We started the 2019 show season by attending the Midwest Willys Reunion in Aurora, OH and the Willys Jeep Rally at Hueston Woods Lodge in College Corner, OH. These two shows are only 2 weeks apart and that can present logistical issues for many. But each has unique attributes that make it worth a weekend trip. If you can’t make them both, then alternate. You won’t be disappointed.
We were presenters at both shows this year, since we were screening our movie find. More on that later. This was our second time presenting at the Reunion. The first had been when the show was held in our home town of Columbus, IN and covered a brief history of the farm jeep. We filled in for a Saturday afternoon speaker who had to cancel at the last minute. That session was the beginning of the transformation of Farm Jeep to the new format were we emphasis more history and research.
This was our first time presenting at the Rally and it was an equally enjoyable experience. But it has been a special event for us because of the equipment demonstration put on by John Ittel and friends at the family farm. We are not aware of any place else one can see so many Farm Jeeps doing real work, right in front of you. It brings the Farm Jeep concept to life. This is a must see for every Jeep fan.
On with the show!
As we stated in the post about finding the movie “Revolution in Pleasentville” we wanted to show the movie as quickly as possible. Both the Reunion and Rally folks were happy to accommodate us. Each show has a unique character and this was reflected in the reaction to the movie.
Friday’s showing at the Reunion was informal in nature. We gave a very brief introduction mainly comprising of how we acquired the film. The small group gave the movie a round of applause when it finished. One of the first reactions was from the “lefty” crowd, who were amazed and pleased to see so many “lefty” models displayed.
The movie shows a number of Jeeps leaving a plant with the Monroe lift installed. All of these where the lift is visible in the rear are of the “lefty” variety (spare tire mounted on the driver’s side). Since these “lefty” Jeeps were from a very short production run in 1948, we can use this information to help identify when the film was shot. For more on the history of “lefty” Jeeps, see the CJ2a Page discussion here –
Another point of interest, that we observed in our first viewing, is that the leveling adjuster is installed on the right-hand side and the body of the left is smooth, not embossed as were later models. This would again indicate very early examples of the lift.
There were other comments related to the location of several scenes. The film will provide plenty of material for Jeep, Newgren and Monroe researches.
At the Rally, we were the keynote presenters, so we presented some history of the Monroe Auto Equipment Company to give some context for the movie. We followed the screening with a short review of what happened after 1949 and ended with a question session.
The movie again received a round of applause and there were many questions about our plans for the film. The presentation also produced a volunteer to help with data gathering on the Greenfield event. We look forward to reporting on these efforts in the near future.