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