Popular-Mechanics Research Archives

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Oct. 1944 Pop Mechanics Sidewalk Jeep Instructions

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

The October 1944 issue of Popular Mechanics included instructions for building a “Sidewalk” jeep for kids (pgs 105-108). It also included on page six this image of an MB turned into a fire jeep.


Now, for “Coasting in a Sidewalk Jeep”:

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Parmley Engineering’s Jeep Replacement Body

UPDATE: Zac shared a Parmley that he inherited along with a document that shows some pricing and states it was designed for the 81″ chassis.




Originally posted in 2013, with some pic updates over the years:

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:

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


Here is a Parmley-bodied jeep on the cover of a the May 1978 issue of Four Wheeler Magazine.


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


Bob Christy wasn’t sure what this vehicle was when he photographed it in 2008, but now we know.


This Parmely sold in 2015 and included a rare top:


This one sold in 2017:


This one sold in 2022:


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“Streamlined” Jeeps From the Pacific

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine, Sedan-jeep • TAGS: , .

UPDATE: This post has been updated with a better version of the video:

The photos below are snapshots from the above video. They resemble the jeep shown below that was built by Wayne K. Pike. It was built by members of the 9th Service Squadron at the 13th Army Air Base on the island of Moratai. Note that it has a chrome/stainless trim strip absent from the car featured in the Popular Mechanics article below.

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ORIGINAL POST FEBRUARY 11, 2013:  You can view the entire Popular Mechanics’ issue on Google.


Dec 1945 Popular Mechanics Page 6 Streamlined Jeep


Dec 1945 Popular Mechanics Page 72 Jeep with Odd Body


Dec 1945 Popular Mechanics Page 77 Men using Jeep like a plow horse


Dec 1945 Popular Mechanics Page 73 Men us jeep to fix propeller


Dec 1945 Popular Mechanics Page 70 Fixing Jeep Frame

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March 1941 Popular Mechanics Article on Pygmy

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images • TAGS: .

This article on the Ford “Pygmy” was published in the March 1941 issue of Popular Mechanics. You’ll note there is no reference to the vehicle being called a “GP” (though, to be fair, the term GPW never appears in the magazine either), nor is there a reference to it being “General Purpose”.


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1955 Article on Uranium Mining Includes Jeeps

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine • TAGS: .

This August 1955 article in Popular Mechanics includes 2 CJ-5s. It took a nuclear scientist to locate the article (long story), but it dove tails nicely off yesterday’s Willys News post that included an article on uranium mining (last page of Willys News) about these two prospectors.


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More on The New Mexico Jeep Derbys

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

The February 1963 issue of Popular Mechanics included an article about the New Mexico Jeep Derby held annually in Truth or Consquences, New Mexico. It’s a great article about the early days of jeep racing. I’ve also included a video of one Derby race, but the quality is poor. Still, in some clips, you can see just how much the co-pilot shifts his body around the jeep.

View Popular Mechanics February 1963 at Google Books

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1967 Four Wheel Drive Rocky Mountain Test Article

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine • TAGS: .

The May 1967 issue of Popular Mechanics includes the article “Four-Wheel Safari Test In the Rugged Rockies”. The article covers a two-day test in the high mountains of Colorado from Telluride to Ouray. The main goal was to see if the Ford Bronco and/or the International Scout could compete with a V-6 equipped CJ-5. The conclusion was interesting.


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1947 Popular Mechanics Photo of Front Axle Thaw

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine • TAGS: .

The machine shown below was used to thaw front axles, among other things I’m sure. It was published in the January 1947 issue of Popular Mechanics.


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1947 Popular Mechanics Article on Submarine Jeeps

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine • TAGS: .

Using the fording kit, a jeep could operate for more than 15 minutes while under a foot or more of water. It was published in the January 1947 issue of Popular Mechanics.


This December 1943 article from Popular Mechanics highlighted an early attempt at a water proof jeep. In this case it was accompanied by a waterproof trailer.



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1944 Popular Mechanics Article on Target Jeeps

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine • TAGS: , .

This April 1944 article from Popular Mechanics explains how target jeeps work. The photo shows a slat grille MB sacrificed for the greater good.


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Exploring the Santa Fe Trail in 1950 by Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine • TAGS: .

The January 1950 issue of Popular Mechanics featured a story about airline pilot Heath Proctor and his trip by CJ-2A along the Old Santa Fe Trail. I’ve included a few pics below. I’m not sure what’s on the front bumper? Are those push bumpers?

Here’s a link to the entire story online: https://books.google.com/books?id=vtgDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA88&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=2#v=onepage&q&f=false (Page 88).

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1945 Photo of Experimental Farm Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine • TAGS: .

This photo and caption were published in the February 1945 issue of Popular Mechanics.


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1945 Photo & Caption of Armored Jeep in Pop Mech

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine • TAGS: .

This photo and caption shows an armored jeep in the March 1945 issue of Popular Mechanics.


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1945 Jeep Saw Reference In Popular Mechanics

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine • TAGS: .

On page 41 of the April 1945 issue of Popular Mechanics is this photo and caption. Curiously, it doesn’t appear the jeep has lights; it looks more like the jeep was partly illustrated.


This photo was in the same issue:


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1943 Article Adventures of the Yankee

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine • TAGS: .

