Long-Lost 1953 Newspaper Ads


When the going's ROUGHHere's a series of newspaper ads promoting the new Universal Jeep CJ-3B, placed in local newspapers primarily in the western U.S. in early 1953. The ads were apparently designed by Willys or their advertising agency, and paid for by Willys dealers who could insert their name at the bottom.

The reproductions here come from a number of papers, and have likely seldom been seen in the past 50 years. There are probably a few copies of the clip sheets provided to Willys dealers, now in the hands of collectors, but I haven't run across them in a decade of looking around for CJ-3B literature.

I guess my favorite has to be "When the Going's ROUGH..." with its simple but meticulous ink drawing of a halfcab 3B going through a mudhole. This reproduction was taken from the Reno Evening Gazette of 15 April 1953, and the Willys dealer was Wesley L. Gritton.

Alden Jewell found another copy of this ad (60K JPEG) which someone apparently thumbtacked up on a wall. It was published on 3 September 1953, probably in the Eureka Humboldt Standard since it was placed by Frank Dearing Motors of Eureka CA.

A variation of the ad used the same illustration but slightly different text, and was headlined No Road Needed for a Jeep (60K GIF). It was a 1 May 1953 advertisement for Savageau Motor & Supply in the Yuma Daily Sun.

Download a printable 8.5x11"copy of the illustration (60K GIF).

I'll take the Jeep Like the ads placed in farming magazines, these newspaper ads seem to have been aimed at a rural audience: "Yes, you'll be using the Universal 'Jeep" for a thousand and one uses around the farm..."

Although all these ads were released to dealers and appeared in newspapers during early 1953, this series featuring the broken line framing one side of the ads, was apparently designed earlier. Their illustrations are CJ-3As revised by Willys artists to have a higher hood line. But they didn't make it high enough; the bottom of a 3B's headlights should be well above the height of the fenders. See some further comments on these illustrations in The Vehicle of Ten Thousand Abilities on CJ3B.info.

Download a printable picture (60K GIF), from this ad in the Long Beach Press Telegram of 20 April 1953.

Make tracksIt's hard to tell if the hood is accurate in this rear view of a Jeep making tracks. It does look like maybe the same farmer at the wheel as in the ad above. This ad appeared in the 14 May edition of the San Mateo Times, for Daniel's Willys.

As Willys ad copy goes, some of this is quite poetic:"The 4-Wheel-Drive Universal 'Jeep' is remarkably adept at making tracks where none existed before... take off across fields, through fordable streams, up hills and down dale...

"Farmers throughout the country are discovering new uses for America's most useful vehicle on their farms."

Download the printable copy (60K GIF) of the picture.

Always DeliversAlden Jewell sent along another in this series of ads, which clearly uses another revised illustration. This time, the farmer is apparently returning from town with the supplies.

Download the picture (60K GIF) sized to print on 8.5x11" paper.

More PowerAlden also found this one, date of publication unknown, advertising another dealer: Pinnacle's Garage in Hollister CA.

The Hurricane engine slogan "More Power to You" was also used in one of the larger 1953 Farm Journal Ads, but the text and picture here seem to be aimed at a wider audience, rather than at the agricultural sector specifically.

Download the picture (60K GIF).

Fields and streamsThe final example that I've run across from this series, is a bit different, and in fact different from most Willys advertising of the era. This one sells the Jeep as a sport-utility vehicle:

"Sportsmen... hunters, fishermen... all who go off the beaten track will find the power and traction of 4-wheel drive and the maneuverability of the Universal 'Jeep' a joy in the pursuit of their pleasure."

If all the drawings weren't done by the same artist, this one certainly looks like it was done by the same hand as "When the Going's ROUGH..."

Download the printable picture (60K GIF).

Slavich Brothers of Fresno CA placed this ad in the Fresno Bee on 28 April 1953.

A quick web search suggests that as of 2007 none of the Jeep dealerships on this page are still in business, at least not under the same names they had in 1953.

The Coloring Book

Coloring bookIf you've downloaded each drawing above, sized to print on 8.5x11" paper, all you need is the cover (60K GIF) and you have the makings of "The CJ3B Page Universal Jeep Coloring Book" (left). Your kids should love it -- kids love Jeeps, right? (See photos of Kids in Jeeps on CJ3B.info.)

If you haven't got little kids, just tack the drawings up in the garage.

Thanks to Bruce Agan and NewspaperArchive.com for help in finding the ads. -- Derek Redmond

See More 1953 Newspaper Ads for some larger spreads.

Also on CJ3B.info, see other CJ-3B Advertising and Literature.

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Last updated 3 June 2007 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond