Click on any photo to see a larger version, or follow the links for more photos and details on these Jeeps.
1953: Joe Betar
Joe Betar has had this beautiful early '53 on display at his dealership Classic Motors in Richfield, Utah. The serial number (180K JPEG) is 453GB2 12352. They added new tires, steps and mirror, and the paint was done by Hansen Collision Center.
1953: Dana C. Warburton
"My name is Dana C. Warburton, and I live in Jerome, Arizona. I now have a 1953 CJ-3B that took me 10 years to acquire from the previous owner. It's the ninth Jeep I have owned, and I think it's going to be the last."
See more about Number Nine.
1953: Steve Decker
In early 2016, Steve wrote from Rochester: "I just recently purchased a 1953 CJ-3B. My son and I will be starting the restoration this summer. My son just completed and sold his 1946 CJ-2A, so I feel pretty confident with this project.
"The serial number is 453GB2 21544. I cannot detect an engine serial number at this time. The previous owner told me the engine had been rebuilt at Walck's, which may explain why there appears to be no number on the boss above the water pump.
"It appears to be in pretty good mechanical shape (I drove it 90 miles home). The frame is solid, and the body has the usual hat channel, driver floor, right floor/tool box, and rear corner issues. I'm sure more issues will be uncovered when the tub is removed
"For what it's worth, the previous owner (Buffalo NY) told me he purchased it from an owner in Pennsylvania, who had purchased it from the original owner, where it lived on a farm in Lancaster County PA. So that would make me the (unofficial) 4th owner. The odometer functions, appears original, and currently reads 42,912."
1953: Bruce Isaacs
When Bruce in Kentucky bought his 3B in late 2011, he said, "After oven cleaner, the engine number is 4J13876 I believe. 85,254 miles, runs great, drives good. It's still 6 volt. It has Cutlass lockouts with the two circles that takes an L-shaped tool. I am throwing a quicky paint job on it. (See it before the paint job, 200K JPEG.).
"I'm going to use it for light trails for fishing, hunting, and just relaxing cruises in the woods. Will restore it later up the road."
In 2012 Bruce decided he needed a hardtop (220K JPEG) to make it practical to use the Jeep on the farm in the snow (280K JPEG). He says, "I built it with 1x3s and plywood, painted, caulked and cut up an old Walmart pool to cover it. Then caulked again. Windows are plexiglass. I invested about 20 dollars in hinges, etc."
1953: Jeff Heidman
Jeff Heidman in Newnan, Georgia ("Ol' Skool Jeeper" on the CJ-3B Bulletin Board) went for a military look when he restored his '53 and painted it in OD.
See more about Jeff's CJ-3B Restored as Tribute.
1953: Xavier Mayer
Xavier in Switzerland wrote in 2012: "I'm 24 years old and I live in the surroundings of Geneva. I've recently bought a 1953 CJ-3B, ex-Swiss army. The Jeep has been mainly restored by the previous owner, but I realized that he didn't make everything right. So I've got some hours of work in perspective. When I bought it, it was looking like this (160K JPEG). I have made some upgrades including new wheels.
"See a photo of the interior (180K JPEG). The Swiss Army data plates (60K JPEG) are written in German and French, the two mainly spoken languages in Switzerland."
1953: Jim Mason
Jim in Livonia, Michigan, says "I do not have the original engine as someone has changed it out for an L-head out of a '46 CJ-2A. As far as I know, it was owned by a vet clinic in Iowa for a good portion of its life. My father-in-law in Mt. Carroll IL acquired it in the 1980's and gifted it to me in 2004. At some point, somebody modified the rear springs, adding leaves to make a 12 leaf stack-up! It's driveable as is, but I'm making repairs as I go to make it more reliable, and will be changing out the springs for used originals soon."
1953: Derrick Dennis
Derrick is in Cambodia, and says, "Just got my hands on a CJ-3B which spent most of its life in the Cambodian Army -- came into service in 1964 and left service in 1994. Serial number 453GB2 12687 was built in 1953 -- not sure what it did for the first 10 years of its life. Engine not original -- now has a Toyota 2l diesel -- and is only 2 wheel drive. Bucket seats, non-original instrument panel, power steering and front disc brakes. Will attempt to restore some of the cosmetic stuff to original, but will leave engine/drive train as is. I don't think I'll be able to take it out of the country so won't spend too much on it, as I'll have to sell it in about a year."
As of late 2013, Derrick says, "Here's an updated pic (200K JPEG) of my ex-Cambodian Army 3B. Spent a few months cosmetically restoring the old gal. Had a lot of rust taken out and resprayed, rear wheel mount added, jerry can and mount, new tyres and other minor bits and pieces. Next step is to get different seats, or have them re-covered if I can't find any seats. Its tough to get any parts besides Toyota over here."
1953: Greg Kiss
"This 1953 CJ-3B has been in my wife's family since it was purchased new by her great uncle Bill Hoffman, back in 1953."
See more about Uncle Bill's Jeep.
1953: Mike Norris
Mike is in Indianapolis but bought this former U.S. Navy Jeep (see the dash plate, 230K JPEG) in Kentucky. A rear view reveals a PTO and some flush taillights.
1953: Sebastian Lobo-Guerrero
"After many years of living in Pittsburgh, I finally bought a CJ-3B to have here. I still have the red 1954 CJ-3B back in Colombia, which thanks to family and friends is still in great shape. The new one is a 1953 yellow 3B. It was completely restored here in Pittsburgh by Chuck Courty, one of the founders of the Flat Fender Club of Butler. As with all of his rebuilds, Chuck did an amazing job with this car. I was very lucky he let me buy it."
Sebastian took some photos in Pittsburgh in fall 2010: a rear view (230K JPEG) and on the street (180K JPEG).
See the full story of Sebastian's and his father's Three Willys on CJ3B.info. See also some of their photos of Jeeps in Colombia.
1953: Jean-Pierre Hardy
Jean-Pierre Hardy in Sherbrooke, Quebec, says, "It has been two years now since I finished restoring it. I think it all began with my father's love of inventing, rebuilding and working hard."
See father in a CJ-2A in 1949, and son in his CJ-3B, in Like Father, Like Son.
1953: Kristian Sather
"Where to start? Well, it was 1997. I was a sophomore in high school in California and was in need of a vehicle of some sort. My Dad having the keen eye that he does, kept passing this Jeep in a field on his way to and from work. After he decided that it looked like a do-able project, he took me out to look at it."
See the rest of the story of Lucky Thirteen.
1953: Dallas Hammit
"I live in St. George, Utah. My family bought the Jeep in 2005 from the classifieds in a local newspaper. I am not the owner now, but I will be. From what I can tell, all of the essential parts are original (excluding the taillights, tires, brake pads, etc.) The Jeep has been jacked up (150K JPEG), painted very funky, and has a hole cut in the dash (120K JPEG) where somebody had a little radio once :( and the tailgate has been replaced (140K JPEG) by a piece of metal welded on. The Jeep runs great, and is fun to drive, and on top of everything else I have the coolest car at school! Our family has always been big on Jeep rides, and we would go regularly at least once a month. Along with this Jeep, we also have a blue 1981 CJ-7. Most of the people in our family learned to drive while driving the CJ-7, but I learned in the better Jeep. 3B's rule!"
1953: Hein Prinsloo
This CJ-3B was certainly one of the first to arrive in Australia, brought over for the Army, wearing the same government ID plate used by Willys on Jeeps delivered to the U.S. military. Hein bought in it 2006 and did a frame-up restoration in 2008.
See more photos of Hein's '53, and a Mahindra 3B he rescued, in High Hood Pair in Australia.
1953: Chuck Frerichs
"We were on a drive in the country one sunny day in early September and there it was! A tarp in the shape of a flatfender Jeep, half hidden by the corner of a barn. It just had to be mine! My lucky find just happened to be a CJ-3B."
See more photos of Chuck's Jeep in BC, Canada, in My CJ-3B Restoration: A Jeep Family History Continues.
1953: Jim Boswell
"Some one had obviously loved it for many, many years. I couldn't tell you the last time I bought a flatfender with a full-on complete snap-in carpet kit -- very cool!"
See more photos of Jim's orange Harley With a Snowplow.
1953: Randy Pickthall
"My name is Randy Pickthall, and I live in Golden, Colorado. I bought the Jeep in March '09, and have just finished getting it back together. We really enjoy driving it around. The VIN is 453GB2 22614, and the engine number is 4J22718."
1953: Jeff Tornyos
"I live in West Pawlet, Vermont. I bought my '53 from someone in South Carolina who told me it was on a farm with one family in North Carolina until he bought it in 1998. The winter of 2000, when I bought it to keep my Cherokee company (200K JPEG), I got it inspectable (enough) and fixed what was broke. I drove it 6-1/2 miles and blew the head gasket! The shape of the valve seats got the snowball rolling, and $2000 later I had a fresh motor (170K JPEG) and got more fixin' done. Then a move from western New York to Vermont in 2001. She was basically garaged for 7 years. Now she's back and I'm all of a sudden $700 poorer. I made the mistake of looking her way with a wrench in my hand while I was in the garage...."
1953: Jim Adamson
"I bought the Jeep in Great Falls MT in the mid 1970's. For the next 20 years it carried me on many hunting and fishing trips (160K JPEG) in the Little Belt Mountains of Montana. A little over 10 years ago I decided to bring it back east and restore it. I was new to the resto world so that process had several fits and starts, and probably took more time and money than it should have but it's finally finished. My restored CJ-3B is now retired on Grindstone Island (250K JPEG) in the 1000 Islands of NY and leading a very pampered life.
"I need to give credit for this fine resto job to Henry Welch of H.W. Welch and Company in Mountville, PA. After fiddling with the Jeep for several years I finally got smart and took it to Henry who finished it for me. He and his crew are real pros and do fine work. It's now in factory original condition."
1953: Chuck Anthony
"My name is Chuck Anthony and I live in Pocatello, Idaho. I have replaced almost everything but the engine. Now I just need to get it painted. "
See also a photo of Chuck taking his '53 on the road (160K JPEG).
1953: Carl Sonksen
"It is SN 453GB2 30903, which I've owned since around 1998 or so. Bought it from an individual in Nebraska while I was living in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and the previous owner seemed to think it came from somewhere in northwest Iowa. I've since relocated to Clarinda IA.
"The previous owner did quite a bit of restoration work on it and they painted it Ford Royal blue. The inside of the toolbox has what looks to be a dark green on it which I'd guess is the original color. It is mostly stock except for a Warn overdrive, lockout hubs, and I recently converted it to 12v. It's been mostly used to drive trails on my folks' farm and in the woods (70K JPEGs) and the occasional 4th of July parade, as well as driving now and then on sunny days.
"The other Jeep in the pics (70K JPEG) is my Dad's '46 CJ-2A. He also has a 1960 CJ-3B
that we are in the process of fixing up as a trail Jeep for jaunts into
Colorado. Between us we've really developed a thing for old Jeeps over the years, and
the stable includes a 1942 Ford Script in need of restoration, 1946 CJ-2A,
1950 M38, 1953 CJ-3B, 1960 CJ-3B, and my grandfather's 1949 Willys pickup truck. Oh, and my daily driver is a 94 Wrangler."
1953: Steve DeRyk
Steve is in Aylmer, Ontario, Canada. He says, "I got the Jeep about three years ago, took about a year to restore it. Has the original motor and drive train. It needed some work to the body."
1953: Will Navojosky
Will in New York state says, "Here is the CJ-3B before we started tearing it down. The color appears to have been green originally and that will be the last step. The frame is in real nice shape. All original parts are present. I have begun rebuilding the motor and other mechanicals."
