027: Nate Bolduc’s 1953 CJ-3A
In 2001 when I was eight, my dad brought home this sorry looking plow jeep, but I fell in love with the pile of rust and bondo. I think I liked it so much was because it was painted OD green, and where the spare tire carrier was ripped off, my dad said that was where the machine gun mounted. What did I know?
We used it as a plow jeep and swimming hole transport until late in September of 2007. For some reason, I decided to restore the beast as a father-son project, though it was mostly son! After all, it was the first thing I learned to drive, and was pretty special already. I thought it would be done within a few months. Yeah right! Well, two and a half years later (now 17) on Easter Sunday of last April, it was done! My dad and I drove it over to my grandparents that day.
The part I hated most was sandblasting the frame. That took forever. The original body was toast, so I got a reproduction body tub, fenders, hood, and tailgate. I probably spent a week block sanding the bondo to make it smooth. The two most exciting parts were starting up the freshly rebuilt engine for the first time and putting the body on the frame. Once the body was bolted down, it went together really quickly. I put the reproduction cloth wiring harness when I got home from school. That was the most fun part.
Over this past summer, I saved up enough money to put a new Saturn overdrive unit in and at the beginning of November, my original style soft top came in. That was the finishing touch for sure! I made some interesting touches too. I made this bracket that holds a pushbutton switch on the back of the transmission, so when I put it in reverse, the shift rail turns on my reverse light. I also made a very handy jerry can holder (had to use that a couple of times!) that bolts to the draw bar and can be easily removed to open the tailgate.
I think I’ve been bitten by the jeep bug. I have my restored one, an offroad beater, and a few partsters.
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