Sunday, December 30, 2012

Website Finds, The John Jennison MB Conversion

Today I want to introduce a new section of How many websites have I and you and many other jeep fans Googled just in search of the random relatively unknown jeep photo? Now, I don’t mean the usual places like the CJ3B Page or G503,  and though while they are incredible sources of information, I mean the small little known sites that often contain random photos that you may never have before seen. Sometimes they are as simple as an photo of a GI standing by his MB on someones family genealogy site, but other times they are surprising and unique. I’ve stumbled across so many of them that I decided to create this new section dedicated to stuff that can be found online. None of this belongs to me and so of course I don’t own any of the rights to the photos. So please view and use these only as they are meant to be used, as entertainment or as the jumping off point for your own research. Please attribute the proper (original) sources for any of these if you re-publish them. I will also list the original urls to all of the photos. And of course, please don’t lift them for any commercial use. I’ve always considered anything that you can find online as fair game, but within fair boundaries and that doesn’t include straight reproduction. I think that when you post anything online that you should have a reasonable expectation that it won’t be abused.
That having been said, here you go! I’m grouping everything into folders according to the sites that they have come from if there are alot from one source. Random one shot grabs will be grouped into a miscellaneous folder eventually. The first grouping is of a number of photos of really great station wagon conversions of surplus MBs. The work was done by an Australian engineer by the name of John Jennison who had many passions, among them early racing cars, motorcycles, designing and created speed boats, these MBs and the first caravans (tow behind campers for we non-Aussies...) in Australia starting in the late 1930’s. The jeep photos can be found here and alot more info and photos on his tear drop caravans can be found here and here. The original site, vintagecaravans appears to be an Australian forum dedicated to the art of caravanning. The wagons were a great unexpected treat for me as I am really getting into conversions of MBs and early civilian CJs. The wagons looked like beautiful, stretched woodys that eventually evolved into an elegant rounded fender car.
Come back next week for lots more! If I can find the time though I may post more in the next day or two as well.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The 2012 Calendar- December

Merry Christmas from! For the December 2012 page of the calendar we have an old homemade photo card. I wish that I knew the history behind this family, the Hartley’s. The only clue that I have is that it came from Colorado. The photo was taken and then clipped out around the Hartleys and then probably reproduced through taking another photo of it and then included in their holiday cards. And I believe that its a Willys MA from the unique shape of the circular headlight guards. As always please contact me if you have any further info on the Hartleys @
I hope that this has been a great day for one and all and that you all have the opportunity to cherish time with your family and friends today! From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

They’re Not Rationing The Christmas Spirit!

From the pages of Collier’s in December 1942, a mere 70 years ago an ad definitively showed that Santa has more helpers at his disposal than elves and reindeer. From the looks of it Santa has a Ford GP to help deliver those presents to boys and girls around the world. I wonder if he has had many more jeeps in his stable over the years?
I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas Eve and I hope that you are spending it with your family and friends. I’ll be back tomorrow for a short Christmas special- the December page of the 2012 calendar which is still available along with the 2013 (and even the 2011 one...) calendar featuring all new photos! I’m also going to be starting a whole new feature of for the new year, so stay tuned and come back for more!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Jeep By Any Other Name

