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That old Jeep-in-a-crate story

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JeepRoger View Drop Down
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    Posted: 18 Feb. 2012 at 12:40am
The Jeep-in-a-crate story has been eating me alive (and I've read a bunch of the posts on it). And, at the expense of boring my friends on this site, I just have to get this out of my system: For years I've been biting my tongue when people "poo poo" the Jeep-in-a-crate story. When I read Ray Cowdery's book All-American Wonder, and got to page 41 ("...the fabled Jeep-in-a-crate") I wrote to him and said "... but it's true." (I never heard back from him.) Here are the facts: in 1953 or 54, when I was 13 or 14 respectively, my brother (who was four years older than I - and was driving) and I wanted to buy a Jeep-in-a-crate. There was a surplus yard in Newark, New Jersey (I think it was on Stuyvesant Avenue, but not sure) that had three Jeep crates stacked up right at their entry way, and another crate on the ground that was open, and yes, honestly, really, truly there were Jeeps in the crates, with tires all folded up neat and pretty. The sad part was that we didn't have a truck or trailer and didn't know anyone with one, and that was the only way they would sell one -- if we could pack it out of the yard. During several visits, we begged them to allow us to open the crate and assemble it there so we could drive it out or tow it out, but they refused - and I think they really considered us to be a pain in the ___. I really don't remember the price but for some reason $95.00 sticks in my mind (it could have been $195.00). I wish I had a camera that could capture the picture in my memory, but unfortunately, the vision I have is all I have.  ---  There. I feel better getting in out! It's okay to go ahead and argue, and I'm willing to be chastised. You are welcome to challenge my memory, but you can't take it away from me. ...R
Roger in California
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Joe Friday View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Joe Friday Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb. 2012 at 1:27am
The only part that raises an eyebrow is the price...

I had 2 MB's that came out of a warehouse in Stamford CT.

Hanes Concrete bought crated Jeeps in the late 40's and I got the pair (used) in 1975


Edited by Joe Friday - 18 Feb. 2012 at 1:29am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RDF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb. 2012 at 4:05am
Everything is possible .
Here in Europe all the very original war baby I have ever seen was rather in poor condition ( except 2 but they came from USA and were end of production 1945) .
The others need much time , much work and much money to get them alive .Embarrassed
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rusty1340 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb. 2012 at 6:53am
 
Some more reading if you like
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote p3ferris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb. 2012 at 10:45am
Yes the price is the issue.  "$50 jeep in a crate"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb. 2012 at 12:22pm
Here's my Jeep in a crate story (true story). My dad had worked for a international arms broker based out of Atlanta after getting out of the Army. The guy retired and my dad stayed in touch with him and sometime in the early 70's the guy told my dad about a lot of crated Jeeps that were coming up for bid. I'm not sure what model they were (This all took place when I was 8 or 9).

My dad got a bunch of guys from work to put in with him and they bid $400.00 each for a lot of 200 Jeeps. He was going to get four of them so we would have one for him, my brother, my grand father and me. Needless to say he didn't win the bid. His former boss told him the lot went to the Israeli defense forces. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Haines Garage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb. 2012 at 10:56pm
Posted before, but once again, Ill take 100!Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote F Bill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb. 2012 at 10:15am
I remember sitting in Study hall in 10th grade doing my usual build a jeep on paper out of the JC Whitney catalog. One of my friends was reading stuff he had gotten in the mail about surplus jeeps...There was some sort of auction thing going on and he wanted all of us together  to try and bid on some jeeps. Problem was that you had to buy 14 or 15 at a time, and the jeeps were not guaranteed to be complete running driveable jeeps. It would have been quite doable then but with our luck we would have bought a lot of 13 frames with grilles and nothing else. Of course all the pictures in the brochure were all the nice jeeps in crates and a few assembled factory new ones. And then there was the transport problem with none of us owning licenses or having a good place for that many jeeps. Several of my buddies lived on farms so we had a place to drive them once one was built.

I don't even know if they were flatfenders or 151 series, as we never got beyond the large quantity purchase required. At the time (1974) I don't think I knew the difference. I returned to my usual study hall pastimes of seeing if JC WHitney had enough parts in their catalog to build a complete jeep from. and attempting to see if there was any way I could register my Model A Ford doodlebug for the road. Actually owning a jeep would have to wait several decades.

