Recently I’ve been fascinated with one of the many facets of the jeep, hardtops and modifications. The jeep started out as simply a basic working vehicle, no frills and no extras were included. It was after all, required through the weight restrictions that the jeep needed to be designed and built under. But ever since the beginning of the jeep, men were impressed by its capabilities and design with a few exceptions. One of the biggest was the very fact that it was an open topped vehicle. Having just a canvas top without even doors or a heater available was great fun and acceptable if you were a GI stationed in the Pacific theater, but not so much fun if you were shivering through the winters in Europe. And so it isn’t surprising that from the jeep’s origins that men were modifying them with solid tops and custom bodywork. It seemed fitting that I show off some examples of Jeep hardtops and other attempts at ‘civilianizing’ the jeep a week after we were hit with a blizzard that dropped 32 inches of snow along with high winds. The MB gained a poor, but deserving rep of being cold, so much so that one its nicknames was the “Pneumonia Wagon.” In some cases the home brew hardtops were absolutely necessary, such as on Attu Island in the Aleutian Island chain.
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