News Items

Newnan High School:
On December 10, 2004 Newnan high school veteran’s appreciation day was held in the Newnan national guard armory, which is located next door to the school.

Veterans from all wars set up tables and spoke with approximately 350 students, who had plenty of questions to ask. The national guard provided troops, and a HMMWV. The School provided refreshments and support.

The Ga.MVPA was well represented by Paul Pettway with his 1942 GPW and equipment. His static display included rifles (which the students loved). Fred Cron was there in WWII uniform answering the Kids Questions. What the Kids enjoy most was beeping the jeep horn, handling the Garand, carbine and jap. rifle, and last of all, the really liked starting the jeep with the crank!!

It was a real treat to have so many WWII and Korea Vets (and Vietnam) together in one place. This event is held every year. Hopefully more Ga.MVPA members will attend next year. Paul Pettway will give us all the dates. Thank you Paul for helping to make this year’s event a success!!!

From the Pen of Fred Cron, Secretary.

Ga. MVPA Elections were held in November and mail in ballots were requested that month. They were received by the December meeting. The candidates were confirmed and inaugurated. Please give a heartfelt thanks to Cal Williams and his wife for their efforts over the past years during his tenure as president.

From the President
Cal Williams
As the out-going President and Newsletter Editor, I would like to ask all of our membership to join with me in welcoming and offering support to our newly elected officers. Thanks to the old officers for running again ( Harold, Tom and Fred ) and the new ( Coy and Ryan ) for taking the plunge! I do wish to express an observation from being a member and Officer since the founding of the Club and that is just being a member is an important job.

While you only have to attend Club functions when you can and read the Newsletter when you receive it in the mail, you do pay your dues, which keeps the Club operating. It is important for you as a member, to offer opinions or ask questions on subjects which may arise during the monthly meetings or other Club activities. Your input is a part of the democratic process, and helps the officers take bearings on how to pilot the ship…We really do have great monthly meetings and I encourage everyone to attend when you can and enjoy the fellowship of OUR Club! See you at the meetings and thanks for your support these past nine years!

— Cal Williams, out-going President

Jeep Jabber
Richard Grace
Hello once again to all my fellow members of the Georgia Chapter, Military Vehicle Preservation Association. It has been two months since I’ve had the opportunity to sit down and write down my thoughts and observations concerning our HMV (Historic Military Vehicle) hobby.

How about Kennesaw? How many of you were there? Hold up your hands. Keep’em up until I get a count. My goodness, less than half of you were at Kennesaw. Our club has one annual Fall rally. It started out at Helen, then Canton, and for the past two years, at Kennesaw. It’s our one, big, annual event and I can’t believe that less than half of you were there. I’ll tell you one thing, you missed a great event. The weather was great, the vehicles were fantastic, and the swap meet had something for everyone. Thanks to Cal Williams, Tom Hopkins, and all their crew, for staging a great rally. It’s a lot of hard work and we, as the Georgia membership, should show our support by our attendance and our participation.

One week after Kennesaw, we loaded up the old motorhome and headed out for our annual trek to Hershey, Pennsylvania. I am also a member of the AACA (Antique Automobile Club of America) and that organization holds their annual show and swap meet the first week of October each year. I have been going up there for as long as I can remember. It’s a 1600 mile round trip but it’s worth every mile to see the rows upon rows of beautiful antique autos. Of course, as a jeep enthusiast, I’m always pleased to see a jeep or two, but this year, there were five (5) WWII jeeps entered in the show. I’m not altogether surprised because I’ve been telling you faithful readers that HMVs are rapidly growing in popularity and are now taking their legitimate place as members of the antique automobile community.

In addition to the show at Hershey, there is the 12,000 vendor swap meet. We always get there on Tuesday, which gives up over three days before the Saturday show. We spend these three and a half days combing the swap meet for rare jeep parts. Last year, I picked up a number of treasures and came home very pleased. This year, I can sum up my findings in a word, “nothing!” In every meet I’ve been to this year, I’ve been disappointed that I haven’t found more new original jeep parts. I went to Mobile, to Beltring, and now to Hershey and I’ve come to the conclusion that the new, original parts have just about dried up. It’s a sign of the times and I guess I’m going to have to get used to it.

I guess I’m still living in the past. When I restored my first jeep, the 1941 Willys MB, back in 1982, there were tons of new, original parts to be found. In addition, most of my restoration parts, back then, came from the junkyard. When is the last time you’ve seen a WWII jeep in a junkyard with all of it’s top bows and brackets and all of it’s original seats and even combat wheels? That’s the way it was then but not anymore. The “flip” side is that as the original parts dry up, they are being replaced by quality reproductions.

That’s right, reproductions. There are so many reproduction parts out there now that you can almost build a WWII jeep from scratch. In a few more years, you will be able to. Currently, you can buy the frames, springs, bodies and all body bits and pieces, everything except the engines and transmissions. Did I say engines? I recently bought a french-built, four cylinder, flat head engine that will bolt right in one of our WWII jeeps. The casting date on that engine indicated that it had been built in 1989.

A fellow member recently sold his 1944 Cushman Airborne motor scooter. One of the reasons that he gave for selling it was that so many parts are now being reproduced for that particular HMV, that counterfeit bikes are sure to appear in the future. Is a jeep built with mostly reproduction parts a counterfeit? The jury’s still out on that question but, if it’s any indication, the second place jeep, in the restored class, at Mobile this year, had a reproduction body. To my thinking, that is a pretty high level of acceptance.

Those of you who have visited me at home, know that I keep my collection of HMVs in a building about a mile away. For the past ten or fifteen years, I had an agreement with the building’s owner to use it for storage. Unfortunately, the building’s owner passed away a few weeks back. There hasn’t yet been any notification yet from the family, but I will not be surprised if that property is not offered for sale in the, not too distant, future. To keep this from causing me any undue burden, I am beginning to offer several of my collectable vehicles for sale. I’d like to thin my collection down to a size that I can keep entirely at home. Watch the classified section of this publication over the next few months as I offer these treasures first to our Georgia members.

One of the first to go on the block will be my 1945 Ford G8T 1½-ton truck. I pulled it out of storage this week and brought it home to freshen it up for sale. The last time it was on the road was several years back when I drove it up to Fort McPherson for use in a ceremony up there. I’ve done a tune up on it and am beginning to touch up the paint. I’ve got no idea where this will take me but don’t be surprised if I end up painting the whole truck. I’ll keep you posted on the progress of this project in next month’s installment.

That’s about it for this month. Don’t forget about the veteran’s day parade coming up and I’m sure there will be veteran’s day ceremonies in your local area. Let’s all get out and support our veterans by participating in their day. Until next month, God Bless you each and every one.