Sunday, January 30, 2011

Three More Early Jeep Ads For Business

This Sunday, we have three more ads that date from 1946-7 featuring the jeep in business roles. As important as it was to market the new jeep to the agricultural world and as a day to day runabout, Willys-Overland knew that it also had to succeed on as many fronts as the jeep did in wartime. The businessman was targeted in these ads pointing out that the jeep was economical, versatile and as their ‘best friend, you name it, the Jeep does it!’

You can view the full sized ads by clicking here to view them in their full albums.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Three Early Ads For The Jeep In Business

In the quest for the world’s heart after the Second World War, the jeep not only had to win over returning GI’s and the day to day populace, but the business world as well. These three ads date from 1946 as the drive to sell the jeep was in full swing. The post-war American market was booming and businesses were making the conversion from a wartime economy to a peacetime one.

These three ads and four more to follow on Sunday are perfect examples of the work put into marketing the jeep. They show the Agrijeep CJ-2 from some of the familiar press photos that were posted last week to an MB and a CJ2-A in diverse businesses from hauling to being a mobile mechanic’s helper.

You can click here to view them in the complete album.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Agrijeep Around Town And The Farm

Continuing today we have four more press photos showing off the new civilian model CJ2, otherwise known as the Agrijeep. Willys-Overland had high hopes for the Agrijeep and wanted it to be seen in as wide a variety of uses as possible. Here, the CJ2 was seen operating a post hole digger and buzz saw with its power take off as well as an air compressor and paint sprayer.

In addition to work around the farm and in the fields, the new civilian model was billed as a light duty hauler and haul it did, from the family to church on Sundays and dad to the fishing hole it had come a long way from moving GIs around the battlefield. In the above photo, the Agrijeep is seen taking livestock to and from the railway station. The placard at the station indicates that it was taken in New Hudson, Michigan, the site of Cesor Farms where some of the testing was taking place. Cesor farms was the farm owned by Charlie E. Sorenson, president of Willys-Overland from 1944-50 where a test of the “peacetime” jeep was arranged for the public and press in July 1945.

A ribbon/ guest pass from the presentation in New Hudson, July 1945. From Daron Wanberg’s site,

You can view the full sized photos by clicking here to be taken to the full album.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Agrijeep Around The Farm

The year was 1944 and the end of the Second World War was within sight much to the delight of the entire world. After years of strife and destruction, it was time to start rebuilding, to change opinions and attitudes and to create once again. Willys-Overland having the clear title to the jeep and its legacy that it had left behind was looking forward to moving from a war-time economy to a peace-time one. It was with this that they began to create a new role for the jeep continuing on from the battlefield to the fields and streets of America and the world.

With this idea in mind, Willys embarked upon an ambitious advertising campaign to herald the new CJ, civilian jeep. The first CJ was the CJ-2, otherwise known as the Agrijeep. They were a slightly redesigned and modified MB. The early Agrijeeps had the ‘JEEP’ name embossed on the windshield frame and the sides of the hood. They used some of the same tooling from the MB and still sported the axe and shovel indents on the driver’s side panel as well as the MB’s nine slot grill, but with the familiar CJ’s side mounted spare tire.

They were sent out to be tested at various agricultural facilities such as Texas A&M and Cornell University for their potential as a post-war farming and jack of all trades vehicle. During the testing a number of them were photographed performing field work and at general runabout duties as well as harnessing their power takeoffs to employ various tools. These press photos are from a large series of photos that were used in subsequent advertising and in the press.

Luckily there are people who are on the lookout for these rare birds and are saving them. An excellent site for more information and a ton of photos is Todd Paisley’s

You can click here to view the entire album of photos and their press captions.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Reader Submitted Family Photo

Reader Mark Struhsacker sent me this old family photo which I believe looks like it could be an old slide. The boy sitting behind the wheel in the CJ2-A is certainly enjoying his ride as many people did with the chance to sit behind the wheel of a jeep. Helped by the aluminum cab to make the winter day a more enjoyable one, Mark remembers, it was a...

“'47 CJ2A, after a paint job. Franconia, NH around 1958. The aluminum roof had suicide doors, & attached with 6 trunk-type latches. A design. Never seen another roof like it.”

Not sure if I’ve ever heard of a design with suicide doors either and so it does make it unusual! Thanks again to Mark for the great wintertime photo!

You can view it in it’s separate album here.

Coal Sampling Jeep From 1950

The above slide (and a Kodachrome to boot) is labeled “Coal Sampling Equipment, 1950.” I am guessing that it may have been a jeep in the service of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management. It has the same U.S. government decal on the side door that I have found in another set of slides of men and their jeeps working in what appears to be the American West in the search for oil drilling sites.

