The Surrey Gala Package, produced from 1959 to 1964, was based off the DJ-3A Dispatcher (a flat fender jeep). The DJ-3A was originally used as a postal truck with the US Postal Service until 1959 when the contract ended. The surplus Jeeps and parts were then used to produce the Surrey Galas. Shortly after Henry Kaiser bought Willys-Overland he retired to Hawaii where he owned several businesses including a 1100-room Hawaiian Village Hotel that he later sold to Conrad Hilton and a car rental agency. The car rental agency offered the Surrey Gala Jeeps as a cheap runabout vehicle for resorts and a delivery vehicle for small shops in Hawaii and the Caribbean as well.
The Surrey Gala Jeeps came in a two-tone color option. (Pink) tropical Mist/Coral & Glacier White, Cerulean Blue/Glacier White, and Jade Tint Green/Glacier White. The halfcab canvas tops were striped with a fringe around the edges. Other details included matching steering wheel and white-walled tires with chromed hubcaps.
It is even said that Elvis owned a pink Surrey Gala which is displayed at Graceland. He bought it shortly after returning from a stint in the army in 1960, it was on the set of his first film G.I. Blues and in the film Fun in Acapulco (1963).
Other movies the Surrey Gala Jeep was featured in: The Ambushers (1967), Move Over, Darling (1963), Ride the Wild Surf (1964), Jerry Lewis’s The Nutty Professor (1963), and the television show Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.
From 1959 to 1964, a little over 1000 Surrey Gala Packages were produced, until 1965, when the DJ-5 was introduced, the model most widely recognized as the “postal jeep”, which continued production through the early 1970s.
Sources for Article Content:
1. Rugged Ridge Offroad: Elvis dug more than just pink Cadillacs…
2. The CJ-3B Page: DJ-3A Surrey Gala…
3. The CJ-3B Page: Fun in Acapulco…
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