Sunday, October 13, 2013

Commando And Wagoneer Dealer Brochures From 1966

You’ve heard of the best laid plans of mice and men, right? Things are going alot slower this morning than I thought that they would. But this works to your advantage. I’m going to extend the Montana-Overland gift certificate giveaway by another day to not only allow myself the time to put together another short video, but to give you guys one more day to enter. All you have to do is like our Facebook page if you don’t already and post in the thread that contains the video from last week and you’ll be entered! Simple as that. You want another couple of chances? Subscribe to my channel on You Tube and/or follow me on Twitter. If you do, let me know in the post where you follow and I’ll give you another entry for each way that you keep up with us.
This week check out the three Commando and Wagoneer brochures that I spotted on, an automotive website that is dedicated to advertising and brochures. The site has seemed to be down for the last few weeks. Not sure what is happening there, but it was pretty incredible. These three date from 1966 and show off the transition from workhorse to fun loving plaything that Kaiser was working on for the jeep. Check out the great mid-60’s tongue in cheek ‘hipness’ of these brochures. They are sure to appeal to all you swingers out there. I also found it interesting that the Wagoneer brochure states that you could equip it with the ‘high torque 6’ 232 engine- the very one and the same produced by and used in AMC vehicles starting in 1964. And of course, the same engine that AMC would equip the jeep with under their ownership five years later. Click here to view the entire brochures.
Come back next week when I’ll have more from the world of the jeep. I also plan on holding another two giveaways over the coming months. I want to hold one in November and another for December. Hope that everyone has a great weekend and check in tomorrow when I’ll announce the winner of the Montana Overland gift certificate.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Montana Overland Giveaway

I had planned upon presenting some more brochures today, but this short video was pretty time intensive and so I want to fill you guys in on the new giveaway from and Montana Overland. George at Montana Overland generously gave out a $25 gift certificate to us and we’ll be conducting a random drawing for it next Sunday. In order to enter, ‘like’ our Facebook page if you haven’t already and reply in the thread on our page. You’ll also get an additional entry if you subscribe to us on YouTube or follow us onTwitter. Just make sure that you post in the thread if you also follow us on YouTube or Twitter along with your screen name if it isn’t obvious that its you.
Next week we’ll do a random draw of a name from all the entries received and award the G.C. I do also hope to bring you more brochures as there alot of really great vintage ones that I’ve found. Please share this with your friends and thanks again for all of your support! I really do want a large selection of names to draw from! I plan on holding more giveaways over the next couple of months! Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

1962 ‘Jeep’ Dealer Brochures

Today there are three gems to be had via As I had said last week during my search for anything jeep on the web I stumbled across a vast online collection of automobile ads and brochures at Lov2xlr8... and there were plenty of jeep gems including these three that date from 1962 (or maybe thereabouts...). There is a full lineup brochure, one for the new Gladiator pickup and perhaps an early one for the Wagoneer that was introduced in 1963. They are really great examples of early 1960’s advertising design as well, colorful and vibrant, capitalizing on the spirit of the new decade while retaining the optimism of the 1950’s. I love these brochures, they really are beautiful and provide a nice glimpse into the Kaiser Jeep mindset of diversifying and modernizing their lineup.
The year 1962 also marked the start of the use of the 230 cu. inch overhead cam Tornado engine. It was an advanced engine for the time and the only overhead cam engine in use in the states at the time. It replaced the long in the tooth 226 Super Hurricane 6. The Tornado was capable of 210 ft. pounds of torque all at low RPMs and 140 horsepower. The 230 was developed under the supervision of Achilles ‘Sammy’ Sampietro the new chief engineer fresh from Europe for Kaiser Jeep. It was also one of the most fuel efficient engines of its day. Together with the new straight six, these two new models spearheaded the thrust into a new era for Jeep. The 230 fell out of favor after a few years however being plagued by oil leakage and other reliability issues, but was continued in Argentina by IKA, the South American arm of Kaiser Industries. You can read a bit more about the Tornado here. You can click here to view all of the brochures.
Speaking of the Gladiator and Wagoneer I would also like to welcome aboard our newest sponsor here at, the Montana Overland Jeep Ranch! George began Montana Overland as a hobby at first but was lucky and knowledgeable enough that he turned it into a thriving business. He specializes in parts, accessories and even whole jeeps from 1946 to 1988. He carries parts for wagons, trucks, Wagoneers, Cherokees, Comanches and Grand Cherokees. George says that he is always willing to talk shop so give him a call today if you’re looking for that hard to find item for your jeep. Contact him @ 1-406-741-5337. Lets give him a great big welcome and say thank you for helping to keep the dream alive!
Come back next week for more brochures (and hopefully the ‘Where Are They Now?’ article the following week). Also in honor of our new sponsor I’ll announce a new giveaway next week, but you’ll only be able to enter if you’re a fan of our Facebook page, so if you haven’t already, like us on Facebook and tell your friends!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

