1954: Ulises Olivas
"My name is Ulises Olivas from El Paso, Texas. I have always loved old cars! I recently found this CJ-3B from 1954 for a very good price just a few houses up from my house. The photo of the blue jeep (190K JPEG) is the way I bought it. The man I bought it from is 82 and says he has had it for over thirty years, so I'm assuming he bought it sometime in the 70s. He said he used to use it as his hunting rig for many years but is too old to do any of those things anymore. The man actually did not have it for sale -- we heard from word of mouth he had a 1970 CJ-5 he was selling and when we went to go look at it, he's like 'I'll tell you what I got, this Willys in the back yard, gimme 1200 for both!' I was like, hell yeah! He said the CJ-5 was used for parts for the Willys so it has the CJ-5's rollbar and motor. 'My original Willys engine is still here, only it's in the back of the CJ-5. All you need to do is put her in and she'll run.' He said the old engine was starting to feel weak and it was cheaper for him to buy this entire CJ-5 than to fix the old motor. The tires are newer-style Mickey Thompson 31-inch tires, but the originals were still on the CJ-5!
"Anyway, he said, "Years ago when I parked it, it was running -- the carburetor is probably just bad, because it won't fire anymore." I didn't care if it was running or not -- I took the risk and bought em both! Sure enough, I drained the old gas and threw in a brand new Solex carb and she fired right up! She drives wonderful -- the 4x4 works awesome! It's my first Jeep ever, and man i like it! At the time I actually did not have the funds to purchase the Jeeps, but an old Willys is the only old car my dad has ever wanted. He says old cars are too much of a hassle, he would rather buy em new, but if he was gonna get an old car it would have to be an old Willys Jeep. So I went home and I sold the best guitar I own on eBay, to purchase the Jeep for my dad -- Armando Olivas -- so I guess he's the official owner now! Even though I'll be doing most of the resto work! I remember walking to elementary school as a kid and seeing this old Jeep in this old man's yard. I never thought one day I would end up buying it!"
See also a front view photo (190K JPEG).
1954: Petri Henttula
"I live in Mynämäki, Finland and have enjoyed Jeeps for 10 years. I have owned three fullsizers and one XJ but this is my first CJ. I got excited about CJ-3B's when I test drove a friend's 1955 CJ-3B. I bought my CJ-3B VIN 454GB2-15834H in 2010. It has Volvo's B20 engine (100K JPEG) and 4-speed transmission. I am not sure but I've heard that the adapter might be Swedish-made by a local 4x4 shop whose founder made these adapters, but when he retired the new owner focussed on selling only branded parts.
"The previous owner has painted this in white. Body renovation and engine swap were made in 1988. It has a Bestop vinyl roof (200K JPEG) which has been modified in Finland with additional insulation. I made a few modifications too; I moved the driver's seat (150K JPEG) about 12cm backwards.
"When I bought my CJ the deal also involved a 1943 Willys MBT trailer (120K JPEG), VIN 70-P-72033. The oldest registration entries this trailer has in Finland as late as 1972. It might be some old army surplus goods by NATO from Norway or something. A great combination of vehicles, however. I moved the spare tire carrier from Jeep to trailer, and I moved that jerry can bracket too. I changed the rear trailer lights to older model Volvo BM combine harvester rear lights.
"I'm trying to fix a transfer case oil leak during winter 2012 but let's see if I have time to do that. My '81 Cherokee project needs large rust repairs.
"See also the dashboard (130K JPEG). I have more photos at Photobucket."
1954: Mark Stovner
"I am a member of the Snohomish County (Washington) Search & Rescue, and the team leader of our 4x4 unit. I built the 3B to use on SAR missions and it works great up in the mountains (120K JPEG). This is not my first Jeep; I have owned several CJs over the past 27 years but never a high hood -- this is the one I've always wanted since I was kid. I purchased it in 2007 from a guy in Oregon who had started the project and gathered a lot of the main components already. I did a complete frame-off restoration, and I have now completed the 2.5 year project.
"The engine is a 283 Chevy V8 (120K JPEG), with a Muncie 4-speed, Atlas adapter, Dana 20 T-case, custom C-V drive lines. The axles are late-70s CJ Dana 44 rear and Dana 30 front wide track with disk brakes. Both have lockers with 427 gears. The suspension is spring-under lifted, with a shackle reversal. It has Chevy power steering, Wilwood brakes and hydraulic clutch, Camaro 4-core radiator with electric fan, Painless wiring harness, custom full roll cage and seats, and Warn 8,000 lb winch (80K JPEG).
"The frame rails are original and fully boxed now. The tub and fenders are aftermarket from the Philippines, and I had a buddy of mine do the paint job. We took it to his shop in pieces and all the parts were shot with 3 coats of lacquer top to bottom, then cut and buffed. The color is 1969 Chevy Hugger Orange.
"I have more plans for the project down the road."
1954: Jukka Meriläinen
"I live in Helsinki, Finland. 1954 is the first registration year of my Willys CJ-3B. Finnish registration number is in the frame near bumper: 4J-46880A (engine number?) It has no VIN plate. It has been a show car in American Car Show in Finland year 1987. Then the second owner before me built it in sailing style with wooden panels and black color. It has been green originally. I have done brake and electrical work. The owner before me has done mechanical work. It is very original; major changes are electrical fuel pump, carburetor, changes in fenders and tires. Original engine and transmission are working well. Some oil leaks. I have owned it since 2006."
See also a front view photo (220K JPEG).
1954: Russ Nauceder
"This is my 1954 Willys 3B. As I disassembled it to do some small repairs I found I had big problems. Everything was bad (70K JPEG). I took it down to the frame (70K JPEG) and started from scratch. I purchased another 3B body (ironically he called me as I was selling off the parts I no longer needed and he said he had a body he wasn't going to use -- what are the odds?). Anyway, that body wasn't perfect either, but better. I've modified this greatly -- it wasn't the plan to do all this but I didn't have much to start with. I love how it turned out (60K JPEG). It has a 350 engine, automatic transmission (350 turbo) and is two-wheel drive. I live in Ohio so cruising the 'flat' state is fine with me. The hood and fenders have been extended two inches to make room for the engine. Custom seats added as well. Many more modifications to get it running. There really isn't another one like it anywhere."
1954: Josh Hamlin
Josh in Prineville, Oregon, says, "I bought my 1954 CJ-3B last April, and have slowly been restoring it to original. It is my fifth Jeep. I owned a '53 CJ-3B in the 90's when I was in high school. A 1960 CJ-5, a 1966 CJ-5, a 1956 M-38, and now the 54 CJ-3B. I live on a cattle ranch in Central Oregon, and use the Jeep to hunt and play. We live about ten minutes from the national forest, so we run the Jeep up there to hunt, fish, and camp. This CJ-3B is pretty much original. I found a set of military 16" wheels to use, and put on a set of 600-16 NDT tires. I took the seats out that were in it (they were not original, and had green moss growing on them) and replaced them with boat seats ordered from Cabela's. I took out the homemade roll bar (150K JPEG) and took the homemade tow bar off the front. It came from a family in Eastern Oregon. I don't know the full history past that. My wife, kids, and I love that old Jeep, and so does our dog."
See a newer photo of the family out hunting in the Jeep (300K JPEG).
Continue to 1955 Owners and Photos.
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You can contact the CJ3B Page to add your CJ-3B to the Owners & Photos pages. -- Derek Redmond
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