1953: Don Kostanski
Don in Massachusetts bought two '53 3B's (160K JPEG) in 2005, one with a Fisher plow and a hardtop (120K JPEG). See also a photo of the engine (120K JPEG). He plans to put the plow and the hardtop on the other one, and get the blue one on the road. He says, "It was driven up until 1990. It seems the wiring is the first thing that needs attention -- there are wires everywhere, hot wires not connected. I've taped everything floating around. I put fat tires and rims on (60K JPEG) just to see what it would look like. They're coming off and I'm selling them as soon as I can. They look OK but I don't like the way they feel. It's hard to steer without power -- they aren't meant for this Jeep."
In 2006 Don updated us and sent photos of the bodywork and the primer (180K JPEGs). "I'm trying to get the '53 on the road for the Great American Jeep Rally at Four Towns Fairgrounds in Somers, Connecticut on September 24th. Hope to get some ideas from others there. Decided to go gray with black (160K JPEG), totally rewired, modern seat belts. I'll be using some seats I salvaged from a Mercury Lynx (100K JPEG). I still need to swap the tires and rims. I never got around to getting the other '53 running, so I may have to plow with this one more year -- I hope not to, but I think snow will be flying before we know it."
Don made it to the Great American Jeep Rally and took some photos: "Here I have my trailer and my new ND tires (130K JPEG). The MP jeep (170K JPEG) was the best jeep at the show (my opinion)." He also photographed a light blue '53 3B with repro body tub (130K JPEG) -- anybody know who owns it?
In 2007 Don got his trailer and rims painted to match the Jeep (120K JPEG). He displayed it at his local VFW on Memorial Day 2008 (100K JPEG) and with a Navy SNJ trainer (130K JPEG) at the Wheels & Wings show in New Milford CT in October 2009.
1953: John Ittel
John in Ohio says, "My first car in 1956 was a CJ-2A. From that point I have always had Jeeps around, probably 20-30. Just in the past few years I have begun to focus on the 'Farm Jeep.' The Jeeps I have now, for the most part, didn't have any accessories (PTO, etc.) I picked up these parts mostly from tips I get at various truck and tractor shows I attend. I have owned the 3B for three years. I did a ground-up restoration, finishing in '06."
See more photos and details on John's Green Prairie Farm Jeep.
1953: Ken "oldtime" Bushdiecker
"This pic was taken about 1985. My 1953 CJ-3B is hauling a load of 20' long Lodgepole Pine tipi poles up from my canoe which is down there in the Missouri River. Attached to the half cab and the draw bar are my custom built canoe racks (the custom front bumper rack isn't used.) Easily fastened, a canoe will rest on top for many miles. The rack can be easily extended on both sides for hauling two 17' canoes."
"The deluxe Koenig half cab is kept warm in winter with a 'fresh air heater' and is trimmed inside with wooden door and roof panels. The seats are covered in grey cordura nylon (in the future, the rebuilt 3B Universal will sport deerhide-covered seats.) The tranny tower dust boots are real leather, and a custom map holder (wire mesh) is mounted to the dash. Note also the custom outside rear view mirror for use with the hard cab, and the windshield is correctly painted black. The doors can be completely removed for the summer time breeze. The tires seen here are 6.50x16/6 ply (used). Driven over 80 thousand miles on its first rebuild, the Jeep is now scheduled for a second complete frame up rebuild.
"The chaff screen can be unsnapped in the winter months and replaced with a cover (see a 1995 front view photo, 115K JPEG.) Radiator air flow is controlled by adjusting that cover (not shown) for really cold weather. The headlamp stone guards are a heavy-duty custom fabrication. No hood blocks are needed as the W/S is never folded down. So a ventilating windshield would be nice!
"This 1953 has been modified using 12-volt Willys electrical components. It has both front and rear Powr Lok spiders, using a 19-spline rear 44. The transfer case has the 1-1/4" intermediate shaft and the Jeep also sports a Warn overdrive unit."
See a rear view photo of Ken's 3B in A Man and His Jeep on The CJ3B Page.
1953: Terry Brogdon
Carolyn Canaday writes, "Terry Brogdon in Parker, Colorado is my brother. The Jeep in question has been in our family since 1970. I now own the Jeep In Casper, Wyoming. I would like to send a full story in the near future as the Jeep has come a long way. Much thanks goes to my brother Terry and his wife Cindy for the love they put into restoring a family memory."
1953: Todd Bull
Todd in San Diego CA says, "A Willys was my first Jeep and I still have my '46 2A, but I have finished my '53 3B and it is the family car right now. I bought it from Mr. Marvin; my guess he was terminally ill, and he was settling his affairs. His Willys was in pieces in his garage for more than 20 years. I found it on the CJ-3B Bulletin Board, we talked and I bought it. Then almost a year to date, I drove the Jeep over to his house to show him what had become of it, but he had died two months earlier. His son that helped me load the old Jeep (130K JPEG) on the trailer after I bought it was home at the time, and seeing the Jeep he could not believe it was finally running.