Sure would like to find an early 70's JC Whitney catalog. For some reason the parents made me toss all mine on a regular basis..LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JeepRoger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb. 2012 at 11:00am
A friend who is 82 and reads this site, but isn't a subscriber, called to tell me that he remembers seeing ads for crated Jeeps for sale for $50 in either Popular Science or Popular Mechanics magazines in the early 1950s. If anyone has any early copies, it would be fun to check it out. Haines, do you know where that "$50" photo is from? ...R

Edited by JeepRoger - 19 Feb. 2012 at 11:02am
Roger in California
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote F Bill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb. 2012 at 11:34am
Any of the 60's and early 70's how to mags would have ads for jeeps for prices from $35 to $50....All were totally bogus ads that offered information that was available from the govenment for free. Some features pics of crated jeeps, some actually advertised jeeps in a crate that just needed assembly.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rob H. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb. 2012 at 12:21pm
Yup I remember showing those ads to Dad back in the 70's saying we need to check on this LOL! You know it's funny how my idea of a real Jeep back then consisted of having flat fenders and OD paint, probably had something to do with my color choice ya thinkWink.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mogger7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb. 2012 at 12:22pm
I remember the $50.00 jeeps back in the 70's  sent for some info  and what I got was info on what they  called land drops . they looked as if they were dropped abort 2 miles with no parachute. Broken axles  and trannys  sticking up through the floors.  Wish I still had this info.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Joe Friday Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb. 2012 at 12:50pm
FBill is right on target. As a matter of fact, Bill posted once about Russell's Jeep parts. Russell dragged Jeep 'residue' from all over the US back to west Texas to meet the demands of the 'hunting jeeps'. He said he bought and sold over 350 Jeeps in the 1970's and early 80's. He said they were between $50 and $750 each, and it took an average of 3 Jeeps to create a good one.

Back then you could send a SASE (Self addressed stamped envelope) to the DOD surplus sales division and get the auction flyer for free. Like Bill said, almost every newspaper and magazine advertised that they would SELL you the information on how to buy these Jeeps even though the information was FREE. (I think I still have some)

It's kind of like the websites that offer to sell you the info on how to buy confiscated cars, trucks, and boats.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote F Bill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb. 2012 at 12:57pm
Originally posted by Joe Friday Joe Friday wrote:

FBill is right on target. As a matter of fact, Bill posted once about Russell's Jeep parts. Russell dragged Jeep 'residue' from all over the US back to west Texas to meet the demands of the 'hunting jeeps'. He said he bought and sold over 350 Jeeps in the 1970's and early 80's. He said they were between $50 and $750 each, and it took an average of 3 Jeeps to create a good one.

Back then you could send a SASE (Self addressed stamped envelope) to the DOD surplus sales division and get the auction flyer for free. Like Bill said, almost every newspaper and magazine advertised that they would SELL you the information on how to buy these Jeeps even though the information was FREE. (I think I still have some)

 
Hey if you do find it, post some pics if ya would!   I forgot about Russels.I wonder if he has sold out yet.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Haines Garage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb. 2012 at 8:23pm
Originally posted by JeepRoger JeepRoger wrote:

A friend who is 82 and reads this site, but isn't a subscriber, called to tell me that he remembers seeing ads for crated Jeeps for sale for $50 in either Popular Science or Popular Mechanics magazines in the early 1950s. If anyone has any early copies, it would be fun to check it out. Haines, do you know where that "$50" photo is from? ...R
 
I found that photo doing a Google search for MB Pics. I thought it was cool, and saved it. I am a home improvement contractor, and work for a lot of older folks. When they find out that I am restoring a Willys, they all have a story about the $50.00 crate Jeep. The ladies more than the men. I believe all the stories. I guess Im just a hopeful romantic.  Maybe somday storage wars will find one........YYYYUUUUUUPPPP!Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Joe Friday Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb. 2012 at 10:10pm
Russell passed away a few years ago. His sons have pretty much cleared the place out for scrap metal. Somewhere around here I have a list of all the serial #'s from the Jeeps there.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Haines Garage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb. 2012 at 11:32pm
EmbarrassedHeres another that I found with the Google. Check out these sites as well, MISSING-LYNX.com or HTTD://WW11 Jeepparts.com/archives/ww2jeepsincrates.htlm   Hope i spelled those right. The stories I read made sense and where pretty interesting. I think Im going to print these photos, and have them framed. I can just say ...It only cost me $50.00  ClapLOLThumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kilroy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb. 2012 at 10:52am
Originally posted by Joe Friday Joe Friday wrote:

FBill is right on target. As a matter of fact, Bill posted once about Russell's Jeep parts. Russell dragged Jeep 'residue' from all over the US back to west Texas to meet the demands of the 'hunting jeeps'. He said he bought and sold over 350 Jeeps in the 1970's and early 80's. He said they were between $50 and $750 each, and it took an average of 3 Jeeps to create a good one.

Back then you could send a SASE (Self addressed stamped envelope) to the DOD surplus sales division and get the auction flyer for free. Like Bill said, almost every newspaper and magazine advertised that they would SELL you the information on how to buy these Jeeps even though the information was FREE. (I think I still have some)

It's kind of like the websites that offer to sell you the info on how to buy confiscated cars, trucks, and boats.


HMMM. Living in Texas... Lotsa Jeep stuff sitting around from all over the Country...
Sound like anybody we know????
Wink
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