1955 Owners' Photos,
Page 2


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Mark Wells

Mark in Oregon wrote in late 2023, "My wife and I purchased this CJ-3B from the original owner. It was used on an orchard in Hood River, Oregon, and was stored in a barn since the early 70s. It has the original paint, and the only rust is where the spare tire attached, and a bit on the tailgate. Our plans are to leave the patina as is and restore the mechanicals, as this is going to be a Jeep that gets used as originally intended. So far, we have completely gone through the brake, fuel, charging and cooling systems, and are currently replacing all of the wiring. The next projects include the transfer case, transmission, and clutch. Our grandson named her "Rosie" and she'll be the first vehicle he learns how to drive."

Mark updated us in early 2024: "Since that first photo was taken, there's a new windshield, the original Harrison heater is rebuilt and working well, I was able to locate a NOS correct Trico vacuum wiper for the driver side, and I welded up over 100 holes that were drilled in the body for various things used on the orchard. It was a bit of artwork matching the various shades of faded red paint, but it looks pretty good, certainly better than all the holes! I also mounted the spare on the side. I know there's more of a risk hitting something with it on the side, but to me a civilian Jeep looks best with it on the side, whereas MBs look better with it on the back.

"I tightened up the steering with new drag link ends, steering wheel bushing, and bell crank bushings. Next up is to rebuild the steering box. The front drive shaft was rebuilt to eliminate the play in the slip joint, and the emergency brake was restored, which works great now. Also new brakes, water pump, radiator, exhaust, turn signal switch so that all lights, turn signals, high beams and all gauges work. She is still 6 volt, with all new cloth covered wiring, electrical components, including coil, points, condenser, plugs, wires, rebuilt original distributor, vacuum advance, generator, voltage regulator, battery, cables, ground strap, etc. The horn works and is original.

"New fuel lines, fuel tank sending unit, cleaned out the fuel tank, and installed a new fuel pump. The replacement fuel pump is not working correctly, so I found a NOS dual action fuel pump with vacuum assist for the wiper. The compression is 115-120 on cylinders 2, 3 and 4, but number one is only 100, so I plan to rebuild the engine in the near future.

"I eliminated the problem of the transmission jumping out of second gear, but will rebuild it since the synchros are worn out. The transfer case needs to be rebuilt as well, since it leaks quite a bit through the bearing preload shim pack, and there is gear chatter as well indicating the need for at least a new intermediate shaft and all bearings/seals. I rebuilt the original Carter carb, and both the choke and throttle cables work. She needs shocks, and the original spring packs need to be disassembled, wire brushed, and lubed. One of the next little projects is to replace all of the body mounts. So many fun little projects, too, like replacing the rubber in the manual wiper to be able to keep the original wiper handle and blade.

"I read somewhere: 'Always remember and never forget: 1) It's a Willys; have fun with it. 2) It's a Willys; be patient with it (both in maintenance and driving.)'"

Georg Kurzbauer

Georg is in Kierling, Austria and wrote in September 2023: "The Willys belonged to my grandfather. He was a doctor in a remote region in Styria / Austria. From 1957 to 1982 he made medical visits in the remote mountains. In winter, many farms could only be reached by horse or with a Willys. With the opportunity to provide quick help, he saved many lives. My grandfather and his Willys were known throughout the area and even today older people can remember him and his Willys. I am very proud that I own a car with so much history. I renovated the CJ-3B to its original condition as best as possible. Now it's up to me and my son to keep the history alive.""

Bernd Bidlingmaier

Bernd is in Germany, near Stuttgart, and is a longtime reader of CJ3B.info. This early-1955 model had belonged to the Swiss Army and then a farmer in the Alps. Bernd has owned it for over 30 years now, and returned it to something close to the original Army green. See Third Time Lucky for the story and photos.

Tunç As

Tunç's long-wheelbase CJ-3B is in Istanbul, Turkey. Stretching older Jeeps is almost a cottage industry in Turkey, where by some estimates half the 3Bs in the country have been lengthened (see Stretched Jeeps in Turkey on CJ3B.info.) The other big modification to this '55 is that it's powered by a Pinto engine.

Cesar & Alvaro PatiƱo

Cesar wrote from Pereira, Colombia in 2022. His Jeep is registered as a 1954, which is probably when it was imported into Colombia, although the serial number 57348 15806 indicates it's from the 1955 model year. He says, "Willys runs in our blood. My dad and uncle drove them when they were almost new, transporting coffee and all types of agricultural goods in the mountains of the Coffee Triangle in the Colombian Andes. It was a lifetime dream to build one as close to original as possible. My dad found a good foundation and the progress began toward a total restoration."

"We surrounded ourselves with the best in the business. The engine, drivetrain, brakes and other mechanical parts were rebuilt by Mr. Alberto Carmona, a legend in the Willys community in Pereira. Then we took it to Santa Rosa to another Willys legend in the area, Mr. Jose Albeiro Londoño, for paint and body. He took it apart to the last bolt and washer, straightened the chassis, sandblasted every piece and built the body from scratch. Then came the paint job, all new electrical, upholstery and final touches."

"It's been a great journey. We were able to find most of the parts in Colombia, but some were near impossible to find, including the ALA taillights (230K JPEG), dashboard instruments, fuel filter (160K JPEG), parking lights, Barcalo Buffalo tools (230K JPEG) and more. Between Facebook, eBay and some CJ forums we were able to get everything. Also I was able to get some original 1954 license plates from Ohio and just clearcoated them to protect the patina and pay tribute to its place of origin. Covid slowed us down but it didn't stop us. All together it took us about 3-1/2 years and lots of patience and effort. We are extremely happy with the build and can't wait to get back to the Willys parades and antique car shows!"

Randall Baldauf

Randall wrote from Wisconsin in early 2019, "My Dad purchased a 1955 CJ-3B in 1957. He used it to drive from Chicago where he worked to Northern Wisconsin where his family lived. Quite a ride every other weekend. The odometer broke in 1959 with 41,000 miles on it. He put it through the ice on Trude Lake (Northern WI) one year, plowing us kids an ice skating rink. Boy, do I have memories of that Jeep."

See some vintage photos and Randall's restoration of the Wisconsin Willys.

Poul Rye Andersen

Andreas Rye Andersen wrote from Denmark to tell us about a Jeep that belongs to his father's machinery rental company: "In 1964 my father Poul bought a Willys CJ-3B, serial number 57348-16016. It was used to spray until 1980, then it sat quiet in our barn, where it was largely forgotten until 2008. We began a long restoration, and now we are almost done. We started making racks for the roof."

The restored Jeep carries the old company name "Poul Rye Machinery" and the company motto En go jordforbindelse or "A Good Grounding".

Poul and his younger son Asger pose with the Jeep in the Rye Andersen farm machinery barn in Hadsten DK. Photo courtesy of pingvinnyt.dk.

Denny Hoelzer

Denny in Batavia IL got a surprise in 2016: "Many of the managers in my company chipped in this spring and bought me a CJ-3B fully restored as a thank you for the 34 years we have spent together and the success we have had. I was blown away. What an unbelievable gift.

"So I am new to CJ's. I have 1 YJ and 3 TJ's. Rebuilding TJ's and modifying them for off road has been my passion. Odd thing about this Jeep is that upon closer inspection after they gave it to me it has a Go Devil engine in it, not a Hurricane as it should have. We are speculating that when whoever restored it, a Go Devil was easier to procure.

"See also a front view in the garage (220K JPEG). It was restored beautifully. Just now digging into it to understand them better."

Wayne S. Meli

Wayne has had this 6-volt CJ-3B since 1968! He says, "I used to plow snow for the St. Joe's Catholic church in Beverly NJ in the 60s & 70s, and in the 70s it used to lead the Memorial Day parade in Beverly."

Kealoha "Jax" Jackson

Jax is in Hawaii, and like a few other people, he got into doing a frame-off restoration by accident. See Aloha Jeep for the full story in pictures.

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Last updated 8 February 2024 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
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