the fall of 2002 we set out in search of a hydraulic implement
lift for our first farm jeep. There had been a jeep with a Monroe
Lift in the family, but Barry had become enamored with the Stratton
model in use at
Farm Jeeps on the CJ3B page. The appeal was the
lift mounted underneath the bed leaving both the bed and tailgate
intact and available for use.
The lift we finally purchased had a similar design to the Stratton
was a Newgren. In our search for more information on our Newgren
lift (not to mention parts) we learned a little about the company.
Our friends Lonnie and Marilyn Deweese are serious Willys enthusiasts
and fellow Newgren lift owners told us the following:
information was Monroe bought out the Newgren Co in late 1948
and a short time later the Austin Bantam Car Co.in Butler, PA
bought it from Monroe, however, the actual factory was located
in Toledo, OH. At this time of sale the Newgren Co. basically
was an advertising company only. I do have a copy of papers from
Wiley Bros and Lewis at the Packard Willys Dealership in West
Chester, PA that were still selling Newgren Implements in early
1951, however, they were having a hard time getting equipment
and weren't sure they could fulfill orders."
from the 1948 New York Times supports Lonnie and Marilyn's
information and also tell us Monroe and Bantam sued one another
over Newgren for several years, Bantam went bankrupt, merged,
and was sold and then resold. We don't know how long the resulting
company made agricultural implements but Newgren Co's remnants
disappears from records after 1956.
Evan's notes: So at some point Newgren was owned
by Monroe (of Monroe Lift and later Monroe Shock fame). We know
the Newgren lifts were no longer produced by the time they were
sold off to Bantam. I wonder if Monroe killed off Newgren's lift
production when they bought them (assuming Monroe bought Newgren
for their agricultural implement business and not just to kill
off a lift competitor)... or maybe Bantam's Newgren stopped manufacturing
lifts as part of the sale agreement with Monroe... or maybe Bantam
just found the lifts weren't profitable..
Speaking of Bantam, if I recall my jeep history correctly, Bantam
actually won the Army's completion for a light four wheel drive
combat vehicle in 1940 but were out maneuvered (see cheated, screwed)
by Willys and Ford. For all their engineering work that led to
the GPW (and then CJ-2a) they were rewarded with.. wait for it...
a trailer contract.
Oh what a tangled web we weave.