This article was one of many automobile reviews written by Tom McCahill, also known as 'Uncle Tom,' for Mechanix Illustrated magazine. It appeared in the February 1954 issue. The CJ-3B hit the market in late 1952, and the fact that the review did not appear until early 1954 perhaps helps demonstrate that this is no puff piece based on a quickie test drive. Tom had purchased and driven his Jeep extensively before he wrote this.
Tom McCahill was an influence on other writers, including Jim Allen, who has described Tom as "irreverent and irascible, an automotive writer of some regard." I had heard for years about this review of the CJ-3B, but hadn't seen it until Steve Chabot found this copy recently. It was well worth the wait. -- Derek Redmond
Browse through some selected quotes and photos below, or click on each page number to see the full original page (100K JPEG).
"I had long wanted a new Jeep for breaking trail in virgin game country and had tried for several months to find a second-hand load, but most of the Jeeps seen on the used car lots had more miles on them than the Pennsylvania Railroad and looked as if they had been stowed under water for several years."
"The most important conclusion I came to was that the new Jeep is undoubtedly one of the greatest vehicles ever conceived by man. My Lincoln, which I feel is one of the greatest American road cars ever built, is just a mealy-mouthed cream puff alongside this hairy-chested brute. Here is a wagon you can drive from Hudson's Bay to the Panama Canal the hard way -- straight."
"The top (and who could use the word more frivolously?), I feel, must have been designed by an army straight-jacket case. Rube Goldberg is the disciple of simple design alongside this screwy monstrosity. To get this silly half cover down, you need three less tools than they have in the General Motors Experimental Lab."
"The standard seats are rumored to be made of foam rubber. For my dough, some stew blew the foam from a short beer between some plastic -- and that was that. Aside from their lack of comfort, they are cut so that with a well-planned wheel spin you could toss Gramp right over a vegetable cart, and into a saloon on one bounce."
"This is a dead serious little urchin that will nail even a Cunningham to the ground in a drag race up a mountainside."
Thanks to Steve Chabot for scanning the article from his copy of Mechanix Illustrated. -- Derek Redmond
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