ound Brochures And Ads From

Last summer I was searching the internet for far flung references or photos of the jeep in places where you wouldn’t expect to find them. The result of that time spent in front of the computer screen other than eye strain and a significantly reduced amount of hard drive space was the amazing Its an afficionado site for afficionados of all kinds of cars. I don’t think that I’ve seen a larger collection of assorted auto brochures and ads stored anywhere else online. And the best thing about them is that most are scanned at a decent resolution and are easily downloaded. So I searched for jeep and jeeps did I turn up!
I found a ton of stuff that took me awhile to collect. I’m starting today with some of the more random and assorted stuff like the CJ3-B ad, the early pickup truck and wagon brochures and I also found four more of the ‘Two Cities’ ads. I’ll be bringing more of what I found right here in the following months. Click on thumbnails above to be taken to their albums.
I was planning upon presenting the ‘Where Are They Now?’ article that I mentioned last week, but with more overtime yesterday and a decent start on the research I found that it will take a bit more time to give you guys a decent read. So it can wait for a week or three depending upon how much time I find. I’m also hoping to finish up a few more ideas that I’ve had for articles soon.
Thinking about Xmas gifts early? Well, for the jeep lover in your life check out my online store for one of a kind gifts that have been designed by yours truly. I hope to have a slew of even more new designs coming soon for the holidays. But in the meantime check out the newest right here. I work with vintage images and photos that would make a great present for anyone who appreciates the legacy of the mighty jeep! Come back next week for more!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Post-War Jobs For The Jeep From The Pages of Popular Mechanics

Today I want to go back briefly to the archives of Popular Mechanics and Popular Science via the ever useful Google Books. I still have a stack of articles and ads, but a few in particular are the most interesting to me. The diverse jobs that the jeep had performed in the post-war period of America were really ingenious. Willys-Overland marketed the jeep as the do-all vehicle for anything under the sun. And it was. It was marketed fas the tool for everything from a around the town grocery getter to the farm and business vehicle. One day it could be out cutting grass for a landscaper and the next it could haul feed to farm animals. But the pages of Pop Mech/Sci showed the true ingenuity that people applied to the faithful jeep.
You can check out every idea from Hollywood to the race track to patrolling the grounds of Los Alamos and its nuclear secrets to a golf ball retriever right here. Sorry that this is a pretty short update today. I worked some overtime yesterday so I didn’t have alot of time to do much background research. I have a couple of ideas for articles that will find their way here soon. If I can find the time to write it I have an idea for a sort of ‘where are they now?’ piece that I’m excited about.
Come back next week when there will be more from the ever expanding world of the jeep and its illustrious history. Thanks again for everyone’s truly overwhelming response to our last giveaway. I will be holding another soon! Make sure that you are a fan of our Facebook page and subscribe to onTwitter for the latest details. See you next week!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The 2013 Calendar- September

The September page in the 2013 calendar features ‘Webfoot,’ the name given to an MB. According to the caption, ‘Webfoot’ was a welding jeep and the boys were out getting some ice for their beer. Well, these guys were up for some fun and the jeep would help them accomplish just that. The photo has some neat elements and the first thing that you notice besides the striking background (the seller believed it to be Alaska...) was the hardtop. It resembles many a military commissioned ‘Arctic Top’ with the shape of the doors and the slant of the two sectioned roof as well as the sliding glass window. Problem with that is that the ‘Arctic Top’ wasn’t produced until 1950 and saw use in Korea for the M38. Could this be stateside somewhere and the boys had adapted the ‘arctic top’ for the MB/GPW?
Second of all is the fact that its a welding jeep. On board welders saw use in the European theater as seen in the May 1945 Popular Science article, “Fighting Welders Work Battle-Line Miracles.” General Electric also teamed up with the jeep post-war in Willys advertising blitz aimed at hyping the civilian CJ as a work vehicle as seen in a 1949 ad. But wherever the guys were working they were planning on working hard and then playing hard. Keeping that in mind the Labor Day holiday  of last week was why I chose this photo for the September page. Hope that yours was a good one and that you played as hard as you work! Keep in mind that the 2013 calendar is still available as well as many new items. You can see them here. Recently Zazzle changed their supplier for all of their iPhone and iPod cases and so all of my old designs were automatically imported and used on the new case manufacturer. I still need to go through and fine tune them and weed some out. So if you’re in the market for a case, stay tuned, new designs are coming! Come back next week for more of the legendary jeep!
I’d also like to take this time to thank Extreme Terrain for deciding to recommit to advertising with us for a second year. They have a huge selection of fairly priced products for your jeep dating back to YJs. Check them out today!
If you are a jeep retailer and have a product or service that you would like to have promoted here on to a regular audience of vintage jeep lovers and potential customers, we are currently accepting advertising. You can have your ad/logo and link carried here every week on the update page, our Welcome page and each and every one of our main pages. Contact me @ for more info and rates.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Happy Labor Day weekend everyone! Since its the holiday weekend and I’m wrapping up my busy vacation with a bit more around the house chores and projects, I’m throwing myself a soft pitch today. This Hood ice cream cup lid is sure to bring back memories of summer for any of us grown up kids. Back during the war Hood like many other companies took advantage of the public’s patriotism by offering special give aways and promotions centered around America’s fighting forces. For twelve of these Hood dixie cup lids returned to them you got a collection of 24 of America’s fighting vehicles of ‘jeeps,’ motorcycles and trucks. Cool! In more ways than one. I’m sure this was an incentive for kids to eat even more ice cream! And yep, like the jeep, Hood is still around. You can see the full size photos here.
I’ve also finished up a bunch of new Zazzle designs in the online store. Check them outhere. I’ve made five new designs that are on mugs, tees and as soon as I finish listing them next, water bottles because while summer may be over, the heat isn’t necessarily done with us! I hope that you’re enjoying the long weekend and that you have the weekend off (or at least Monday...) off! Come back next week!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Jeeps On The Beach

