When I first saw my Jeep it was a beat up hunk of junk coated in bondo and probably a few layers of paint and rust, but I knew from the get go that’s what I wanted to drive…possibly for the rest of my life. Most of the other kids in school wanted expensive sports cars, muscle cars, big lifted 4×4 trucks, all I asked for was a Willys Jeep, something that could go anywhere! Do anything! (except go the speed limit). I had taken it all over San Diego County, to the desert and over truck trails which is consequently where I got the name “lil’ buddy” because the Jeep was to me as Gilligan was to the Skipper, no matter how much it frustrated me with some of it’s outlandish break downs (like exploding brake drums and snapping the clutch rod) it was still my lil’ buddy and it could take me anywhere. Then the problems started…
It wasn’t always easy to get everything repaired on my budget, but I figured out how to make it happen one way or another. For a little while I was struggling with the engine (maybe a year) until my uncle decided to help me out and get me a shiny new one! I was very excited because I had found a man selling one on Craigslist for $1000 which was well under what he said he would help me with, so he bought it for me (I still had to pay him back). I didn’t know it at the time but I would later become good friends with that man. Anyhow I had a few blips and bumps getting that engine into lil’ buddy, but in the end it all worked out. I felt much better than I had a few months earlier when I was threatening myself to sell lil’ buddy. My Jeep has come quite a ways from that pile of metal I bought during High School, it now has a tailgate, working gauges, a working horn, seat belts, and a lot more, but it’s still a long dirt road till I see a shiny new CJ-3A sitting in my garage and I’m sure I will hit a lot more flak along the way.
Kaiser Willys Jeep Blog Story – Brian Liesberg
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