Farm Jeep started twenty years ago as a Christmas gift, a domain name that Evan gave to Barry. It has been the gift that keeps on giving, to us and the small group of people who think there is something special about a Jeep with a plow hanging off the back.
Even after twenty years, there is still so much to learn about the extraordinary people and their accomplishments that produced the Farm Jeep in years following the end of WWII. We have focused on the three hydraulic lifts developed and sold through Jeep dealers in the years 1946 to 1948. The story of the fourth and final lift, the Stratton lift, is still unfolding, thanks to a reader who told us how his family’s business had build the lift.
In recent months, some interesting things have happened. Barry had the cover photo and story in the Farm Collector magazine. It was the first time in the publication’s twenty five year history that a Jeep had appeared on the cover. Score one for the Farm Jeep. A few weeks later, Keith Buckley shared some materials with us, including Newgren Service Bulletins. These gave us our first clear evidence of just how quickly the Newgren organization transformed the Love designed lift. There is still plenty of information to be uncovered.
A few weeks after that, Barry was engaged in a Jeep forum exchange and made a statement about the Love lift. He was challenged (gently) and it became clear that he had made a general comment when what was required was a specific statement. The bottom line is that there are two very distinct Jabez Love designed lifts, and far too often we have not differentiated between the two.
That was a wakeup call. We need a reboot. In the publishing world, we would be in need of a revised edition. Given that the site is now twenty years old, that isn’t surprising. Over the next few months we plan to revisit many of our posts and will update, but not replace them. For example, we spent several years trying to figure out the reference to the “push button on the dash” lift control of the earliest Newgren lift that was stated in many ads and stories. Everything we knew pointed to the Newgren lift having its control lever for raising and lowering the implement between the seats. We even went so far as to blame it on a marketing error. Then Dave at eWillys showed us a very early brochure with the control on the dash. This was followed by one of Keith’s Newgren Service Bulletins that documents the change of the control from the dash to between the seats. There is no mystery. We just got it wrong and we need to, and will, correct that story.
We don’t want cover up our mistakes (even the dumb ones) so we won’t rewrite or remove the posts, just mark them to let the reader know that they should be aware of the errors. We are also calling on you to let us know when we have made an error so that we can be as accurate as possible. The aforementioned forum discussion is a great example of how criticism is a positive force.
This won’t be an overnight process. Our plan is to roll out the revised edition over the winter months. We will continue to search for more information and plan to report both the revisions and the new “stuff.” As always, we welcome you thoughts and comments.