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.
Ranakai? The fictitious South Pacific island 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).
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 a Willys VIASA 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).
Rodney Walker loaded the extended family into his right-hand-drive CJ-3B in Australia, but he hasn't confirmed whether they actually drove anywhere. About the Jeep, he says "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.
Thanks to all the photographers, including Richard A. Cooke III for Bunglaow Bill, and Federico Cavedo for finding the Broadside photos. -- Derek Redmond
See some CJ-3Bs in World War II Movies.
Return to the Index of Unusual Photos.
See also Jeeps Around the World on CJ3B.info.
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