My old Willys Jeep Model CJ-3B and how I restored it. A story.

Posted by Admin - Tuesday, November 20th, 2012.

5 years ago I made a decision that would change my life. Attracted to foreign culture, I made up my mind and travelled to the East. I first stranded in the Philippines where I lived for 2 years. After a turbulent period in my life I moved on and finally settled in Thailand. Here I got married again and that's were I decided to stay. 

I needed a suitable vehicle for my trips given the poor condition of the roads.  It had to be a sturdy and reliable truck. I was lucky to spot an old army jeep that was in a real bad shape but the price was ok so I took it.

The vehicle was imported from Vietnam. Most of the original parts were removed and replaced by self-constructed or replacement  parts. I had to find a way to restore this Jeep in its original state.   

 

My beloved Willys Jeep finally restored!

 

The old Willys Jeep model CJ-3B was built after the war in the year 1954. It was the successor of the model CJ-3A . It had a 3-gear manual transmission. In total 196.000 vehicles were produced until production stopped in 1968. Read more about this model here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_CJ

For a complete technical description click this link:

http://www.film.queensu.ca/cj3b/Tech.html

Now I had to find local craftsmen who were familiar with these vehicles. My first attempt was not so successful but after a while I found the right man for the job.  

 

Thanks to Mr. Jack & Son who did a wonderful  job.

 

The vehicle had to be stripped down completely. All body parts were checked for their originality & their condition. Former restoration work that was not done properly had to be replaced with genuine parts.

 

Removing all body parts and scraping the old paint.

 

All body parts were carefully inspected and all dents were removed.

   

The body was painted with a primer.

 

The body looks real smooth now. Quite an improvement!

 

2 additional LPG tanks of 25l each were installed for better coverage.

 

A khaki paint was used to give the Willys Jeep a final army look.

 

I had a mechanical winch installed in front of the engine. A wise decision. A winch can save your life when your vehicle get stuck in the bush.

For now, I have plans to visit the Northern part of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

 

 

View more videos here:

Autobiography of the Willys Jeep (1943)

1952 Willys M38 Military Jeep (ASP)

Interview Peter Clark owner of two 60 year old American Military Vehicles, Phuket

T o  b e  c o n t i n u e d …

 

J.P.