CJ-3Bs on Display in Europe

by Derek Redmond

This is an interesting collection of photographs, new and old, showing Jeeps displayed in dealer showrooms, amusement parks, trade shows and other gatherings. I seem to find this kind of photo of CJ-3Bs more often from Europe than from North America, where the 3B has usually been overshadowed by other models (see for example The Gold Jeeps of 1961.)

Rotterdam, circa 1955

Here's an amazing, high resolution print found by Jan Hogendoorn, of an impressive display in the showroom at the NEKAF (Netherlands Kaiser-Frazier) factory in Rotterdam. Too bad we can't see what the color schemes on these Jeeps were!


The showroom had a multimedia show too; in the large copy of the photo you can clearly see the 16mm film projector in the background, aimed at the rear projection screen on the left. I wonder what film was being shown!

Also in the background is a display of Simca vehicles, which were assembled in the same plant.

1954 On the wall to the right in the picture above, is mounted a series of photographs including this one, showing thirteen CJ-3Bs lined up outside the Rotterdam plant, painted black with red wheels for the Hague Police. This image is from late 1954, so that would place the above photo slightly later.

Because of their paint scheme, I couldn't resist colorizing another photo of this lineup, for Police Jeeps of The Hague on CJ3B.info.

Barcelona, 2016

Ebro BravoLunch date with a CJ-3B!   When Roseanna and I were in Barcelona in 2016, Josep Bordas took us to see this Spanish-built EBRO Bravo (see Jeeps Made in Spain) on display in the "Club des Aventurers" restaurant, at the amusement park on Tibidabo mountain overlooking the city.

TibidaboTibidabo is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. Opened in 1901, it is accessible via a winding road or by taking a tram and a funicular railway. The trip is worth it just for the view of Barcelona and the Mediterranean (see the large copy of the photo) from the 1680 ft. summit, but there are also 25 rides and other attractions. Seen here is the "Talaia", built in 1921, which lifts you another 125 feet up.

Josep and DerekJosep and I posed for a photo in front of the Club des Aventurers restaurant, and behind it the Collserola communications tower built for the 1992 Olympics, with an observation deck on its tenth floor.

Colombian coffeeThe Jeep is one of a number of artifacts in the restaurant evoking travel adventures, including a beautiful wooden canoe.

In the back of the Bravo is a load of sacks labelled "Product of Colombia" which represent coffee beans (see The Path of the Jeep on CJ3B.info.)

Airplane rideThe airplane on the restaurant's sign (above) is the Red Airplane ride at Tibidabo, which started operating in 1928 (the year of Richard Byrd's flight to the South Pole) and has been flying the same circular route over Barcelona ever since. One of the many attractions of this beautiful city.

See also a nice nighttime view of Tibidabo (240K JPEG), courtesy of tibidabo.cat under CC.

Lisbon, c. 1963

For the August 2016 CJ3B.info cover illustration, I thought I would have a little fun with this nice photo Federico Cavedo found of a CJ-3B and trailer in the showroom of a large import dealership in Lisbon, Portugal in the early 1960s. In the original black & white photo (200K JPEG) it was clear that the Jeep had not been painted in the U.S., because the windshield frame was not black, and the paint didn't really look like the very dark or very light colors Willys typically painted CJ-3Bs. So I assumed it was painted after assembly in Europe, probably in Spain.

LisbonI had to decide what color to make it when I colorized the photo. Orange and yellow were popular Jeep colors in Spain, and since the grey in the photo was obviously not light enough to be yellow, I decided to go with orange. It would be an attention-grabber.

Pine trees were brought into the usually pristine showroom of C. Santos Lda. and the floor was strewn with pine needles, to create an offroad setting for the Willys Jeeps. Other photos taken in the showroom between 1961 and 1963 would suggest that this photo dates from that time period.

LisbonThe C. Santos showroom at the time was on Avenida da Liberdade in Lisbon. It's obvious from the signs on the roof that Mercedes rather than Willys was the prestige line on sale. In fact Willys doesn't even seem to rate a sign. Massey Ferguson tractors are advertised, and if you look closely in the large version of the photo (400K JPEG), you can see a Studebaker sign right above the main entrance.

Cars on the street seem to mainly be very small, including some Volkswagen Beetles, which were also popular in North America by 1963 (see Christmas 1963 on CJ3B.info.)


A more typical display in the showroom, with no trees, is this one for the 1963 Lark from Studebaker, who were about to go out of business. See also the 1961 Mercedes 190 (140K JPEG).

The photos are courtesy of Restos de Colecção.

Norway, 1953

Here's a very different display, at an outdoor trade show in Hedmark, Norway in 1953. Norsk Scania-Vabis is showing Hanomag tractors built in Hanover, Germany, as well as several CJ-3Bs. The sign in Norwegian reads, "Willys Universal Jeepsolves transport problems in foresting and farming. The Jeep is both car and tractor, and also an engine to power working tools and accessories."

Hedmark, NorwayI wish we had a closer photo, because an examination of the large copy (220K JPEG) of this one reveals they are apparently set up to demonstrate hydraulic equipment including a chainsaw, running off the CJ-3B. Shades of John Ittel's demo of his Von Ruden chainsaw in 2016 at the Willys Rally and Spring Willys Reunion!

There is also a large piece of machinery in the back of the Jeep -- not sure what that is.

Hedmark, NorwayNorsk Scania-Vabis was the Norwegian subsidiary of the Swedish truck manufacturer, and in addition to several 3B's and a Willys pickup, they had a Scania-Vabis truck and perhaps a British-built Dodge truck on hand.

See also another angle (120K JPEG) of the whole display. The photos were taken by Erling Syringa, courtesy Digitalt Museum under CC license.

Norsk Scania-VabisThis undated ad for Norsk Scania-Vabis' truck and Jeep line (right) shows vehicles similar to those on hand at the trade fair in Hedmark.

Kaiser logoColin Peabody has pointed out that the banner in the photos has the Kaiser "K" logo, as well as the Willys-Overland and Scania-Vabis logos, so the company must also have been an importer of Kaiser automobiles. But that would soon end, when Kaiser ceased car production in 1955. (See What Henry Kaiser Gave Upto Make Jeeps on CJ3B.info.)

Scania-Vabis logo
Interestingly, Daimler-Benz claimed that the three-pointed Scania-Vabis logo was too similar to their three-pointed star. They finally won the case in 1968, and the Scania logo was changed (Wikipedia).

Brussels, 1953

BrusselsAnother former CJ3B.info cover photo, this picture was taken at the 33rd Belgian Agricultural Show in Brussels, 1953. Again the Jeep was apparenty painted in Europe, and this one might be yellow.

Features suggesting local assembly, are the Michelin tires and the marker lamps on the fenders. The bumper weight (actually a CJ-2A weight) and the absence of a tailgate, suggest the Jeep was set up for operating farm equipment from a rear 3-point hitch.

See more details in CJ-3Bs Built in Belgium

Geneva, 1961

Geneva, 1961The Kaiser display at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland concentrated on practicality. An interesting detail is the presence of chaff screens on the front of both the CJ-3B and the diesel CJ-5 on display.

The photo is found in Bill Munro's book Jeep: From Bantam to Wrangler.

Camp Jeep, 2000

J-F Lavie's CJ-3BAmong the Jeeps on display at European Camp Jeep 2000 were several belonging to Jean-Francois Lavie, including his Rover V8-powered CJ-3B. The event was held in southern France, close to the Ardeche Canyon and not far from the location of the famous Trophee Cevenol off-road rally.

Jean-Francois says, "My home village is located nearby and when in France I used to do the Trophee Cevenol with my Hotchkiss and then this CJ-3B that I built for that particular trial. When I first did it in 1990 we were a few flatfenders, but when I did the last one I was alone."

Camp Jeep EuropeThe Willys wagon and the CJ-7 on display also belong to Jean-Francois, who also still owns his first Jeep, a French-built Hotchkiss M201 (60K JPEG). The M201 was a 24-volt version of the Willys MB, built for the French Army from 1955 to 1967 (see Jeeps in France on CJ3B.info.)

Mahindras in the UK, 2004

Mahindra rally

I'm guessing that maybe the only place in North America where you ever saw this many CJ-3Bs in one place was at the factory in Toledo. This is a July 2004 rally of Mahindra Jeep owners held near Warwick, England.

Keith King writes from the UK, "We now have a thriving UK Jeep community going to help keep the Jeeps from disappearing from public view -- it's The Mahindra Register. Here's a picture of the line-up from the 2004 Rally."

Thanks to Josep Bordas, Federico Cavedo, Jan Hogendoorn, Leif Hellström and Jeff Lavie. -- Derek Redmond

See also Jeep-Heep-Heep in the Swiss Alps.

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Last updated 2 January 2020 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond