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Many surviving 1958 CJ-3Bs are in Australia, because over 1,000 of them were exported downunder that year by Willys Motors. Andrew Stewart purchased this '58 in 2020 from an elderly gentleman in Goondiwindi, Queensland who had it in storage for many years. Thanks to Luke Tanner for taking the photo.
The interesting story Andrew was told is that the Jeep was a 1953 model which was imported to Darwin in the Northern Territory, flat packed in preparation to be put into service in Korea. Since the war was drawing to a close it was auctioned as surplus.
However, this is not a military Jeep, and the serial number 57348 46144S indicates it actually arrived in Australia on 27 June 1958 at Brisbane, where it was assembled and delivered to a Willys dealer in Sydney on 18 September (see the factory records.) It is one of an unknown number of 3Bs which got a lefty spare as part of the conversion to right-hand-drive by Willys Australia. Whether and why it may have ended up in Darwin is unknown.
Daryl wrote in late 2020, "I've had several Jeeps over the years, but this is my first B. I bought it online from South Australia a few months ago and had it shipped to my farm at Lethbridge in Victoria. No easy feat considering the previous owner was in the Northern Territory, the Jeep was in Adelaide and we were in the middle of the Covid lockdown.
"The story from the PO goes that he saw the 'salad green' Jeep languishing by the road with a sign saying 'please save me' many years ago, so he bought it and it was stripped down and 'repaired.' It was used for about five years on beaches, then put into storage. I was told it hadn't been in storage long, but the only registration sticker it was wearing was 1990."
"The paint looks OK from 20 feet away, so I'm leaving it for now. The wheels that were on it were 16x8 with 31x11 sand tyres. I've rebuilt the brakes and electrical system, all ruined from long storage, added all the missing parts and replaced other items that were past their use-by date."
"I finally found the chassis number 46138 between the RHD brake master and steering box. I had to grind down the heavy surface rust from spilled brake fluid with a Dremel, but enough of the numbers remained to interpret.
"It's now wearing a set of 15x6 rims with 30x9.5 tyres, and had a full service. The 186 cid Holden 6 engine (80K JPEG) that replaced the original seems to be in good condition so it will stay."
This Australian-assembled right-hand-drive CJ-3B has gone through two extensive restoration/modifications, and only the cowl and firewall remain from the original body. It's now powered by a Ford straight six, and has many upgrades for off-road robustness, plus Mercedes seats for comfort.
See more on Miran's Jeep and his two scratchbuilt camping trailers, in Cross Country Camping in Comfort.
This Jeep from Melbourne, Australia has an interesting history. Stokoe Motors was a Willys importer and dealer in Melbourne from the 1920s into the 1960s, and Justin Kennedy reports that "This 3B is the old Stokoe Motors Jeep. They used to use it just for running around locally so it didn't see much off-road. I first saw it around the mid seventies when buying spare parts. It does have a little rust now but still presents well and is very original."
Note: original features include the Australian notched hood blocks.
The serial number plate (110K JPEG) reads 57348 44511L. (For a discussion of the letters stamped on serial number plates sent to Australia, see History of Jeeps in Australia.)
Locating this number in the factory records reveals that it was imported on 15 April 1958 on board the "City of Auckland", then came off the Willys Australia assembly line in Brisbane on 12 May 1958, and was immediately sent to Melbourne.
Stokoe Motors had plenty of experience modifying Willys vehicles, so chances are that the steel hardtop with large windows was fabricated there.
Tim's daughter Erin had the idea to give the family's CJ-3B a flower power paint job as a tribute to the "Mystery Machine" van on the animated TV series Scooby Doo. The eye-catching Jeep in Wisconsin also has a mystery of its own -- an unusual 1:1 PTO on the rear.
See more details on the paint and the PTO in The Mystery Machine.
Scott Wood in Toronto, NSW, Australia is planning a restoration of CJ-3B serial no. 57348 46226L. As of 2018, he says, "Got to finish other projects and make more garage space first. But picked up this the other day. The engine was seized, and after stripping it down I found the rust in the bores is pretty significant, so I'll probably be looking for another F-head in a few months. I kinda want to keep it stock or close to it."
Nice photo of Scott bringing home the Jeep with his FSJ. The 3B is Willys Australia stock no. 1060, one of over a thousand CJ-3Bs in the handwritten records of the Brisbane assembly plant. It came off the assembly line on 8 October 1958, and was sold in Sydney on 12 January 1959.
