I have been crazy about the Willys Flat fenders since I took my first ride at the age of 7, in my brother’s CJ-2A. The year was 1965. He didn’t keep it long but I had been bit and the bite left a mark. At the time I thought all flat fender jeeps were military and that was where my interest laid. I didn’t own a jeep of my own until the fall of 1983, when I bought a nearly all original M38. I had many hours of fun driving it around on farms and back roads. I hauled it from northern Arkansas to central Texas and back. But after about five years, a few mechanical troubles began to haunt me and the M38 became a source of contention in my family. With three young children I couldn’t afford the luxury of such an expensive hobby. I sold it to a collector that promised to restore it.
Flash forward to spring 2011. I found out about a flat fender in a older gentlemens yard in the town I live in. He happened to attend the same church I did and I began to inquire about it. Initally he was not interested in selling it, but I persisted. It had not been driven or even started for three to four years and his wife was beginning to work on him about the “unsightly” yard decoration. I would tease him at church and say, “you want me to come over and cover your Jeep up? Your tarp has blown off and it is getting rained in, etc.”
About a year later, he approached me and said, “You interested in buying a Jeep?” I was shocked and replied “If it’s priced right, I would be!” He replied, “it will be!” Now, I was not able to stop thinking about the Jeep. I went to his house later in the week and asked him what he wanted to do. We looked it over and discussed its condition. The body is rough, but mostly still original with the military 24 volt system intact and though not working, mostly original condition. It is a 1952 M38, but it has a MB windshield. He said since he knew I was going to a real enthusist, he would take $900 for it. It was almost too much for me to contain myself but managed to keep my composure and having noticed a 1/4 Ton Jeep trailer in the yard, (a mint original M416) I asked, “Does that include the trailer too?” He replied, “yep and all the stuff I have to go with it!” I immediately accepted his offer and made plans to pick them both up the next week.
I towed the Jeep and trailer (full of parts, etc.) across town to my house and have stored it in a barn awaiting a complete rebuild. I have been able to do a lot of research and I pick up parts when ever I locate something I know I am needing. The first two photos are immediately after getting it home and the last one is of it sitting patiently in the barn awaiting restoration.
~ Willys Jeep Life story submitted by Bruce Street
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