1949 Willys Jeep CJ-3A

Make: Willys
Model: Jeep CJ-3A
Year: 1949
Registration Number: WXS 241
Chassis Number: 012154
Engine Number: 3012187
Transmission: Manual
Steering: Left Hand Drive
MOT Test Expiry: Exempt
Sold For: £10450

Lot No: 215

Made famous by John Wayne and various Hollywood heroes in epic WW2 films, the little Jeep seemed to be able to perform remarkable feats of off-road driving, completely unfazed by machine gun fire, grenades and the attentions of the odd Panzer tank. In 1949, the CJ (Civilian Jeep) was offered with the 2.2 litre four cylinder side valve engine of 60hp, coupled to a 3 speed manual gearbox with selectable high and low range and four wheel drive. As this little vehicle was expected to last rather longer than the military version and satisfy road legal requirements, the CJ had sturdier suspension to cope with hard usage by rural buyers and proper lights. The separate body and chassis had rigid live axles with leaf springs to front and rear. The windscreen could be folded flat and the Jeep could be driven without doors. A hood frame and soft top were offered with side curtains. The CJ version also had a drop down tailgate with the spare wheel mounted on the side. Seating was tubular framed and one wonders where Mr Wayne put his cigar stub as there is apparently no ashtray.

This particular CJ-3A was imported from Massachusetts in 2021. The new owner (and now vendor) set about a very involved programme of dismantling the vehicle and checking all mechanical components. Included in this work was an engine strip-down and re-assembly, with improvements implemented as necessary, such as the replacement of all gaskets and seals and the fitting of a new WO carburettor, carburettor linkage, air cleaner and fuel filter etc… We understand that the gearbox and transmission has likewise been thoroughly checked and re-assembled with a new clutch, ring gear and thrust bearing. The braking system has been completely overhauled, with new metal and flexible brake pipes, new front brake slave cylinders and a new brake light switch. All brake drums have been cleaned, as have the shoes and master cylinder. The pedal-mounted shaft has been replaced, and the reassembled braking system has been bled and re-adjusted. The handbrake assembly has been overhauled and new linings fitted.

All steering components have been inspected for optimum condition and work included the dismantling of the steering box and the renewal of bearings, bushes, drag links, springs and cup washers. New Bell crank parts have also been installed.  The electrical systems has been checked and items replaced as required. The suspension has been serviced and the Jeep is fitted with a correct and complete exhaust system (sourced from the USA). The front prop shaft joints were also renewed and the chassis inspected, cleaned and painted, and the road wheels prepared and repainted to the correct colour.

The coverings have been removed from the seats, cleaned and waterproofed, and the seat frames were repaired, repainted and refitted with the covers. Modern headlamps and rear lamps have been installed, as has the correct type windscreen and wiper arrangement. All body and floor panels were checked for corrosion after removing from the chassis, and repaired or replaced where necessary. The correct body colour was researched and the body as a whole was correctly prepared and resprayed.

After this vast restoration, the Jeep was road tested and the engineer restorer reported that the engine pulled strongly with good oil pressure, a satisfactory temperature, and started well when hot. The transmission gave a typical Jeep whine and occasionally popped out of second gear on the over-run; this could be rectified, but the work was considered unwarranted at that point. The engineer also noted that the vehicle steered well, the suspension was compliant and the brakes performed well. Please note that a full description of the restoration and report of the subsequent road test is included in the file, together with the V5C registration certificate.

A fabulous opportunity to purchase a restored and ready Willys Jeep.

Auction Date: 1 March 2024