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MiscellaneousProduction Jeepster, Freedom Video, Willys in Columbia
Posted by mike on 1999/3/1 0:00:00 (1027) reads

Our friend Jarek over at Jeep Toys on Jarek's Page sent us this photo (although he's not sure where it came from) of the new Hot Wheels Jeep Jeepster in 1/64 scale. Jarek's page also has the latest in Jeep toy trends and the most wanted Jeep toys.

Another reader let us know of some video of the Jeep Freedom, the potential new mini-SUV by DaimlerChrysler. If you have the VDOLive Player, you can check out the video here.

Finally today, there's a fairly interesting article in the Washington Post about Columbia's love of the Willy. From the article:

...``It's the best car ever made,'' gushes Jair Osorio, who stacked mattresses, bed frames and sacks of pots and pans atop a mint-green '59 Willys with fog lights and a thick, black grill guard.

``I've gotten it up to 3,000 pounds of coffee. I've transported 23 people in this car,'' Osorio adds.

Mosquera, the jeep taxi driver, reverently calls the Willys ``the tool of the people.'' Taking a break from unloading a lifetime's belongings at a relative's house that survived the quake, he says, ``It's what puts food on the table.''

It doesn't matter a bit that his Willys goes only 30 miles an hour when floored, Mosquera says.


Many Colombians have a cult-like devotion to the sturdy vehicles. Willys fever reaches raucous heights during annual festivals that draw enthusiasts from around the country. The events' main attraction is the ``jeepado'' at which crowds scream in delight as drivers compete to pilot the most overloaded jeep the farthest -- while doing a wheelie.

Coffee, bananas -- and people -- are among the preferred cargo.

``I've won lots of times,'' brags Luis Alberto Sierra, standing by his firetruck-red '54 model that he uses as a taxi.

He says he once won by distributing 30 people over his jeep's hood, roof, fenders, seats and tail runner. Sierra says his latest conquest -- a half-block wheelie while loaded down with 18 sacks of oranges -- netted him a $500 prize.

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