Willys Jeep Restoration Blog

in the garage

I inherited this Jeep in 2020. It's a 1948 Willys CJ2A with an earlier engine. My grandfather built a Gulf gas/service station in Lynn, MA in 1947. He owned it until his passing when it went to my uncle. In 1950 he bought two CJ2A Jeeps from another Gulf station in nearby Swampscott (Essex Oil). Ingram Service offered roadside assistance before the time of AAA. The Jeeps were outfitted with chains, gas cans, snow plows, and jumper cables and the service technicians would go out and rescue stranded customers.

As a I kid I remember the two Jeeps sitting at the garage. One was behind it with several other junk cars. This one was on the side of the building, derelict and with a tree growing through the engine bay (seriously). I was too young to appreciate them and was more interested in the Pontiac LeMans 326 convertible sitting in front of it (I never got it).

When my grandfather passed my Dad took this Jeep under his wing. He pulled it out from the trees and brought it to my house. I used it for winter plowing for a few years until my own projects got in the way. It also had starting issues and never ran well enough and I got frustrated with it. My Dad took it to his house in Salem.

As I cycled through car projects and then moved I found myself thinking about the Jeep again. By this point my Dad had given it back to my uncle and he was using it to plow the garage's parking lot. But mostly it just sat under a tarp, rusting away. I lobbied my uncle hard for him to hand it back to me. I didn't want it to meet the same fate as the other Jeep - my uncle gave it away to a local Willys specialist and I never heard more about it. When he passed it became mine. So now I have it at my house. It runs well and I'm working on a restoration plan. It's too rusty to get inspected and drive it on the road but it will all come together at some point.