I just wanted to show you the results of the 1951 M38 Willys rebuild. Everyone has a US ARMY Jeep, and I see a few US NAVY Jeeps; but no where could I find a COAST GUARD Jeep except in some museum pictures. Having been in the COAST GUARD RESERVE from 1968-1974, I decided to honor the COAST GUARD and build one.
I found the Jeep still being used as a farm vehicle several years ago in Ringgold, Virginia. All I could salvage was the frame, engine and drive train. The frame was repaired and new bearings, bushings and seals were installed throughout the drive train. The engine ran well after a new distributer and a carburetor rebuild. Everything else from the springs up had to be replaced. I repaired and refurbished what parts I could and bought NOS, new, and used parts to complete the project.
I purchased a body kit as it was more cost effective to replace the entire body than to repair the old one. There were only a few problems fitting a new body to a 65 year old chassis. I probably over restored this Jeep as most people do, but I wanted a nice parade vehicle. The paint scheme is from the 1952 COAST GUARD paint manual. Even the government sticker had to be researched and reproduced.
This was my first Jeep purchase and rebuild. I plan to offer it to the 5th Coast Guard District as a display, parade, and recruitment vehicle. My wife and I have vintage Coast Guard uniforms to wear when we do car shows or parades. It should be a lot of fun.
Kaiser Willys Jeep Blog Story – Michael Elliott
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