Three Ford vehicles, two GPW Jeeps and one Ford Model 40 Deluxe Phaeton, at the Irvine Barclay Theatre.USAF concert and a look at Jeep books

I was invited to bring my Jeep to a USAF concert earlier this week in Irvine, CA. This update has a full recap of the event, plus a look at the essential ‘Jeep’ books a Jeep owner should have!

From one big event to a smaller event, this week I was able to take my Jeep out to a brand new venue in Orange County, CA!

The USAF Band of the Golden West came to the Barclay theater UC Irvine for a concert on Monday, May 22. The band was going to play several Americana and military themes for the concert.

The theater decided to honor the late Major General William Lyon, who would have been 100 years old this year (he passed away in 2020), for the concert. He founded Lyon Air Museum in Orange County. As such, the museum was tasked with setting up a display for the venue as people arrived, and the museum president called me and asked if I could bring out my Jeep to have on display. Of course, I said yes!

I hadn’t done much with the Jeep since the Planes of Fame Wheels, Tracks, and Wings event, so she needed some cleaning and touch-ups before taking her out.

I often get people who ask me what I do before taking the Jeep to an event. Since I just did the preventative maintenance on the Jeep (fluid levels, greasing, paint touch-ups, etc) I didn’t have to do much, but I still checked the oil level and cleaned up any leaks in the engine area.

After driving through cow/farm country (that’s Chino, CA for you), you will often go through lots of flys and bugs. As such, they meet the engine fan and then become little pieces all over the underside of the hood. I always make sure the clean all that off.

I also sweep and vacuum the inside of the Jeep, which leaves and other things blowing in the wind as I’m driving land. Since my Jeep was also outside for a bit during the Planes of Fame event, there was some dust. I often get made fun of for the amount of work I do to clean the Jeep, yes, I treat her more like a classic car than a workhorse. But, I prefer a clean Jeep. It makes the paint last longer, and keeps with the ‘just arrived from the factory to the air base’ look I’m going for.

And I always clean under the fenders, where water, mud, dust, rocks, etc find their way from driving on local roads. All in all, I probably spend a good hour cleaning the Jeep before I take it out each time. Afterall… she has to live up to her ‘Picture Perfect’ name!

I didn’t get any shots of the transportation over, but I had the usual 20-foot enclosed trailer I borrowed (super overkill for the Jeep, I need to find a smaller trailer I can buy!), and I took it out to Irvine. I was the first Jeep to arrive, you can see a second one on the right that arrived after mine. It was several hours before the concert, but I had some things to set up!

The idea was this beautiful 1934 Ford Model 40 Deluxe Phaeton, part of Lyon’s car collection, would lead the exhibit with the two WW2 Jeeps behind.

My Jeep was placed right in front of the box office, so it was hard to miss!

Both Jeeps were Army Air Force themed, which worked well with Lyon’s USAAF service in WW2. I brought out some WW2 items to help add some character to the display.

This included my complete B-17 waist gunner mannequin (all original items) minus the shearling gloves. I also had a ‘red group’ parachute. Next to that is a full WAC uniform (Women’s Army Corps) enlisted private. The uniform is complete with cap, jacket, shirt, tie, purse, and skirt. both of these items are from my personal ‘museum’ collection at my house. To add some music, I brought out my ammo crate radio (which I’ve covered how that was made on here before).

To make things look a bit more ‘museum’ quality, they put up stanchions around the vehicles, especially since during the concert we wouldn’t be out there to guard the vehicles.

Inside the lobby, as a side note, Lyon Air Museum had some more displays promoting the museum. On one of the pillars was an air-to-air shot I took of their B-25J Mitchell ‘Guardian of Freedom’

The other Jeep was owned by a gentleman named Cornell, which many people here in SoCal know in the reenacting/vehicle world. He has an actual museum he owns in Costa Mesa.

While my Jeep is marked up as the 8th Air Force, 95th Bomb Group, 412th Bombardment Squadron based in England with B-17 Flying Fortress bombers… his Jeep is 9th Air Force, 98th Bomb Group, 345th Bombardment Squadron based in the Mediterranean with B-24 Liberators.

Looking inside his Jeep, since I like to study other people’s Jeeps and the things they’ve done to them, I’m reminded how I’m still debating on getting a rifle rack for my Jeep or not. 99.99% of all USAAF Jeeps I’ve seen photos of don’t have the rifle rack installed, why need them on an airbase unless it’s an MP Jeep? But it still makes me wonder if I should get one every time I see a Jeep with one…

Anyway, turns out this Jeep is also a Ford! February 1st, 1943 if the repro data plate is stamped like the original.