A July 1943 Popular Mechanics article looks at young men training for war and, in part, how the jeep plays a useful role.

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1943 Article From Popular Mechanics on Hub Winching

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine • TAGS: , .

This is the earliest use of jeep hubs as winches that I can remember documenting. It was publishing in the July 1943 issue of Popular Mechanics. The McCain hub was a similar, much later idea.



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Sidewalk Jeep Design from Popular Mechanics (Jeep for Sale)

• CATEGORIES: Artists/Drawings, Features, Magazine, Models, toys, Wood bodies • TAGS: .

UPDATE: Harry Warholak’s father built a Sidewalk Jeep from the plans in Popular Mechanics when he was a kid in Detroit. Ten years ago he restored it. It spent a year at the Chrysler Museum. Now he’s interested in selling it. You can contact him at 586-996-4103 if interested. He’s located in Georgia.

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PREVIOUS POST (February 2013): This kids jeep design was published in the January, 1948, issue of Popular Mechanics and available for free at Google. It is powered by an electronic motor.  It looks as difficult to build than a standard jeep!  The notes added to this particular issue are interesting, too.  The top note appears to reference a 1949 Christmas Handbook that might also include these drawings.

View issues of Popular Mechanics, January 1948, for sale on eBay


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Bountiful City Jeep Posse

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

First published 09/02/2012: The February 1948 Issue of Popular Mechanics Magazine published this fascinating look at the Bountiful City Jeep Posse, an organization that worked as a volunteer Search and Rescue and Fire Fighting group out of Bountiful, Utah. Started in 1946, the organization is still in existence.

I found this article that provides additional history from the 2006 in the Deseret News.  Though they own fewer jeeps and have more trucks, they are still helping their community.   I’ve contacted the newspaper to see if I can communicate with the members to get some more information about them and, possibly, some additional jeep pictures.

The Images below all come from the Popular Mechanics Magazine article.  Note the jeep in the background of the bottom image on page 3 has a full cage, the earliest example of a full cage I’ve seen.

Following the article, I’ve included pics of two ads, too.

Page 1:

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Jeeps Produced in San Paulo

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

This photograph is part of a Popular Mechanics article from October, 1959. The article highlights the success American car manufacturers were having by producing cars in the San Paulo region, which the writer describes as the ‘Chicago’ of South America.

You can read the entire article here


Lined-up Jeeps await delivery outside the Willys-Overland of Brazil factory at Sao Bernardo do Campo, Sao Paulo’s industrial suburb. This expanding plant will soon be producing 250 Jeeps, cars and station wagons per day.

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Ordnance Transforms Jeep to Sedan

This post was originally published Nov 20, 2013. It shows a jeep that was altered into sedan.

UPDATE: This photograph pair was also published in the February 22, 1945, issue of the IBT Roundup (Inda-Burma Theater Roundup)



The May 1945 issue of Popular Mechanics published this little blurb about the 8th Air Force Bomber Station’s effort to transform a jeep into a sedan using only salvaged materials.

You can view the document online at Google


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Finding Water in the Desert in a Jeep Truck

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

This August 1957 article in Popular Mechanics shares the story of these water hunters who travel the southwest in a jeep truck. The article is available at Google Books. Or, you can search for an issue on eBay.


 Read more at Google Books

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Plans for a Sidewalk Jeep with Coil Suspension

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

Plans for this sidewalk jeep were posted on eBay for sale. Originally published in the March 1948 issue of POPULAR MECHANICS, the plans are also available for free at Google Books.



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A Jeep with a Golf Cage

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine • TAGS: .

Steve shared this photo and article from the August 1946 issue of Popular Mechanics, PG 113. You can see the entire issue at Google books.



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Ford GP Goes Through Manuevers

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

The September 1941 issue of Popular Mechanics (pg 3) features this photo of a Ford GP landing on to the ground. The article suggests there was a great deal of excitement over the jeep’s possibilities. I’ve included some of the text from the article (which covers a variety of war vehicles). The write discusses the potential for jeeps, then mentions a four wheeled ‘tank’ with independent suspension. To me that sounded a lot like the Tucker Combat Car.




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GPA Pulling a Slat Grille & More

• CATEGORIES: Features, Magazine • TAGS: .

Marc pointed out an article in the 1944 issue of Popular Mechanics. I didn’t realized it, but this issue has a bunch of jeep-related articles. Some of these you’ve probably seen.

The largest illustration shows a Ford GPA SEEP pulling a MB Slat Grille (pages 84 and 85). For some reason, the wheels were removed (photographically speaking) from the GPA.


Page 87 shows of a half-sized jeep that utilizes an icebox motor for power. I featured this picture back in April.


Page 71 shares the “Follow Me” paint markings with the world.


Page 6 Describes how jeeps can be used to pull refueling tanks or ambulance cars in a train.


Page 80 shows off the limitless capabilities of the jeep by picturing a soldier cutting wood from a jeep powered buzz saw in Italy.


Page 86 discusses the finer points of dropping a jeep over a cliff, including the installation of a can over the driver’s mirror to prevent flashing.

1944-06-lowering-jeep-over-cliffFinally, on page 63 we learn about a “Finishing School for Killers” where soldiers learn how to jump from a jeep while it is traveling at 40mph.