Spring found us making a JPRT (Jeep Part Retrieval Trip) to southern Michigan. Barry had needed a front weight for an upcoming project and Bob V. had a spare. Bob was also located just 90 minutes or so north of Eau Claire, home of Jabez Love.
Jabez Love patented the first “Jeep Approved” hydraulic lift for the new civilian jeep. You can read the story here. After writing the article, Barry became more intrigued by Mr. Love and continues to search for more information about him. Specifically, Barry wants to know how Love ended up designing the lift for Willys.
The first time Barry had visited Eau Claire, he wasn’t prepared. He had a single copy of a Love Tractor ad to show people. This time he had a number of ads and business cards and made his first stop the Fruit Exchange.
The Eau Claire Fruit Exchange has its own history. A very young Jabez Love had designed his first tractor to serve the needs of local farmers heading to this place to sell their fruit. We are working with the fine folks at the Exchange and will be reporting about what we learn there in the near future.
We also left materials with the local historical society. Again we will be reporting more on this later. We are making great strides in learning about Love pre and post Willys, just not the critical question of how Love come to be the designer of the first lift.
In the mean time, back to the weight
We headed north to meet up with Bob. With the aid of one of Bob’s many antique tractors, we quickly loaded the weight and still had time for a look around. Barry told Bob about his Love research and Bob showed him his Love tractor awaiting restoration. In addition Bob has shared his Love literature.
From there we went into the workshop to see Bob’s Newgren lift that is undergoing refurbishment along with the rest of the Jeep. These JPRTs often result in more than an exchange of parts. We plan to stay in touch with Bob.