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News Items
July 17, 2004, Next regular monthly meeting at the Delkwood Grill, 2769 Delk Road, Marietta. Plan to have lunch at 12:00 noon with the meeting at 1:00 pm. Please note that due to the many events during the month of June, no formal meeting will be held in June. Contact Cal Williams at 770-719-0028 if you need directions to the Grill!

June 12…Cave Spring’s Fifth Annual Car Show
June 18&19 229th Army Birthday Fort McPherson & Fort Gillem
June 24-26 International Convention of The M.V.P.A. –Mobile, Alabama

From the President
Cal Williams
This month promises to be one of our busiest, with the two-day celebration of the birthday of the Army, the auto show in Cave Spring and the M.V.P.A. Convention in Mobile. Because of the mentioned events, a decision was made to forgo a monthly meeting and have the next regular monthly meeting in July. We may try to have committee meetings of the “Dodge Committee” and the “Kennesaw Rally Committee” during June. Those on the Committees will be contacted about time and place!

I wish to thank all those who were able to participate in the Memorial Day events around the State. Reports from last month’s Blue Angels Air Show in Marietta indicate that the public was very interested in our preservation and vehicle restorations.

Well it’s time to vote on submissions for “Unit Markings” and at the same time a pick a name for our Dodge.. So far we have “GA MVPA HQTRS 1” and “101st Airborne, 506th Regiment, E Company” in honor of the “Camp Toccoa Boys” for Unit markings. The nominated names are “Rusty”, Miss Georgia, Cracker and Peaches. Please drop me a note, give me a call or send us a postcard with your choice! Next month we’ll announce the winners!

Jeep Jabber
Richard Grace
A happy June hello to all of our members of the Georgia Chapter, M.V.P.A. As I write this on a rainy Memorial Day, I find myself thinking about our servicemen and women who are in harm’s way while I am comfortable and well fed. I can’t join them but I can sure remember them in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for what you’re doing to promote freedom for parts of this world who have never known what freedom is all about. May God bless each and every one of you and return you home at the earliest opportunity.

Your old jeep correspondent has missed the last couple of issues of “The Combat Wheel.” You might have guessed that we have been traveling again. Our longest trip was a cruise that originated in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, down through the Caribbean, then through the Panama Canal, and up the Western coast of Central America and Mexico, ending up in San Diego, California. That was a nice trip. At every port of call I looked for HMVs (Historic Military Vehicles) but the only one I saw was a tired old M38-A1 in Costa Rica. Those of us who actively seek out and collect HMVs know that they are drying up here but I didn’t realize that they are drying up everywhere else too.

Between trips, I have been busy looking at a few WWII jeeps that popped up on the “for sale” block. One, that followed me home, was a 1942 Ford “script” GPW with a restorable body but a totally incorrect engine. The engine serial number began with the prefix, 440-. A little research indicated that this engine had originated in a 1940 Willys Americar, and the 440- stands for 4-cylinder, 1940. These engines will interchange with our MB and GPW engines but have some differences in the manifolds and block arrangement. The jeep was a total “basket case” and I have had fun putting it back together and making it look like a jeep once again.

One road trip, that I very much enjoyed, was a dash up to the East Coast Rally in Aberdeen, Maryland with Cal Williams. We left early on a Thursday morning, drove to Aberdeen in time for dinner that evening, spent Friday at the Rally, then drove back on Saturday so we could be back home for Mother’s Day. One day at the Rally wasn’t the ideal amount of time but I did find a few nice goodies. One thing I found was a pair of horn buttons. I recognized immediately that these were from a pre-production Ford GP and are very rare. When the vendor stated he wanted $10 for the pair, along with the springs and brass contacts, I snapped them up. I was showing them around to several guys that I knew owned GPs, when one noted GP expert burst my bubble. “Those are not GP”, said the expert, “they are for a GMC truck.” You can imagine how I felt, especially since I don’t own a GMC truck. Still, I wasn’t convinced that they weren’t for the GP even though a seed of doubt had been planted. The third thing I did after we arrived back home, after kissing the wife and drinking a glass of sweet tea, was to dig out my GP parts box and compare my new purchases with the original GP horn parts that I already had. You guessed it, a perfect match. My confidence in my “parts spotting ability” was restored and I have a few rare GP parts to swap with other GP owners for stuff I don’t have. Isn’t this a great hobby?

I have purchased another Ford GPW, a 1945 model. This one, purchased over the internet, is located in Ohio and I haven’t gone up to get it yet. The seller furnished me with some really detailed pictures so I pretty well know what I’ll be getting. With the current high cost of gasoline, I am trying to schedule the pick up of this jeep to coincide with one of my son’s trips to visit a branch of his business up there. This way, we can “kill two birds with one trip,” so to speak. I’ll, hopefully be able to give you a complete report on this jeep in next month’s column.

I missed the debut of our club’s new Dodge WC-51 truck at the last meet. I am excited about our new “toy” and looking forward to seeing it “in the flesh.” I did see it before it was restored and am anxious to see how the restoration turned out. Your old jeep correspondent has owned several WWII Dodges in the past, a couple of Command Cars and one Carryall. At least one of my old Command Cars is still around and active in our hobby. Since I do have some Dodge driving hours in my log book, I’m looking forward to piloting this one around the block a few times in order to compare it to my previous Dodge driving experiences. Thanks to Jack Wilroy for providing it with a temporary home and tending to a couple of mechanical issues with it. I anticipate that our club will enjoy our project for many years to come.

Since it will be June by the time you read this, the MVPA annual convention, in Mobile, Alabama will only be days away. I have talked with a number of other Georgia members who are planning to display vehicles at Mobile. I am excited that our chapter will be so well represented there. As you will remember, Georgia jeeps took first place, in the WWII restored class, in 2001 and 2002. There will be several contenders in Mobile and it won’t be too far fetched to consider that a Georgia jeep just might do it again. Three years out of four won’t be too shabby.

You can’t win if you don’t play so bring your HMV down to Mobile for the display there. Even if your restoration is not complete, bring it along anyway. People love to see works in progress because that’s exactly what most of them have back at home. If you don’t feel comfortable having your vehicle “judged”, you don’t have to. You are welcome to enter a “for display only” entry.

I already have three vendor tables in the swap meet area in Mobile. In addition to the jeep parts that I will take to sell, I plan to have along some extra lounge chairs for fellow Georgia members to take advantage of. Be sure and stop by and spend a little time with us there and if you do happen to need a few parts, I’ll be more than happy to assist you with your purchases. I really do get excited about the conventions. Thankfully, I’ve managed to make the majority of them for the past twenty years and have never been disappointed in one yet. If you’ve never been, this is about as close as one will come for the next few years so, by all means, make every effort to attend this one. And when you get there, be sure and stop by and occupy one of the lounge chairs for a few minutes. I’ll be looking forward to seeing you.

Until next month I wish you and yours a happy and healthy time as we enjoy the freedoms that we enjoy as a result of the sacrifices of our brave and determined servicemen and women in conflicts around the world. God bless yoy all.