It has a radio antenna, but no radio units in the Jeep itself. But it’s very complete with a nice paint job.

Overall a pretty nice display!

I had no idea another Jeep would be there, but it’s also nice to see another Jeep with the much-hated/despised fantasy shovel cover!

I love this 1934 Ford Model40 Deluxe Phaeton. Such an elegant car!

Here’s a look at all three… Fords! That’s right, all three vehicles ended up being built by Ford. I don’t think that was planned.

Here are a few more shots from the event. I liked the V8 detail in the hubcaps.

I had actual 1940s music with wartime interruptions and wartime commercials playing from the ammo crate radio.

Pretty picture-perfect setup for all the concert attendees! While the vehicles didn’t get as much attention as I thought (some photos and glances as people were coming into the concert), it was still great to have it out for the public to see! The concert itself was amazing, with some incredible music by incredible band musicians!

A few updates ago, I showcased a Ford wartime mystery manual I took a chance on when I spotted it for sale on eBay. Turns out, it was a rare Ford TM-10-1349 maintenance manual from 1942! It was missing the cover and first page, then the last page. But otherwise, it was complete.

I contacted Patrick from Portrayal Press, who sells just about every Jeep manual/book you could possibly want reproduced at and not only was he able to ID the manual, but he offered to rebind it with a correct cover, first page, and last page! Normally I wouldn’t mess with an original manual, but in this case, I felt that would add longevity to the manual itself, so I took him up on his offer.

And it came back Friday (which is why this update is a day late) from Portrayal Press, with the correct covers, binding, and pages added! He didn’t want to use just any old paper, so he waited a bit till he could find some proper paper to use.

Here’s a look at the reproduced first page. The way I figure it, now I have a complete manual, and it’s protected with the new covers! Thanks Patrick! I would for sure go to him if you ever need a manual:
He also restores Jeeps, and has some great videos on his new website:

Here’s a look at the reproduced last page. Aside from the paper texture, it’s just about a perfect match. Thanks again Patrick!

After taking those photos of the manual, it got me thinking… I’ve been asked recently what books I recommend for those who are restoring/owning a Jeep. It’s been a while since I’ve gone over the various Jeep books, and there’s a lot! This is only half of the Jeep books I own, but these are the ones I use a lot. But do you need all these? No. Let’s go through what ones you should have…

Of course, nothing can beat having the actual original manuals, just as the TM (technical manuals) and the ORD 9 supply catalogs. But, these are hard to find and often VERY expensive these days.

And if you could only have two of them, I would recommend these two. The TM9-803 which goes over all general use and care of the Jeep and the ORD 9 (SNL G-503). These vary between the years, so getting one close to your Jeep’s date of birth will match you Jeep. This particular Ord 9, from February 15, 1945, is the closest I’ve found to my Jeep. The ORD 9s will have every bolt, washer, part, gasket, canvas, etc for a Jeep. Think of it as a giant IKEA parts catalog!

For those that can’t find/afford the real manuals, and even for those that do… these would be my selections for the ‘must have’ Jeep books. Let’s go through them all…

Let’s start with the two books that would replace the TM Manuals. The book on the left is a MASSIVE compellation of every Jeep TM manual pretty much ever made by
The other book is a older book called ‘Jeep Service Repair Handbook’ by Clymer Publications.
Let’s take a look at both…

The lay-flat massive Jeep compellation book from has EVERYTHING you would ever need to know about operating, taking apart, putting back together, and taking care of Jeeps during the war. This particular version is a ‘lay flat’ version which comes in SUPER handy when you’re using it to do work on your Jeep. It’s worth every penny!

It contains five complete technical manuals in their entirety including one on Carter Caruretors! It’s my go-to shop manual when I need to look up a TM manual and don’t want to risk ruining an original. Plus, I don’t have to worry about keeping the book open when using it! You can get it here:

The other smaller book you can only find on places like eBay, but they pop up all the time and for pretty cheap. This was actually the first book I got when starting my restoration, and I used it a lot (as you can tell).

It contains the three main TM manuals (same ones in the ultimate manual, just a bit less quality in the photos)

Since I have the lay-flat book now for my garage, I keep this smaller book in the glove box of the Jeep. Always good to have when out somewhere and something goes wrong!

A bit of a holy grail to find these days since the author decided to quit making them I would recommend trying to find ‘The Standardised War-Time Jeep 2’ by John Farley.

This amazing book is picture heavy over text and raw data. He breaks down both MB and GPW Jeeps month by month during the entire production run with detailed photos and change information. Probably one of the best collection of wartime photos with high-quality detail I’ve ever seen.

