Spring Midwest Willys Reunion 2013

The Midwest Willys Reunion's 21st spring gathering was held at an all-new location in Hudson, Ohio on 17-19 May, 2013. The setting was the Clarion Inn near the Ohio Turnpike, just south of Cleveland.

The featured vehicle at the 2013 Spring Reunion was the CJ-3 in both its versions: CJ-3A and CJ-3B. What a great idea -- there are many more similarities between the two models than there are differences. Kevin Banonis did an excellent side-by-side illustration of a 3B and 3A for the poster, and Bob Christy and the rest of the organizing team put together a great three-day program.

Derek's Photos

Here are some of my photos from Friday and Saturday, focussing mostly on the CJ-3Bs that are on hand, and some of the other things my wife Roseanna and I run across as we take in the Reunion (and nearby Cleveland.) Click any of the photos for a large copy. See also some photos of the Sunday morning Caravan to Cuyahoga.

The parking lot of the Clarion Inn, on Route 8 and just off Interstate 80, is a pretty impressive sight, with over 100 Jeeps on hand for the Reunion.

Bob Christy is there to welcome me, and show me the latest addition to his 1953 CJ-3B, a nicely restored 3-point hitch.

Bob (left) chats about 3B tubs with Rommel Juan of MD Juan Enterprises, who is at the Reunion with a big display of parts for sale, and to give a tech presentation on the improvements to the MD Juan replacement tubs. Also in the photo is Bob Westerman and, on the right, Keith Buckley (who will be presenting a Toldeo Brick award to Bob W. at the Reunion banquet on Saturday, for his book and website on the CJ-3A.)

Gerald Oswald, and other members of the Flat Fender Club of Butler PA (in the background) are enjoying the Reunion and also looking forward to the third annual Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival in June. Gerald has the Traction King radials installed on his 1963 3B, but keeps wondering whether he should have put on his NDT's or another one of the several sets of wheels he selects from.

Roseanna enjoys chatting with Sebastian Lobo-Guerrero of the Butler Club, and his friend Mauricio Camargo, both of whom are originally from Colombia. Roseanna remembers our visit to Butler in 2000 and is also looking forward to visiting Colombia before too long.

Also on hand with a 3B is Doug Anderson, who has a For Sale sign on his stock 1960 Jeep and plow. See also photos of the dash and fresh air heater (180K JPEG) and the very original engine (260K JPEG) including a green Prestone tag on the radiator.

Carol Mowry is back again with her DJ-3A Surrey "Candy Clipper II", and Bob Gibbs' CJ-3B Surrey (240K JPEG) is also on hand again. (And in this photo, check out the detailed CJ-2A on Clint Bochan's leg, one of his many Jeep tattoos.)

I'm hoping Elvis Presley's Surrey might be on display at the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" in Cleveland. I have arranged to donate my Woodstock Festival home movies to their archive, so we get a free tour, but the closest thing they have is Elvis' 1975 Lincoln.

Of course I want to spend a while looking at their Beatles collection, and Roseanna humors me. But even she is interested in John Lennon's Mellotron, the tape-loop keyboard played by Paul McCartney on Strawberry Fields Forever. I decide I should mention the "Bungalow Bill" Jeep connection in my talk at the Reunion banquet.

We also stop in to see a bit of the incredible Cleveland Museum of Art, and by coincidence we run into another Canadian visitor, the world-famous sound installation Forty Part Motet, on loan from the National Gallery of Canada. Forty loudspeakers, each with the voice of one singer, put the visitor into the center of a choir.

Back at the Clarion Inn, Saturday afternoon is getting very warm, and there is a non-stop stream of people taking in the lines of beautiful trucks, station wagons, and a lot of nice flatfenders.

Ric Meagley Sr. shows the famous photo of his CJ-2A "Mighty Mo" airborne, to some Reunion attendees who are perfectly dressed for the occasion.

Ian Fraser (in the background) and Bob Christy look for bargains among the parts Joe DeYoung is selling from his trailer, while a couple of other customers pretend to ignore the nearly-perfect FC windshield. Mindy Christy keeps an eye on the parking lot.

Meanwhile, Keith Buckley changes out the carburetor on his M170 ambulance. Keith is also giving a tech session at the Reunion, on his plans for the cataloging of a large collection of Willys and Kaiser factory documents.

There are a few oddities that never fail to get some "What is that?" reactions at the Reunion. Rick Ross takes his M-274 Mechanical Mule for a spin.

And Molly Wilson drives a Willys-powered 1947 Empire tractor. The tractors were featured at the Reunion in 2010.

In the hospitality room, there's a nice selection of Jeep toys brought by Bob Christy and Keith Buckley. Out in the parking lot there is also a Tonka display (150K JPEG) created by Dave Groh, including one painted for each of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.

And there are toy Jeeps for sale at some of the vendor tables. Harry and Jo Sheets of Midwest Willys have a nice selection of Tonka Commandos and other toys among their huge display of parts (80K JPEG).

Dale Bruns (left) and Thomas Hood with a table of parts and some more toys. Dale has brought his 1953 CJ-3B to the Spring Reunion in the past, but it's a long trip from Missouri. He says he's been expanding his collection of white Jeeps, and promises to send an updated photo.

Another family with a Jeep collection is George and Linda McGuire. They have a photo display in the back of their Forward Control, of the McGuire Jeeps (200K JPEG). George used to take the green 3B mud racing in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

All weekend we wonder about this vehicle on display by Bob Gallagher, who labels it a 1946 Ford-Jeepster (150K JPEG) and thinks it might be a prototype. Other people speculate that the vehicle, built on a Ford chassis, is a custom car kit.

Bob G. himself is in the center of this photo of part of the ballroom set up for 160 people at the Saturday evening banquet. CJ3B Page contributor Rus Curtis is on the left, and Dave Eilers of eWillys is on the right.

Here I'm giving my after-dinner presentation. The title is "The Day the CJ-3A Took Over the World" and I discuss how the 3A became the 3B, and its marketing around the world, with reference to other historical events of the time. (Bob has posted the video of my 45-minute talk on YouTube.)

Then there were lots of door prizes and raffles, and some new recipients of the "Toledo Brick" award (consisting of a brick from the old Jeep factory.) Jeff Petrowich takes a photo here, as Mindy presents Bob with a brick, well-deserved by both of them for their organization of this year's Spring Reunion.

Then everybody goes to bed early (not), in anticipation of the Sunday morning Caravan to Cuyahoga, a scenic tour of the nearby National Park, featuring winding roads through the river valley, a 1950s-era train, and a 1950s filling station.

Thanks to Bob, and Dennis Caraway and all the Reunion staff, as well as all the attendees who helped make this event a great Reunion. Also to Gerald Oswald for the photo of me. -- Derek Redmond

See photos from previous Spring Midwest Willys Reunions on CJ3B.info.

For more on past and future events, see the Midwest Willys Jeep Reunions website.

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Last updated 8 June 2013 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond