If you had a cup of Colombian coffee this morning while you read the newspaper, the chances are good that those coffee beans made part of their journey to your breakfast table, in the back of a flatfender Jeep.
Jose Ricardo Bateman writes, "Here in Colombia in an area called "Departamento del Quindío" there are more than 3000 Willys Jeeps, most of them 1953-54 CJ-3B models. They say this is one of the places in the world where the most Willys are still working. This photo was taken in a small town called Montenegro. As you can see this is just one of the four sides of the main plaza of the town, and there are Willys parked all around the plaza."
"One of the annual festivals is called "yipao," a word that comes from Jeep pronounced in Spanish. In every yipao many Willys owners take to the streets to show their Jeeps and how much they can carry. They put so much weight on the car that the front wheels hardly touch the ground."
This photo of a CJ-3A demonstrates what JR is talking about. It shows Sebastian Lobo-Guerrero visiting the "Parque Nacional del Cafe," a theme park dedicated to the Colombian coffee tradition.
Here's Sebastian with another display at the Park. He says, "One of the attractions of the Park is a 3D movie that shows a red 3B following the different steps on the production of coffee. The movie even shows how the 3B is an essential part of the process but is also used to take the kids to school, got to the bank, buy groceries, etc."
This photo of two CJ-3B's loaded with bananas and coffee comes from a website of Coffee Facts and Images From Colombia.
See some even more incredibly loaded "yipes" on The CJ3B Page in Yipao: The Willys Festivals of Colombia.
These photos, courtesy of Ricardo Suárez and Jaime Gaviria, were also taken in the coffee-growing region. One photo shows Jeeps lined up outside the "Bancafe" or "Coffee Bank," which is found in most towns.
This photo captures the mood of a hot afternoon -- the Jeeps wait while shoes are shined in the shade of the trees in the town square.
See more of Ricardo and Jaime's photos of Jeeps in Colombia on The CJ3B Page.
Thanks to Jose Ricardo Bateman, whose Jeep was perhaps the first CJ-3B to arrive in Colombia. It was purchased in November 1952 and brought to Colombia in that month (see 1953 CJ-3B Owners and Photos). Thanks also to Sebastian Lobo-Guerrero and Bart McNeil. -- Derek Redmond
Elsewhere on the web, see a 360-degree panoramic photo of a marketplace with Willys Jeeps in Circasia, Quindio, Colombia.
See other Jeeps Around the World on The CJ3B Page.
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