This CJ3-A is yet another jeep that continued to faithfully serve the men and women of this country in our post-war work.

You can click here to view it in it’s image album.

P.S. Farewell Kodachrome! Take a look at this website in honor of another American legend!

“Watch Me,” Said The Jeep By Tibor Gergely

“Watch Me, Said The Jeep” is a story of a jeep that plainly believed that he and his driver, Private Gilhooley could do things and go places that three staff cars driven by a Captain, a Major and a Colonel, couldn’t. I’ve been looking for a copy of this children’s book for awhile. I still don’t have a physical copy but I do have a source to read it online. The Hollywood Animation Archive part of the International Animated Film Society hosts a digital copy of the book, by the Hungarian born artist, Tibor Gergely. Gergely, a mainly self taught artist illustrated many of the well known children’s Little Golden Books that many of us, myself included, remember growing up.

This book is well worth a look at whether you’re reading to your future jeep loving kids or yourself. While they couldn’t allow me to reproduce the book in its entirety due to copyright issues, they do allow anyone to view the entire book here. The site is also chock full of other interesting and informative stories and illustrations and artwork. It’s worth a look and you can lose yourself here.

It’s also’s one year anniversary this month! In honor of it, this month I will be doing a bit of early spring cleaning on the website. I have many, many items that didn’t fit in anywhere else and will be posting them up as part of a hodgepodge collection. I also have many photos from the 2011 calendar that I haven’t shown before. Certain sections of the site also need to be updated and tweaked, such as the Old Jeep Manual section which I plan on updating with downloadable PDFs. If you have any suggestions on how to freshen up the site or how it could function or look better, please feel free to contact me at In the meanwhile stay tuned!

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Jeep in Public Service, The Final Part, The 1970’s

The dawn of a new decade saw yet another change for the venerable jeep. Kaiser Industries sold its interest in the jeep to American Motors Corporation in February 1970. Superficially, not much had changed initially, but it was to be a golden era for the proliferation of the jeep and its further development. It was to usher in the newly re-designed pickup truck, the Commanche, the Grand Wagoneer and the Cherokee took aim at a growing segment of four-wheel drive owners, the AMC 232 and 258 straight six engines and as well in typical jeep fashion, a continuation of what had been wrought before it, but improved upon. The CJ continued with the Renegade series as well as an updated variant on the CJ-6, the CJ-7. As well AMC’s subsidiary company, AM General continued the substantial face lift to the Dispatcher DJ-3 line with the DJ-5, first built in 1965.

The new DJ-5 was available in both left and right hand drive models specifically targeted and successfully sold to the United States Postal Service where it was widely seen on the road as both a rural and urban mail carrier through 1984.

The most important aspect of the AMC acquisition was the jeep’s continuation with a fresh outlook that was based upon respect for what had come before it. The ‘new’ jeep was to live on and carry the torch passed to it to a new generation of businessmen and private owners. But in business for others or for yourself there were legions who appreciated the “toughest four letter word on wheels.”

To view the entire collection of ads you can click here.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Jeep In Public Service, Part Ten

As a special New Year’s Day bonus, we present 1969, the end of the tumultuous 1960’s in four ads. The 1960’s wrought all sorts of changes socially, historically and not to mention, how we viewed ourselves. While change was just around the corner for Kaiser Jeep Corporation as American Motors was about to buy it out in the coming new decade, nothing truly ground shaking seemed to be on the horizon in the lineup.

Jeep had soldiered on throughout the 1960’s and was about to emerge at the end of it a stronger and more diverse vehicle. These four ads display not only the ongoing reliability and toughness that the jeep portrayed, but also the fact that every vehicle, even the jeep was being relied upon more as a vehicle of all jobs, hence the “2-Car Cars” moniker. These four, the CJ, the Wagoneer, the Gladiator and Commando were becoming seen as more and more a plaything as well as a dependable family and work vehicle, and they were still one “tough cookie.”

You can click here to be taken to the complete album.

Enjoy your New Year’s and I hope that it is a happy and prosperous one for every one!

The Jeep In Public Service, Part Nine

1968... the ignominious and the mundane, the debut of Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, the My-Lai massacre happened, NASA launched Apollo 6 and 7, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “mountaintop” speech, RFK is assassinated, the Beatles release their White album and while big changes were in store for the ownership of the Jeep Corporation in two years time, nothing momentous occurred in the lineup. The jeep kept plugging along, selling vehicles based on their time honored and tested reputation. But when you have “Jeep Muscle” and “Jeep Certainty” why would you need anything else?

Three ads today that highlight the unchangeable and classic design and function of the Jeep as seen in the Gladiator pickup, the Wagoneer and the CJ-5!

You can click here to be taken to the entire album.