"A CJ-3B was one of the first Jeeps I looked at on a used car lot when I was 14. Always wondered ever since; now I don't have to, I have one now. It's too bad that Mr. Marvin never got to see the Jeep finished (120K JPEG), but his family did. "
1953: Chase Estep
"I am 17 years old and I have always wanted a Willys Jeep because my pappy used to own a few of them. I found this CJ-3B sitting over a bank sunk about a foot into the mud. I was told it has been sittin' there for 5 years. Well, I bought it. Up the road there was an old farmer who helped pull it out and he delivered it to my dad's shop where I work on it now. It has a 2300 Ford 4-banger with a T90."
1953: Ron Vogler
Ron in Winston-Salem NC has done a nice job on his first restoration project, and says, "I am normally a stock broker, so this was a different kind of challenge. The CJ3B Page has been invaluable in figuring out the 'little details' a novice needs to understand. An example is finding the correct parking lamps. One article referred to the 1176, which I will buy today and complete the turn signal installation. The site is also good inspiration to working on the 3B (now called Max in honor of the dog that has gone to the shop with me every time I have worked on it).
"The history is traceable only back to 1978 when the vehicle came into North Carolina. The windshield has a decal from the Civilian Flight Testing Center in Mojave. It also had an Ohio State decal. It probably was re-worked about the time it came into N.C. A pilot drove it a while and it ended up in a hangar where a friend bought it, did some repairs, sold it to my dad, and then I ended up with it a few years ago.
"It had the brakes re-built, new gas tank. He converted to 12 volts, put in an electric fuel pump, had carb rebuilt (which caused a small fire). I put an alternator, then starters in it. On the fourth starter a friend checked it and pronounced the ring gear worn. My first thought was this was going to be too expensive to have the engine pulled, and the old CJ was not worth the cost. He challenged me, saying he pulled motors when he was ten years old. So with a $20 ring gear and a $30 book from Walcks, the work began.
"While the motor was out, I cleaned and painted it (200K JPEG). Everything went back together well and the motor looked too great for the rest to look so rough, so a new renovation was started. This was not a frame-off, since I am a novice. The body was stripped, Bondo done, done and re-done, sanded and finally painted. It has lots of parts from Walck's (from horn button and recently a horn, thermostat, ignition parts, windshield rubber, tailgate stencil and chain covers, to a Solex carb and many more.) Lots of help from a friend (who did the first work and challenged me.)
"A note on horns: Walck's said it was easy to install a horn wire. It was, for a knowledgeable mechanic. As a novice I pulled the old remaining wire from the bottom of the steering column. The wire was about 12-14 inches long. I fished a wire up to the steering wheel and attached it to the horn wire. An obstruction kept it from returning into the tube it passes through at the bottom. After a few hours and several attempts I got a long metal rod small enough to pass through the tube. It dislodged the obstruction (probable old cloth insulation) and the wire came on through easily. I then learned the horn on the Jeep was a replacement grounded to the fender. I replaced it with an original style grounded to the horn button. It works great.
"The CJ-3B will be used on farmland near Advance, N.C. I have learned something along the way, and salvaged another flat fender."
1953: Matthew Yarbrough
Matthew in Rochelle, Georgia says, "It is in ruff but fixable shape. Mechanics seem to be OK -- if I could just track down the problem in the ignition system I would have the motor running. The transmission and transfer case seem to work well. I bought it from a man who had too many project and not enough cash. He had purchased it from a man who used it to get around his farm and to hunt his land. I have included a couple of picture from the day I towed it home." (See a front view photo, 50K JPEG.)
Matthew has made some progress on his plan to build a home-brew fiberglass tub. See the cardboard form for the rear bed (70K JPEG).
1953: Joel Persinger
"I bought 'Lil Red' from a friend three or four years ago. From what I understand he was the second or third owner. I've wanted a Willys since I was a kid. Now I'm a middle aged kid and finally got one. It was in fairly good shape when we got it, but my buddy hadn't used it much or kept up on maintaining it, so we had a little work to do to get it running right. It still has the F-head Hurricane four and a Warn overdrive. That little engine is a joy to work on and has plenty of power for our hunting trips or just 4-wheeling for fun. It runs great and I love it. My son and I (60K JPEG) have taken it over rocks, through mud, over sand dunes (90K JPEG), across streams and who knows what else. If we take it slow and easy, we have yet to find a place Lil Red won't go.
