Saturday, August 28, 1999
My 1946 CJ2A Jeep
Back in October of 2000 I wrote an article for Old autos on my M-38
Military Jeep. I have since sold that vehicle to a buyer in Chicago.
This left me without a project vehicle to keep me busy during our long
Canadian winter. A search for another Jeep began in the spring of 2001
with a visit to Willys Acres (an Old Auto advertiser and perhaps Canada's
largest supplier vintage Jeep parts) near Barrie, Ontario. The owner,
Markus Schneider, showed me quite a few restorable Jeeps but nothing
of interest to me at that time.
Several had been used for snow plowing and I was not interested, but
one, a 1946 CJ2A looked restorable. In the end I bought it and a second,
a 1970 M-38A1 Military Jeep. After several days of inspecting the two
vehicles, I decided to restore the CJ2A and leave the other one for
a future project.
|An ad on the Internet turned up a suitable engine in nearby
Petawawa. After stripping the engine I found one valve seat was missing.
It had come loose and blew out the exhaust system. As I am not equipped
to do a seat replacement I took the block into a machine shop and had
them do the work plus replace all the valve guides. I did the valve job
and all other work. The rings, all bearings, one piston and all seals
and gaskets were replaced.
The Jeep is not a military version, rather it is a civilian model. The Military Jeeps after WWII have the letter "M" before the model number, ie: M-38. Civilian Jeeps of early vintage were given the "CJ" designation, meaning Civilian Jeep. However, I did want mine to look military so it is painted in olive drab colour with the seats in canvas like all military models. Also the canvas top is of WWII design, as are the tires. I mounted the spare tire and Jerry can on the rear to be consistent with military vehicles. Except for the above modifications, the Jeep has been returned to its original condition. The electrical system is 6 volt with a new reproduction wiring harness
The drivetrain is completely original. WWII Jeeps are in high demand and command very high prices if restored to original. Jeeps from 1945 to 1952 with the flat fenders are equally desirable, even if they are civilian models. As often seen in the pages of Old Autos military vehicles are becoming common at shows and meets. The most common being Jeeps as they are more plentiful and the parts easy to find. Even the newer military vehicles that the government has disposed of since the 1970s are being picked up by collectors. A visit to the military museum at the Oshawa airport when they have their open house (usually in early June) and invite collectors to bring in their vehicles, will open your eyes to just how popular this aspect of old vehicle restoration has become. There are many vendors selling parts and manuals for vehicles and every kind of military equipment, including radios and weapons.