Its very nearly the end of the summer already so I figured that it was about time that I posted these. Plus, I’m on vacation and I’m not sure if any beach time will fit into it, so I’ll have to live vicariously through these. Over its long history the jeep has been seen in many places including the beach. Usually it was wartime during an invasion. But it wasn’t all work. The jeep has seen its fair share of beach time, leisure-wise and a different sort of work helping out lifeguards. The above photo was taken in 1946 and indicates that the WW2 MBs were “redeployed” on the beaches patrolled by the Los Angeles County lifeguards. Many of these maybe not surprisingly were found through either the Los Angeles County or City websites. Leave it to the west coasters to know how to enjoy their beach time. I’m just glad to see that the jeep was included in that fun and sometimes got a break from work!
You can see the full sized photos in the These Old Jeep Website Finds album here. Come back next week for another update of the very best of the jeep since 1940 only at

Saturday, August 24, 2013

An Update From Cameron Danner And His 1947 CJ2-A

You may remember 19 year old Cameron Danner who bought and painstakingly restored a 1947 CJ2-A. I profiled him last month right here. Not only did the 2A get a second lease on life, but a second career as well, as a pin up model! When we spoke, Cameron had promised me a glimpse at future photos to be taken with his model. And here they are. This is Jennifer N. Lee in a retro style photo shoot with Cameron’s jeep at an old pipe mill in Napa. That old mill made for a great background to many of the photos that Cameron sent me detailing his build and made for an awesome background for these photos with Jennifer. Cameron wanted me to share them with his fellow jeepers, so here they are! Cameron also said that another friend is interested in posing for another retro shoot, so stay tuned for more. Great work again, Cameron! Your jeep is looking good and its company too. Thanks again for sharing and check out the rest of his photos here. Come back tomorrow for an end of the summer update.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Willys-Overland Industrial Equipment Book, Part Ten- A Short History Of The Winch

