HOW TO BAG THE BEST DEAL
If the ladder chassis is rotten or cracked, putting it right can add significant cost. If you find repair patches, how strong are they? The car needs its original chassis if the seller is asking top money. Hotchkiss Jeeps have a thicker-gauge chassis.
Wartime ‘Go Devil’ 2.2-litre petrol ‘four’ continued in early CJs and M201s. Parts availability is mostly good. F-head Willys Hurricane engine used from the CJ-3B onwards.
A common oil leak culprit is the transfer box’s rear output seal. Long-term leaks may have led to premature wear, causing jumping out of gear on the overrun. Early military models have three-speed manual gearboxes.
4 TRIM & PARTS
Original equipment such as radios, weapons and canvas bags can push up the cost, but vehicle condition should take priority. Trim is virtually nil, but check gauges and electrics. If fitted, make sure the canvas hood is intact. Replacements can be bought, along with many aftermarket accessories.
Leaf springs and beam axles are fitted front and back, both for the military Jeeps and the later CJs. Corroded leaves will cause a harsh ride. If the leaves are splaying, it’s time for replacement. Suspension modifications are common.