Fellow Gear Heads,
I am taking a break & detour from my Third Reich collection of daggers, swords, knives armbands, buckles, tinnies & fieldgear. It is dang cold in Minnesota today and winter has come early. The dreams of cruising last summer are long gone and are packed away in storage with my 1945 Jeep Willy's.
I know this is slightly 1945 post war piece but something my Veteran Grandfather & Veteran Dad worked on together for years. I have posted some pictures for you to enjoy and if you are ever here we will go for a ride. Details below:
This 1945 Willy’s Jeep was one of the first models off the assembly line in Toledo, OH. She was manufactured by Willy’s Overland Motors for Jeep. These Willy’s Jeeps were made available for purchase by civilians after the war’s end in 1945. They started with Serial Number 10000 as a starting point off the manufacturing assembly line. My serial plates on the engine block are struck with number 10296. It was number 296 off the initial production line. They only made roughly 1850 Jeeps in the first model year of 1945. This original 1945 body is scarce and tough to find in functional & excellent condition. You won’t find many 1945’s still on the road in decent shape. As listed below the Jeep’s frame was in California for years. The body is virtually rust free with only a few spots around one headlight and on side steps. We have not restored her to the factory original specifications as you can see. Hindsight it could be worth a ton if we would have done so. Priceless memories building it and driving it though.
It has a 1974 Corvette Engine under her lid. Many of the parts and pieces on the body are original. We obtained the frame from a farm field while in California many years ago. There was very little rust on the body when we found it. The engine and internal parts needed to be gutted and so the work began. We had to do quite a bit of work to integrate such a powerful short block 350 motor into the small Jeep frame. Many hours of engineering, welding, head scratching and planning went into the restoration. The heavy duty suspension, beaded tires, Ramsey winch, corvette engine, KC lights and various components we added make her a tank that gets up and goes. Whether off road or on the highway she is fun to drive. It was a memorable project to work on with my family over the years and certainly has created great memories. We have enjoyed many rides off road and in local parades. They don’t make Jeeps like this anymore. It is a rare and a quality ride for sure. Thanks Dad and Opa for helping build my toy!