See also a front view with Hi-lift (170K JPEG) and a rear view with PTO (240K JPEG).
1953: Javier Martinez
"In Venezuela I was the owner of a CJ-3B which was very modified during the 20 years that I owned it. Was a sad decission to sell it, but my life took a change and I had to move to Spain.
Serial number 453GB225060, I'll remeber for all my life. Engine number too, but wasn't its engine, because I put a Buick 225 V6, front and rear CJ-5 axles (with front disc brakes), Chevy power steering, body and suspension lift kit made by me and many other mods. Transsmission was a T-150. The body was near perfect, primed with the best marine primer and the only thing I did was in the rear, where did the holes for military tail lamps. Oh, and I moved the fuel tank to the rear and closed the original fuel inlet on the left side. I dressed it in an English camo used on the Centurion tanks in WWII during the desert campaign.
"Now, here in Spain I'm the owner of a CJ-7 from 1977, Levi's edition with only 28,000 original miles. And I'm starting a new proJect: a 1944 Willys MB absolutely disassembled that I found in a garage. I can't stop doing this job, because it's a passion."
1953: Sam Nielsen
"I purchased this 1953 CJ-3B from a fellow in Colorado in April 2002. Over the next year I worked on weekends and evenings to do a frame-off restoration. The body was in terrible shape due to rust and the fact the previous owner has removed the body and sandblasted it, but never repainted at all. The ultimate plan was to drive the Willys away from the church at my wedding on October 11, 2003."
See more on Sam's first-time resto in Where to Start?
1953: Jim Musgrove
"I just purchased a 19-53 CJ3B from the owner's grandson. I found this Jeep in the CJ-3B Bulletin Board. Rob (the grandson) and his son decided it was more of a project than they wanted to take on. I have been looking for an unmodified CJ-3B for years and have almost purchased two others. I have always regretted not getting the others so this was the final straw. It is mostly original except for some 1960 or so auto bucket seats which I have already removed and discarded.
"I have been working on and modifying Jeeps for years (160K JPEG) and this is about number 18 for me. Frankly I have lost count. One interesting thing about this 3B is the power takeoff winch (210K JPEG), which is way over- classed for a 3B or any Universal Jeep for that matter. It also has what we used to call a "Yakima" roll cage made up from welded sections of round steel tube and then crudely welded to the top of the frame through holes cut in floor. I have had to grind some really nasty looking stuff off Jeep frames before, so this is nothing new to me.
"The vehicle data plate on the firewall has the serial number 453GBG2
30732. I do not have the title yet as the previous owner had lost it. I have
the last registration though, and the VIN number is listed as a Washington
State Vehicle frame number 4J35659. The flat above the engine water pump location has been milled off during a previous engine overhaul most likely, and has no numbers there at all. I find it curious that the "Frame Number" listed on the registration most closely resembles an engine serial number. In other documents I have with the Jeep, the 4J35659 number is listed as a Washington State Vehicle Frame Number. I was hoping I would find it stamped somewhere on the frame."
1953: Doug Hagerman
"Here's a picture of my 'Heep' complete with four new STA Super Traxion tires. I found this 1953 model in Salida, Colorado, and I believe it was used mostly on a farm in Buena Vista. It's pretty much stock, shows about 45k miles on the odometer, and there is very little rust (except for toolbox), but the mechanical wear seems to indicate that it was in low range for most of its life. For example, the front driveshaft spline is completely worn out!
"My 'restoration' goal is to do what a 1960-ish owner would do to keep it running, with no particular need for authenticity other than the ease of using stock parts because they fit without modification."
1953: Eric Thompson
"I live in Hollis Center, Maine. My Dad (Gene) and I have been painstakingly re-building his father's 1953 CJ-3B and are very near completion. We have rebuilt it from the ground up and re-used as many of original components/parts as possible. A few more details and we'll be done with everything except for the canvas top. We got second place for best of the 50's at the Bonny Eagle Car show this spring (largest show in Maine, 1100 cars there.)
