An iconic vehicle seen in and around Salina in the 1950s and 1960s has been brought back to life. A 1946 Willys Jeep that was used by KSAL Radio has been rebuilt into a show-quality vehicle.
Because of its durability, the Jeep was purchased in the early 1950s. It was used until the early 1970s extensively by KSAL engineers including Dick Cahill, Walt Newman, and Don Englehardt. The Jeep was used a work-horse type vehicle, and a mobile unit. It was seen at many events and parades around the area.
The Jeep survived, and was a useful tool for the radio station, during several significant flood events in the 1950s, and in the early 1970s.
By the late 1970s and into the early 1980s the Jeep’s age began to show, and it was parked at the KSAL transmitter site near New Cambria. Daily exposure to the elements, and to at least one more flood, rendered the Jeep inoperable.
The radio station eventually put the Jeep up for sale, and it was purchased by Tom Pestinger of Salina. Pestinger decided he wanted to restore the Jeep to its fomer glory.
Restoration was a slow process, that took several years. This year restoration was completed. Pestinger unveiled the iconic Jeep over the weekend at the Salina Home & Leisure Show’s Iron Man Car Show. Pestinger plans to take the Jeep to car shows, and parades, around the area.