This 1945 Willys MB has lived on a family ranch since the 1950’s. In the last 20+ years it was used only sparingly until about 4 years ago when the starter gave up the ghost. From then it sat until I was told to take it, get it going, do what else I want to it and then send it back “someday.” The 6-volt starter was rebuilt quickly and easily by a tractor mechanic. After that it started, but did not run willingly. A whiff of gas tank told me all about the old gas in the system, so that all came apart for cleaning. A later-model gas tank had been installed, with a hole cut in the side of the body for it’s inlet tube. That also left an empty tub space under the tank, which had been occupied by a population of rats. The tank was cleaned out, the rat hole sealed off from critters and the carb was rebuilt.
It quickly became apparent this was not going to be a restoration, but more of a resurrection. As the result of a rollover there was a fiberglas hood and fender. I traded the trailer electrical outlet for an aftermarket metal fender and later model civilian hood. In the ranch garage I found a rifle bracket to attach under the windshield; this was traded for transportation assistance and mechanical help to be named later. The windshield was sold off and a civilian windshield (one piece of glass) was installed. Remember, this Jeep is meant to return to the ranch and serve as a working vehicle. The passenger seat was a Ford model, so it was traded for an MB version in better shape to someone restoring a Ford war jeep. This has turned into a local Jeep-community project, with plenty of fun-spirited bartering. I am now at the point where I have replaced the worst of the wiring, one-by-one. I have cleaned up and primered the body and most of the interior. I am getting better at reworking dents and smoothing the rough spots, but I am realizing the next time this vehicle comes back here it will be for a body-off-the-frame clean up and reworking everything. So for now I’ll get it running better (carb issues, or maybe gas flow), put a coat of paint on, adjust the damn brakes and take it back to its home. I’ll post more photos when it is more of a sparkling, shining version of itself. By the way, it will have a custom (not legal) license plate on the back that says, “RECYLT”, recognizing the mish-mash of parts it has acquired over he years.
Kaiser Willys Jeep Blog Story – Dave Clark
If you would like to share your Willys Jeep Story please send us a line. We ‘d love to meet your Jeep.
Like Us. Facebook