"We have tried to keep originality as much as possible -- the only things I know of that aren't are the taillights (used two instead of the one for safety) and a start button on the dash that was probably an aftermarket upgrade (I have seen the identical button on another 53). And yes she's still 6V! She was registered and used as a plow truck up until about 6 years ago, and we started restoration last spring. CJ3B.info is one of the most valuable resources we had during this project."
See a photo of Gene with his five grandchildren (180K JPEG) taken on his 75th birthday. See also a front view and the interior (80K JPEGs), plus some "before" photos of Frank and Gene's project in the The Dilapidated CJ-3B Competition.
1953: Bob and Mary Harris
Bob in Clinton, Tenessee says, "My son David sparked my interest in restoring Willys Jeeps. I had owned a new 1953 Willys Jeep and gave it to him in the early 1960s to trade in on his first car. Years later, he came in driving a similar Jeep, old and rusty, and said, 'Here's your Jeep back.' I told him I didn't want it, but he insisted I keep it. I have now completed two restoration projects, a '53 and a '63. Both Jeeps have repro bodies and are painted the original green color using the original paint numbers obtained from CJ3B.info. For HERCJ3B (the '53) I used the frame from one Jeep which I had a title for, and the engine from another Jeep which I had a title for."
See more details and photos of His and Hers CJ-3Bs.
1953: Don Wilson
Don Wilson in Vicksburg, Mississippi bought this "Deer Ambulance" and then discovered that its serial number plate identifies it as 453GB2 10004, which would be the fourth CJ-3B off the assembly line (see Willys Production Figures 1945-61) and the oldest known surviving 3B. However, he comments that "I must say that the '1' and the third '0' are very hard to see and I'm scared to clean the plate any more. Is there somebody that restores serial number plates or is there a permissible technique for highlighting the number?"
Don also says, "This picture is what it looked like when I bought it, and the interior photo and fender photo (160K JPEGs) are of it now. I stripped it down and was going to just paint it and put it back together until I found out about the serial number. I started taking the Jeep apart and the project has kind of stalled at the moment. If you know anybody that is interested, I would be interested in selling it. I'd love to restore it but I'm not sure if I'll ever find/make the time. Now that I know that it's the oldest one, I would have to restore it completely and I don't think I have the energy. It has a hardtop, factory heater and a PTO that was put on at the dealership when it was new."
1953: Daniel Garmon
"I'm located in Ventura CA, and the Willys has just been gone through. All running gear is stock. The Willys came off an almond farm in Delano CA. It took two years to restore, but drives better than the day it was new. Serial number 453GB2 25293, engine number 4J27556. I want to install a rag top on it; do you have any suggestion who has the best top?"
See also a left side view, a front view, and rear view (160K JPEGs). Also the engine (150K JPEG).
1953: Sigurpáll Gudmundson
"Greetings from Akureyri, capital of North Iceland (40K JPEG). Thanks for this great site; it's an inspiration to us all to keep restoring these old friends. Here you have pictures of my 1953 with homemade hardtop. Every one of them is unique. Men in Iceland didn't have much material to work with at that time, so they used what timber and metal they could find to shelter them from the elements.
"This one has a working Hurricane engine and is running good but needs some attending to. This CJ has been used for the last 4 years for fun and sometimes work on a construction site, but is mainly for fun and kept indoors. It's a part of our transportation history in Iceland. In my hometown this is the only working CJ-3B. There are a few left that are running here in Iceland; many guys are restoring Jeeps here and there, but not combined in a club."
See also a rear view photo and an interior photo (40K JPEGs).
1953: John Doerr
John in Poughkeepsie NY says, "CJ3B.info has helped me tremendously in putting together my '53. I have the complete drivetrain from a '78 CJ-5, power steering, disc brakes, tera-low in a Dana 20. My serial number is 453GB2 26480; I don't have the original engine number -- the old block was cracked."
See also a rear view with Bantam trailer (150K JPEG).
