Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014- Milton Zink And Slat Grill Tests, 1940

Today we come back to yet more photographs by the Willys Overland favorite, contract photographer, Milton Zink. I’ve been bringing you photos from the Toledo Lucas County Library’s online collection for some weeks and Milton Zink keeps popping up. Other than being a local from the Toledo area with an established photography studio and brief bit of info on him and his family line I know little else of Zink. But I do know that he took many important historically important photos back in the early days of the jeep. As well he was a talented photographer, able to capture the playfulness, power and versatility of the jeep. He was able to photographically illustrate the uniqueness of the jeep compared with anything that had come before it. These photos are of an MB slat grill, which was the early standardized model by Willys that featured steel bars for a radiator grill and was replaced by a lighter stamped grill for subsequent years. 
A couple of questions are brought up by these photos. The stamped grill came from a Ford design that they used as a standard design in their GPW models that were built simultaneously alongside the MB. If this was actually shot in 1940 (and judging by the driver’s heavy overcoat and lack of leaves, it must be late fall time...) would this have been one of the first very early MBs built in 1940? The first 25,000 or so were indeed equipped with the steel bar ‘slat grill’ radiator guards. And of course, I also wonder who the test driver was. He certainly wasn’t afraid of putting the jeep through its paces judging by his wild jumps getting air at the top of the hill. Its hard to say for certain how inclined the hill was either, but it does look steep enough to be a cheek clencher (and this without seat belts or roll bars either!).
They are captioned as being shot down by the Ottawa River, a location that Zink had used before in photos of an early MA model. The Ottawa River is a tributary to Lake Erie that flows through the city of Toledo. I wonder if anyone knows exactly where these test sites were located?
Hope that you enjoyed the short update today. Visit our Zazzle store for the best custom designed jeep gifts around and come back next week for more of the best of the jeep since 1940!

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