I bought this 1951 CJ-3A Willys Jeep and the specially made trailer in 1979 for $1,400. At the time, everyone thought I was crazy. On occasion, my wife wishes it was gone, but I think she secretly loves it. The little boy in the picture with me when the Jeep was originally purchased is now 39 years old and will get the jeep upon my demise, or when I can bear to part with it. He has worked on it for years and has taken it on numerous occasions down to North Padre Island, Texas to use in “four wheel drive only” areas to fish. But its primary use is for hunting in South Texas. The general consensus of all who have hunted with it is: “Don’t ever sell this thing!” Which I won’t.
As most Willy’s owners know, these Jeeps are amazing in where they can go and what they can do. When South Texas is wet, we are able to haul deer out of places other vehicles won’t go. On one occasion about 15 years ago, a friend of mine shot a red stag in a low area of our deer lease. It was the day after a good rain had fallen and the ground was covered with six inches of water. We drove through about 500 yards of water and mud using the low 4 wheel drive and were able to haul the animal out. On another occasion on a ranch near Laredo, I did not see a wash out in the road and the front right end went down into a hole that was about 2-1/2 feet deep. Low gear again – it just crawled right out. I think you could drive up a tree with these things.
For years I kept the jeep in a storage unit because I did not have room for it in our garage. All the kids in the neighborhood were drawn to it like a magnet. They would sit in it and play for hours and I would take them for rides in the creek bed behind our house. Now, during the off season (not hunting) the Jeep is at a friend’s ranch in South Texas where he uses it for ranch work. He says it works great for spraying fence lines to keep the brush down. I believe it’s a lot better off being put to its original use (agricultural/farm) than sitting in storage, plus it has its own parking spot in a cement-floored barn.