See also the left side and a rear view (100K JPEGs).
CJ-3B serial no. 57348 43397 belongs to Ted Benbow of Statesville NC, who says, "This Jeep is licensed and inspected and driven on the road regularly. It was green originally, then red, now olive green. It has two wooden strips along the full length of the hood. I have not seen this on any others. It also has a front split bench seat. I want to paint it back to original."
Here's one more of those 1958 models which seem to be hard to find, maybe because so many of them went to Australia. This one shows only 13797 miles on the odometer as of January 2003, and belongs to Jim Barr of Cortlandt Manor, New York. It sports a Meyer halfcab steel top, Western snowplow S/N 12244, and Manley Winch with 9247 (cast) on tower pulley. Jim has owned the Jeep since 1985; the previous owner was a Chevrolet Dealership. Since then he's used it mostly just to plow a 60-foot driveway, and it's been parked outside but covered.
See also a photo of the engine with the hydraulic pump (70K JPEG) and a front view with the plow (60K JPEG.)
Noel wrote in 2017, "Let me introduce you to my 1958 CJ-3B, I recently purchased it and I'm in the process of replacing some parts, it runs great and my daughter and wife love it.
"Serial number is 57348 43449. The engine serial number is not visible. This one is located in Caguas, Puerto Rico."
"I live in Durango, Colorado. I have had this 1958 CJ-3B Navy Jeep for 20 years or so. The tub was quite rusty and several of the springs were broken, so I decided to do a frame-up restoration and build a daily driver.
"After installing Saginaw manual steering, welding a new bottom into the tub, upgrading to 11" brakes, and installing Rancho Springs, I learned this was a somewhat rare CJ-3B. It has all the original plates, including the brass Navy plate, confirming the serial and engine numbers. I wished then that I had done a true restoration. As it is I don't feel too bad now loading it up with grandkids, and pointing it to the mountains."
In 2008, John wrote: "I'm located in Aurora, Ohio. I recovered my deceased father's Jeep from the backyard this winter. It's been sitting there for the last 8 years. I plan to get it running and have some fun with it this summer. Chassis is in good shape, body needs work (240K JPEG). I'll do the mechanical and electric but leave the body to the pros. Right now, I'm rebuilding the carb and pulling the head for inspection.
"Disappointment.... Pulled the head hoping to just do some cleanup. As you can see (250K JPEG) three pistons are shot. See also the valves (260K JPEG). Looks like a rebuild. I haven't taken an engine down past the heads before. New territory, but the F-head does look like an easier one than a V8."
Seven years later, John's rebuilt engine was beautiful and his restoration was almost complete when I took some photos including these two, at the 2015 Spring Willys Reunion.
Peirce in Pennsylvania says his 1958 is still 6-volt, with a Dualmatic PTO and overdrive. He's the second owner, and purchased it from a boatyard in Bradenton, FL for $195.00 in 1969. It has been to Nebraska, Cincinnati, and Florida three times since he moved to to PA in 1993. He comments, "Was a July 4, 2000 weekend project that lasted until late 2005. One of the most difficult tasks was to re-engineer the steering tube for the horn wire to work as Toledo intended. Used a freeze plug with a section of steel brake line brazed to center, installed using epoxy around plug to steering box."
Peirce got the last word in the discussion of Endearing Qualities of the CJ-3B on the CJ-3B Bulletin Board: "The high hood looks aggressive compared to the earlier Jeeps. I get more thumbs up in the old Jeep -- it's better to drive something old and nice rather then something new and common."
See a page of photos of the 1958 CJ-3B at the Jeep Shows.
Gary in New Zealand says, "Gidday, just bought this baby from a workmate's Hubby. Paid NZ$300.00 which is roughly US$250.00. Was restored in 1988 and is still in great condition. A local military collector told me the previous owner paid NZ$10,000.00 for it, and it has sat in a shed for the last few years. Only plans are to chuck rollbar out and drive to work."
"I'm from Succasunna, NJ, and I purchased this 1958 3B in 2010. The body is in poor condition but mechanically it is surprisingly sound. It hadn't been started in over 15 years (170K JPEG) but with a new battery, coil and a couple shots of ether, it was running like it had just been parked. Amazing. I couldn't resist driving it around my neighborhood (with no brakes). I haven't had so much fun in long time. People were giving me "thumbs up" and big smiles. This little Willys seems to really make people feel good.
"Once I straighten up my garage I will bring her in and start the surgery. I'm a licensed aircraft mechanic (but own an oil company) so I'm looking forward to turning some wrenches instead of talking with lawyers all day."
"The elderly gentleman I acquired it from said he used to have several but has junked them over the years. They were all surplus from Picatinny Arsenal, just a few miles from my house. The only thing I have found so far that verifies it came from there is a metal plate (200K JPEG) with rusted rivets on the front bumper: 'Picatinny Arsenal CI291'. My intentions are to restore it as close to original as possible. Some of the paint layers are (from oldest) silver, red, olive, blue, and few variations here and there.
"I have owned this CJ-3B since 1972. It has been fully restored and registered since 1974. It was assembled by Willys Motors Australia in 1958 with Vehicle No. CJ 3B 1095.
"The Jeep was originally purchased by the Royal Australian Air Force and painted Air Force blue/grey. Extras fitted included front and rear "D" sling hooks, shovel and bracket, tow bar, amp meter and oil pressure gauge. The CJ 3B has now covered 35,000 miles and contains about 98% of the original parts installed in 1958."
See also more photos and details of Ian's Retired Australian Air Force Jeep.
Greg is in Mildura, Victoria, Australia. He says, ""This photo is from a 5-day camping trip in Sunset Country, a national park in Northwestern Victoria. Easter break 2011. First real trip the CJ-3B (70K JPEG) has been on, and without a problem at all, along the bush tracks (190K JPEG) and sand dunes. Everyone else had Toyota Landcruisers or Nissan Patrols with air conditioning -- I bet I had more fun riding the Jeep (100K JPEG) around thecountryside than anyone else there that long weekend. I am most impressed with the Willys.
"See also a gecko friend on our front grille (90K JPEG) and ANZAC Day 2010 (240K JPEG)."
"I got the registration and roadworthy for my 1958 CJ-3B on 27 January 2010. Since early 2004 my CJ-3B has undergone full restoration. I had the body sandblasted, and cut out all the rust and panel beated all the body panels, and applied a small layer of body filler on the outside of the Jeep, just to straighten her out a bit. The chassis number is stamped on the side of the chassis L/H rear: 57348 46151S. It is right-hand drive with no cutouts or repairs to the toe board or the left hand side of the body. A 1953 CJ-3B was used as a parts donor for the 1958 CJ-3B. I bought both Jeeps (70K JPEG) from an ad in the local paper.
"I fully rebuilt the engine, gearbox, diffs, breaks and steering. I upgraded the steering linkages with a HJ60 Landcruiser tie rod and tie rod ends. I have eliminated the problem with the Jeep tie rod end slopping up and down (that I was never happy with.) See a photo with the front fenders removed, showing the RHD steering linkage (80K JPEG). See also right front and engine (80K JPEGs).
"I painted the body, rebuilt the instrument cluster (80K JPEG) and installed VDO instruments inside the original cluster (70K JPEG).
"I live near Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia, and I have not long bought 2 CJ-3Bs. The first is a left-hand drive and is a old shell and chassis and rear diff, not too good to look at. The second is a 1958 CJ-3B, right-hand drive, VIN 5734846145S, engine number 4J243557, and a number stamped on the left side of the chassis, W1298 (I have no idea what that number is.) The old girl will get a full restoration."
Rossco's Royal Australian Air Force surplus '58 in Queensland, Australia is an old 'Follow Me' Jeep like the one featured on CJ3B.info in the historic photos on the tarmac, and he says, "Though my vehicle did come from Amberley Air Force base, I have no idea (yet!) whether it is actually the Jeep in the photos. A couple of interesting things are that it was once turbo-charged and had an overdrive (Wow!), both now gone, and that it went on a longish, and in the 70's very rough, expedition to the top of Cape York while still painted in checks!"
Rossco's 3B is one of those right-hand-drive Jeeps in Australia that got the T-handle parking brake three years before it appeared on 3B's in the U.S. (see Dating a CJ-3B by Interior Details.) He says, "I suspect that the repositioning had something to do with ergonomics (a phrase not often linked with flat-fenders!) as the original position would have made use from the right hand side of the vehicle impossible. The hole for fitting the T-handle we did get though is rather interesting -- it appears to be roughly cut out by joining numerous drill holes."
See details on Rossco's restoration of this Jeep in Two RAAF Brothers.
"I'm from Brisbane, Austraila and I have owned the 3B for some years now after purchasing it from a friend who rebuilt it from the ground up. According to the serial no. it was built in 1958, and still has the original motor and gearbox. I still run the military 700/16 bar treads which are getting fairly rare over here now. I have kept it painted in olive drab, which is real easy to repaint for a lousy painter like me. The only extra I would like to get for it is an overdrive, but I'm not willing to sell my kidneys or liver yet. I am actually wanting to sell the 3B to make way for the next project."
See some more photos of this RHD Jeep: a side view (60K JPEG) and a rear view (16K JPEG). Also a photo of the Jeep in action (50K JPEG).
Bruce is in Townsville, Queensland, Australia, and has one of the many 1958 CJ-3Bs converted to right hand drive by Willys Australia, and sold by Dominion Motors, Brisbane. The trailer is a Bantam, with home made top. Bruce also sent a photo of the 3B with its stable mates (70K JPEG) -- a modified 1944 MB 44 and a 2000 TJ.
"I'm a pulmonologist in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with Jeeps as my only hobby. I have a 1958 CJ-3B Willys, built entirely using information and specifications from CJ3B.info. It has the original engine, transmission, wheels, etc. Most of the parts were installed in my home, by myself, after I returned from my duties in the hospital. Paint was done using the color chart obtained from CJ3B.info.
"When I use my Jeep, there is always somebody that stops me to ask about it. My colleagues ask why this hobby. My basic answer is that when I was a little child, I worked helping my grandfather and my uncle, with a farm full of cows. They had a 1968 Ford Bronco and the farm neighbor had a 1958 CJ-3B Willys. When my relatives had problems with the mud stuck Bronco, I had to run to our neighbor to ask for help from the CJ-3B. That Jeep capability was so amazing for that time, that in my memory for a lot of years, CJ-3B was the invincible 4x4 vehicle. That is the reason why I decided to rebuild one for me. I'm also the owner of another two Jeeps, a Sahara TJ and a Rubicon JK."
See also a front view and a right side view (60K JPEGs).
"I am in Walnut Creek, California. I purchased this Jeep body from a fellow CJ-3B owner who had the body sitting in his field in Farmington CA. I purchased a running but totally rusted out CJ-6 form an owner in Napa CA. After collecting parts for the buildup for 3 years, I began by stripping the CJ-6 down to a bare frame, shortening the frame and adding all new suspension and body mounts.The Dana 44 rear came from a friend out of a Wagoneer, and the Dana 30 from a CJ-7. The transmission is a SM420 attached to a Dana 18 transfer case with a Warn overdrive. The Oddfire V-6 powers the Jeep quite nicely.
"I built the custom roll cage in a weekend using a friend's bender and welder. The paint is Ace Hardware school bus yellow, which matches the original color quite nicely. The inside is coated in Herculiner, and the seats came out of a Dodge Neon. This Jeep has been across the Rubicon many times and has been on many of the harder trails in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We have made the trek to Moab, Utah for the Easter Jeep Safari."
"About five years ago I decided to pursue my plan of collecting one of each flat-fender Willys I had as a teenager and beyond. My 3B "Cherry Red" is the crown jewel of my Jeep collection."
See more photos of Cherry Red, along with the whole story of how Steve came to purchase the Jeep.
Tony Yuma's 1958 Jeep carries Arizona plates that say "58Willy". Tony says, "There has been some cutting and mods to my 3B, but I think I have something to work with. The wiring on the firewall (50K JPEG) will require a new harness if I touch it, and I don't know if that heater is stock or not. There's been some cutting and patch work under the drivers seat and all those holes on the dash for instruments (40K JPEG). I'm just going to work at it one step at a time."
See also a front view of Tony's Jeep (30K JPEG).
"The Jeep has a Buick V6 and a mild shackle lift. I've owned her since 1994 and have rebuilt the gear boxes and front axle (outer ends / knuckles) and had frame work done. It has a custom front crossmember, 11-inch brake drums and AA Chain clutch linkage. I've done a lot of work on it."
See some project photos of Jon's High-Hood Beauty, including the front frame crossmember and the V6. See also Tracks in the Woods for off-road photos, and Snow No Problem, Jon Says.
Note: Jon no longer owns this Jeep.
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