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8th Annual Willys Jeep Rally,
Page 2

Hueston Woods, Ohio, 3-4 June 2016


 

See also Page 1 of our coverage of the Rally.

John Ittel finished his Friday morning demonstration with the Auburn Jeep-A-Trench, which is always an impressive piece of machinery to see in action. John painted his 1963 CJ-5 to match the Jeep in an Auburn advertising photo.
 

The four levers on the Jeep-A-Trench control the Jeep's forward speed, boom height, clutch, and chain drive.
 

Once the controls are set, the Jeep creeps forward by itself as the trencher scoops out the dirt and the auger moves it away from the trench -- very cool and a bit spooky.
 

Rick Riley is always happy to show somebody how to operate the backhoe on his dually CJ-5, and today Pam Schmidt made a good student.
 

Back at the lodge, the MAHL front-end loader advertised as the feature attraction of this year's Rally, arrived after being delayed by a wheel flying off the rental trailer on the freeway. Glenn Byron gets his first look at the restoration of the rare piece of machinery he discovered in an upstate New York junkyard in 2009.
 

After first getting enough RPM's to build up some hydraulic pressure with the pump connected to the rear power-take-off (190K JPEG), the bucket is raised slightly, and the MAHL loader is gingerly backed off the trailer by George Santer, who brought it down from Minnesota.
 

One of the unique features of the MAHL Jeep Loader is the patented set of "Hydraulic Balance" helper wheels under the bucket, connected by a hose (140K JPEG) to the main hydraulic lifting cylinder. The helper wheels are also steered by a connecting rod (140K JPEG).
 

George and Glenn drove the Jeep Loader from the parking lot down to the show field.

Interesting sidebar: the name MAHL was created in the 1940's from the initials of Martha, Ann, Helen and Lucy, the wives of the four Demeules brothers who were partners in Standard Iron & Wire Works, Inc. in Alexandria MN.
 

This is one of very few survivors of some 300 MAHL Jeep Loaders built in the 1940's and early 50's, and certainly the only restored example. It was purchased from Glenn and completely rebuilt by Standard Iron & Wire between 2011 and 2016.
 

About this time, Dave Streithorst drove in with his 1953 CJ-3B, the only high-hood Jeep making it to the lodge for this year's Rally.
 

Friday at 4:00 PM two groups of Jeeps left the lodge, one for a backroads cruise and one for a trail ride. Both groups ended up at the beautiful covered bridge in the State Park, for a picnic supper.
 

There were late-model Jeeps as well as Willys vehicles on the trail ride, and I took photos from a JK with the top off, driven by Kris Hughes of Springboro OH.
 

John and Phyllis Ittel were in the white CJ-5 originally owned by John's uncle, which still has less than 7,000 miles on the clock.
 

Nice caravan of Jeeps old and new heads into the woods.
 

The trail was perfect for an afternoon family ride. Wooded and winding, with some surprises like steep hills hiding around the corners.
 

Even a couple of water crossings.
 

And a couple of minor breakdowns. Wade Potter of Idaho OH found a loose wire on Bill Marshall's 2A.
 

Jeff Petrowich checked his YouTube stats while another electrical problem was diagnosed on the nice blue station wagon.
 

Then Jeff gave me a ride the rest of the way to the covered bridge, and I discovered a couple of neat interior details on his MB: a GPS-based marine speedometer, and a throttle on the gearshift made from a bicycle brake.
 

Great picnic organized by some of the many volunteers who make the Rally work.
 

Saturday morning at the farm, we saw Stratton and Monroe hitches side by side, as John's 3B was joined by Dick Antram's 3A with a Farm Star post hole digger lifted by his Monroe hydraulic pump. Jim Allen called it "duelling augers."
 

Back at the Hueston Woods Lodge I took the opportunity to get some photos of other interesting Jeeps. Barry Thomas had a Newgren plow (250K JPEG) on his 1949 CJ-3A.
 

Chopped Willys: Scott and Kathy Ingrum turned their '49 into the "Rat Fink Rod."
 

I discovered Dave Streithorst had a PTO on the back of his 3B.
 

Saturday afternoon the vendors packed up as the rain started.
 

The Saturday evening banquet was in the beautiful dining room at the lodge.
 

Glenn Byron was the keynote speaker, as the rain poured down outside the floor-to-ceiling windows.
 

Glenn related the story of the MAHL Jeep Loader, as well as giving an overview of the DJ-3A Dispatcher.
 

Rick Riley and Pete Dunkel posed for a photo with the joint winners of the 4th Annual Willys Jeep Preservation Award: Mike Mee and his son Brian.
 

Sunday the sun was back out, and most of the Jeeps were already gone as Glenn helped George get the MAHL Jeep with its helper wheels back on the trailer for the drive to Minnesota.
 

We stuck around to spend a day exploring the Ohio countryside before heading to Butler PA for the Bantam Festival, and we found out the Rally had already made plans to be back at Hueston Woods State Park for next year's Rally on 2-3 June 2017.
 

See also 8th Annual Willys Jeep Rally, Page 1 on CJ3B.info.


Thanks to John Ittel and all the Rally organizers. -- Derek Redmond


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Last updated 18 June 2016 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
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