CJ-3B Fire Jeeps Around the World



MahindraThis is the first picture I've seen of the factory-built Jeep Fire Engine from Mahindra & Mahindra in India. The rear-mounted pump, as well as other design features, distinguish it from the Willys fire engine. The unusual low-angle illustration is taken from a 1972 Mahindra Jeep catalogue.


J32FPerhaps the most elaborate fire Jeep ever manufactured was this Mitsubishi J32F fire engine, produced by Mitsubishi Motors of Japan in the 1960s and 70's. The J32 was a long wheelbase, soft top version of the CJ-3B design, and used the JH4, 2.2 liter gasoline engine, the Japanese version of the F-head Hurricane 4. It was one of the first of the Mitsubishi Jeeps to add the diagonal "dog ears" on the front fenders.

The Mitsubishi fire engine had distinctive doors (open to the floor) and rear fenders, as well as a host of special accessories, but did not have the front-mounted PTO-driven pump found on most of the U.S.-made fire Jeeps. Although the exact arrangement is not visible in the picture, apparently the additional length of the vehicle has allowed a mid-mount pump; note the pre-connected suction line.

J32FThis factory photo of a 1965 version of the J32F, gives a better view of the pump controls. This version of the little fire truck also boasts a larger hose rack and revised bodywork.

MahindraThe 1950s firefighting version of the Mitsubishi CJ3B-J3 was labelled the CJ3B-J7, and had a rear-mounted pump (200K JPEG) driven by a central PTO (200K JPEG). This example is reportedly #31 of a total of 293 produced, and has been preserved by a fire brigade in northern Japan.

Se also the dashboard (200K JPEG) and the Hurricane engine (200K JPEG). Photos courtesy Maya Iba.

J37Sakata County Fire Department command car based on the high-hood Mitsubishi J37 wagon.

J32FSee also a restoration of a 1960 Mitsubishi CJ-3B Pumper inspired by the book Jeeper the Fire Engine.


IsraelThis 1956 advertisement for the CJ-3B Jeep Fire Engine is from the Kaiser-Frazer Company of Israel, listing addresses in Tel Aviv and Haifa. The text in Hebrew reads:

A Fire Truck by Willys
Contains equipment for:
      fire departments
     industrial plants
    agricultural communities
   chemical industries
 army installations

The illustration is clearly a Factory Fire Engine as produced by Howe Fire Apparatus, with the bump on the hood to allow room for the pump governor under the carburetor. So although some 2,100 CJ-3Bs were assembled in Israel (see Israel Jeeps on CJ3B.info,) it seems likely the fire engines were imported complete from the U.S. (Many Jeeps on the Howe Fire Apparatus Production List are identified as having been sold by Willys Overland Export Corp., without an indication of where they were shipped.)


OrleansJeeps built in France by Hotchkiss were popular command cars in the French fire service in the 1950s and 60's. This example still in use in the city of Orleans is a Hotchkiss JH-102, the slightly modified CJ-3B produced from 1960-66, which can be easily identified by its small headlights.

Davy Husson took this great photo of the Jeep taking part in a parade on 8 May 2012, with les pompiers in dress uniforms. The parade celebrated the anniversary of the liberation of the city from the English by Joan of Arc on 8 May 1429 (see Siege of Orleans at Wikipedia) as well as the anniversary of the World War II armistice in 1945.

LoireLoire also has an early-60's Hotchkiss JH-102 as a parade vehicle.This Jeep has been around the block a few times and has picked up a replacement windshield, bucket seats, fender-mounted mirror, and bumper-mounted tools (see a left side view, 80K JPEG).

Hotchkiss JH-102VLTT (Véhicule Léger Tout Terrain or "light vehicle all-terrain") 572 belongs to the city of Lodeve in the Hérault region of southern France. Thanks to Guilhem_340 at autotitre.

Hotchkiss JH-102 Valençay in central France was where the first World War II Special Operations agent from England landed by parachute in 1941. (Wikipedia)

The Valençay fire brigade had somebody do a nice red vinyl top for their JH-102.

This 1985 photo is courtesy chrispit1955 on Flickr.

Hotchkiss JH-101 Another customized top, in this photo of the earlier Hotchkiss model JH-101, built 1955-60. The JH-101 was almost identical to the Willys CJ-3B, and has larger headlights than the JH-102. This one is marked for Torigni-sur-Vire in Normandy, a village which was in the middle of the fighting in late July, 1944.

This 1992 photo is also courtesy chrispit1955.

Hotchkiss JH-101Jean-Louis Martin took this photo of a JH-101 on display at in Bagnères-de-Bigorre, France in October 2001. In a front view (100K JPEG) note the air horns mounted on the front bumper. See also a rear view and the original L-head engine (100K JPEGs).

Hotchkiss HWL And talk about customized tops. There is lots of room in the back of this long-wheelbase Hotchkiss HWL, with its extra-headroom hardtop. Unfortunately I don't know exactly what its purpose was, but it was built for the Fire and Rescue Service of the department of Gard, in southern France.

Thanks to sainté for the photo.

Hotchkiss Jeeps were also converted into fully-equipped little pumpers aimed mainly at brushfire use. See Pompe Guinard "Forest Fire Trucks", and Hotchkiss "Light Tank Trucks" built by Maheu-Labrosse Co.


CJ3BHLUsed by the fire brigade at Svenska Flygmotor Aktiebolaget ("Swedish Aeroengine Company" or SAAB) since 1954, this Jeep was sold in 1991 with less than 5000 kilometers on the odometer, to Leif Lindstrom of Rackstad, Sweden who restored it. Known in Sweden as the Willys CJ3B HL, these elongated Jeeps were modified by importer Scania-Vabis when they were brought from the U.S. (Similar modifications were done by Willys Motors Australia.)

This photo comes from Issue 45 of Jeepbladet, the magazine of the Jeep Klubb of Sweden. See the full article.

Habo conversionStig Edqvist's book The Jeep in Sweden includes a couple of interesting 3B's in the Swedish fire service. This 1953 Willys CJ-3BH (modified in Sweden for heavier duty and extended length) is seen in use by the Habo fire department. According to Edqvist's book, the cab of a BMC Mini was added after many years of service.

NorbergThe caption for this photo in The Jeep in Sweden reads, "This Willys CJ-3B from 1953 has served as hose tender for the Norberg fire department since 1955. The Ruberg front pump has a capacity of 240 GPM."


Poland? Reportedly a 1957 Jeep used by the fire service in Poland, this conversion was advertised for sale in Berlin in 2022. It looks to have been primarily for carrying personnel, and the body is very reminiscent of hardtops built in Sweden.

Poland? Possibly the most notable feature of this conversion is under the hood, where ductwork apparently directed warm air from the radiator shroud into the cab. This required removal of the oil bath air cleaner, but there also appear to be lines through the firewall for hot water heating.

Thanks to Adriaan Kriek and Brian Gough. Also Bart McNeil, Stig Edqvist and Roger Bensgård for the Swedish material. -- Derek Redmond

See a Fire Jeep Restoration in Switzerland, and Jeep Fire Engines in Spain.

See also CJ-3B fire Jeeps in Portugal: a Willys factory fire engine and a chief's car with an unusual spare tire.

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Last updated 25 August 2017 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond