In 2019, Josh Hess told me, "My dad has had this CJ-3B and he gave it to me. Hasn't been moved since the mid-eighties. Serial number is 23772."
Josh is in Gerrardstown, West Virginia, and he finally dug the Jeep out for the first time in 32 years on 29 October 2019. It turned out to be a '56 CJ-3B with a brass nomenclature plate (210K JPEG) on the dash, so it had been a federal vehicle at one time. The body had a great red and green patina, especially on the front grille (340K JPEG), and it apparently once had a timber bumper.
The biggest surprise was in the rear, where safety had been enhanced by the installation of some supersized taillights. Oh yeah, Josh said, "I think my dad said they used some taillights off of an old Ford Pinto in the late seventies."
Pinto of course! I was confused for a minute by the vertical orientation.
What better choice for a taillight swap than the foot-long warning lights that seventies Pinto owners relied on to keep them safe in the vehicle that became widely known for a series of fatal gas tank explosions in rear-end collisions, resulting in lawsuits against Ford.
We'll see if Josh decides to keep the lights.
This CJ-3B was photographed at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater OK. Although it looks like pink now, I would guess the faded paint was originally OSU orange.
The headlight guards, hardtop, dashboard and extended mirrors, all suggest that this Jeep was originally one of the 1964 CJ-3Bs purchased by the U.S. military (see U.S. Army MP Jeep on CJ3B.info.) I haven't found out what it was used for at OSU.
See also a rear view (80K JPEG) and the interior (60K JPEG).
Flashback to backcountry travel in the old days! But it was 2014 when this well-equipped 3B in Colorado was being advertised for sale online. Features included a Sears aluminum full cab and external roll bar, Braden PTO winch with half-inch cable, Warn hubs, positraction differentials, handyman jack, and spotlight.
See also a side view (60K JPEG).
Interesting to speculate on who went on trips in this Jeep -- it had a center jump seat as well as a rear seat. Other interior add-ons included seat belts, second gas tank under the passenger seat, CB radio, and AM radio for entertainment at night!
Stored in the trailer (50K JPEG) were extra rims and tires, vintage metal ice chest, seven jerry cans, and a full set of chains.
Del Francis found this "Topeka Hiway Mower" which looks like it might be a distant cousin of the Willys CJ-3B. As Del says, "This followed me home the other day. It is supposed to be a Willys tractor by Topeka Highway Equipment. It has a Continental engine but everything else seems to be Willys. I have no idea what year it is. It has a sickle mower and a blade."
See also a photo with that nice tall windshield (100K JPEG) in the up position.
There's more about Topeka mowers at eWillys.
At the other end of the sports/utility spectrum is this Jeep, obviously intended more for fun than hard work. It was described in an online auction in 2003 as a 1960 2-wheel drive Jeep with 3-speed column shift and a rust-free replacement steel body added in an older restoration.
It clearly began life as a DJ-3A, but what makes it particularly interesting, and surprising that it was given a high-hood CJ-3B tub, is its connection with the Kaiser family, owners of Willys Motors and Kaiser Jeep from 1953 to 1969. It was claimed that the Jeep was "previously owned by Alyce Kaiser and was housed at her St. Croix, Virgin Islands compound until it was acquired by Edgar F. Kaiser Jr. on 1/11/88."
No denying the Jeep was in beautiful condition -- check out the flathead engine with DJ air cleaner. See also a rear view photo (25K JPEG) showing the non-original taillights and surrey-style top.
Faded tuxedo: Joshua Blankenship found this 1960 CJ-3B in Tennessee in 2016. His photo was on the CJ3B.info cover page in October 2016. See also the Tuxedo Park badge (130K JPEG) somebody had applied to both sides of the hood.
The disappearing red had a nice patina, but in places including the interior (180K JPEG) you could see the original green paint.
See more photos and details in 1960 Owners' Photos
Colorful paint job! Fabio Furgeri and his son Alberto sent this photo of the Willys CJ-3B they rescued in 2011 from a mud-racing career in Venezuela: "We bought it in a very poor condition. It was used to mud race at Piques Fangueros in Acarigua, Venezuela. We don't have any further info about the Willys. Thanks for the website."
Tiziano Pizzagalli in Italy sent this photo of his Spanish VIASA CJ-3B with Perkins 1740 cc. diesel engine, taken at Omaha Beach, Normandy.Tiiziano sold this Jeep in 1987, but apparently the image of a Jeep on the beach at Normandy stayed with him, because he says that "At this moment I am restoring a 1942 Ford GPW."
I did a double take when I first saw this photo. It looks like some kind of a Jeep alright, but more like an amphibious GPA than anything else. Turned out to be an upside-down CJ-3B, belonging to Jim Sammons.
Jim says, "That's my CJ-5A Tuxedo Park in the background, '66 model. It doesn't much look like a Tuxedo any more. It's been camoed and all the chrome painted over. Still has the shifter on the column though. I had the tub turned over on the 3B to do the seal welding on the bottom, as I built the tub myself."
See also the tub right side up (30K JPEG).
This isn't a CJ-3B; a close look identifies it as a surplus World War II jeep. But this photo is of such historical interest, it definitely needs to be published. It's a rare photo of Seldom Seem Slim, the legendary prospector (real name Charles Ferge) who died in 1968, one of the last true survivors of the "Old West."
The picture was snapped by Jim Wiseman's father in Westend, California. Jim estimates the date at 1954 according to the registration tag, but says "It may not be current -- the guy was kinda a low budget character."
Oddly, the jeep is not mentioned in material I have read about Slim. I have only seen a reference to him driving a 1957 Volkswagen. Thanks to Michael Perry for bringing this photo to my attention.
Thanks to all of the photographers. -- Derek Redmond
Return to the Index of Unusual Photos on CJ3B.info.
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