~Story sent by Vaughn Becker
My love affair with Jeeps started just after 27th June 1950 when my father called at the local hospital to pick up my mother and I to take us home in his 1943 GPW Jeep. Dad had won a contract in 1946 from the Post Master-General’s Department to deliver mail to cattle grazing properties to the north of our home town, Taroom, in Central Queensland, Australia. Vehicles were very hard to get just after the war but he was fortunate to obtain a GPW. He used this Jeep from 1946 to October 1950 when he purchased the first 4-73 4WD Jeep truck offered for sale in Queensland. In November 1960 he replaced the 4-73 with a 6-226 truck and used it for many years. The Jeeps did a sterling job in appalling road conditions and the 6-226 went around the speedo three times, when traded it had travelled well over 300,000 miles. Not only did he use the two Jeep trucks to deliver mail and supplies, Saturday to Sunday, he then used them to deliver school kids to the school in Taroom. He built a slip on canopy for the school run and just lifted it off to do the mail run. The roads in our district were really bad up until the late 1960’s and it was necessary to use a 4 wheel drive to get the jobs done. Dad was also the local fuel agent and this time being prior to bulk fuel deliveries used to deliver 44 gallon drums of fuel to the outlying cattle properties, again a 4 wheel drive was the only way to get this done. There are 6 x 44 gallon drums (full) to the ton and the poor old 6-226 was often loaded with 9 drums, used over shocking roads and conditions but never failed to complete the job.
Naturally growing up in this Jeep environment saw me develop a great bias towards the Jeep vehicle and I purchased my first one, a CJ-2A, when I was 16. I have lost count of the Jeeps I have owned and at one stage owned 14 but due to lack of space sold most of them and now I just have a 1964 FC-170, 1954 Willys Wagon, 1956 4-73 Truck, 1957 CJ-3B, 1942 MB and a 1984 J20 truck. All have been restored with the exception of the MB and Wagon which are currently undergoing full restoration. Of course not only did I have Jeeps but my two brothers also had many over the years and at the moment there are 9 Jeeps in the family.
I have nine grandchildren and it looks like the Jeep “bug” is alive and well and will survive well into the next generation. The joy that I get just driving my Jeeps and in particular with the grandkids could only be known to other Jeep owners, there is just that special “something”.
Obtaining parts was becoming a problem for me until I discovered Kaiser Willys from South Carolina, USA and suddenly repairs and restorations became a whole new ball game. In fact up until I began using Kaiser Willys my repairs and restorations were always compromised as I could never obtain exactly what I wanted or needed, but with a good supply of correct parts, prompt and timely shipping and good professional advice the condition of my Jeeps was lifted to a whole new level. Thanks Guys and Girls at Kaiser Willys my Jeeps are now indeed my pride and joy and are in such a good condition the next generation will really appreciate them as well.
My Dad is now 92, lives just across the road from me, and still enjoys joining with me to exercise which ever Jeep takes our fancy at the time and to go for a drive.
Kaiser Willys Jeep Blog Story – Vaughn Becker
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