Warbirds and MD Juan Grill
This past weekend I took the Jeep out to the Planes of Fame Air Museum (in over 100 degree heat, yikes!) to get some photos of the Jeep with various warbirds at the museum and also have it on display for visitors to check out. Driving home was a bit of an issue with the intense heat though! Also, I started work on a special project with a MD Juan Grill…
GPW #208102 with the mighty Curtiss P-40N Warhawk at the @[23688958789:274:Planes of Fame Air Museum]! Being a volunteer at the museum (photographer and social media) has perks like this where I can pose the Jeep with the warbirds after the flying!
When I first got there, however, I put the Jeep on display with the hood open. She’s quite the center of attention with lots of people coming up to take a closer look, snap photos, and ask me questions. If I wasn’t needing to do photo work, I would love to stay with the Jeep and just talk to the visitors during the entire event. I got into a discussion with two gentlemen not long after this photo was taken who wanted to know more about WW2 Jeeps. Nothing makes a Jeep restorer more proud, I believe than when people come up and talk to you about your Jeep!
The P-40 Warhawk was the star of the ‘Live Demo’ event that day (the events are held the first Saturday of each month at Chino Airport, CA) and flew around noon. Once she was back on the ground and awaiting being tugged back into the hangars, I drove the Jeep over and snapped some shots.
From this angle, it really gives a sense of how large the warbirds are. There’s a P-51D Mustang being restored (there are already 3 at the museum) to the left, and a SBD Dauntless to the right.
And since the Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless was already out there, I went ahead and parked the Jeep in front of her to take some shots. After all, my Jeep is a US Navy veteran even though she’s now wearing USAAF markings! The Dauntless is a combat veteran during WW2 and was used in the movie ‘Midway’ (the 1976 Charlton Heston version).
Another with the Dauntless. I mentioned before that I toyed with taking my Jeep back to the US Navy roots, but I couldn’t pass up doing US Army Air Force instead as I’m around so many USAAF aircraft and collect B-17 crew items.
Peaking behind the Dauntless to the left is a Douglas AD-4N Skyraider undergoing an annual.
Speaking of B-17s… my goal is to get my Jeep photographed with as many B-17 Flying Fortress aircraft as I can through the years. Afterall, she’s marked up as a 95th Bomb Group, 412th Bombardment Squadron Jeep which would have been based at RAF Horham in the UK with B-17s. I wanted to get the flags for this one.
And here’s the Jeep with the museum’s Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress known as ‘Picadilly Lilly II’. This is about the closest I can get the Jeep to her since she’s undergoing long-term restoration to flight. This B-17 holds the designation of being the last B-17G in USAF service. She went on to star in the TV show ’12 O’Clock High’ which was actually filmed at this airport! Even with the chain fence and hangar in the background, this is a special photo for sure! (And I had to drive on the wrong side of the street to get it!)
When packing up and getting ready to leave, I spotted my Jeep had made a friend! A fellow GPW from one of the motorpool/volunteers (known to us as the “F’n Jeep”). The owner of this Jeep went to extra efforts to make sure anything that was supposed to have an F stamp actually has one! It probably has more F stamps than my Jeep!
While it was a great day, heading home was an issue. It was over 100 degrees out and I had pretty far to go (and up some hills). It was dry, the wind felt very hot, and the sun really was beating down. The Jeep was very hot ranging from 190-210 the whole drive home with a 160 thermostat. I still think the radiator needs a full core cleaning, which I hope to do in the next few months once I find a good place. I think there’s some gunk in there possibly blocking some of the veins. I also need to do another flush of the block. She made it home, mostly due to me utilizing slower speeds and trying to let her cool down in 2nd gear before going back to 3rd.
I will say, though, that aside from the overheating worry and drivers being very impatient with a vehicle traveling 35mph, the scenery is at least nice. But, note to self that I should really do this drive on cooler days until I get the radiator worked on.
Back in 2019 when I got my MD Juan body tub kit, it came with a grill, fenders, hood, etc. I didn’t need the fenders, and since I was able to put an original GPW hood on my Jeep, I don’t need the hood. And, when I start/finish the restoration of the original body tub, which I will start this winter when it cools down, I’ll not need that repro tub either. One thing I for sure didn’t need was the repro grill. So it’s sat in the plastic wrap for two years. I had an idea a few days ago to make some wall art with the repro grill. So I unwrapped it and noticed the paint needed some work.
After sanding the scuffed and chipped primer paint, I went to work touching up the red oxide primer. This weekend I hope to paint it OD Green and continue with his project! I’ll reveal what I’m going to do with it once it’s finished, so keep checking the updates!
And that’s it for this short update. I really do miss the daily restoration projects. I can see where people who do restorations go out and get another one when they’re done. You miss doing it and want to do it all over again! But, I’m glad to have a functioning Jeep I can enjoy!
Till the next update…