The first jeeps that arrived in Spain were a few Willys MB's and Ford GPW's, via Canada in the late 1940's and early 50's. But in 1953, after the U.S.A. established relations with Francisco Franco's Spain, a vast amount of material began to arrive, including more Jeeps: MB's, GPW's, M38's, and civilian CJ-3A's. The majority had been used in the Korean War or World War II. As American military bases were established in Spain, M38A1's, M170's and M606's were also supplied to the Spanish Army.
From the beginning of the local manufacturing of Jeeps in Spain in 1960, by VIASA ("Vehículos Industriales y Agrícolas, S.A."), the production was oriented to the needs of the Spanish Army. See Los Jeeps: Made in Spain for more details on VIASA.
The early production units, such as this 1961 Jeep restored by Sergio Lwoff, were known as "Willys Viasa" and had the Willys stamping on the hood and tailgate. The ventilating windshield and dual electric wipers are original, as are the blackout lights, headlight guards and bumperettes. A right side photo (70K JPEG) shows the bracket for two 5-liter jerry cans. The engine is an F-134 rebuilt by the Army in 1981, and Sergio had the 24-volt electrics converted to 12-volt.
The seats, jerry cans, rear view mirrors, rollbar and canvas top are not original. Likewise the Willys stamping in the grille; Sergio obtained it via the CJ-3B Bulletin Board and had it welded in. (He also thanks Bulletin Board readers who helped him out with gauges, dash light and and dash plates.) The 6.00 x 16 military tires were made in Turkey.
Through most of the 1960's and 70's, the military Viasa CJ3M models used Perkins and Barreiros diesel engines, and are identifiable by the location of the gas tank on the right side, and conical (not flat) steering wheel. In addition to headlight protectors and blackout lights, the miltary version had a rear pintle hook and lifting rings.
This Jeep, unrestored and largely original, has frame number 503601 and was purchased as surplus in 1996 by Juan-Reyes Martinez Rafecas.
Juan-Reyes says, "It works perfectly and it has 50.000 km, the reason why its small Perkins is in the best condition. My dream would be to have free time to rehabilitate it completely. I envy those happy owners of Jeeps that have had sufficient time to carry out those wonderful reconstructions."
In the larger copy (70K JPEG) of the front view photo, the small "Jeep" logo can be seen below the right front marker light.
A rear view photo (50K JPEG) of another VIASA CJ3M restored by Eusebio Leon shows the jerry can bracket on the left, and the framework for a Willys-style full canvas top.
A right side photo (50K JPEG) shows seats over the rear fenders, and a rifle bracket.
This archival photo shows a CJ3M with 106mm recoilless rifle, manufactured by VIASA in Zaragoza, Spain. Similar split-windshield gun-carrier versions were built in India and Japan, although Willys in the U.S. never put this feature on a CJ-3B or M606.
VIASA produced a long-wheelbase civilian version of the CJ-3B which they called the CJ-6 (see Los Jeeps: Made in Spain). The prototype military version in this photo, a unique design with a low-hood front end and a mechanical winch, was never put into production.
Archival photos courtesy of Francisco M. Díaz, originally published in in the Spanish off-road magazine Auto Aventura.
VIASA was absorbed by EBRO in the late 1970's, and their CJ-3B was renamed "Jeep Ebro". This example in olive drab is owned by Ignacio Goikoetxea. It's not clear that this was actually originally an army vehicle. It has an Ebro badge and "Jeep" stampings on the hood, and no blackout driving light. A rear view (100K JPEG) reveals other differences from the VIASA version, including both civilian and blackout taillights, and a swing-away spare tire carrier.
As of 1994, the Spanish army was apparently still using Jeeps produced by VIASA as well as EBRO, alongside newer vehicles. This CJ3M was photographed by M.A. Escudero at a military base at Zaragoza in 1994. This Jeep belonged to the mountain engineers unit of "Division Navarra" (the shield), and was assigned to a lieutenant (two small stars on the windshield).
This photo taken by Paul Heijstee in 2002 shows surplus VIASA Jeeps in a Spanish scrapyard waiting for disposal. Many of the surplus units are exported for sale in other European countries. So far the Jeeps seen here are luckier than some other Jeeps (30K JPEG) photographed by R. Flores Yoldi in Ermua (Vizcaya), in 1991.
This example made it to Poland, where it as restored and painted by Marcin Klamerek in 2004. This Ebro of undetermined year is immediately recognizable as Spanish Army by the large front blackout lights.
See also a nice photo of Marcin taking it out for a drive (220K JPEG).
Thanks to all the Jeep owners who contributed photos for this page. -- Derek Redmond
Return to CJ-3B and M606 Military Jeeps.
For photos of civilian Jeeps in Spain, see Los Jeeps: Made in Spain.
See also more Jeeps Around the World on The CJ3B Page.
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