Today I want to present the final section of the 1952 Willys-Overland Industrial Equipment Binder. Its dedicated to the winches available in the day. There were two big ones in those years, Ramsey and the King Winch by Koenig Iron Works, the Houston based company best known for their hardtops. But while Ramsey and Koenig were the best known they were not the only names out there. There were companies by the names of Fairey, Link-Belt, Aeroparts, Braden and even Willys own winches. But these were not the familiar style of winches that we see on the front bumper of many a jeep today, but were capstan winches.
But let’s back up a bit. Winches have been around long before the jeep. In nautical history, the winch isn’t exactly a ‘winch,’ but instead a capstan and the first capstans were seen in use way back in the 4th century B.C. A capstan is a winch that has a drum mounted vertically and applies force on a rope or cable usually for sails on ships. The winch evolved from the nautical windlass, basically a winch as we know it, but man powered by a crank or a belt system rather than electricity to move a weight. The drum or fulcrum of the windlass was mounted in a horizontal fashion and from there we have the basic look of what we are familiar with as the winch today. While capstans are still found on sailing ships, the term ‘winch’ is now generally regarded as a mechanical device usually powered by electricity rather than by hand power.
Capstans were pretty simple, you just loosely wrapped the rope around the top bollard (the top post that turned via clutch driven power from the front crankshaft...) but it required the driver and possibly helpers to tug on the rope and the friction of the rope then increased and grasped the turning bollard. Capstan winches were found throughout WW2 and seemed to be a response to the jungle fighting in the Pacific theater where the little 1/4 tons were frequently bogged down in heavy mud.
As a helping hand, winches were pretty useful in getting a jeep unstuck, but along with a bit of ingenuity their uses were expanded. As this page from a 1959 Ramsey catalogue shows, their C7R capstan winches came in handy for a variety of tasks. Images courtesy the CJ3B Page.
Eventually the design of the capstan was replaced by a conventional style winch mounting the cable on a horizontal drum enabling the user to control the winch from inside the jeep as well as equipping the winch with more pull. These early winches that we see in the Equipment binder are controlled by a PTO set up that could sometimes be a bit complicated. With a long drive shaft that had to be routed either to the front or back from a power take off mounted on the transfer case to the winch itself there was plenty of driveshaft. Before they were replaced by the electric winch these were the common set up in the jeeping world and now are sought after by collectors and restorers. You still see a great deal of interesting combinations and winch mounting locations that gave you both front and rear as well as a bed mounted winch that could be used as a wrecker.
While there two listed in the binder in 1952, there are a whole slew of winch manufacturers today all battling for the lucrative recreational 4X4 market share. Ramsey is still out there after a beginning as a tool and die company that manufactured parts for Douglas Aircraft during the war. They designed the Model 101 in 1945 and renamed themselves as Ramsey Bothers Winch Co. two years later. Koenig and their King winches don’t exist any longer. At least not exactly. According to they yet exist as RKI due to a merger. Where was Warn in all this as they are now the world’s largest manufacturer of winches? Well, back when they were incredibly diversified and according to their company history they made everything from beer keg tops to aircraft parts, they began to sell Belleview winches made by Belleview Manufacturing starting in 1959. The Belleview’s design was later acquired by Warn and became the builder of the iconic Warn 8274. But in the early 1950’s they were primarily making the free wheeling hubs that started out this binder. Sort of ironic that they’ve gone from making the hubs showcased in the first few pages (and that are still made, but have nowhere as near a demand for as their winches) to having taken over the product that their closest competitors in the final pages were known for.
Thanks for hanging in there and I hope that you’ve enjoyed this piece of jeep history. I think that it shed a valuable light on the sheer versatility of the early days of the jeep. Kaiser inherited a very large and important piece of history when they acquired jeep from Willys-Overland. This binder dates from the final year of Willys ownership and the beginning of the stewardship by Kaiser. I think that Kaiser did a fine job in making the jeep as marketable as they possibly could in the beginning while helping to create a new ‘breed’ of 4X4 with the Wagoneer and early Cherokee models. Kaiser also brought the jeep out from the slightly stodgy 40’s with the 1960’s Buick oddfire 225 V6. They continued to allow the jeep to evolve from the 2A to the 3A, the 3B and the legend that is the CJ-5. They built the Forward Control models This transitionary phase is evinced by this binder and shows a peek at what is sure to come.
Come back next week for more from the legendary jeep! I hope to have some new t-shirt designs as well as a few other products in the Zazzle online store soon!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The 2013 Calendar- August

The photo that holds the place of the August 2013 page in the calendar was undoubtedly taken in France as shown by the caption on the back, “Viva La France.” I have no idea where it was taken precisely, but I chose this photo as August marks the 69th anniversary of the Liberation of Paris next week. Way back on August 19th, Allied forces were rumored to be near and the uprising led by the French Resistance and irregular French forces began. Parisians were elated and were ecstatic in their displays of affection for the Allied forces led by the 2nd French Armored and the 4th U.S. Infantry Divisions. This M.P. certainly seemed happy to be sandwiched between these two women. Vive La France indeed!
I will hopefully get to the very last pages of the Willys Industrial Equipment Binder next week along with a short history of the winch. I was hoping it would be up today, but doing research on the winch and the jeep is harder than I thought it would be. Plus we have friends coming over soon, so time is just not available. This is the last time that I’ll announce something without having finished the majority of the work beforehand! Thanks for your patience and come back next week. Remember to check out the 2013 calendar here and soon, there will be new t-shirt and water bottle designs in the online store. I’ll announce them here when available. See you next week for more of the jeep!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Willys-Overland Industrial Equipment Book, Part Nine, Ramsey And King Winch

Well, it took me some time, but I finally got the last pages in the 1952 Willys Overland Industrial Equipment Binder scanned and corrected. However in so doing that yesterday it didn’t leave me any time to research the winch’s history in conjunction with the jeep. I’m not making any promises, but I hope to present the last pages full of parts lists and prices and brochures for both Ramsey and Koenig Iron Works’ offering, the King winch next Sunday. It all depends on how much time I have and how long it will take to finish the research and write the piece.
For today we have the actual W-O pages listing what was available in the early 1950’s for a PTO driven and non-capstan type of winch, namely Ramsey and Koenig’s. Where’s the best known winch today, Warn? Their winches weren’t developed until 1959 a few years shy of inclusion here. Ironic in a way. Also its fitting that the binder started out with Warn’s freewheeling hubs which aren’t as synonymous with Warn as their winches nowadays.
So enjoy these four pages and come back next week for more. Click here to be taken to the full album. The summer is flying by and I’m trying to get a few projects done around the house as well build my boys a tree fort and continue work on my 1953 CJ3-B project. Curious? Looking for a friendly and flame-free vintage jeep forum? Check it out at the forum. See you next week!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Pacific Body Builders of Portland, Oregon

