You Never Know What You'll Find:
Unusual CJ-3B Bodywork


ParadeThis archival photo in the January 2014 issue of Westways, the magazine of the Automobile Club of Southern California, shows an Auto Club CJ-3B with a towrope pulling a disabled float around a corner in the 1956 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena CA.

The California roadside assistance Jeeps had custom rear bodywork, enclosing storage space for emergency supplies.

Thanks to Warren Newbury and to Bryon for spotting the photo.

ACSC JeepIn an article called "Old Iron Never Dies" in Off Road magazine, November 1984, John Lawlor wrote, "If you're more than 30 years old, you may have seen some of these auto club Jeeps in action on television. They were used during the New Year's Day Rose Parade in Pasadena, standing by to tow any floats that had problems running under their own power."

The Off Road article profiled a 1961 CJ-3B (right) originally built for the Automobile Club, and owned by Roger Olkowski of North Hollywood, California. Lawlor wrote, "The club, which is an affiliate of the AAA, once maintained a fleet of such Jeeps to assist stranded motorists with roadside repairs, and the body was designed to carry a supply of tools and parts.

"Eventually, the club decided it was more practical to contract with independent garages or service stations to handle its service calls than to maintain its own fleet of vehicles, and it got rid of the Jeeps."

See the full article in CJ-3B Magazine Articles on CJ3B.info.

HawaiiLinton Lee Wibble built this rig in 2001 while stationed in Hawaii. He bought a '53 3B with 4 flats, no brakes and an engine that didn't run, for $250. After adding a few ignition parts and a Holley carb to the Chevy 350, and a 2-1/2" shackle lift to clear 33 x 12.50 X-terrain tires, he gave it a new Tiger Top and a rattle can paint job. No word on whether Linton or the previous owner fabricated the hood, but it gives the Jeep a high-tech look. Seen on a Readers' Rides page.

CambodiaThis photo taken by P. McCoy in Cambodia has been popping up on blogs around the web in 2011, with people speculating about where this long-wheelbase Jeep may have been manufactured. Well, the front bodywork looks like it might be Mitsubishi, but from the windshield back it's clearly "Mitsu-bashy."

Stretching a Jeep body by making the door openings more generous is an interesting idea. Probably more work than stretching the rear, but might provide extra legroom and steering wheel clearance as well. See a side view (90K JPEG).

CJ-3A bodyAndy Goldsmith in South Carolina sent the story of this project in 2008: "I had a home grown mess of an 'air scoop' on the hood of this CJ-3B with an earlier (I believe CJ-3A) body. I ordered this cowl scoop (120K JPEG) in metal from The Speed Center for $150, with $25 shipping. It is 4-1/2 inches high; they make a 3-inch model, but I thought torque twist might cause problems. The 3 would have looked nicer, I think. The scoop comes about 55 inches long, but it is simple to cut it to length. It has a flange for MIG welding, and the result looks pretty good and it stiffens the hood quite a bit as a side bonus.

"I saw several attempts at scoops on CJ3B.info. A pretty good body shop encourged me to hunt for a metal, mail order scoop saying a custom one would cost more than I would want to pay. While at it I had Maaco shoot a quick and dirty paint job on the outside. Now I probably will do the same on the wheels, and use the POR 15 product for a flat black, brush on finish inside, and perhaps in the wheel wells. The former owner, 25 years ago, described it as a 1962 frame, engine, transmission, etc. with an older body on it."

Note: the right side view (120K JPEG) shows that the body has the right-side air vent for the post-1959 fresh-air heater, so it's likely a DJ-3A Dispatcher body rather than a CJ-3A.

Filipino jeepneyIvan Schuurs in Australia writes, "Recently I purchased and imported a jeepney into Australia. It is a an authentic passenger jeep used for private purposes and therefore is not decorated. This is believed to be one of two in Australia. It can be fully registered in Australia with a few modifications."

See Jeepneys of the Philippines for some of the decorated ones, and Building a Jeepney for the story of one imported into the U.S.

Hood scoopThis 1963 CJ-3B was for sale in Ohio in 2001. All the sheet metal is original, except for the hood scoop, under which is a stock F-head.

In addition to the scoop, details more clearly visible in the larger version of the photo (50K JPEG) include the original heater vent on the side of the cowl, and the chrome bolts filling the holes where the spare was mounted.

See another hood scoop in 3B's in the Sand.

1959Here's a '59 with a more utilitarian design. Owner Michael Galyen wrote, "I have just bought a 1959 Willys. I am extremely confused as to what it actually is. I got it from the 2nd owner and it is supposed to have all original parts."

Well, the parts were originally from somewhere, but I don't think most of them were on this Willys in 1959.

Truck cab JeepSame idea here, but the rear body is stock Willys. In fact this 1950 International truck cab was never used prior to being installed when the 1957 CJ-3B was new. The current engine is a 1965 F-head, and the truck has a number of mechanical upgrades including a 25-gallon fuel tank in the back. Jim Nicholson in Montana sent the photos, including a larger front view (25K JPEG.)

1959This fastback top and half doors make for a sporty CJ-3B. Mike Holness of Minden, Ontario was wondering about the origins of the soft top on his 1959 Jeep, commenting that "I haven't seen anything like it in pics on the Web."

I think the place to look is probably The Dispatcher Jeeps page because this ragtop looks to me like the convertible top that was available for the DJ-3A Dispatcher.

Thanks to all the contributors. -- Derek Redmond

See some unusual CJ-3B hoods in Universal Jeep Prototypes 1949-53.

See other rare bodywork in Jeep Designers at Work.

Return to the Index of Unusual Photos on CJ3B.info.

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Last updated 25 December 2013 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond