Wednesday, July 29, 2009


One of my very earliest memories is riding in a Jeep that would have been a lot like this one except it was undoubtedly older.

This one is a 1950 Willys CJ-3A. That makes it 59 years old. I am still older though admittedly not by much.

I remember that early Jeep ride in some detail. My mother was driving. I think we must have been driving to our then new farm and it must have been about 1950 or 1951. It was very, very cold. There was no heater. That means it was either a military model MB or a CJ-2. I'm guessing it was MB.

I remember standing and leaning over against my mother. I was bundled up against the cold with a cap and coat and mittens. I remember they were mittens and not gloves.

Seems a funny detail to recall but I do or at least I think I do.

The cold and no heater and our bodies made the windows fog up and hard to see out.

I remember my mother shifting the manual transmission. She would have been 37 or maybe 38 then. I find myself wishing I had known my parents at that age.

Maybe it is that Jeep ride that has made me want a Jeep. Or maybe it is my experience with them when I was in the National Guard way back in 1970. Back then we had 1950 vintage Jeeps. I managed to get one stuck once between two trees when we were on a training exercise. That feat caused some consternation among my superiors.

I happened to mention the other day that I had always wanted an old Jeep. Someone said "like a 1980 vintage?" I replied "No, like a 1950 vintage."

So they've been on the lookout for one ever since.

And on Tuesday, July 21st, one appeared for sale on one of the Internet lists.

We went to look at it and decided it should come live with us at our place.

So we bought it. Now we have to get it running.

UPDATE - before posting but after I wrote the entry:

We got it running. Well, "we" is actually Mark who can do most anything mechanical. He got it running.

I did check in on him and asked how things were going and kind of acted like I knew something about stuff like fixing an old Jeep.

And if you manage to live a few years you do learn a few things about various things.

Learning about stuff is different than actually being able to do stuff.

This is also me shot from the passenger side.

One thing I notice for certain is that the steering wheel seems a whole lot closer to my stomach than it did when I was driving similar Jeeps when I was 22. This Jeep was only 20 when I was 22.

I wonder if the Jeep changed? Surely it isn't me.

The thing runs great now that I've driven it. We need a few more things but all in all I am very, very happy.


Lori1955 said...

Oh my, I can't believe you bought a Jeep. I am glad that you got something you wanted though. Now you can do some off roading. :) I too have noticed how steering wheels seem to move in closer as the vehicle ages. I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the car shrinking with age. ;)

dave said...

One thing I have always wanted to own was one of those old Jeeps. Glad you were able to own one. In a poem I wrote once it had the line: "When I am old I shall drive a jeep/ a real one with a cloth top.}
Good luck with it. Happy memories.

~Betsy said...

Very Cool! Enjoy!

~Betsy said...

Oh, and of course the cars shrink with age. Everyone knows that. ;)

flintysooner said...

I paid $2800 for her, too.

She's mostly original although the seat belts and roll bar and the front wheel hub locks are new. As is the tow bar and turn signal. Didn't normally have turn signal lights in 1950. Top and side door covers are new as are the tires. Stuff like that doesn't last 59 years.

We are going to get her running and not restore -- just drive.

I totally understand what you mean, too, Dave. This is as close as I am going to get to a real Jeep I think.

Staci said...

That is just too cool! Congratulations!