Happy New Year everyone! We are looking forward to a fun filled 2022. We have uncovered some old publications that shed some light on Willys’ place in the tractor market. Enjoy!
It’s a truck! It’s a tractor! No its a Farm Truck-Tractor Jeep!
We have added two volumes of “The Tractor Field Book” to our reference library. If you aren’t familiar with this publication, and we weren’t, it is a standard tractor industry reference book first published in 1916. These documents confirm that, at least in the tractor industry, the Jeep was recognized as a “truck-tractor.”
It is that time of year again, when we bring out our favorite Christmas decoration. This year we received an early present from Bill Norris in the form of pictures from the the National Automotive Historical Collection of the Detroit Public Library.
This beautiful picture immediately invoked a memory of the cover of the Love installation brochure.
Jabez Love is the inventor of the first “Jeep Approved” lift (although that label would be applied later). But his real love was the implements he developed for the Ford 9N tractor that met the needs of the farmers he served.
Bill also provided us with the first documents from Love’s business that we have seen.
We will be updating our Love history section in the near future with these exciting finds.
For now, we wish everyone Merry Christmas and wish a safe and Happy New Year!
Our friend Lonnie passed away on November 28, 2021. His love for old Jeeps and his knowledge of Farm Jeeps and equipment are legendary. He and his wife and partner Marilyn touched hundreds of people over the years.
We started to record Lonnie’s Jeep story in late 2019, when his health was deteriorating. We have spoken with Marilyn and when the time is right, we will post more of the stories. For now, we invite you to read the first chapter.
Before WWII had ended, Willys was making plans for the “Peace Jeep.” It was to serve four roles on the farm, the first one being a tractor. We have added an article about “The Jeep As A Light Tractor.” Enjoy!
When this video popped up on the Early CJ5 forum, we just had to know the story. Ryan Frankenberg’s CJ3b has led multiple lives. It started life as a Farm Jeep, became a racing Jeep, retired and became a hard working Farm Jeep once again. You can read the whole story at Ryan Frankenberg’s 1962 CJ3b.
When we found the “Resolution in Pleasantville” movie, we had two goals. The first was to get the film digitized and made available to the widest audience possible. The second was to find a place that would keep the original 16MM film safe. It had survived 70 years in France and we felt we should be good custodians of this piece of Jeep history.
We have been able to meet both those goals with the help of Nick Spark and Periscope Film. Beginning today, “Revolution in Pleasantville” is now part of the Periscope Film’s extensive catalog of historic films. Many of you will be familiar with Periscope Film’s work if you have watched the Willys’ “The Jeep Family of 4-Wheel Drive Vehicles” and other Jeep related videos on their YouTube channel.
Periscope Film encourages viewers to comment on their movies and we look forward to what we may learn from their thousands of followers.
With a top speed of 45MPH, it isn’t practical to drive the CJ3a to shows. We have driven it to the county fair, but that is only 20 minutes away and we were sharing the road with other tractors and not big rigs. So we have always used a Ford 150 to haul the Jeep on an 18′ car (in this case Jeep) trailer. It just didn’t seem right that we had to rely on a Ford to haul our little Jeep. So when Jeep announced that they would build a Gladiator with enough towing capacity to meet our needs. Barry started saving his pennies. Lots and lots of pennies
The New Tow Rig
This morning Barry headed to the 2021 Power of the Past show in Greensburg, IN, about an hour away as the first test of the new setup. The Gladiator or JT (the truck model) as we call it is much smaller than the F150 and has a short 5′ bed. So we are having to pack more efficiently But there is plenty of room on the trailer and we strapped the second shelter to the front. Everything else we normally haul to a show fit nicely in the bed or rear seat. Barry’s F150 had a small 4″ backup camera and the JT’s large screen with a zoom feature made the hook up a breeze.
2021 Power of the Past
Barry’s drive to the show early this morning was uneventful and the truck performed as advertised. As it is setup for towing with the Tow Max package and brake controller we didn’t expect any difficulties. The only issue was the threatening skies, but the rain never materialized.
The Power of the Past show is one of our favorites. There are somewhere around 300 hundred or so tractors (and one Jeep). The show has expanded and there was plenty of room to set up our display with both canopies. Barry is considering parking the JT next to the 3a and opening the hoods so people can see 70 years of change (he won’t call it progress).
And then there is the food…
We have written before about the joys of farm show food. This year’s offerings are even bigger with new items. It is starting to resemble a county fair in terms of fun treats. Barry went to his favorite vendor for a hand breaded tenderloin. For those unfamiliar with this Hoosier treat, think chicken-fried steak but with a pounded pork loin. We will end today’s post with a couple of beauty shoots.
Day 2 turned out to be hot and humid. A highlight of the day was watching a long line of tractors form up before heading out on a morning cruise and lunch ride. We often point out to tractor owners that if they had a Farm Jeep that wouldn’t have to wait for a show to drive to lunch. But we try to be kind and not wear out our welcome, so we mostly just wave as they drive off.
While there are lots of tractor, the crowds remain small, perhaps due to the heat. It also means shorter lines at the food vendors. Today’s menu included a butterflied pork chop sandwich, followed by a piece of pie served up by the church ladies.
Day 3 was the “big” day with lots of activities, including a tractor parade.
We have to admit to chuckling at the tractor cruises and parades. People will line up for an hour for a short drive past a review stand. A Jeep can drive to the local drive-in summer, winter, spring or fall. Jeeps are better than tractors.
The only disappointment of Day 3 was the result of being overcome by a desire to test out a another tenderloin sandwich offered up as “Award Winning”. Now the vendor didn’t say who give the award. It was a grade “C” tenderloin. Good, but not great. We had to overcome our sadness with some home made ice cream churned with a hit-n-miss engine.
It was actually a fun final day. We heard lots of Jeep stories. As we left, we snapped a picture of the 3a in the mirror.
It reminded us of a picture from all those years ago.
The trip home was great. The JT is a perfect tow vehicle.
We contacted the folks at Periscope Films in hopes of learning more about the origins of the color film clips. We are pretty certain that these same or similar scenes appear in the 1954 movie that introduced the new CJ5 –
We plan to do a comparison of the two films and are pretty confident that a narrated script is out there for the first one. We believe the introduction of the CJ5 caused a delay in the release of the color movie. So many questions. Why was the CJ5 movie filmed in B/W? Probably for cost savings.
In the meantime, you can watch the films and see how many scenes from the first you can spot in the second.
In 2015, we posted about a 1955 Jeep ad that appeared to use the very same graphics used for Newgren plows in 1948. Our friend Clint Dixon gave us his theory about what might have happened. We have updated the post with what we have learned –