About two weeks ago I received an email from a reader by the name of Dale who had purchased the 1948 CJ2-A seen here. With it was this very interesting hardtop he had never heard of before. He found my February 17article on hardtops and decided to ask me if I knew anything about the company whose badge is still attached to the side. Pacific Truck Body Equipment Co. of Portland, Oregon was a bit of a mystery to me and still remains so. The references that I found are disjointed pieces, but start to form a larger puzzle and so I’ll just present them here.
I’ve found quite a few mentions of the company across the web, but not alot too solid yet about their eventual fate. It was known as ‘Pacific Body Builders’ to begin with and they apparently specialized in heavy and mid sized truck body conversions. One of the first things that I found was this mechanical pencil on Ebay with the following address: “Pacific Body Builders, 1812 N.E. Grand Ave. Portland, OR TR 1128.” They are listed as being a distributor for Reliance Trailers, (a company that is still around...) that makes heavy truck dump beds. Portland Body Builders manufactured “truck, trailer and commercial bodies” according to the pencil.
A search of the address brings up nothing, unfortunately. Mainly fast food restaurants and gas stations are all that remain along that address.
Dave Eilers of eWillys gave me the following tidbit when he found an obit for a former employee, Herman C. ‘Pete’ Blumhagen: “Mr. Blumhagen was born Oct. 26, 1919 in Polson, Mont. He moved to Portland in 1946 and was a sheet metal fabricator and truck body designer for Pacific Truck Body for 40 years.” Well, they certainly inspired loyalty and dedication in their employees!
As a side note, their factory at the time is listed as having been designed by a famed Washington State architect Day Walter Hilborn in 1946. You can see the full list of his projects here. Man, was he prolific!
Pacific seemed pretty diverse, probably a winning formula for any company, and there were two references to them building bookmobiles. A little snippet about ‘Celeste The Bookmobile’ for the King County Library System can be found here.
“A second book mobile, on order for several years but never delivered due to wartime restrictions, was finally received and put into service in 1947, generating much publicity and an immediate jump in circulation. The vehicle, known fondly as Celeste, was one of eight built for Washington libraries by Pacific Body Builders of Portland and Vancouver Chevrolet of Vancouver, Washington.”
They are also listed in a 1955 California Library system directory as a recommended supplier of bookmobile conversions. The side note lists a Thomas M. Murphy as a contact, but I haven’t been able to find anything on him yet.
But their bread and butter seems to have been truck conversions of which I have found three references to:
One, a PDF of an official Dodge listing of recognized and accepted companies that perform utility body conversion work on Dodge trucks. Pacific Body Builders is listed as performing ‘line construction bodies and utility service bodies (for telephone and plumbing)’ conversions. This listing dates from 1948. Pacific seemed to have thrived for awhile. In the summer of 1964 I found a newspaper article from Eugene, Oregon that not only would the company be changing its name from Pacific Body Builders to Pacific Truck Body And Equipment (the tag that exists on Dale’s jeep bears this name, so it would appear that his top was manufactured post-1964...) but that they would expanding into a second location in Eugene, Oregon. It was to be their first expansion since they opened in 1945 and great things were expected for the company that “specialized in the construction of crew bus and van bodies for the forest industry and other custom truck equipment. The firm will also repair and service truck bodies.”
On the forum (for owners of pre-1973 GM trucks) someone was asking about Pacific and if anyone had ever heard of them. 
The poster states: “I just sold my very nice 1968 Ford F250 and there just happened to be this 1960 Chevrolet Apache 30 Panel truck parked next door. The owner (who's a supervisor at the Korbell mill) had bought it with intentions of doing something with it.
When I asked about it, he just said "Make me an offer." I did just that, and after a few days he agreed to sell.
This classic truck was built in Oakland, California and sold by the local dealership (Sacchi Chevrolet, in Arcata, California). It was originally equipped with an ambulance conversion done by Pacific Body Builders in Portland, Oregon.
The factory color was white. That has been repainted red, with a silver interior. After ambulance duty, the Panel was later used as a Haz-Mat vehicle.
When I took title to the truck, it only had 5,131 total miles on it. The Fire Department Logo (which my friend had painted on it about 20 years ago) is still there which I think is pretty cool. In my opinion, I think it adds personality, and helps to preserve the rich history of its earlier service.
I plan to use it as a tow vehicle for the many other cars that I own.
Thanks, Doug
The only solid answer on the Stovebolt forum is from an old GMC dealer who stated that Pacific installed beverage bodies (a delivery truck, I’d guess...?) and crew cabs in the mid- 1960’s.
On the Ford Truck Enthusiasts forum another thread highlights yet another Pacific conversion, a Chevy 3100 with the badge that reads: "Pacific Custom Panel Conversion - Pacific Body Builders - Portland, Oregon." No one had any further info.
And so that’s it. Anyone have anything further for Dale or I? I’d love to find out more and be even more excited to learn that there is more than one out there. (And even more excited to own one!) It’s a really very unique looking body. Dave Eilers suggested what I suspect is true, that it was a one off custom build or a prototype that was never mass produced. Check out the rest of Dale’s photos and the details at the original post here. I love the swing out windshield and dash tray (something that I wish that all CJs had. My ’64 had one...). Along with the very unique angled windshield and FJ-ish looking rear corner windows I really wish that this had seen a production run! Please email me if you have anything else on this company, (jeep related or not...). And thanks to Dale for sharing this great piece of jeep history with us! Come back tomorrow for more of the 1952 Industrial Equipment Binder!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Willys-Overland Industrial Equipment Book, Part Eight- Barden Bumpers

Today we have one of the final parts of the 1952 Willys Overland Industrial Equipment Binder. Its a small section and Fall catalogue for a product that probably isn’t well known amongst fans of the jeep, Barden Bumpers of California. I had never heard of them before finding them here, but Barden Bumpers apparently had a reputation of making tough, sturdy bumpers available in a few configurations. They were available for all of the major trucks of the 1950’s from Ford and Chevy to International, Dodge and GMC and yep, of course, the Willys pickup. They also came with these unique and optional side braces on the Deluxe model. They also made spare tire mounting brackets, side brackets for carrying things like pipe and front grill guards. In trying to find more about Barden online I’ve found alot of interest in the owners of vintage pickup trucks. they had a reputation of being super tough and super heavy!
Barden is sadly no longer an active company. I tried finding what was in their two former locations in California and like so many other former active manufacturing companies there is little to no evidence of their presence. See the original post to see what I found in those locations.
Thanks for being patient this week. I know that I said that I wanted to present the final section of the binder today long with a short history of the winch, but I got way too wrapped up in well... life. Been extremely busy this past few weeks and I didn’t have the time write the article much less even scan the pages (and there are ALOT of them!). You can click on the thumbnail above to view the entire album. I’m hoping to get caught up on that this week, so stay tuned and come back next week!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The 2013 Calendar- July

Coming in today we have the July page of the 2013 calendar. I found it the perfect photo for July as it reminds me of many a summer. And a perfect summer activity is a picnic. Not to mention that this picnic happened way back in July of 1953 according to the inscription. It reads “Jim, Ellie, Stel & Al, 3- Bar Creek- Picnic 7/1953.” The photo came from Auburn, Washington which is about three hours from the location that I believe this was taken. There is even a handy National Forest Service road leading to and crossing Bar Creek. You can view it on Google Maps. Search for “Bar Creek, Mt. Baker National Forest, Whatcom, Washington.”

I had planned upon revisiting the Industrial Equipment binder today and doing a short writeup upon the last of its contents, winches, but a big dose of a shortage of time has sidelined it for at least another week. I’ve been working on redesigning the Zazzle marketplace. For awhile now there has been an issue with some of the t-shirts not printing correctly and for that, I apologize. I spent most of the day yesterday fixing those problems and now it is almost finished. So, another reason why I hadn’t been able to finish of the binder, but I hope to get back to it next week. I’ll keep my fingers crossed! Click on the thumbnail above to view the rest of the 2013 calendar pages and remember that you can still buy it from the link listed here. Check out the rest of the store in the meanwhile. I plan on designing new tee shirts and other products soon. Stay tuned right here for more on them and come back next week!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Letter From A Young Fan Of The Jeep

