Don Prine passed away on March 22 at the ripe old age of 97. In 1940, Prine was an Admiral’s assistant in the Navy. It just so happened, the Admiral he was assisting was one of the proponents of the proposed ¼-ton high-mobility platform which would eventually become the Jeep. As such, Don was front and center during the early developmental days as Willys, Bantam, and Ford vied for the coveted government contract. As an avid outdoorsman and hunter, the jeep left an indelible impression on the young navy man, and as soon as he got out of the service, Prine began what would become a lifelong love affair with the spunky little 4x4 vehicle he, in essence, helped come to fruition.
In September of 2011, Herm and Marty Tillford of ATV Manufacturing presented us with the opportunity to visit Don Prine at his home in Washington where he housed his collection of rare pre-standardized jeep models as well as a few of his prized hunting rigs. Then, we took a drive over to his shop, Prine’s Jeep Service, where original Willys, Kaiser, and Jeep boxes of parts, vehicles, and hunting trophies adorned every nook and cranny. For a true lover of Jeep history and artifacts, visiting Prine in his element was like revering on hallowed ground. We remain truly thankful to have had the opportunity to meet such a Jeeping legend. Godspeed, Don Prine.
For more information on funeral services please go to: www.legacy.com
If you haven't seen Don's collection of Jeeps or if you want to learn more about Don and his love for Jeeps check out the following:
The Old Man and the Jeep part 1
The Old Man and the Jeep part 2
Don Prine Jeep extras