Grease Monkeys on the Net

Jeep Restore Starts… Again

With springtime fast approaching, Ive started working on the Jeep again, as well as helping CJ get his garage in order for this season’s car maintenance.

During my winter research, I found a few interesting facts about the Jeep parts I have, and also some rumors about what the Jeep actually is…

Our Jeep History:

Our Jeep was purchased from a private owner in Lancaster, OH on May 1, 2004,
billed as a 1946 CJ2A. The amount paid was $300 and was in very poor
condition. The wife and I did a non-stop, round trip, from Des Moines, IA to
Lancaster, OH and back again to retrieve it.

Upon further investigation, it was found to have more M38 original parts
(produced 1950-53) than 1946 CJ2A parts.

This introduced us to the possibility of a full M38 body, with the serial
number of 42402. This serial is embossed on the firewall as well as all
access plates on the body.

Tear down to do a full, frame up restore, was started and we found that we
had an original T90 A-1 transmission, Spicer transfer case and a Willys
factory rebuilt L-134 “Go Devil” engine (possible rebuild indicated by red
paint). (CJ3A is the civilian
counterpart to the military M38)

Once we determined that the frame was not suitable for restoration we
started looking for a replacement. We found a 1953 CJ3B which we purchased
from a junkyard in Iowa for $150. The frame still had a body, completely
destroyed, attached to it but no serials present on this one either.

The body was an original CJ3B body as evidenced by the “Jeep” scripted
underseat toolbox as well as evidence of dataplates on the dash.

These plates were undoubtedly removed to register another Jeep. The State of
Iowa did not title Jeeps from this era, so this is a common practice amongst
the jeep restoration community. It saves putting a surety bond on the
vehicle for 48 months while awaiting title research that cannot occur due to
lack of records (which I was forced to do).

The story about this Jeep, as relayed via word of mouth, is such that this
Jeep was used as an aircraft tug at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH
after its production.

With the limited history in mind, we have decided to restore this jeep to as
near M38 (not A1) mil spec as we are able. And also to make it live again
in the spirit of “word of mouth” history to the extent that we have. Which
is to make it a “Follow Me” Air Force Jeep from it’s era (1950-1953) and
also to the configuration of it’s probable area of operation, the Republic
of Korea or Wright-Patterson AFB, OH during the Korean War. We are also
looking for any confirmed “field modified” versions of this type of
application for a possible restore target as well.

This is a reputed “Follow Me” Jeep from WWII:
This a reputed “Follow Me” Jeep (restored) from the Korean era:
This an unconfirmed “Follow Me” M38A1 Jeep:

If possible, we would like to confirm the color scheme and configuration of
a “Follow Me” Jeep from around the Kunsan, RoK or Wright-Patterson AFB areas
during the war, if they existed. Any pictures, contacts and personal
experiences are greatly appreciated! Any confirmation of the serial numbers
in our posession is also welcome.

A CJ2A.. or an M38? The world may never know.
We sure don’t!

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