"A couple years ago we went on a one-day Jeep trip out to Coyote Canyon in Borrego Springs, California with several friends who all have big money mega Jeeps. Over and over they kept saying 'You might want to wait here Joel. That little old Jeep might not make it.' Well, there's a good little rock climb at the end of Coyote Canyon. Six of us tried to go up. One mega Jeep broke an axle on the way up. Another got stuck going up and my son and I pulled the poor fellow out with Lil Red. Boy did he have egg on his face. Only four of us made it to the top. Lil Red was one of them. Of those four only three made it back down under their own power. One of the mega Jeeps broke a spring hanger just as he got to the top and spent most of the night putting the thing back together. As I reached the bottom and drove past one of the broken Jeeps the guy nodded his head and said, 'They don't make 'em like they used to.' That was the last time anybody said, 'You might want to wait here Joel.'
"It may be 53 years old, but Lil Red will be hunting with us at the dove opener in September. I'm sure it'll get us there and back again. It's a terrific little Jeep and I wouldn't part with it for love or money. It's mostly original, but some parts are not. I've got a list of stuff to restore like the wheels and tires, tire rack and so on. At some point, I hope to have it back to at least 90% original. In the meantime, it's just a kick to drive."
1953: Jason Duteil
"This Jeep was used by my grandfather (Buckwheat) and a family friend (Mouse) in the Telluride Volunteer Fire Department. It still has the fire lights and siren. I am restoring it in their memory. So far no finished product shots but I thought I would send these in anyway." See the rear body extension and the interior (60K JPEG's).
See also more on the Jeep Body Extension on The CJ3B Page.
1953: Mark Dunlap
Mark in Palmer, Alaska says, "I purchased it in 2001 from Tod Colvin of Anchorage. The engine has been changed out to a 350 Chevy. Saginaw 4-speed transmission, original T18 transfer case w/Warn OD. Original axles front and rear, but back is full floater with ARB air locker. This is a sweetheart of a 3B and rightfully now has an inside heated home to dwell in when not being driven."
1953: Richard Klee
Richard in Shasta Lake, California, says, "It was used in Oakland to push and start cars on a car lot. Its owner loved it and stored it in a garage. It has always had its Texas-made Koenig steel top on, which protected its insides. I bought it in 2005 from the owner's son. The engine was almost completely rebuilt by the talented people at A&I in Redding CA I have gone through everything on the Jeep, rebuilding and repainting everything. Everything is original except the stainless steel nuts, washers and bolts.
"It had a brand new, in the box, overdrive by Warn. The rusty wire on the box had never been removed. It is now installed. The Warn wheel lockouts were on the car from the dealer. Those are the only non-Jeep parts added. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I don't think this little jewel will get its wheels muddy. I plan to drive it to and from Shasta Dam (8 miles) where I am an armed guard. I have the doors with roll-up windows, but it is summer and we don't need them now. The Jeep will always sleep inside a garage -- the other cars can stay outside.
"Please see the before and after pictures (100K JPEG's) of what my wife calls my 'Last Project'."
1953: Seth King
"My father got this Jeep back in the early 80's and we used it around the place for firewooding, etc. It always ran on three cylinders and jumped out of gear, but it always ran! I learned how to drive in the Willys when I was 11 and had many many hours/miles behind the wheel before I turned 16. This Jeep had had a hard life before we got it and we didn't baby it. I went away to school and one weekend some buddies and I came home and to make a long story short, my friend who said he knew how to drive stick, ended up blowing the engine and tranny. This was almost the end of the Jeep and it sat for years. Then one day my father said he was throwing it out and that's when I got the Jeep and started putting it back together. It was really shot and not really worth restoring but I had a lot of sentimental value for it.
"I gave it a complete frame off, starting with a hammer and removing all the aluminum patching and pounds of bondo from the previous owner, and ending with 1971 Brockway truck orange paint. I wanted it to still have that old Jeep feel but make it very driveable. I swapped in a Buick odd fire V6 punched out .030, Ford T-18 tranny, and 11" drums. I also swapped the steering over to a manual Saginaw setup -- Willys just aren't meant to have power steering! I installed 1" body pucks, and went with Superlift 1" springs, 1" heavy duty shackles and Rancho RS 9000 shocks. It took a really long time to incorporate each mod without losing the nostalgic Willys feel. It runs on 32"x10.5" Superswampers, and has the original Dana 18 with a Warn overdrive. With the granny four-speed, 5:38 gears this thing really crawls! I took it up to a 4x4 park called Paragon (60K JPEG) and my little 3B outdid a lot of high-$ high-powered rigs. And did it with finesse -- you just can't beat the CJ-3B!
"This was my first real project and boy did I learn a lot and have a ton of fun! It took me about three years off and on. I really want to thank Carl Walck of Walck's Four wheel drive in Bowmanstown PA (610-852-3110) for all his help. He ships all over the world and is a phenomenal source for old Willys parts!"
Continue to 1953 Owners and Photos, Page 8.
Return to the index of Jeep CJ-3B Owners and Photos.
You can contact the CJ3B Page to add your CJ-3B to the Owners & Photos pages. -- Derek Redmond
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