The newest edition of The Dispatcher magazine is out and Barry has the cover store. The article titled “How Henry Ford Saved the Jeep” looks at how Ford’s booting of his right-hand man of forty years changed the course of Willys-Overland. Charles E. Sorensen would bring his knowledge of the Ford 9N tractor, which he helped develop, to the design of a hydraulic lift for the Jeep. Sorensen also had to fight the Willys Board of Directors over what to build next; a much desired post-war car or Sorensen’s line of “utility vehicles.”
We, of course, think a subscription to The Dispatcher is worth it, just for this one article. Every issue is filled with articles of interest to anyone who loves old Jeeps. You can subscribe here.
Dave at eWillys has reposted an article published just after the “Jeep Day” reveal of the CJ2a. We have added it to our early history section.
Thanks to Bill Norris and Keith Buckley, we now know that a “non” Jeep Approved farm lift, one produced by Transport Motor Company (TMC), appeared in national Willys ads in 1947. Up until now we had never seen a national Willys ad that featured any lifts other than the early Love, the Newgren, or Monroe. You can read the complete story by clicking here.
Ask Farm Jeep (but this time we asked the question)
A question was asked on the Early CJ5 forum about removing the governor control “T-handle, and we did some research on the on the CJ2a Forum. There we found Greg Robertson, who asked that he be referred to as a “”Mature WILLYS Enthusiast” rather than an expert.” He did, however, give expert advice and we have posted it here.
We also found Greg had answered another question on what governors had been used on the early Jeeps. We have posted this great summary here.
A few tweaks to the site
Over the past few years, we have moved from a project focused site with a collection of supporting materials, to a history oriented site. We have updated the top menu to reflect that change. We have changed the home page with the hope that first time visitor will be able to quickly locate the information they seek.
We know many visitors come looking for technical information about hydraulic lifts, governors, and PTOs, that make a Jeep a Farm Jeep. The Parts tab has been renamed Tech Info to hopefully make it clear that we have more than just parts data. Others are looking for Resources and we have moved Links, Ads and Brochures, plus Movies here. We do believe movies can be a valuable visual resource.
History is now its own special section, with sub-groups by the areas we research and write about. Stories, Shows and Questions now contains Projects too.
Please drop us a line if you have suggestions for how we can improve the site.
Happy New Year! We here at Farm Jeep enjoy brewing up a fresh batch of fun at the beginning of the year. We are looking forward to spending the next months digging up fun facts, fun shows and maybe a fun project or two.
Some things in the works
We have almost a dozen open research projects. We will be updating many of them with information we have gathered and been given. While we don’t make predictions or promises, there is a very good chance that Barry will have a new article published this year.
No resolutions just working on goals
Our goals have always been to first have fun, and second to share as much information as we can about the Farm Jeep. Our annual plan includes a monthly update, even if brief, to share our fun, no matter the form. With travel possible again, we might even get in a research trip.
It has been an eventful year here at Farm Jeep. Every month brought a new discovery of Farm Jeep history. We even made a little history of our own, Barry had the cover story on the May Farm Collector magazine. It was the first time a Jeep had graced the cover of this farm history publication.
We have visited new shows, made new friends and even added a new tradition to our holiday season. Gary contacted us with a story about how a model airplane kit box contained blank Newgren tags. The tags are a very rare find and we only wish they could tell us their story. Our Christmas trees tell a story through ornaments that commemorate special events that have happened over the years.. So this year we added one of the tags to our tree. It will be hung next year too. Thanks Gary.
And thanks to all of you who have made this another fun year. Merry Christmas!
For a company that only existed for a few years, Newgren sure got around. Sometimes in the strangest of places. For example, five blank Newgren Company equipment tags showed up in a model airplane kit. Here is the story.
It is corn harvest time in Indiana. There are still large farms around us and we have been sharing county roads with combines. We thought it might be a good time to talk about the role of the Farm Jeep in this important annual endvorer.
A 1953 Willys Motors, Inc Parts list showed up on eBay. It was well used, with greasy fingerprints on the front and back cover and the spine had black tape holding the pages together. Perfect. And it listed the Universal and Farm Jeep as separate models. We have scanned a few pages under the Special Equipment and Accessories section for now. Let us know if you are looking for a particular part or parts and we will make a copy for you.
In addition to part numbers, there are good cut-away illustrations too.
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.
Happy 4th of July! We consider this the mid-point of the summer show season. If the second half is as productive as the first, it is going to be a great year.
The Newgren plow gets an upgrade
We visit shows for many reasons, including looking for needed parts, both Jeep and implement related. Most shows include vendors, but we often encounter people who are willing to help us locate needed items. Such was the case with our newly acquired Newgren 16″ plow that was rescued from a Georgia barn.
Last season, Kenneth Miller, an exhibitor at a show, had seen our flyer asking for help. He had hunted through his son’s antique plow collection parts bin to find us possible donor parts, including a share, coulter and land gauge wheel. It wasn’t until winter that we had time to work on the plow. We managed to mount the share, but not the other items. It wasn’t a major problem, since the plow is for display purposes only.
When we arrived at our first antique machinery show this year, Kenneth was there too. He asked why we hadn’t mounted the other parts and we confused to time and more importantly skill issues. Kenneth volunteered to help with both.
The following day, we returned with parts and tools and Kenneth did the same. Together, we were able to quickly mount the coulter. The gauge wheel was more problematic. It would require some engineering work and more critically, some bending of a thick steel bar. Kenneth said not to worry, we have the farmer’s friend, a blacksmith shop, on the grounds.
The next day, Kenneth arrived with the needed mounting parts, including the heavy bar. The members of the blacksmith shop made quick work of the metal bending and were happy to show off their skills. The bar and wheel fit perfectly. Somehow, a simple thank you doesn’t seem enough, but thank you Kenneth.
A Crosley Farm-O-Road Sighting
Another reason to visit shows is that you never know what might show up. We attended a show in Osgood, IN this year. This is the home show of Andy Boyd, who we first met at another show in 2018. Andy had his tribute MB, along with his daughter Emily’s M Farmall at the show.
Also at the show was a Farm-O-Road.
This was the first in person example we have seen. You can read all about it here.
A face made for radio
That is a saying from our all time favorite talk show hosts at Car Talk. And Farm Jeep did make its radio debut, thanks to Kenneth Miller. Kenneth’s son, C.J. Miller was visiting his dad at the same show where we repaired the plow. Kenneth suggested that his son, in his role as a reporter for Hoosier Ag Today, visit our display. You can see and listen to the results here.