A jeep by any other name, would it still be considered a jeep? Hmmm... ever since the jeep first became known to the general public, the name and its origin and what it was attributed to has been a subject hotly debated by everyone. It is generally well known that the comic strip and cartoon hero, Popeye may have been lent the name ‘jeep’ to the jeep. The ‘Eugene the jeep’ in Popeye was a strange looking magical creature seemingly capable of going anywhere via inter-dimensional travel. Some say that this ability to go anywhere may have perfectly paralleled the military jeep’s capabilities. Or ‘jeep’ may have originated in a slurring of the ‘G’ (Government use...) and the ‘P’ (standing for an 80 inch wheelbase vehicle...) in the Ford GPW. There are a few other interesting uses shown in this article such as ‘jeep’ as slang for a naive, inexperienced person that was seen in a 1938 Saturday Evening Post article. It also seems to have been slang for any untried or tested military vehicle or gadget.
But wherever it came from, I have seen many examples of the word ‘jeep’ as a ubiquitous reference to just about any military vehicle from a 2 1/2 ton 6X6 to gliders to tanks. But in my Popular Mechanics searches I’ve uncovered a few that I had never  seen before. From a super-heavy tractor and trailer hauler, a ‘snow-jeep’ on caterpillar treads (that was still being used in 1948 well after Willys had successfully filed for trademarked use of the name ‘jeep.’) and a ‘harbor jeep’ tug used after the Normandy invasion these were unique. As well as the ‘jeep’ there other designations as the ‘peep’ and the ‘beep.’ The ‘beep’ was a three wheeled motor scooter used for courier purposes as seen in one of the articles dating from 1942.
Of course, imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, the jeep, an idea whose time had come, had imitators from the 1948 Land Rover Series 1 to a  two wheel drive Japanese scout car. As under-gunned as it was compared to the MB, the Japanese version did have some features that would be now considered forward thinking including side curtains, a small V2 engine, a hydraulic steering stabilizer and front coil springs. You can look at what I found right here.
Come back the next couple of weeks when I’ll be cruising through more Popular Mechanic articles in an effort to polish off what I have for the moment before starting something new for the New Year. There is also the December page for 2012 calendar to show off and while you can still buy it, the 2013 calendar is also available with 12 new never before seen photos. Its still not too late to check out the Zazzle marketplace for that perfect gift for the jeep lover in your family. From new holiday cards and ornaments to new tee shirt designs and more you’ll find something that you or a friend would love for Xmas! See you next week!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Those Ads In The Back Of Popular Mechanics

Like the ads in the back of comic books back in the day, the back pages of Popular Mechanics and Science carried a ton of ads for all manners of fantastical things. Some that you would see were seemingly come-ons for military surplus and the requisite jeeps for sale in a crate and some were for add-ons or modifications for the newly surplus MBs that were cropping up all over the place as well as the new CJ. Now you could find everything from scale models of the famous MB to reconditioned L-Heads from J.C. Whitney for under 200 bucks. Also note the proliferation of ads for PTOs, do it yourself dually kits and surplus items like jerry cans. But now you also had new retailers who were specializing in jeeps like the famous Berg’s of Chicago who carried a full line of jeeps and parts for them. 
Apparently he was located on the south side of Chicago in a not so nice area of town, but had an extensive, though crowded selection of jeeps and parts. An old press photo shows customers pouring over what many of us would drool over today, Ford GPs and the rarest of the rare Bantam BRC-40 and yes, BRC-60s! At the time they were just work trucks and scrap parts, but wow! Berg’s wasn’t the only one in the business as the 1949 ad for American Auto Parts in Kansas City shows. MB tops for under $40! 

So, check out the new section of the Pop Mech/Sci Ad section where I’ll be adding new ads soon. Thanks for hanging in there last week as well. I’m not sure what I’ll be moving onto next week, maybe some new post-war Popular Mechanics stuff or maybe something else! In the meanwhile check out the Zazzle marketplace. I’ve created lots of new things for you and the jeep lover in your life from new ornaments, holiday cards, mugs, t-shirts and the all-new 2013 calendar! There’s still plenty of time to get stuff in time for Xmas! Come back for next week for more from the wide world of This Old Jeep!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Jeep By Sea, Air And Land, Part Three

Today brings us to the third part of the legendary jeep getting around through various methods during wartime. It wasn’t all out of the ordinary, sometimes the jeep was just plain on the ground doing what it did best as the most versatile vehicle of the Second World War. The jeep did just about anything from the day to day duties of serving as a portable litter for the wounded and providing transportation for medics as you’ll see in the “Medics In Dungarees” article to helping to provide training to GIs (though I don’t think that I’d like it myself.... riding in a jeep is one thing and learning to somersault and roll out of one moving at 40 mph is quite another...). In its day, the jeep was hauled by cable down cliff sides, travelled the Burma-Ledo road, helped clean up gas spills and a slat grill served as a model for its ‘stepchild’ powered by an icebox motor. Notice
the two small models sitting its hood as well. Pretty cool!
I still have a ton of PopMech and PopSci articles to go through and present here. Next week I’ll focus on some of the great little ads that were found in the back that advertised everything from replacement F-heads for cheap, to do-it-yourself duallies. For now you can find all of the above articles in the Miscellaneous section of the Popular Mechanics and Science Archive.
I hope that everyone had a fine Thanksgiving and are enjoying your Black Friday weekend. Now that the holiday season has officially begun, the online marketplace has tons of deals and sales running through the weekend and into Cyber Monday. I’ve spent the past week going through and re-arranging the entire store, updating it, deleting duplicate products and improving the look of existing ones. I’ve also come out with three new t-shirt designs based on classic ads from the 40’s through the 60’s, new holiday ornaments and holiday cards. You can check out the store here and be sure to come back for more deals through tomorrow!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Jeep By Sea, Air And Land, Part Two

