The photos here are evidence that the term "Universal Jeep" is more than just a slogan dreamed up by Willys-Overland in the 1940's. You can find Jeeps (particularly CJ-3Bs in fact) almost everywhere, and they're carrying everybody!
New Caledonia is a tiny bit of French territory in the southwest Pacific Ocean, about 1,210 km (750 mi) east of Australia. The capital of the territory is Nouméa, which in 1942 became the main base of the United States Navy in the South Pacific, and launched the fleet that turned back the Japanese navy in the Battle of the Coral Sea. American troops there numbered up to 50,000, about the same as the local population at the time. (Wikipedia)
Many of the locals still consider themselves very French, as evidenced by this 1985 postcard photo.
Ranakai? It's another South Pacific island, but this one is fictitious, and was the setting for a 1964 ABC-TV sitcom called Broadside. A spinoff from McHale's Navy, it starred Kathleen Nolan as U.S. Navy Lt. Anne Morgan, with Sheila James, Joan Staley and Lois Roberts (left). They were a group of WAVES ("Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service") transferred to a Pacific island supply depot in 1944, to run the motor pool.
A few Willys MB's were used in the show (50K JPEG), shot on the Universal back lot in Los Angeles. Even a CJ-2A (50K JPEG) made an appearance in the pilot episode.
But for one Broadside promotional photo shoot, the prop was a Navy CJ-3B. The Navy did have a lot of new CJ-3Bs in 1964, so this may have been an active service vehicle. Some of the hood numbers were covered with tape, possibly to prevent anyone from determining who allowed this unauthorized use of government property...
Broadside only lasted for one season of 32 episodes during 1964-65. It may have been cancelled partly because it was competing with Ed Sullivan, and partly because Universal wanted the space on the back lot which was occupied by palm trees and used only for Broadside and McHale's Navy.
Male cast members included familiar faces Edward Andrews (40K JPEG) as Commander Adrian, George Furth (40K JPEG) as Ensign Beasley, Dick Sargent (40K JPEG) as Lt. Trotter, and Arnold Stang (40K JPEG) as Stanley Stubbs.
Other promotional photo shoots involved what appears to be a Navy CJ-3A (100K JPEG), and an L-head engine in a Jeep (100K JPEG) and out of a Jeep (70K JPEG).
As of 2017, the show is available on DVD from Loving the Classics.
Barry and Karen Ogletree and Fred the Stretched 3B were in Biloxi, Mississippi in October 2018 for the 22nd annual Cruisin' the Coast. They reported:
We are here in Biloxi and are having a very good time. We have been cruising around in Fred, buying supplies, and getting ready for the next week. We did the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum, and had a fabulous lunch at Mary Mahoney's, a New Orleans restaurant here. The beach sand is just as white as Destin FL. A vibrant but very laid back community.
Driving along today, there was all of this noise off to the left of the road. There was a large group of school children sitting on a hill in front of the Biloxi Visitors Center. All were screaming, pointing, waving and causing all kinds of commotion towards Fred. I kept driving, and from behind me, Karen sez "STOP! STOP! Did you see all of those darlinggggg kids?" I sez "NOPE!" (full knowing what was coming next.) Karen, being a retired teacher, sez, "Turn around, turn around, and let them see Fred!"
We did turn around, and drove right up on the big lawn of the Visitor Center. After introductions to the teachers, priests, and moms, I walked up to a group and said, "Who wants to get their photo made in Fred?" There was a rush of kids past me toward Fred. The adults loaded the little kids and away the cameras went.
Then the next group, and the next, and the next.... Everyone profusely thanked us for the photo op. Fred was fine, and happy. What a load!
I hope the kids all remember Fred, and do something like that for someone when they grow up. Thanks to Karen for saying "STOP, STOP!" Later, we went to Cruise Central, and found some shade. Fred was a big hit. There was not a minute that I got to take a break from visitors. Now, we'll go out tonight for dinner. What a nice day!
Thanks to Barry for the story. Also on CJ3B.info, see Fred at some 2016 Car Shows.
Obihiro, Japan, July 2006 -- the 31st annual International Agricultural Machinery Show. It's a huge exposition of farm equipment from all over the world, held every four years in Japan, with the latest and largest machinery on display. And the VIPs decided to ride in an old CJ-3B with an implement lift and front bumper weight! It's probably a Mitsubishi-assembled '53, which still carried the Willys stampings on the hood.
Who knew that the Beatles' "Bungalow Bill" who "went out tiger hunting with his elephant and gun," also took a Willys CJ-3B?
It's well documented that the 1968 song from the Beatles' white album was written by John Lennon while visiting the Maharishi in Rishikesh, India, and based on a young American named Richard A. Cooke III (Rik) and his mother, who took a break from their stay with the Maharishi, to go tiger hunting with Indian guides, riding elephants.
According to a well-annotated article in Wikipedia about The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill, "The pack of elephants was attacked by a tiger, which was shot by Rik. Rik was initially proud of his quick reaction and posed for a photograph with his prize."
I saw the photo of Rik (above, copyright Richard A. Cooke III) for the first time in the September, 2008 issue of the music magazine Mojo. The magazine reported that he was deeply affected by the event, and hasn't shot anything except photographs since.
Richard A. Cooke III became a well-respected photographer for National Geographic.
The drawing of The Beatles (left) comes from the King Features animated ABC-TV series.
Pierre Gieling from Belgium, with his primary-school class in Goma, Zaire, where he taught in the 1990's. By my calculations, this photo might have set a new record for the number of people on a high-hood Jeep.
A few other friends also enjoyed climbing on the Jeep in the nearby Rwindi Park nature reserve, posing on the hood and on the spare tire (110K JPEG).
The Jeep (140K JPEG) was an EBRO Bravo built in Spain, with a Perkins diesel engine. His website Chez Pierre has more photos of the Jeep and his travels all over the world.
Here's another schoolroom full of kids transplanted onto a Jeep, this time in Los Angeles County. This 1956 CJ-3B belongs to Phil Downs.
I ran across this Jeep on a web page in Spain. It saw regular rally action, judging from the signs of sponsorship by cigarette companies. See also a photo with the soft top on (40K JPEG).
The late Rodney Walker loaded the extended family into his right-hand-drive CJ-3B in Australia, but he didn't confirm whether they actually drove anywhere. About the Jeep, he said "We bought this Jeep in 1995 from a guy at Cecil Plains in Western Queensland. He was a contract septic tank cleaner (sounds like a fun job) who travelled quite frequently to remote properties in Western Queensland. He was a bit of an old car enthusiast and picked up whatever he could (if the price was right). Anyway he had found this 3B (for next to nothing I would say) and it was in a pretty sad way."
Of course Colombians are the experts on packing a crowd into a Jeep. Yes, there is a Jeep in this picture. See lots of photos from the Yipao festivals of Quindío, Colombia, in Jeeps in Colombia on CJ3B.info.
I don't know where or when this snapshot was taken. Probably somewhere warm, judging from the rope holding the doors open on the hardtop. The hood seems to be suffering under the weight. Anybody recognize this? Thanks to Rod Maden for finding the photo.
Thanks to all the photographers, including Richard A. Cooke III for Bunglaow Bill, and thanks to Federico Cavedo for photo research. -- Derek Redmond
Return to the Index of Unusual Photos.
See also Jeeps Around the World on CJ3B.info.
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