Last week I received an unexpected but very welcome email from Cameron Danner who lives in California. Cameron was excited to tell me about the story of his jeep. And its not just any jeep, but an awesome 1948 CJ2-A that he more or less entirely rebuilt with his own two hands. Now as any of us who have owned and built and restored an old jeep know, that’s ALOT of work for anyone. But Cameron isn’t just any guy working in his backyard garage. Cameron is 19 years old! And knowing first hand how much work and dedication and just plain perseverance is needed to carry off a major project as fully tearing down and rebuilding an old jeep that says alot. Any old jeep with its rust and previous owner’s modifications, the missing parts, the stuff that just plain needs to be stripped of old paint and new paint applied, the broken and stripped nuts and bolts and all of the busted and scraped knuckles is a major project! Cameron certainly knows that but stuck with it and now has a jeep that any of us would be proud to own.
Cameron’s love of jeeps began early on as I suspect it did for many of us. As a young boy he got to sit in the “army man’s jeep,” an MB owned by a neighbor of his grandmother. That early experience translated into Cameron becoming an apprentice in a welding and metal fabrication shop for the past four years. One day he was helping out his boss, Carl, with his project, a 1948 Willys-Overland pickup and a light bulb went off. Cameron asked Carl what he was going to do with it after it was finished and Carl, naturally wanted to keep it. Well, Cameron decided then and there that he needed a jeep of his own and set out on a search for a flat fender. Cameron soon found the jeep he was looking for and begged his boss to take him to take a look. It was owned by a little old lady and as Cameron puts it, “Once we got closer to it I noticed it was defiantly showing that it was 70 years old. The floors where rotted out, It had no motor or transmission, and hadn't been driven since 1989.” Sounds like what most of us encounter, but like any fan of the jeep, he wasn’t daunted and soon he was the proud new owner of a 1948 CJ2-A!
But Cameron, unlike many of us, got the full history of his jeep as well. The lady, Faye, told Cameron that he was now just the third owner of the jeep. The original owner bought it after returning home from the war. Like many GIs he must have been impressed with the jeep’s capabilities and bought a new civilian model for use on his almond farm in Stockton, California. The original owner used it until the flat head gave up the ghost and then decided to sell it. It was then that Robert and Faye came across. Robert fell in love with the jeep and brought it home to Vallejo. Robert replaced the little L-head with a Studebaker inline 6.
Cameron knew that the jeep was special to Robert. He even has this story, that robert and Faye’s “oldest boy, Sean who was only 2 at the time, would ride in her lap while Robert would drive them around town in the Jeep. She said it would scare her because she was always worried that baby Sean would end up falling out of the Jeep because it had no doors but luckily nothing ever happened like that.”
With the help of another friend of his boss and jeeper, Cameron soon sourced a replacement L-head from Steve who has been a mechanic since 1956. Cameron says that he loves flat heads and that was a determining factor in his picking a flat fender to restore. Cameron admits though that at the start that he had no idea how much work he was about to undertake. With this start Cameron joined a long line of fellow jeepers and formulated a plan. He says that he had decided that he “wanted to make my jeep as stock as possible but to still make it modern enough that I could drive it around town with ease.” The engine went off to the machine shop and Cameron started the total frame off resto. The engine needed a major amount of work including an 
.080 bore over to eliminate a ridge that had developed in the cylinders, new valves and seats, crank and pistons, rods and a 12 volt distributor.
One of the biggest parts of Cameron’s work had to have been restoring the frame back to its original condition as Robert had cut out parts of to make room for the old Studebaker engine. Once the running gear and frame were back in shape, Cameron fabricated a seat so that he could drive the still bodiless frame around Carl’s parking lot. He says that “people used to park in the parking lot (There is a 24 hour gym that shares the parking lot with our shop) and they would give me some interesting looks because around the corner would come this strange contraption with a kid grinning from ear to ear with several other teenagers sitting in various places on the frame driving around doing about 25 mph in a parking lot.” Awesome!
Once he had what sounds like an amazing amount of fun even helping Carl tow vehicles into and out of his shop with the bodiless jeep, Cameron began the next big project of repairing the body. It was daunting he admits. “The body of the Jeep was hammered from its tuff life living on a farm and just being that it was 70 years old. I started out by cutting out the floors and welding thousands of patches in place over the rusted out old tub.” Luckily yet another jeep fan stepped in and helped out Cameron in the form of Jeff. Jeff helped Cameron strip paint, repair dents, apply filler and sanding it all out.
And from there on Cameron filled in all the little details. “Each weekend I would add something to it like lights or some other thing would be wired and built to be in the Jeep. Jeff spent many hours teaching me every thing he could teach me about building a car so I could then go off and work on my own. Jeff builds hot rods and custom cars out of his shop so he had more than enough experience and expertise to teach me how to build my simple little Jeep.” As he learned from Jeff, Cameron gave it a test run around Jeff’s shop working out any tweaks and bugs. As Cameron did this he also learned another valuable lesson for the do it your selfer that not only was it rewarding, but that it was flattering to members of the fairer sex! “I also found out that it was a great way to get my girlfriends to like to go out for a ride in it but don't tell them that I said that hahaha :).” Hope that I didn’t give away any of your secrets there, Cameron!
When everything was assembled and running to his satisfaction, Cameron then proceeded to pull everything apart to begin painting. Talk about patience! He labelled everything but was by now very familiar with where and how it all went together. He painted his ’48 an olive drab because he loved the look and its hard to argue with that especially considering how it all turned out! 
I also asked him about the invasion star on the hood and Cameron had this to say about it. “To address the invasion star question is because when I was building that 48 when I was in the process of looking for a Jeep I was given a 43 MB that was a basket case. It was cut in half for some reason and had so much rust on it when ever I would move any parts they would literally fall apart in my hands. Then I ended up with my 2a I decided that I would use the MB and 2A to make a nice Jeep. So my 2A has many military parts on it such as clutch linkages,battery box, hubs, gauges, and some other small things here and there. So I decided to honor the MB by making my 2A sort of military.”
With some help from a couple of his buddies, Cameron had it all back together within three days after the finish paint. And so after more than 20 years the jeep was registered and on the road again! 
Cameron hasn’t finished quite yet with his jeep. He’s also adding a neat twist to adding a stereo with these custom ammo box speakers! He says that people love them and I do too!
I asked Cameron what he thought was the jeep’s biggest contribution to society and America because I’m curious about what the next up and coming generation is thinking about in terms of the jeep. He had this to say: “And (the) biggest contribution to our modern society I think was the Jeep. It might sound cliche or odd but as General Patton said we wouldn't of won WW2 without the Jeep and the M1 rifle. It couldn't of been more contributing to the war with the invention of the Jeep for WW2. The Jeep saved lives, provided protection and even just made life easier for a GI in making it so he didn't have to march from one mission to another but rather be whisked away in a Jeep to arrive in battle quickly and rested.”
Cameron adds that “It is far from finished but it is to a point that instead of welding holes in the floor boards I am trying to pick out what kind of tires to put on it, or what kind of winch I want to put on it. Its been a long haul building that Jeep but it is something that I can look out the window and see it sitting in the drive way and know there sits something that I literally poured my blood sweat and tears into. I makes me proud to know I own a little slice of American history.” Well said, Cameron!
So I want to thank Cameron for sharing his story and experiences with us. It’s definitely rewarding to get stories like this and not only get to see an awesome restoration, but to know that the next generation of jeepers are well represented by young men like Cameron! Stories like this and of jeeping and jeepers in the past are one big part of why I began, to help preserve the history and present it for others to find. I’m honored that you shared this with us, Cameron and thanks again!
As a PS. Cameron told me that he has a friend who would soon be modeling with the jeep in a retro-style pinup girl photo shoot, so we’ll get to see more soon! You can read the rest of what Cameron has to say herein the story section and see the rest of his photos as well! Come back next week for more of the timeless jeep!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Willys-Overland Industrial Equipment Book, Part Seven, More Equipment

