My journey began 52 years ago when I purchased my first (1952) M38 Canadian Jeep in 1966 from Quigg Motors Ltd. Located in Saint John, New Brunswick. I paid $600.00 plus $18.00 in tax and drove it home. On the way home I noticed the engine was smoking a little. I had just started my campground (Hardings Point Campground) with a few sites on the beachside of the property and used the Jeep to move small seasonal trailers on and off their sites. Two years later the engine had to be rebuilt and it was fitted with a small Myers snow plow. In the spring the Jeep was put back into service delivering picnic tables and doing several other tasks.
When time allowed, as I was working two jobs at the time, my friends and I would take the Jeep on hunting and fishing adventures. My friends now in their mid-seventies still cherish those memories. We often joke and laugh that I used to smoke colt cigars when driving the Jeep and the gas tank was located directly under the drivers seat. When my son turned two years old we installed a car seat between the two front seats of the Jeep so we could take him for a drive in the park. That’s when his love of the Jeep began and continued when he started driving the Jeep in his teenage years doing small chores in the park.
The Jeep then fell into ill repair and was placed in an onsite barn where it sat for approximately 10 years. I’m 74 years old now and my son who is 30 years old suggested one evening why don’t we restore the Jeep so we can do the restoration project together. He didn’t have to ask me twice, I was on board.
The project began in my garage with a frame off restoration. No body fill was used. New metal panels were used on both sides of the Jeep, wheel wells and floor. We did a complete overhaul of the power train, transfer case and transmission. New brake lines, tires, seats and top cover were replaced and many more new parts too numerous to mention. Over the period of one year we faced many challenges, watched many YouTube Jeep repair video’s and put in many tireless hours and had the help of a dedicated friend who is a master mechanic and body repair man.
The Jeep now restored has been put back into service again. The jeep is now used in the Park to take overnight tourists to their sites. Many tourists want their picture taken beside the Jeep, especially war veterans. I would like to thank Kaiser Willys who was instrumental in my restoration with their helpful staff in finding and supplying rare parts for my 52 year old Jeep.
Willys Jeep Life Story – Howard Heans
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