Monday, May 27, 2013

Willys-Overland Industrial Equipment Book, Part Four- Bodies And Enclosures

Let’s jump right into the update today because its a big section. Back in February while writing the evolution of the hardtop I mentioned that I had checked something that I’ve had for a long time but hadn’t looked at for awhile. This Industrial Equipment binder was it. Back in 1952 just before Kaiser Industries bought out what remained of Willys-Overland and continued the production of the jeep, this three-ring binder contained a wealth of info on what was available to the dealer as optional equipment for his customer. Previously we’ve covered the farm implements, accessories (and surprising accessories they were, back up lights, windshield washers, a second brake light!), the Warn hub set up and today we have the Body and Enclosure section. The Body and Enclosures section contains everything from the expected stuff like info on the big hardtop and half top manufacturer of the day, Koenig of Houston, Texas to the unexpected stuff like their body extensions that are pretty rarely seen nowadays.
And it wasn’t all for the CJs. There was equipment for the pickup trucks from aluminum body enclosures making it into a sort of cargo truck and the Dump-O-Matic which was also available converting the truck into a dumper for only about $350! But then again that same $350 had the same buying power as about $3,000 today! Its great to see that stuff like this and all of the hand typed notes are still there.
Koenig, of course, wasn’t the only hard top manufacturer out there, there was also Beck. I was going to check on what Derek Redmond of the CJ3B Page had to say about Becks as I hadn’t heard much about them before finding these pages, but his site seems to be down today.
And if you didn’t want a hard top there was still a soft top available as optional equipment, though for the princely price of about $95 in 1952 dollars that amounts to $833 today (?!) according to the consumer price index, it seems like a hard top may have been a better bargain!
Lastly, there was the still mysterious Worman company who had the aluminum pickup enclosure, the aforementioned Jee-Cab as well as the Parkway conversion as offerings. I’ll be honest when I say that I don’t know if I fully understand the Parkway conversion. I believe that it was just the conversion of the sedan wagon from a rear drop down tailgate and lifting hatch to two swing away doors making it easier for deliverymen. The page states that it “adds” four large windows, but didn’t the station wagon already come with four rear windows? Though there was a big price difference between the station wagon with four windows and the sedan delivery wagon with no windows depending upon the year. So the price of just $65 ($570 today) possibly was a bargain versus the $100 to $400 ($877 to $3500 today!) of a station wagon plus you got the swing aways. Again not much seems to be known about Worman of Toledo, Ohio as a whole. Anyone have an idea where the name of ‘Parkway’ came from?
In doing some poking around the web for info on the Beck’s hardtop, I stumbled across this R/C website and this guy’s absolutely incredible 1970 CJ-5 with hardtop R/C! This is simply amazing. Check out the thread here and watch this and more of his videos on YouTube. He’s also built an FC-170!
Thanks for your patience in waiting for the update today. Lots going on around the house yesterday and I just didn’t have the time or energy to finish it to my satisfaction. Come back next week for more of the Industrial Equipment binder! And have a good Memorial Day. Please take the time to remember all those vets who have fallen in the line of duty and thank a living vet too! Check out this CBS story from their Sunday Morning show about Staff Sergeant Blakey of the 82nd Airborne who was a part of the D-Day invasion. His story is worth hearing!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Willys-Overland Industrial Equipment Book, Part Three- Accessories

Thanks for your patience last week and today I want to get back into the 1952 Willys-Overland Industrial Equipment dealer’s book. There are alot of fascinating things in this binder, but some of the most interesting things are the first things listed, the accessories. Its hard to believe that in this day of the super high tech automobile that at one time vehicles were pretty simple and basic tools as the jeep was. And especially surprising that in this day of saving us from ourselves and safety everywhere traction control and backup cameras and airbags that such things as a second brake light, reflectors, back up lights and wiper washers were optional dealer installed accessories for the jeep! The other thing that I have never before seen were the center third seat and bench seat covers for the jeep’s wheel wells. I wonder how many were sold because I’ve never seen a surviving specimen on a modern day barn find. Click here to view the entire accessory section and the rest of the binder!
Next week, I’ll continue with the Industrial Equipment binder, but in the meanwhile why don’t you check out the forum? Have a question or want to show off your project or get some ideas for your next restoration? This is the perfect place for it. Check us out here!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The 2013 Calendar- May

This week brings us to May and the month of Memorial Day, a time of remembering and commemorating the sacrifices of the fallen. I’m not sure where or when this photo was taken, but it looks to have been during a parade. It could well have been a Memorial Day parade with the veterans driving the jeep past crowds in small town America with a Five and Dime in the background. Except that the veterans here are hardly the generation that you’d expect in a jeep! These guys are flying the South’s Stars and Bars in their Confederate grey! Imagine if the South had had jeeps at their disposal during the Civil War. Well, perhaps that’s an alternate past for the writers like Harry Turtledove to imagine!
Click on the thumbnail above to view the page full sized and you can also find a link to the 2013 calendar which is still available as well as a ton of other great vintage jeep products for everyone at the online store!
Next week there will not be an update as I’ll be out of town visiting sick family, but when I get back I hope to get back to the Willys-Overland Industrial Equipment book as well as quite literally a ton of more vintage jeep items that will be added right here. In the meanwhile visit our online forum where you can read about and view projects and talk with fellow jeepers about anything about our greatest loves, the jeep!