Today we have the next to the last section of the 1952 Willys Overland Industrial Equipment binder. Its a three ring binder that a dealer would have used to show prospective customers and clients in the market for any option or piece of work equipment that was available for any model from the CJ3-A to the Pickup truck and wagons direct from the factory. It includes many, many detailed photos, brochures, detail pages and prices, hand typewritten price info and a bunch of other neat stuff that made the way around a dealer’s showroom and office. I only wish that I knew where or what dealership it may have come from.
The last few pages are filled with more of the diverse and unusual pieces of equipment that you could equip your jeep with, from the National Lift Company’s Lift-O-Matic hydraulic tailgate for the pickup, the Hydro-Lift Elevator Trailer, the Manley Wrecking Crane, the Canfield Tow Bar Company’s Wrecker to perhaps the best known of the bunch, the Auburn Machine Work’s Jeep-A-Trench. The Jeep-A-Trench still pops up now and again but are certainly not that common. It was a large trenching tool that looked like a sort of large chain saw and worked off the rear of the jeep’s PTO that could cut a trench up to six feet deep and 14 inches wide. And at 1,500 pounds they were a sight and definitely an investment priced at anywhere from nearly $2,300 to $2,900! In today’s dollars that’s roughly equivalent to over $20,000! I think that the Jeep-A-Trench is probably one of the very best examples of how versatile the uses the jeep could be put to work for.
Where are the companies now? From what I understand Auburn Machine Work became Great Dane and manufactures mowers today. You can see and read more about the Jeep-A-Trench on the CJ3B Page and you can also read a bit more about the man who ran Auburn Machine after he bought it out in 1946, Glen McIninch, who also ran a Jeep and Packard dealership. His house in Omaha, Nebraska is featured here.
As far as the American Chain and Cable Company, ACCO, they seemed to be involved in manufacturing everything from chain to hydraulic presses to tire repair machines. You can view some vintage photos of the factory on the Library of Congress’ website.
The Hydro-Lift Trailer Company of Findlay, Ohio seems to be a self-storage company today at 400 Walnut Street. The National Lift Company of Waukesha, Wisconsin doesn’t seem to exist either with only an apartment complex standing at the address listed 225 Madison St. I think that this is the owner though-Garfield Wood, inventor and entrepreneur and wooden speedboat racer and builder. According to the Wikipedia page he built speedboats until 1947 but also built winches and truck bodies for companies like International Harvester. He began way back in 1911 by building a hydraulic lift to unload coal from rail cars.
The Canfield Tow Bar Company of Detroit, Michigan no longer exists either. Formed in March 1946, it was dissolved in 1991.
This is sadly what seems to exist at 6033 East McNichols Rd in Detroit nowadays. Like much of Detroit, the urban death is saddening and heartbreaking to the American manufacturing legacy. But let’s try to remember happier times. I’ve in my collection a series of old scrapbook pages showing off the capabilities of the Canfield Tow Bar Company’s wrecker. There are two that I’ve shown off way back in the 2011 calendar and I have two more to reveal one day soon! Come back next week when I’ll be showing off the 2013 calendar page for July and in two weeks I’ll try to have the rest of the Industrial Equipment binder along with a short history of the winch and jeeps for the final section of the binder that is dedicated to winches! Have a great week and check out the whole album here!