Today we’re going to continue with the Popular Mechanics files with the next part of the jeep’s many ways in which it travelled and was used during and after the war. The ubiquitous land vehicle, the jeep that could get through and over nearly anything on land was also adept at getting through the air. In addition to needing to be gotten to areas throughout the world during wartime by sea, the jeep needed at times to be airlifted in. The most common way was through the use of a glider, such as during the airborne part of the Normandy D-Day invasion. Here is a link to a glider pilot of the 434th Troop Carrier Group’s tale of the D-Day invasion that makes for an interesting read. The gliders supported both the 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions. But that wasn’t the extent of the jeep’s time aboard aircraft as you can find in the articles above. The jeep was transported via bombers as well as the Douglas C-74 Globemaster. The Globemaster was one of the military’s first uses of large transport aircraft and was used during the Berlin airlift up to the Korean War until they were de-commissioned in the mid-50’s.
The jeep also found a role at airbases and landing strips, such as the ‘Follow Me’ jeeps with their unique checkerboard pattern that was painted on their backs and used to help guide planes to parking spots or to the appropriate landing strip. The jeep was also used to ferry flight crews and to resupply planes. It literally was a vehicle of a thousand and one uses. Check out the rest of the PM articles and photos here.
Come back next week for the third part of the continuing search through the pages of Popular Mechanics magazine for the eternal jeep. And keep watching here for the new soon to be released t-shirt designs available through the online Zazzle marketplace. I plan on releasing them Black Friday weekend or even on Thanksgiving day if I can find the time. The new 2013 calendar is also now available. All new never before seen photos of the jeep grace its pages. Check it out today!
Also, an update to last week’s November calendar photo in which I had spotted a unique setup on a CJ2-A of the spare tire being mounted on the driver’s side of the body.
My friend Roberto posted a few links on the forum and informed me that they were a limited modification created by local DOT laws and referred to as ‘Leftys.’ Here is also a clipping that I found on the CJ2-A Page from a W-O service bulletin that explains its drawbacks and why it was later rescinded.

While researching this I also found out that not all stateside CJs were manufactured in Toledo. A small percentage (but still impressive, a total of 5% of all CJ3-As...) were produced in Maywood, California at a re-opened production plant to help make up for excess demand on the west coast. It began rolling 2As off the line in November 1947 and a year later, trucks and wagons as well. It churned out ‘West Coast’ CJs until 1954! You learn something new everyday!
Come back next week for more at the page.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The 2012 Calendar- October/November

Today you get a double entry for the 2012 calendar pages as I completely spaced on the October page last month! Its also Veteran’s Day so of course we have a calendar page that is in honor of the many veterans who have sacrificed for the greater good. Please take some time today to remember, honor and/or thank a veteran today for their service and never forget what they have done.
For October I found this lovely photo of a young lady standing next to just one example of an MB with a hardtop. Its one of a slew of hardtops both commercially available and homemade that cropped up in the post-war years. I hope to have an article up about hardtops and the varieties that I’ve found one day soon. The sheer variety of them have interested me for awhile now. Not sure where the photo was taken either, (though the seller told me that the photo came from Washington State...) and it does remind me of many beautiful landscapes from either Alaska or the Pacific Northwest. 
The November page is a touching photo of a young woman spending some quality time with her favorite veteran, a sergeant behind the wheel of a civilian flat fender. Its an interesting photo because of the little details like the canvas half top and the relatively rare rear seat. Notice also that the spare is on the opposite side. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a setup like that. The couples names,  Jim Simmons and Gerry Martin are listed on the reverse. Anyone happen to know of them?
One month left to go in the 2012 calendar but you can still get a nicely printed calendar for all of the beautiful reproductions that would make great garage, barn or man cave photos to hang. You can find it right here. And take note that through tomorrow calendars are 50% off! Coming up for the holidays I have new t-shirt designs in the works and of course, a 2013 calendar! Come back next week for the continuation of the Popular Mechanics articles!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Jeep, By Sea, Air And Land

