Fred Coldwell and Daron Wanberg located this rare color photo of a CJ-3B with what is identified as an experimental stainless steel plow made by Meyer Products.
Meyer apparently worked closely with Willys-Overland from the very beginning on snowplows for Jeeps, and the chrome-loaded 3B seen here may belong to Edward Meyer, the inventor of the car-mounted snow plow in 1927. In the larger version of the photo (90K JPEG), check out the Ramsey winch, steering wheel, radio aerial, chrome windshield, auxiliary lighting, and other tantalizing details. Not to mention two spare wheels, with a spare tire mounted only on the one on the driver's side. And the side curtain for the soft top installed only on the passenger side.
Exact date of this photo, apparently taken at the Meyer factory, is unknown. Anybody have any further information?
Matt Brookins ran across this photo from Alaska. The owner of this CJ-3B has gone to some trouble and expense to equip it with full tracks.
Scott Blystone suggested they look like the track kits manufactured by Mattracks which sell for about $15K. Erik Dossett in Alaska said, "They are not Mattracks. These are snowmobile tracks, while Mattracks use rubber belts. I saw similar tracks or perhaps the same, on a CJ off-road in Alaska in the summer of 1977, so they could be used year round."
Well, we found out that this one mounts big tires in the summer. Merrill Fales, who took the winter photo in Fairbanks, spotted the same Jeep in the pits at the Interior Racing Association mud bog at Delta Junction in June of 2001. See also a rear view photo of what the rig looked like after the event (80K JPEG.)
Merrill sent us some more of the winter shots including this rear view and a close-up photo of the tracks (70K JPEG). He says, "They were taken in January of 2001. Rig in question is liable to be seen anywhere -- he gets around. IIRC, rig runs SBC and TH350, D18."
A wider view of the parking lot reveals a big Willys wagon (70K JPEG). Merrill says it has a stretched cowl, 502 Chevy, 205, and
air bag suspension.
Odd Egil Torgersen in Norway says "I think this caterpillar CJ-3B was built in Sweden in 1953 by Scania-Vabis." (A long-standing Swedish car and truck manufacturer, Scania-Vabis merged with SAAB in 1969, and still makes heavy trucks and buses.) According to The Jeep in Sweden by Stig Edqvist, these tracks were actually supplied by a Swiss company. It would be interesting to know how many of these conversions might have been done (and why they didn't use a hardtop).
0I wasn't sure how the steering worked, but Jacques Dujardin points out that if you look at the photo you can see the steering blade just outboard of the tracks, attached to the front axle by a link and pivot. Jacques says, "A pretty simple system but certainly very inefficient as far as steering radius is concerned, and also it can not be used on hard surfaces like roads and tracks."
Bart McNeil photographed Charlie Eccher's early 3B wearing an Arctic Top in upper New York state, where it can get pretty cold in the winter. The insulated top, originally designed for the M38 military Jeep, requires a vertically positioned windshield (see a side view photo, 60K JPEG.)
Bart says, "From the front top view (80K JPEG) you can see that the windshield is the standard one, tilted to vertical. The windshield pivot has been relocated. A close-up view (30K JPEG) shows the new location of the pivot, about an inch behind the bottom corner of the hood, roughly 3-1/2 to 4 inches below its old location. The fact that the old holes for the windshield mount are filled, suggests that the top was meant to be permanent.
"The single windshield wiper is still vacuum powered. Although the bumper and fenders are rusty, note how straight they are. This 3B has not been abused. The fenders are both patched with sheet metal riveted on to cover rust holes. There are a number of such patches on the outside and on the floors of the vehicle; it appears that Charlie is carefully preserving it. The inside was pretty much untouched with original heater switch and Harrison heater. The spare tire mount is missing, and some of the right rear sheet metal has been replaced."
Piet Versleijen's photo of his ex-Swiss Army CJ-3B in the Netherlands was the cover photo on The CJ3B Page for Christmas 2001. For warmer weather photos of the same Jeep, including a similar pose on a Mediterranean beach, see CJ-3B Vacation in France on The CJ3B Page.
Thanks to all the contributors. -- Derek Redmond
See also Snow Day! on The CJ3B Page.
Return to the Index of Unusual CJ-3B Photos.
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