There’s a whole section on engines throughout the war and the changes year by year with detailed engine photos. I used this to help with my GPW’s fine details in the engine bay. It’s hard to find, but very worth it!

Of course, no Jeep book collection is complete without a Ron Fitzpatrick Jeep Parts catalog! You might be thinking… ‘A catalog? What?’ If you have one, you know! This free book that comes with your first order from Ron will end up being the most used book you will own.

It’s not just a catalog, but a detailed breakdown of every single part of a Jeep. You will be surprised how many times you go back to reference this catalog during a restoration! Not just for ordering parts, but to remember how they went together!

Ron Fitzpatrick Jeep Parts put a lot of time into these catalogs, which is why they are so highly cherished!

And he recently did a complete revamp of the entire catalog with expanded information, diagrams, and more. Can’t beat free, with your first order, for information gold like this!

This wraps up my ‘must haves’ for the Jeep books, but there are a few other books that are ‘honorable mention’…

And for GPW owners, this book has become the holy grail. The ‘Ford GPW Restoration Standards’ by Mike Wright. This book is the acclimation of the best of the best in the GPW community, with years of research and photos combined into one definitive source. Just released recently with the Military Vehicle Preservation Association – MVPA, this book is a MUST HAVE for GPW owners.

Aside from incredible color photos throughout the book, it covers ever little detail on a GPW and the changes throughout the war. Need to know which air crossover tube you should have? This book will tell you!

It even goes down to the finish on the bolts, tiny variations from different factories, etc. It’s everything you wanted to know and what you didn’t even realize you needed to know!

First up is this small but thick book called ‘Jeep’ by Emile Becker and Guy Dentzer. There are two versions of this book, one in French (seen here) and a rare one in English. I picked this book up in France when I was there for the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. They didn’t have the French version, but you don’t really need it for this.

The book is chock-full of illustrations of every part of a Jeep. And even though the captions are in French, you get the gist pretty easy.

I love the extra attention to little details. If you can find the rare English version, great! But you’ll probably end up with the French version that’s still being produced to this day.

One really awesome thing about this book is the special attention to GPWs and all the F stamps found on a Jeep. I know some of the information given is a little out of date (only a few small things), but it’s worth getting for all the details!

Next up, we have another French book called ‘Jeep – Connaissance et Restauration’ (Knowledge and Restoration). Again, this book is in French, made by a Jeep parts store called Jeep Village. It’s a bit south of Paris. I also got this book while there for the D-Day anniversary.

This book does a nice job talking about Jeep restoration with a parts breakdown. Using Google translate, you can translate each page to read it.

But the main reason I had to get it was the last section, where they have in-depth high res photos of a restored MB, GPW, etc. Here are some shots of the GPW, and they really showcase some incredible detail. A nice handy book to have something to aspire to!

A Jeep book you can get from Amazon right now is ‘Jeep, Jeep, Jeep No. 2’ by Yasuo Ohtsuka. This is another wartime photo-heavy book and great if you want to get some ideas of various wartime markings and modifications on Jeeps.

It covers a lot of different wartime scenarios for Jeeps, and it has a lot of photos I’d never seen before. Plus, it’s in English!

This book goes into some pretty obscure Jeep configurations and variances. If you’re looking for small details, this book won’t have it. But it will help you get ideas!

One of the reasons I wanted this book was due to the pretty extensive Army Air Force Jeeps pictured, like these ‘Follow Me’ Jeeps.

Most of these books can be found on, so I would give them a look-see! And I want to thank Patrick again for taking care of my Ford Manual!

As I wrap up this update, I wanted to mention that I’m still writing articles for the Military Vehicle Preservation Association – MVPA’s membership magazine ‘History in Motion’. I know some of you have been reading them.

For the April/May 2023 issue that’s out now, I started a 3 part look at Jeep Preventive Maintenance, which showcases step-by-step what you need to do to keep your Jeep in shape! Look for the two other parts in the next two issues!

Several months ago, I chronicled the California License Plates from 1940 to 1945. This included the 1944 ‘sticker’ that replaced a new plate or tab for an older plate due to the steel shortage needed for the war. I had an original one of these rare 1944 stickers, but it had a lot of issues with it (some rips and wrinkles). I managed to pick up another one on eBay, this time in near pristine condition (minus the one fold line). I’m going to look at replicating these as a window cling for those who might be interested!

And that’s it for this update! Another event in the books for 2023, and a look at… well… books! In the next update, I think I’ll be taking a look at the road ahead with the Jeep restoration, mainly the beast that is the original body tub which is a massive project.
Till the next update…