About the Willys Gallery
rows 1-6 rows 7-12 rows 13-18 rows 19-24 rows 25-30 rows 31-36 rows 37-42 rows 43-48

Owner: Myrtle Robinson
Location: Creek County, Oklahoma
Year of Willys: 1948 - 1950
Year of Photo: 1952?
Girl: Sue McInnis

I received this rare period photo of this Jeespter through an intersting exchange with the owner's grand daughter. I think it is best described by some excerpts from our electronic dialog in November 1998, edited only to remove my spelling errors and a few other nonessential details.

Barbara: This is an old car my grandmother had, and I'd really like to know the year and model. My sister, who is 50, is standing in front of the car. I'd sure appreciate anything you can tell me. Thanks.

Rick: That is a Willys Jeepster. It was made from 1948 to 1950. It shared many parts, such as grill and front fenders, with the Willys pickups and wagons, which both came in 2WD and 4WD. The Jeepster was only two-wheel drive. It was marketed as a cheap "sports car"...

Your sister looks like she was about 3 or 4 when this picture was taken, which would make the date of the photo about 1951 or 1952, so this vehicle was only a few years old at the time. Do you mind if I display these pictures on the web? They are probably of interest because most of these vehicles around today have been rebuilt and possibly modified, while I would assume this is a stock vehicle.

Barbara: Thank you so much for the information; you have made my day. It's fine with me for you to display the photos on your website--and if you send me a link, I'll link your site to mine.

I remember that Jeep so vaguely. My grandmother lived on 160 acres of mostly undeveloped land, and she was a widow. To support herself, she grew her own vegetables and fruit, and she raised cows, chickens, and turkey for her own use. Before I was old enough to go to school, I stayed with her all day and lived in her exotic, rustic world. I remember cold winter mornings when my sister and I would bundle up and climb into the Willys with her and watch her "choke" it and struggle to get it started. She would be getting ready to go feed the cows. It took some skill to get the engine going, as it did with most cars in those days -- but she always succeeded. She would then drive over to the pasture. As soon as the cows heard the engine, they headed for the barn! When I started talking to my sister about this a few weeks ago, she produced these pictures, and it sure brought back a lot of memories.

I'm sure this vehicle would be "stock." My grandmother was a multi-talented person, but she didn't work on cars.

Rick: I remember spending time almost every summer with my both of my grandmothers. One grandmother spent summers in a log cabin in the mountains of Montana. We chopped wood for the stove, washed outside in a wringer washing machine, gathered wild berries for dessert, and frequently ate fresh trout. The other grandmother lived on a farm in Idaho. She made her own soap with the old lard and lye recipe, slaughtered a chicken for Sunday dinner, and cooked bacon and eggs of her own production. Life was always hard work for them, but looking back with nostalgia, I wish I could do it again.

I try to attribute photos of Jeeps to the owner of the Jeep or the photographer. Would you like to attribute these to you or to your grandmother? It might be nice, in keeping with their historical value, to list your grandmother's name as the owner and the location where she lived...

Barbara: I can really relate to your account of your childhood -- and I'd love to go back there, too. I remember the wringer washing machine -- Grandma adding "bluing" to the water to make the whites whiter. Then she'd milk the cow, churn her own butter, make her own clothing from feedsacks. She would go to the lake and fish and bring home catfish to freeze for winter meals, pick plums and blackberries (here is where we helped out a lot) for jam and pies. She must have put in 12 hours a day. I can think of no one I have ever admired more than I did that woman.

Yes, I think you should attribute the photo to Myrtle Robinson. It was taken just south of Tulsa, Oklahoma, in Creek County. I'll check with my sister about the date and see if she remembers more about it. Her name is Sue McInnis...

© Richard B. Grover 1997, 1998. Last updated: Thursday, March 1, 2001