How does Dan Marino’s S class Mercedes end up a CJ-5? First I am not Dan Marino but rather ended up with his 1985 S Class sedan as a car for my kids to drive (you know the type, the bigger the better). After a few years my kids moved on and the Benz was just sitting, so I put her up on E-bay and ended the copy with ‘interesting trades considered’.
It was not long before I received a call asking if I would be interested in an older Jeep? My response was whether my wife was setting me up? As it turned out he had a ’65 CJ-5 that had spent most of its life out on a ranch out west and while all there it was sort of rough. We came to an agreement and the Benz left and the CJ was towed home where she underwent about four months of restoration. This was all done in a 2 car garage in a suburb of Ft. Lauderdale.
I tried to keep her as stock and true to her original design as possible. The drive train was in remarkably good condition… hoses and fluids changed. Her seats arrived as nothing more than springs and framework but after the magic performed by a local upholstery shop from nothing more than a photo they were returned recovered and rebuilt. The interior was striped and rhino lined along with the dash and new fuel tank.
There was little to no rust which needed to addressed so the body work went surprisingly smoothly. She received a fresh coat of red paint and back together she went… finished of by a new set of shoes. While she spends far too much time cooped up in the garage she does the local 4th of July parades and occasionally a run to work on nice days. So that is how a Benz becomes a Jeep!
Kaiser Willys Jeep Blog Story – James Rittenhouse
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