1953: George Parpan
George's 1953 CJ-3B in Einsiedeln, Switzerland is a Swiss Army surplus Jeep.
1953: Warren Newbury
Warren and Carol Newbury now live in California, where Warren decided in 2012 to give their Jeep a new rattle can OD paint job, with vinyl lettering from a sign shop. It replaces his earlier, very fun Desert Storm camo paint that the '53 wore in the Veteran's Day parade when they lived in Durant, Oklahoma.
The Jeep has had an electronic distributor since 2009. Warren initially tried a Pertronix electronic points replacement and coil, but had problems and then installed an Omix Ada electronic distributor, which he says has been running great ever since. However, he comments that "I had to rotate the wire location in the new distributor cap by 180 degrees when putting the wires into the new cap. 1 became 3, etc. The tang in the bottom of the distributor shaft is off center. It only goes in one way."
1953: Jared Agee
Jared in Missouri wrote in 2011: "I have recently acquired a 1953 CJ-3B with the serial number 453GB2 13718. The engine number is 4J13999B2. It is dark green in color with what looks like gray seat covers... or very very faded black ones. The wheels are 16" and are painted body color. It appears that the Jeep and the wheels have the original paint. The engine compartment looks to be very close to original with the original-style clamps on the air breather tube, etc. Has the remainder of the Fram sticker on the oil filter cover, etc.
"The Jeep has a PTO unit that includes the gear box, drive shaft, and control unit, but no drum or governor. The PTO unit also has what is left of a very bent guard (40K JPEG) on it.
"Originally the Jeep was from Illinois, and went to Pacific, Missouri around 1959 or so and was used around a farm there until 2009 when a guy bought it and sold it to me a few weeks ago. It appears to be all original with the exception of a 12 volt conversion, tail lights, and a clock added to the dash."
1953: Greg Farrell
"My father-in-law, Holland Tussey (currently 87 and doing well) purchased his 1953 Willys CJ-3B Jeep on February 5th, 1954 to use primarily as a farm vehicle. He snatched up one of the last '53's the dealer had on their lot. He doesn't have the original sales receipt and can't remember exactly what he paid for it, but knowing him, I'm betting he got a pretty good deal. Holland was one of the pioneers of North Carolina pit-cooked barbecue, and ran Tussey's Barbecue, a successful BBQ restaurant in Lexington, from 1948-1963.
"While visiting her dad in 2010, my wife Holly made reference to the Jeep and explained how she hated seeing it, year after year, just rusting away. She suggested he let us collect all its parts and move the Jeep to our basement garage. He reluctantly agreed. The following weekend my two sons and I gathered all the parts up and towed the Jeep to its new home."
See more details on this North Carolina High Hood.
1953: Doug Newman
Doug wrote in September 2010, "Early in the summer I bought a beautifully restored '53 Willys CJ-3B in Cooperstown NY where I have a summer home (I live in Stowe VT the rest of the year). Of course, I immediately went online to learn as much as I could about this terrific vehicle. I've been on CJ3B.info at least a hundred times and have learned a ton, while enjoying the car all summer."
See also a rear view photo (200K JPEG).
1953: Greg Olson
"I live in Rockville, Maryland. I purchased the Willys in February 2008 from a fella in Landenberg, Pennsylvania, who purchased the Jeep a year earlier. I was told it was totally refurbished 10 years prior to that. The tub was layered over with steel and a huge step bumper was welded to the rear with new rear lights and stickers everywhere. It was a non-runner when I got it, frozen motor and mouse-eaten wiring everywhere. I'm not a mechanic, so many thanks goes out to CJ3B.info and Kaiser Willys Auto Supply. I was able to get the engine running great, the transmission working great and a host of wiring and other mini projects completed. I'm proud and happy to say that the Jeep is roadworthy and I take it on errands often."
See also a rear view and the interior (160K JPEGs). Greg sold the Jeep in 2011 and says he is on the lookout for another project.
Continue to 1954 Owners and Photos.
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