I was recently lucky enough to purchase the original artwork for the illustration of the CJ-3B front grille, as found in the Willys Motors Parts List. The actual size of the ink drawing (it's not a photo) is approximately 12 inches square, and it's dated 5 May 1953. It's a very detailed rendering of the only Jeep grille to have the Willys name stamped on it.
This illustration must be one of the ultimate pieces of CJ-3B literature (suitable for framing!) but it also reveals an interesting detail which I hadn't noticed in my 1956 edition of the Parts List.
The screw holes for mounting the parking lights were originally drawn on the left and right of the lamp opening, and that is how they appear in Figure 22 of the 1956 Parts List (left). The drawing was modified 29 December 1958 to put the holes above and below the opening. The old and new sets of holes can be clearly seen in the drawing above. (See also a larger copy, 60K JPEG.)
The number labels pointing toward the attachment hardware were also changed slightly; the artist noted "This illus. revised on parking light holes, also on arrows and numbers to be used for CJ-3B, CJ-5 & 6 Parts List 1958-59."
Another interesting detail is that the artist incorrectly placed the new top screw hole on the driver's side, slightly off center.
At first I thought that the original placement of the holes was also perhaps a drawing error, because all the CJ-3B's I've seen have screws above and below the parking lights. Then I realized that the parking light sockets were changed, probably at the same time the wiring harness and dashboard were changed in 1956.
Later grilles like mine from 1959 and Brett Chitwood's seen here from 1964 (when Kaiser Jeep had finally used up all the grilles with the Willys name) were set up for lamp sockets whose mounting screws were directly under the exterior mounting screws for the chrome bezels. See the rear of the grille (50K JPEG) on my '59, showing the vertical arrangement of the mounting screws.
The earlier lights had the bezel screws in the vertical arrangement, but the sockets were attached to the grille at the sides. A photo of the rear of the grille (70K JPEG) on Lawrence Wade's '55 shows the hidden horizontal mounting screws, while a front view (55K JPEG) shows the vertical bezel screws.
This rear view photo by Ben Hildred shows the air deflector, to which the radiator is attached. See also a top view (120K JPEG) which clearly shows the offset of the deflector.
Dan Fedorko's '63 was one of the last CJ-3B's with the Willys-stamped grille. It's seen in the photo below with a 1998 Wrangler. The TJ and the 3B are the only U.S.-made civilian Jeeps other than the CJ-4 prototype, to have headlights that clear the grille opening. But the TJ has taken another big step away from the front clip design of the 3B, by moving the parking lights over to the fenders. A few less holes that need to be cut in the radiator guard.
Thanks to Jim Marski, Gary Keating, Rus Curtis, Ben Hildred and Dan Fedorko. -- Derek Redmond
See Keith Buckley's photo of the Parts List page blowing across the site of the old Jeep plant in Toledo (120K JPEG).
Also on The CJ3B Page, see a poster of Jeep Grilles 1940-2001.
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