site 2 years ago- after sanding and a little blasting I found that someone used what seemed like 10lbs of body filler and rivets! As many of my purchases go, buyers remorse plagued me for months! Well, I replaced panels and spent hours hammering out the tub. The only splurge was a new hood and stock rims, I managed to save most everything else. My wife has a fashion blog here in Houston and used my Cj3a in this recent post:

http://sundaybeachblog.blogspot.com/2014/08/classic.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SundayBeach+%28Sunday+Beach%29

Here is the Jeep before I cut out 50% of the tub, it looked great in these photos, little did I know…”

ANOTHER POST RESTORATION PIC (SEE MORE RESTORATION PICS HERE):

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2 1951 CJ-3As Twin Valley, MN **Status Unknown**

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3A • TAGS: , .

UPDATE: Status Unknown. Were $3800.

Both jeeps include rare Blue Star Aluminum Tops. One jeep runs and one doesn’t.  I thought these jeeps were for sale on eBay at one point.

2 1951 Willys Jeeps, one runs, drives nice and one is complete but motor stuck. Both are all original with clear titles. Twin Valley , Minn trades ?? $3800.00 for both. Will make one nice 1951 original CJ3A Jeep with a lot of spare parts to sell.”

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Photo of Jeep at Gas Station **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images • TAGS: .

UPDATE: This could be a blue star hardtop. The photo was on eBay.

The jeep is small in the photo, but I thought the hard top looked interesting. The rear window has an angle in back and it looks like the front door has a very small window. This is a reprinted photo.

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