Its a well known fact that the jeep was one of the best known land vehicles of the Second World War, but what isn’t as well known are the many ways in which it got around by sea, air and then by land. In going through these Popular Mechanics articles from the 1940’s what comes to light are the many different methods of transporting the jeep by sea and air power to get them where they needed to be anywhere in the world. In the days before it started to seem like you can get any w
here in the world effortlessly and immediately, the military and later, the civilian world came up with many unique ways in which to transport or modify the jeep in order to get it to where it was best used. From highly waterproofing it in the article “Submarine Jeep” to purpose built vehicles such as Ford’s GPW based ‘Seep’ GPA model to the GMC produced DUKW (and yeah, I know not a jeep, but I included since it was also generically referred to as a ‘jeep...’), the jeep had a way of getting around. 
Of course, the jeep didn’t stop having to reach inaccessible places outside of or after the war. The GPA performed home front duty as a rescuer of flood victims. And the sometimes the methods employed for crossing water were simply practical, such the old floating the jeep across a river crossing by guide wire or employing a bulldozer to tow them across or just getting the army engineers to build you a bridge, the jeep managed to find its way there! 
In the photo to the left it just hitched a ride on a boat! I’ve enjoyed finding these articles and photos immensely. There are alot more to come and next week we’ll get caught up on the jeep flying its way to the war zone. For now, check out the newest additions to the Miscellaneous article and photo section right here.
I’m working on a number of new t-shirt designs as well that I hope to have up for Black Friday, so keep checking out the Zazzle store and I’ll keep you posted right here and in our Facebook and Twitter accounts when new products and designs come out! I’ve re-designed the popular grill shirt design and you can find it right here. You can also save 15% today in honor of daylight savings. Come back next week for more and hope that you made the most of that extra hour of sleep! Don’t forget to change your smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

War Era Jeep Innovations And Uses From The Pages Of Popular Mechanics

Over the course of the war, the jeep was used in many conventional ways as a troop transport and light scout vehicle. But it was soon discovered that it could be used as more than the simple scout it was designed as. Necessity being the mother of invention especially during wartime, the jeep was converted, armored, engineered to include all manner of supporting equipment and weapons, from light machine guns like the .30 cal to radio equipment as a method of transporting the wounded. The jeep could be a fast ‘shoot and scoot’ vehicle to disable tanks and other larger armored vehicles than it. The jeep floated and swam, was flown in and parachuted from gliders, used as a training vehicle and everyone from a lowly private to generals rode and drove one.
The pages of Popular Mechanics are filled with many of these innovations and ideas. From being armored to powering a buzz saw (way before a PTO was introduced for it for civilian use...) to pumping water to put out fires and fooling the enemy by masquerading as a tank the jeep has done it. It was even used to power a primitive washing machine in an article appropriately titled “Clever, These Yankees!” Keep coming back for more, I’ve found alot more articles and mentions of the jeep. I’ll be showing off alot of glider and other airborne jeeps, the amphibious abilities as well as other misc. appearances as well as alot of interesting early ads for surplus equipment and add-ons. You can view all of them here in the miscellaneous article section or click on the thumbnails above to view all of them full sized.
It’s that time of the year to be thinking of the holidays and I’m thinking ahead too. I’ll be introducing new t-shirt designs and other products in the Zazzle marketplace soon and announcing them right here.
And if you’re on the east coast like myself, I wish you the best of luck with Hurricane Sandy coming for Halloween. Hold onto your hats and see you next week!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

