Midget Jeep (Sep, 1949)

I love the name “Devil Junk” that he gave his jeep, though it does make it sound like the kid might have a heroin problem.

The midget jeep at the left was built by Valentin Labata. of Leyte. Philippine Islands. He starts his letter by asking, “I wonder if Filipinos are qualified to enter your Workbench Award contest?” They sure are, Val. We base our awards on ability, not nationality. He goes on to say. “A 3-hp. Wisconsin engine drives one rear wheel through a belt, giving 25 m.p.h, top speed and 75 to 80 miles per gallon. The brake works through the other rear wheel. I received help from my father, who donated the engine and the wheels, and two relatives. That’s me in the middle. The other two boys are the helpful relatives.”

  1. micah reysio-cruz says: February 22, 20086:45 pm

    Valentin Labata became an air force officer and airline pilot and flew C-46s, C-47s, Viscounts and C-130s all over the world. He’s also a good friend, and runs an aircraft spare parts outfit in Paranaque city, Philippines, together with his wife and son.

  2. valentin S. Labata says: October 25, 20104:24 am

    Micah, it was divinely caused that I came upon this picture. I could get a wink and , early morning, and so I thought of browsing the web to tire my eyes.
    This picture is the only one I know exists. The last one I had last was in my PAF student days album I lent to a former classmate and got lost there (USA).

    You might as well know thatI transfered alternately the same engine to an outrigger boat and was then probably the first pump(pam)boat in Leyte…maybe the whole country. I wouldn’t have known what “patent” was, not at 14 and out there in the “bundoks”.

    Thanks, buddy. You made my sleepless night worthwhile the wake.

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