This story is not about a restoration that is complete, but rather the beginning of one. It all stems back to 1999 when I purchased my first Jeep in College a ’79 CJ-7. I restored that Jeep with my Father over the next couple years just in time to use it in my wedding in 2001. Unfortunately my CJ-7 was sold in 2012 but replaced with a 4 door Jeep JK, so my kids (9 year old boy and girl twins) could go wheeling also. Back in 2004 when my kids were born I was dealing on a 1954 Willys M38A1, but I just couldn’t afford it at the time with the new additions to our family. Over the years I thought about that Willys but never acted on it, thinking there was no way that the Willys was still available. On September 1st 2013, on a wild hunch, I called the owner and it turned out he still had it, and would consider selling it! He stated “Anything is for sale for the right price.” It turns out he and his grand kids had enjoyed it over the years and was now ready for someone else to enjoy it. So my Father and I set a time to go look at it the next day (Labor Day) and we even showed up with our trailer. The seller must have known we were serious. We looked it over and drove it around his farm and we just knew we had to have it. This Jeep was a perfect barn find – in excellent condition, always stored inside, running, and with no rust. After a little price haggling we settled on a great price, shook hands, exchanged some money, a few stories, and we loaded our new toy and headed home. As we drove away I remembered that I was supposed to call my wife before I made an offer – oops – I totally forgot – uh oh! So I took a picture (attached photo #1) through the back window of my dad’s pickup as we drove away and I sent her a text stating “All loaded up and heading home” included with the picture was the price I paid. I didn’t get a response so I called… and to my surprise she wasn’t mad (although she wasn’t overly excited either) she just understands that Jeeps are in my blood and I think she realizes all of the quality family time and learning opportunities this Jeep will provide my kids, my dad and myself – 3 Generations! When we got home my kids were very excited and we went for rides and they were showing the Willys off to their friends. So that is how the adventure begins for this family and its newest family member a 1954 Willys M38A1.
I just placed my first order (first of many I’m sure) through your website for a manual and some tune up parts and I am already creating a list of items which will be great ideas for future gifts. Your website is excellent source for information and parts all compiled into one – it is a one stop shop for everything I need! The 2nd photo included was taken in a parking lot when we stopped so I could share it with my friends.
Kaiser Willys Jeep Blog Story – Randy Evans
If you would like to share your Willys Jeep Story please send us a line. We ‘d love to meet your Jeep.
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