Dec 16th – Veteran’s Day @ Newnan Guard Armory. Vehicles needed. Contact Paul Pettway @770-253-2844
Dec 17th – Monthly Meeting, 12:00 noon for lunch, Meeting starts at 1:00 pm. Delkwood Grill located at 2769 Delk Rd., Marietta
Jan 21st – Monthly Meeting
Feb 18th – Monthly Meeting
Mar 18th – Monthly Meeting
Apr 8th – WWII Day Boots, Wheels & Wings, Falcon Field, Peachtree City
Apr 7th & 8th – M.V. Rally at Mobile, AL, Dixie Division
Apr 15th – Monthly Meeting
|From the President||
|By this time I am sure most of us are trying to work off the pounds we accumulated during the Thanksgiving Holiday. I know I had a great day and I hope the same was true for all of our membership. What happened to the year 2005? It seems like it was yesterday when we were talking and planning for our Fall Rally and here it is almost Christmas. What is more telling of how time is flying by is a recent communication I received from Joe Boone about our upcoming Spring Rally at the Museum of Aviation (MOA) at Warner Robbins Air Force Base . Right now it looks like the dates for the Spring Rally will be April 21 and 22, 2006. Joe is working on confirming those dates with Bob Dubiel at the MOA and as soon as it’s firm we will let everyone know.
At the last meeting we discussed my first attempt to send out the Combat Wheel via e-mail to everyone who had an e-mail address. I would say we had very few glitches and unfortunately I don’t know enough about computers to help those who could not open the Combat Wheel attachment. Perhaps some of our membership who are more knowledgeable could give us some suggestions. I know that the next Combat Wheel I send out will not be sent as an attachment and we will see how this works. I am sure that eventually this will be the way to get information to our membership rapidly and at reduced costs.
We were distressed to hear that our member and faithful vendor friend, David Pizzoferrato of Webee Webbing, had a bad accident and injured his head. We voted at our last meeting to send him a gift and let him know we wished him a quick and complete recovery. I purchased a Coffee Table Book about the Army and it has been sent to David with our best wishes for his recovery. Also I reported at the last meeting that I had sent a letter to the Atlanta Newspapers that our organization be listed in the Wheels Section of Friday’s paper. Since we have not been listed I have sent another letter requesting a listing for our group. I only this second letter will get some action.
Don’t forget that our next meeting will be held at the Delkwood Grill on December 17th, 2005. In the meantime I hope everyone will have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Spearheaded by our President, Coy Short, The Combat Wheel, is working toward sending this newsletter to the membership via Email. Those members desiring to be Emailed the newsletter should send Coy your Email address as soon as possible at email@example.com Please note the members who do not have Email will continue to receive the Combat Wheel by regular Postal Service.
|Hello to all my friends out there. It’s November and the weather has gotten a little frosty and the days are getting shorter. I guess it’s time to light the old garage heater and get busy on some serious jeep restoring while it’s cold and dark outside.
I just got back from my annual antique auto show and swap meet up in Hershey, Pennsylvania. It’s usually a five day event but this year, it was rain shortened into a three day event. I didn’t find as much “good stuff” as I usually find but I’m sure that if we’d had the other two days, more of the “good stuff” would have turned up.
I did talk with a lot of people in the jeep hobby, and I feel very confident that our hobby is very healthy. More and more guys (and a few gals) are restoring antique jeeps. The increasing popularity of the antique jeeps parallels the popularity of the new jeep vehicles, the Wranglers, Cherokees, and the latest, the Commander. Just in case you’ve had your head in the sand lately, the Commander is jeep’s entry into the full size SUV field. It is targeted to compete with the Suburbans and Excursions. Studebaker, for many years, produced a Commander. I hope jeep asked their permission before grabbing that name.
With the increasing popularity of our antique jeeps comes the inevitable increases in prices. Not only are restorable jeeps climbing in value, have you seen what parts have done recently? One night, as I was surfing Ebay, I ran across a couple of crazy examples of parts prices that were way higher that I would have ever dreamed. One item, a carburetor air horn, that little elbow that sits on top of the carburetor, sold for $242.50. I have these in my inventory for $15. On the same night, a pair of hubcaps sold for $152.50. I sell these every day for $6 apiece. Why did these parts bring such high prices? Because they were original and because they had a script letter “F “ stamped into them.
What, you ask, is so special about the letter “F “? To understand, we have to go back to 1941 when the jeep was first developed. When the first bids were received for the standardized jeep, Willys-Overland Motors was the low bidder and thus became the prime contractor and controller of the blueprints for the entire jeep production. In order to increase production, Ford Motor Company was asked to become a sub-contractor for the same vehicle. By contract, Willys and Ford parts had to be interchangeable. Since this was the first time that Henry Ford had ever built a vehicle to someone else’s blueprints, and since every Ford built jeep came with a warranty, Ford devised a way to identify the parts that he built and prevent someone from bringing him a warranty claim for a defective part that had been built by Willys. He identified all the Ford built parts with a script letter “F “.
Fast forward 60 years to our present day jeep restorer. If he is restoring one of the Ford built jeeps, and if 100% authenticity is his goal, then he wants to use as many genuine Ford parts as he can, those with the script letter “F “. Even though these “F “ parts are being reproduced, most restorers would prefer to use the original item.
Enter the law of supply and demand that we learned about in Economics 101. There is a diminishing supply of original parts and an increasing demand for them due to the growth of our hobby. Therefore the remaining stocks of original parts become increasingly expensive as today’s restorers compete for them at swap meets of on online auctions such as Ebay.
It’s only a(short) matter of time that, unless a restorer has awfully deep pockets, he will be unable to restore one of our jeeps with 100% original parts. The good news is, that as these stocks of original parts dry up, the reproductions take their place. The reproductions that are available today are getting better and better as fussy restorers demand authenticity. Most of the better reproductions come from restorers in Europe and Australia but dealers here in the good old USA are getting their share.
I have a 1943 Ford GPW that I am currently re-restoring. I say re-restoring because this jeep was restored, the first time, some 10 or 15 years ago. Back then, the high quality reproductions, that we have today, didn’t exist. That’s good, because the guy who did the work back then had to dig up the authentic, original parts. The jeep, as I bought it, had only two reproduction parts on it, the gas tank and the front bumper. I happen to have a couple of pretty decent original gas tanks and I even have a good original front bumper, so, when I roll this jeep out of my shop next Spring, it will be as close to all original as possible. It just might be about the last restoration that can make that claim.
Speaking of reproductions, the good news for owners of the WWII ¼-ton trailers by Willys, Bantam, or Converto, is that reproduction parts are now available for them too. I have in stock, landing legs, lunette eyes, and even complete reproduction body tubs for the trailers. Nothing complements a nice WWII jeep restoration any more than a matching trailer. So if you’re like me, and have an old quarter-ton trailer, with a rotted out tub, help is available.
That’s about it for another month. Remember the many events and opportunities that are coming up for us to show off our vehicles and to support our troops and honor our veterans. Until next month, happy jeeping and God Bless.