by John Belden
The previous owner of my 1962 CJ-3B (S/N 57348 87484, paint code 78, trim code 164) told me that it was purchased new by a local gas station owner for the sole purpose of plowing his driveway and the parking lot of his gas station. He owned it until the late 1970's when diabetes impaired his sight and legs to a point where he could no longer drive. The title then passed to his neighbor who has a business across the street.
The new owner used it to plow his parking lot and keep up the previous owner's parking lot and driveway. By the time I purchased it they had rolled up the princely sum of 15,185 miles on it. I have now added a few miles myself so it presently stands at 16,010 miles. (Too bad the odometer on my replacement speedometer cluster reads 50XXX.)
As you can see in the pictures it has the original Kelly hardtop (see the Kelly ID tag, 30K JPEG) and Western plow. The fresh air vent and vibration dampener (80K JPEG) are the originals as well. It has the thicker vibration dampener even though it has 15" rims that I believe to be the originals. The previous owner added the lockable front hubs. See also a photo of the engine and hydraulic pump for the snowplow (120K JPEG).
This year, in honor of the Jeep's 40th birthday, I decided new paint was in order. (See the same view before the repaint, 100K JPEG.)
After I bought it in 1995, it needed nothing the first year. Since then I have replaced the battery, the clutch, master cylinder, carburetor, two wheel cylinders, front springs, shocks and tires, radiator, and speedometer cluster. So it is not as shipped from the factory, but I have tried to find NOS or good used parts as much as possible.
This photo shows the factory defroster and twin vacuum wipers.
Since I was doing the body and paint, I also put on replacement taillights. One of the original ones was a casualty of my master cylinder failure. Ever plow snow without brakes? My mailbox post did not fare well either.
I also added a driver's side mirror, repro steps, a new shift boot for the transmission, and new tailgate chains and covers. See a rear view before the repaint (90K JPEG). Also a "before" photo of the right side (100K JPEG.)
Now, with good brakes, and the new paint to keep it from dissolving, it should be ready for decades more work. See First Snow of the Year for some working photos.
Who knows, now it's so cute again, maybe even a summer picnic once in a while.
The green upholstery is original. I find it an odd combination with the red but I remember an old '68?? Bronco that had that color. It's funny but my '62 4WD wagon and '62 Pickup also have the aqua color scheme.
Yes, I have a set of '62's in various states. The wagon is now all apart; I expect to have it finished up by the spring. I am going to do a full restoration of the pickup; I am still working on locating all the NOS parts that I can. I hope to have that one as close to showroom new as possible in a couple of years. When they are all done I'll send a family photo for CJ3B.info.
My goal is to accumulate the complete '62 utility product line over time, but I don't usually pay too much for the vehicle since the restoration cost is so high versus the value of the finished product. I am trying to locate a good stock '62 panel delivery to add to the collection. Again with the same goal of being stock. So many of these have been cut up over the years. Patient searching will turn one up some day I hope.
-- John Belden
See First Snow of the Year for pictures of John's Jeep and snowplow in action. Thanks to John for the story and photos. -- Derek Redmond
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