For the first time since the CJ-3B was a new model, rain poured down on the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, California, in 2006. But even if the rain had held off, the crowd along the route could have made use of their umbrellas, because the float called "Photo Safari" sprayed water out of the trunks of several life-size elephants. Some 250 gallons of water carried on the float also supplied an operating waterfall. And perched on top was a zebra-patterned Jeep which was not actually a CJ-3B but was a fairly close replica.
The float was sponsored by Roto-Rooter, whose website said, "The advanced water recycling system is what you would expect from North America's largest provider of plumbing services." The company spent over $225,000 on the float, built by Phoenix Decorating Company, one of a handful of companies that build most of the floats in the parade each year. Their sketch of the float design (120K JPEG) shows the view from the opposite side.
Operating the float were three crew members: an "observer," an "animator" in charge of the animatronics including a 22-foot giraffe with retracting neck, and a driver. The 28,000-pound, 55-foot creation was powered by a Chevy V8 with automatic transmission and two-speed transfer case.
The three adventurers riding in the Jeep were Dave and Julie Jones of Roto-Rooter's Charlotte, North Carolina branch, who won an employee contest, and Rachael Worby, conductor of the "Pasadena Pops" and granddaughter of Phoenix Design Company's founder, Bill Lofthouse.
Thanks to Mike Albright for the exclusive photo.
Eric Lawson got a good frame grab from NBC-TV's coverage of the 2018 Rose Parade. Bringing up the rear, along with other security and service vehicles, was one of the vintage Southern California Auto Club CJ-3Bs which assisted with the parade in the 1950s. It still carries the "Emergency Service" sign above the windshield.
Incidentally, floats that break down and require a tow truck to help them reach the finish line, face possible fines in the thousands of dollars from the parade's Float Compliance Panel!
See a 1956 photo of a Southern California Auto Club CJ-3B with a tow rope pulling a disabled float in that year's Rose Parade, on the Unusual CJ-3B Bodywork page.
Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day (the birthday of St. John the Baptist), officially known in Quebec as La fête nationale ("National Holiday") is celebrated annually in Quebec on June 24.
This "forest" float was in the 1964 Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day parade in Montreal. Looks like a generator in the back of the Jeep is powering the lights. I like the red wheels!
Photo courtesy of the Montreal City Archives (under CC.)
I'd been looking for a photo of Jeeps at a U.S. Presidential Inauguration for quite a while, when Tom Edwards found one in the February 2001 issue of Reminisce magazine. I knew that white CJ-3Bs and later CJ-5A's were used in U.S. Presidential Inaugural parades in the 1950s and 60's, and I had heard that at least one of the 3B's used in 1953 still survives overseas in its unique factory-white paint.
See more photos and details of the Eisenhower 1953 Inauguration Parade on CJ3B.info.
Lots of Jeeps have driven in lots of Independence Day and Veterans Day parades in the U.S. since World War II, and some of them have been CJ-3Bs.
Thanks to Michael Witt for this great photo of his family in the parade in Littlerock, Washington in 2018. It was the CJ3B.info cover photo for July 2019.
With his trailer (260K JPEG) behind his 1954 CJ-3B, Chris "Copperswilly" Reinthaler had room for plenty of family on July 4th, 2009 in Baltimore.
This 1963 CJ-3B, possibly the lowest-mileage flatfender Jeep still in existence, was driven in the 4th of July 2000 parade in Wardsboro VT when it was owned by Adam Charnok. It was accompanied by some WWII-vintage jeeps (50K JPEG). Adam says, "It's one of the bigger events in Vermont, now in it's 52nd year. It's a feast for the senses, and a real piece of Americana."
Eugene Troxell sent this photo of his CJ-3B carrying some veterans in the July 4th, 2004 parade in Union City, California. Gene is the second owner of this Jeep, purchased new in King City CA in 1954.
Richard Daines took this photo on July 4, 1997 on Block Island in the state of Rhode Island. Judging from the licence plate, it's a '53, and both the Jeep and the people in it are well-decorated.
Adam Charnok comments that, "My family and I have spent many summers on Block Island and I know of a few 3B's on the Island. Including a 1964 3B that I sold and left there in 1990."
This photo of Fred the Stretched 3B was on the CJ3B.info cover page in July 2016. See more of Barry Ogletree's pictures from the Fourth of July parade in Friendswood TX, in 2016 and 2017.
John Burch in suburban Chicago drove his 88-year old father Lt. John Burch (50K JPEG), wearing his 66-year-old dress uniform, in a parade in 2009. John wrote on the CJ-3B Bulletin Board, "The 3B ran like a champ. Idling in 1st gear/low range was the perfect speed. Stayed right in sync with ROTC groups in front and behind us. The locking hubs made driving the parade possible -- 4 wheel drive / low range on pavement would be hard on the drive train.
"All along the route, random people would give Dad a casual salute, sort of a step above just a wave. But at a few different places along the route, a guy in civvies, standing with normal, casual posture, usually standing alone, would see us coming. As we drew closer he would slowly draw himself up ramrod straight, shoulders back, chin in, arms at sides and as we drew even, would SNAP Dad a real salute and hold it 'till we were past. To those guys, Dad would snap a real salute back. Methinks, those were guys who knew the score -- had been there and done it. Dad really appreciated those salutes."
Elsewhere on the web, see more of John's parade reports.
Warren Newbury drove his 1953 CJ-3B in the 2007 Veteran's Day parade in Durant, Oklahoma. Thanks to his wife Carol for taking the photo.
In a Canadian Remembrance Day parade the same day, Pat McIntyre drove his 1959 3B with his wife's grandfather, a Canadian paratrooper who fought in the Korean war, sitting beside him.
See also a cold weather parade photo of Lawrence Wade's 1955 CJ-3B on Veteran's Day 2000, in Build a Center Jump Seat.
Anzac ("Australian and New Zealand Army Corps") Day is the Australian equivalent of Veteran's Day in the U.S.
Greg Wilkens in Mildura, Victoria took his 1958 CJ-3B in the Anzac Day parade on 25 April 2010, shortly after completing a restoration which he began in 2004.
And at a 2007 Anzac Day parade, Ross Holdway's 1958 Air Force CJ-3B was joined by a few WWII jeeps.
Vaughn Becker completed his MB restoration in time for Anzac Day 2018, and drove it in the parade in Taroom, Queensland, alongside his 1958 CJ-3B, driven by Stan Clark. Passengers in the CJ-3B are Returned Servicemen Jack Richardson in front and Phil Fitzsimmons in the back. Riding with Vaughn in the MB is Returned Serviceman Malcolm Williams.
I drove my 1959 CJ-3B in the 1 July 2005 parade in Sharbot Lake, Ontario. Fishing season just opened for bass, so lots of visitors from across Ontario and the northeastern U.S. were in the Land O' Lakes to see the parade. My daughter and her friends sang "O Canada" in the back, and Starr the black lab got as many compliments as the Jeep did. There was also a CJ-2A in the parade (80K JPEG).
Another green 3B was spotted in the 2000 Canada Day parade in Highland Park, Ontario (70K JPEG). Anybody know the owner of this Jeep?
Sam Nielsen spent a year and a half on a major restoration of his 1953 CJ-3B, aiming to get it done for his wedding in October 2003. It was finished with two days to spare.
Coen van Wyk brought his daughter to her wedding on a game reserve in South Africa in 2009. The Jeep is an Ebro CJ-3B from Spain, originally delivered to Idi Amin's army in Uganda in 1972.
Vaughn Becker wrote from Australia in September 2005 to say, "My daughter got married a couple of weeks back and she said as Jeeps had always been such a large part of our family she demanded (as brides do) that I tidy up two of mine for wedding cars.
The red CJ-3B is a 1958 and the CJ-5 is a 1964. The CJ-5 looked really great as it had just been restored. The groom had not previously been exposed to Jeeps but caught the bug very quickly, so what could a poor father do but give them the CJ-5 as a wedding present. At least it has made some space in the shed."
Yona-Ken drove his 1961 Mitsubishi CJ3B-J10 when he married his wife Makiko in Japan in 1996.
The idea for this page was originally sparked by this photo of Mindy and Bob Christy, in Bob's 1953 CJ-3B at their September 2001 wedding in Ohio.
Chris Henry has a story about CJ-3Bs at weddings: "Ten years ago, when I started tearing my Jeep apart I swore that I would drive it in my wedding. During high school, I had the thing torn down nearly all of the way. It sat for many years in a machine shed, and then about a year before I got married I had finished school, so I began working on it, while living at home. After about 9 months off and on while working on the farm, I finished it, or what I call substantial completion. I got married about 6 months after that.
"I had gone to extreme lengths to keep the vehicle a secret. I had an old friend of the family, who happened to live next door to the church, keep the Jeep in his garage for a couple days before the wedding. None of the wedding party knew him. Then I had him leave the wedding, just as it was about to end, and drive the Jeep up to the door, so it wouldn't get trashed.
"Well, the groomsmen had done some of their own planning. They had anticipated this move apparently, and had a vehicle parked next to where they knew the Jeep would be. When the wedding ended the expedition door opened and they went to work. They were able to trash my Jeep in under 1 minute. This was the time it took for us to sign the papers. It was not a pretty sight. They had boxes of streamers and confetti, toilet paper, streamers, styrofoam, silly string, all over the old girl. I had to shovel some out so I could put my feet in the jeep. The worst was the vasoline on the steering wheel and stick. I nearly drove head-on into an SUV because I couldnt get it turned. It's hard enough to control these vehicles, but add some vasoline to a steering wheel, and the Jeep drives itself.
"They could have done worse, a lot worse. Anyway, just wanted to warn you about using your pride and joy on your special day. Make sure they understand how important the vehicle is to you. I'm still cleaning confetti out from all of the nooks and crannies and probably will be till I die. But it was a lot of fun." -- Chris Henry
Footnote: Here's one of the more unusual parades you might run across. This UFO Parade in Roswell, New Mexico marked the 50th anniversary of the UFO claim of the century -- the contention that an alien saucer and its ET occupants crashed in a farmer's field near the town of Roswell.
Thanks to Ken Woolley for the Canada Day 2000 photo, and all the other contributors. -- Derek Redmond
See also Everybody Loves a Christmas Parade, and the world record Jeep parade at the Bantam Heritage Jeep Festival, 2011.
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