When Barry started doing more serious research for articles, he kept finding items at eWillys. Soon we were addicted to the site and it has become part of the morning routine. Dave Eilers has spent years sharing his love of Jeeps and telling stories of his adventures. He has also provided a listing service for Jeep sellers from around the country. More importantly he keeps Jeep history alive through sharing documents, manuals, newspaper articles, period ads and interesting promotional items.
We are extremely grateful for Dave’s willingness to share his work with us. We have already added an equipment manual Dave sent to us and we will be adding other documents from his collection. Dave has a knack for finding interesting and often rare bits of information. eWillys has allowed him to share them with all of us.
We should also warn the reader that eWillys can be a dangerous place too. Wonderful things for sale show up on a very regular basis and sometimes they result in new Jeep projects.
I have a wanderlust I cannot explain, but can trace as far back as my
great great grandfather, Anton Eilers, who traveled all over the U.S
starting in 1859. In fact, I can hardly travel cross country without
wondering what it would be like to go back 150 years, climb on a horse
and travel through a fenceless West. I currently live with my wife Ann in
Pasco, Wa, but given I’ve lived in 24 locations in the past 28 years, I
suspect it isn’t the last place we’ll live.
My parents, along with 9 other families, started the Wandering Willys
Jeep Club in 1969 out of the Seattle Area, where I was born. I grew up
bouncing on my moms lap as we jeeped over trails such as the Naches
Trail. Mom says I slept well while we bounced over the rocks, but as
soon as we stopped, I was wide awake.
Growing up it always seemed to me we’d be out doing some jeep event on
the weekend, which seriously interrupted my cartoon watching (that’s the
way I remember it anyway). Our club planted trees after forest fires,
showed off our jeeps at the mall, participated in parades, attended
playdays & conventions. My sister and I hunted for easter eggs alongside
other club members’ kids at the Beverly Sand Dunes one Easter. There
were the monthly club potluck meetings during the summer at Sammamish
When I went to college in 1987 I had to give up jeeps. I thought I’d be
back in them after college, but life had other plans. A couple
marriages, a couple businesses, and many moves later, I found myself
needing a jeep again, so I built one. Then, soon after, in 2008 I
started eWillys to help others. I guess I must be doing something right,
as the site took off in popularity.
In 2011 I completed my first book, Finding Virginia, a memoir that
highlights four tumultuous weeks of my life in 2011. In it I share how I
faced my father’s illness and revisited a lost love, both of which led
me to look back my life and how jeeps impacted it.
Also in 2011, my new girlfriend (and eventual wife Ann) and I completed
our first cross country trip, not to see jeeps, but to pick up some
family paintings. To our surprise, folks really enjoyed our tales of
travel. Since then, we’ve probably logged 150,000 miles, meeting readers
and exploring the US and Canada. Along the way we’ve visited 48 states
(haven’t been to Florida or Hawaii together).
In 2013 I completed The Amber Panels of Konigsberg, a historical fiction
thriller. My third book, SLAG: The Golden Age of Lead Silver Ore, was
completed in 2016 and describes the history of mining and smelting in
the US through the eyes of my family, who were prominent smelting
experts for more than 50 years. Besides books and eWillys.com, I have
written vintage jeep-related articles for various websites, magazines,
newspapers and other outlets.
In my wildest dreams I never though eWillys would lead to so many great
experiences and friends world-wide. It’s truly been a special experience.
These days, my very understanding wife Ann and I own two vintage jeeps
(a custom fiberglass flat fender named Lost Bisucit and a 1956 DJ-3A
namded Patterson) and a 2016 Grand Cherokee named Delores.