We have a ’46 Willys Overland CJ-2A that I purchased in 1973. It is not pretty, but it does the job. We go off-road with it and have a lot of fun with it. Isn’t that what Jeeping is all about? I learned how to drive in one of these old rigs, well it wasn’t old when I was about 12 and my dad and uncle put me behind the wheel in the early ’50s. Now we have another ’46 CJ-2A that we got two years ago. The wife found it and we had to go look at it. As she said, “It is so pretty.” I have a wife who doesn’t complain about buying another Jeep, she finds them. When I said something about upgrading to a Wrangler, she said, “No, take the money and fix up the other Willys.”
So who is a purist? Remember, if Willys Overland didn’t come out with the CJ-2A you would most likely not have your YJ,
TJ, JK, JL, and whatever else is out there in the alphabet soup. So, to me, when I see a Wrangler wearing a spare tire cover with the word Willys on it or Willys decals on the hood, that is blasphemy; you don’t have a Willys. But if we are all part of the Jeep family, what difference does it make?
When it warms up we put the top down (wait a minute, we don’t have a top) and go for a ride around the county. If we wave to 10 Jeeps, maybe three will wave back. Sometimes I wish for safety’s sake they would tone their wave down and steer. Their smiles are as wide as the windshield. Others just keep their eyes straight ahead and look at you as if to say, “Who are you?”
Last year I took my Dodge Ram 250 diesel in to have the airbags replaced.
I was looking at a ’17 Wrangler, and the salesman was on me like ants to honey. I told him I had a Willys Overland. He never heard of such a thing. One of the other salesman knew what it was. He asked what year it was, and he knew it was a CJ-2A, the first civilian Jeep. Then he said, “You have a real Jeep. This Wrangler thinks it’s a Jeep.” The bottom line is they are all Jeeps and some of us are in the Jeep family and others are not. In fact, as we have found out there is a flatfender cult out there and we are part of it.
So, load the family in the Jeep, pack a picnic lunch, and go have fun. Before I forget, one more thing, everyone wave at every Jeep you see, and if you see an old flatfender, give us a big smile and wave till your arm feels like it’s going to come off, but remember, I have to tone down my wave, this old girl is hard to steer with no power steering.