This jeep is dedicated to my 86 year old Uncle, who served in the China-Burma-India Theater during WWII: He had a Jeep in Kunming, China, and this one is restored to “as remembered.” As an example, he remembers that his Jeep had a green plastic-type seat cover (not canvas); he remembers that his Jeep had large taillights so that the Jeep could be seen on the flight line at night, and he remembers that his Jeep did NOT have windshield wipers. So, although it is NOT period correct, I could easily make it so…I also have the original switch system to start and operate the vehicle – I made it a key-start to discourage people from playing with it when parked and displayed.
The markings on the Jeep are as follows: The Serial Number on the hood is NOT the Jeep serial number: it is actually the RA number for my Uncle; the RF bumper marking is the day he entered the US Army Air Force (also depicted on the hood); the LF bumper marking is the day he was honorably discharged; the RR bumper marking is his unit of assignment (1340th ATU – or Air Transport Unit) and the LR bumper marking is his name and rank: TSGT Estes.
This Jeep was originally sold as US Army Surplus in Vicksburg, Mississippi in May of 1953, to a friend of our family. He used it for several years as a farm vehicle, and sold it to a member of our family in 1960, who used it extensively as a hunting and fishing vehicle, and pretty well beat it up. It was given to me in 1996 in a non-operational status, and since has had a frame-off. During the frame-off, I discovered that the MWO to make it into a radio Jeep had been applied sometime during its military career: the center hole for the V-Belt to drive the radio generators is present, as is the proper covering. The pulley for the generator drive was present on the transmission, but I have since given that to another individual who is restoring an original Navy Radio Jeep.
I found the trailer on EBay – located in Abingdon, VA…the trailer had been used and abused for a number of years – and it also has received a frame-off; however, I did NOT totally straighten the tub, as I wanted to leave some of the dents and dings…I think it adds character! All other aspects of the trailer are as built.
I have the documentation on this Jeep since its sale as surplus. It is regularly driven, and consistently shown in parades and shows.
I am currently doing a frame-off on a 1949 4×4 Willys Utility Wagon, with the sedan delivery-type rear door…this vehicle was originally used as a “Paddy Wagon” by the local Sheriff’s Department – I rescued it from the crusher – and it will be returned to a “Paddy Wagon” configuration…complete with Sheriff Department markings, lights, etc. I plan to place two mannequins, in proper prison attire for the period, in the rear, handcuffed to the (added) center rail.
Thanks for your interest, and thanks for the wonderful Kaiser Willys store – you have bailed me out a number of times!
Warm Regards, Marcus
Kaiser Willys Jeep Blog Story – Marcus Ellis
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