Alaska Jeep Caravan

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2017 marks the 75th year of the Alaska Highway. To celebrate that accomplishment, in July of 2017 a group of aged adventurers from all over the United States, in three groups, comprising no small amount of unconventional character, will tackle that famous highway.

It will not be a full-fledged, high-speed, air-conditioned affair often seen along the thousand-plus mile corridor these days. Instead, we’ll be driving old jeeps, our beloved vintage jeeps, some made in the 1940s, some in the 1950s, and a few from the 1960s. Our speeds may be slow (limited to 50 mph), but our hearts are big and our intents pure.

We aren’t going to cure cancer, help veterans, save children, or defeat terrorism. We are doing this for ourselves and our extended jeeperhood. We are doing it together.

When some are hungry, others will feed them. When a jeep breaks down (which likely will happen), others will be there for support. When someone is upset and cries … okay, we’ll probably send that person home … But, that aside, we will aide the others!

In a time that feels divisive, we jeepers come from all walks of life. Some are richer, some poorer. Some are conservative, some liberal. Some own dogs, others own cats. But, we have jeeps and friendship in common. We hope to share our goodwill with other travelers as well as our Canadian brethren, especially since Canadians will be celebrating Canada’s 150th year of confederation in 2017.

At this time, all our participant slots are full. But, for those that can’t join us, we hope to bring you along, through regular trip reports on this site, on eWillys, and on Facebook. For those that want to donate to the cause, we welcome it. If by some miracle we generate more money than we spend, then we will donate the proceeds to a worthy cause.

ROUTES:

There will be three groups of jeeps heading north: one from the East Coast, led by Bill Reiss, one from the Midwest, led by Scott Gilbert, and one from the West Coast, led by David Eilers. All three groups will merge together at Dawson’s Creek, British Columbia, Canada, in late July before heading north to Alaska. Final routes will be chosen, soon. Groups will be limited to about ten per unit. The trip is expected to last between three and four weeks, depending on the route and whether participants want to drive or fly back.

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History

The Alaska Highway

The need for an Alaska Highway surfaced about the time the automobile became a practical vehicle for transportation. But the large cost of the highway delayed the project until WWII necessitated its construction. In February of 1942, only two months after the United States entered the war, Congress authorized funding for it.

Construction began March 8, 1942, with one group heading northwest from Dawson Creek and one group heading southeast from Alaska. The rough, muddy, remote terrain proved perfect for showing off the capabilities of the jeep. As the early photo below demonstrates, jeeps were crucial to the project’s success.

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1944 Documentary on the Building of the Alaska Highway

Sponsors

B’laster Corporation

B’laster Corporation

The B’laster Corporation offers a wide range of lubrication and penetration solutions that “just freaking work” as the company proudly states. Many of the jeep participants going to Alaska swear by PB B’laster, a great penetrating spray.

 

Chris McKay Vintage Jeep Parts

Chris McKay Vintage Jeep Parts

Chris McKay offers a range of used parts. He specializes in parts for older jeeps. Contact him at nscustoms@hotmail.com or join his vintage parts group on Facebook.

Kaiser Willys

Kaiser Willys

http://www.kaiserwillys.com: Kaiser Willys in a one-stop online shop that specializes in vintage jeep parts. If you purchase parts through Kaiser Willys, please us a special Alaska Or Rust promo codealaskaorrust, you’ll also be able to save money AND support the Alaska Or Rust adventure! Even better, you’ll also receive a choice for a free jeep ad reproduction (from the ones priced at $15.50 https://www.kaiserwillys.com/category/literature/vintage-ads-specialty-books).

You can lists your vintage jeep for sale at Kaiser Willys and learn more about jeeps by sifting through their historical section.

Jays WWII Jeeps

Jays WWII Jeeps

http://www.jaysww2jeeps.com: Jay offers the highest quality reproduction parts for your WWII jeep, whether it be a Willy’s MB, Ford GPW or Ford GP. He also has a large selection of quality take-off parts if you’re looking for an original piece for your WWII era jeep.

Overland Diesel

Overland Diesel

http://www.overlanddiesel.com: Overland Diesel was originally operated as a conversion shop and supplier of top quality conversion components from 2006 to 2012. Carrying on with this good foundation, Overland Diesel shifted its focus to building diesel conversion kits for the early Jeep product line.

At least two for the jeeps on the Alaska Or Rust adventure have been repowered with diesel engines (Daniel Buck and Peter Brouwer). Contact Overland today and get your Diesel Swap started!

Allied Jeeps

Allied Jeeps

http://www.alliedjeeps.com: Finding reliable engine blocks, transmissions and other complex parts needed to fully and confidently restore vintage Jeeps is becoming increasingly difficult.  Allied Jeep offers enthusiasts an alternative –  brand new parts manufactured to original specification, such as L-134 engine blocks, but produced with more exacting standards and tolerances now possible given advances in manufacturing technologies and techniques over the past 60 years. Check out their website to learn more.

Merlin’s MB will be powered by one of these new engines. Learn more about Merlin and his wife Brittany here.

eWillys

eWillys

http://www.ewillys.com: For eight years, eWillys has provided an addicting daily dose of vintage jeep news, information, history and jeeps for sale. According to David Eilers, the site’s maestro, eWillys is designed to be approachable by people new to jeeps, yet provide content and conversations that will interest the most knowledgeable jeep aficionados. The site is read by jeeps lovers world-wide, with people in 140 different countries reading the site with regularity.

David will be participating in the Alaska Or Rust adventure in his 1956 DJ-3A, Rusty. You can read more about him here.

Contact

alaskan-highway-early-photo

SPONSOR & MEDIA CONTACT: David Eilers – david@AlaskaOrRust.com