Navy Plane Tug: 1953 Ford Szekely Jeep

Otto E Szekely was an engineer who turned businessman a few years before the outbreak of World War II, and he produced a few custom machines for U.S. Navy use with basic “Jeep” architecture.  You can read more about Szekely’s heroics here on or you can buy a project 1953 Ford Szekely Jeep offered for $3,600 near Los Angeles, CA via craigslist.

The information on this particular style of utility vehicle is limited, but it appears to be a 4X4 airplane tug that is built on a Jeep chassis with custom aluminum body/tub/fenders/hood/gas tanks.  It won’t rust easily and would look AMAZING polished!

Under the hood is a Lincoln/Ford 317 cubic inch V8, which doesn’t work at this time, but it shouldn’t be too hard to find parts for it. The seller is quick to point out that this isn’t Frankensteined, because it rolled out of some small assembly line just the way you see it here…mostly…probably.

The seller includes a single photo of a similar vehicle hooked up to some old 50s airliner, so at least you get some idea of what this should look like when restored.  Additional web searches indicated that Mr Szekely was not just a businessman, but was also an inventor — the patent below is for a unique three-wheel steering system for a small industrial trike.

See a stranger thing for sale?