Subject: My WWII 1945 Jeep
My new to me 1945 WWII MB Jeep roughly two months ago went straight from a previous owners garage to Norco Automotive to sort out fuel problem issues. Today is the first day I was able to drive it. And if I got a “redo” on this project I would blow the $$ on a European vacation. Hesitation on my spouse’s part – oh well. A redo in case you don’t know is the opportunity to do something again or differently. As the 1945 MB Jeep now sits in my garage it waits for various parts that still need addressing, removing or replacing. Parts that will continue to add up to the bottom $$ cost of this new to me vintage WWII hobby. And, if you know me you also know that my “stuff” does not usually gather dust or sit unused. Once it starts to do so, then it is out of here. Also add to that that I can’t let any good thing alone, for me, it needs to be improved upon until it becomes somewhat bullet proof. Word to the wise – don’t ever volunteer to help anyone drive a classic car to a car show. Once you arrive, everywhere you turn to will be innocent looking civilians with car deals too good to pass up; deals that before the day is done will likely transfer from their money pit to yours. The greater fool theory states that the price of an object is determined not by its intrinsic value, but rather by irrational beliefs and expectations. Really, just keep it a few years; they aren’t making WWII Jeeps anymore.
And now for the positive spin. Before this 1945 and I are done we will go through some adventures together – I promise. Initially I thought that it could conquer the TransAmerica trail. Today I wonder. The word Jeep probably came to being during a solider to soldier conversation. One soldier or GI (Government Issue) as also commonly known; probably said to another GI; this here is government property (GP) and not your own personal driving machine. And the soldier behind the wheel probably said to the other soldier this here geep (GP), that later morphed into jeep (JEEP), is signed out to me and I can take it anywhere I wants to!
They are also known as a ¼ ton, a 4×4 or four-wheel drive utility vehicle produced from 1941 to 1945. What you may see on the streets today is the Jeep CJ (Civilian Jeep) or maybe it’s a JK, TJ or YJ or XJ. For many years my youngest was also known as CJ. Today my 1945 is painted an Army olive drab color. It is also small and a full foot narrower and nearly 3 feet shorter than a newer Jeep Wrangler two door. It stands at just over 4 feet tall at the top of the windshield and easily fits into my third garage door plus I have room for a leather chair, my motorcycle, shop benches and a tool bin. And I can still easily walk around it. When my red headed grandson reaches the pedals no matter what his age he is going to learn how to drive this here military Jeep. No matter what you say – GramPatti!
My 1945 Jeep never saw action as the war ended before it could be shipped overseas. Thank goodness or else it would’ve likely ended at the bottom of the ocean like the rest of them. No car maker after the war wanted competition with a tried, true and cheap to run product. The previous owner told me that my jeep was given to the U.S. Forest Service in 1946 where it spent its lifetime before it’s retirement. A Forest Service employee then purchased the jeep and believe it or not, he installed a Corvette engine in it. The previous owners plan was to convert it back to original and enter it in parades and WWII re-enactments. He started his hobby by taking out the old engine, repainting it from forest service green back to WWII Army colors and then sending it to JeepsRus. About $8,000.00 later the 1945 Jeep came out of JeepsRus with a new Chevy S-10, V6 engine and other internal modifications. When I acquired this jeep, the fuel tank was rusty causing the entire fuel system and fuel tank to fail. First major expense as the 1945 now has a new fuel tank, hoses and rebuilt carbureator. The previous owner also lost interest sometime ago as a result of a skin cancer condition. No more driving in convertibles for him.
The first civilian CJs that rolled out had such alterations as vacuum-powered windshield wipers, a tailgate, side-mounted spare tire, civilian lighting and amenities like naugahyde seats, chrome trim, and came in a variety of colors. In Vietnam, the most used jeep was the then newly designed Ford M151, which also featured such state-of-the-art technologies as a unibody construction and all around independent suspension with coil-springs. By going from leaf springs to a now bouncy coil springs roll overs went way up. Fast forward to what most of you see and know today; enter the Hummer or HMMWV (Humvee).
My FlatFender is also getting a new low profile air filter plenum and K&N filter so I can close the hood and radiator shroud to keep my fingers intact. More to follow.