Jeep Liv­ing

Jp Magazine - - Mailbag -

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.

John Ni­chols

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