From War To Peace With The Jeep

From the wartime era for which it was designed to the post-war peace economy that it helped to build, the jeep has literally done it all. And nowhere else is it better illustrated than in the pages of Popular Mechanics. Today we continue to roll out pages and articles from the 1940’s pages of PM magazine. The first two articles date from 1943 and show off the many diverse ways in which the jeep was deployed from an aide to the Army Rangers (who were around as early as the American Revolution!) to an aide on the farm. One of the middle articles shows off a famous press photo of the early CJ-1, a modified MB at work on the CESOR farm. It details the new and increasing mechanical advantages and machinery that helped farmers drive the new economy of the post-war. Either way, jeeps led the way! (Thank you to the official slogan of the U.S. Army Rangers, “Rangers Lead The Way!” Also check out the other article in the Misc. section on a mobile jeep crane! I think that it has the longest reach of any crane that I’ve seen on a jeep thus far!
I’ve a ton more articles and ads that come from the pages of Popular Mechanics andPopular Science magazines that are collected and archived in the pages of Google Magazines. In the coming weeks I’ll be fleshing out the 1940’s and further decades.The 2012 calendar page for September needs to be rolled out as well and soon new tee shirt and holiday hanger ornament designs will be shown off as well as a 2013 calendar and lots more in the Zazzle store for TOJ! Stay tuned, there’s ALOT more to come here at!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

1942 Popular Mechanics Articles- From The Miracle To Victory

From the miracle of the jeep to the post-war victory of the jeep, Popular Mechanics andPopular Science has caught up with all of its aspects over the years. I’ve found so manyPop Sci and Mech articles via Google Books for magazines that I have no idea when I’ll get caught up to presenting everything here. I’ve also decided to create a new category for just these articles, so if you’re looking for an older Pop Sci and Mech article, it’s been moved here.
I’ll be moving through the 40’s first with some of the obvious articles like “Miracle On Wheels” and the Brooks Stevens (who later designed the Willys station wagon among other jeeps...) piece “Your Victory Car,” of which I’ve referenced before but have not found the entire article before now. Its a fascinating read and very prescient about the changes coming down the road (so to speak...) of the car of the future, more molded body pieces, aerodynamics and the greater use of alternative materials such as aluminum and especially plastic in bumpers and knobs and such. It also touches on the role of the jeep as a possible basis for the “victory car” of the post-war future. You really owe it to yourself to read this if you are at all interested in the history behind the civilian jeep. And if you’re reading this, I bet you are!
As well as these more jeep-centric articles you can find alot of miscellaneous references to the jeep in the world of war and peace doing all manner of things in science, around the farm and in ads and photos that I had never seen before. You can find them in the miscellaneous section here. Come back next week, you can bet that I’ll have alot more!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Popular Mechanics/ Science Articles Through The 70’s And 80’s

Four more great articles from the pages of Popular Science and Popular Mechanics magazines today. From 1971 Pop Mech readers responded to a request on the durability and satisfaction that they had gotten from over 400,000 miles on their venerable CJ-5 Universals. Its an interesting read because as the jeep was still proving to be the undisputed king of the off-road and work worlds, it showed that tastes were changing as far as what the general public expected in an all around vehicle. The typical complaints were there, the noisiness of an uninsulated cabin, general rattles, an under-performing heater and defroster and no surprise that the CJ wasn’t a great highway vehicle, but that it was still a jeep and as such had a great reputation and the ability to back it up. The small blurb about a 2A or 3A mixing cement showed that that even 25 or 30 years later people were using the jeep as it was meant to be used as an all-around work horse and still coming up with unique ideas for it to perform. The 1985 PM article shows the winding down of the CJ line. Unfortunately the brief historical article isn’t complete in the Google archives. And lastly as the torch was passed to the YJ, Pop Sci brought a short one page article on the ‘new’ jeep. Now it seems that YJ’s are pretty rarely seen and are practically classics in their own right.
Check out these and many more magazine articles here and come back next week for lots more. I’ve found another treasure trove online and I’ll try to chronologically present the gems from the Pop Sci and Pop Mech magazines on the jeep starting in the 40’s.
Thinking about Xmas early? Well, its never too early! Check out our online marketplace here and stay tuned for new products and designs for the jeeper in your life! And this holiday weekend there’s a special 14.92% sale off everything!