1952 Willys Jeep
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1952 Willys Jeep
- Flathead 4 Cylinder
- New Carburetor
- Motor Recently Rebuilt
- 3 Speed Manual Transmission
- Rebuilt Transfer Case
- Rewired With Factory Specific Wiring Harness
- Red With Black Interior
(Please note: If you happen to be viewing this 1952 Willys Jeep CJ-3A on a website other than our Garage Kept Motors site, it's possible that you've only seen some of our many photographs of the Jeep due to third-party website limitations. To be sure you access all the more than 100 photographs, as well as a short start-up and walk-around video, please go to our main website: GKM.com)
An American Icon
Top Gear reviewed a Jeep of this era beginning with: “First, some quick history. In need of some small but tough battlefield machinery in World War II, the US Army laid out a pretty tricky set of criteria and invited companies to offer their ideas. Criteria such as strict maximum dimensions and a curb weight lower than 590kg, yet load capacity of at least 272kg. A company called Willys-Overland was among those interested.”
“The resulting Willys Quad actually weighed a bit too much, but then so did rival offerings from Ford and Bantam. The army upped the weight limit, commissioned 1,500 of each, before Willys was selected as the primary supplier.”
Offered here is a recently restored 1953 CJ-3A ¼-ton utility truck. It is identified by way of its Willys Overland manufacturer's data plate showing serial number 452-GB1 18632, marking it as one of 29,652 manufactured in 1953 (source: 4-Wheel Parts Automotive). The truck is freshly painted bright red with cream-colored wheels over black. Its engine and 4WD transfer case have been recently rebuilt and a new carburetor and factory-spec wiring harness were also installed as part of the restoration.
The body repaint (which included the entire steel-body “tub” inside and out) was professionally performed: the surface is smooth with high gloss and no significant imperfections. Sheet metal is free of damage: no dents and no dings. The Willys logo embossed on the sides of the hood and on the tailgate is painted black. (To best assess the quality of the paint and trim finishes, please be sure to view the close-up photographs of the car in the accompanying gallery.) Headlight rims and bumpers are also painted black. A towbar is installed on the front bumper. (Note: It works both ways, to tow or be towed.) Single-frame windshield glass is clear and uncracked as are all lighting lenses (including the replacement amber turn-signal indicator lights in front). Factory 16-inch steel wheels, brush-painted in a cream color, are mounted with non-directional military-tread-pattern, 600-series tires manufactured by Specialty Tires of America. A non-matching spare is mounted on the right-rear carrier.
The open interior features seats reupholstered in black vinyl (with correct wood bottoms and snap-on closures). Front seats fold to allow access to the rear and to the tool box beneath the passenger seat (here storing the seat belts). The front windshield also folds and rests on rubber stops on the hood; below the front windshield, there are vent panels which can be opened and set to different positions. The 3-spoke, simple black steering wheel fronts the equally simple lower dashboard with center-oriented gauge cluster. Included are the original 60-mph speedometer, oil-pressure gauge, fuel gauge, amperage-output gauge, and a replacement SunPro coolant-temperature gauge. The shift lever for the 3-speed manual transmission is mounted on the floor alongside the 4WD transfer-case selector levers. Original data plates are mounted on the dash. (Please view the close-up photography in the gallery to assess the condition of the Jeep's various interior surfaces.)
Under the hood, the freshly rebuilt flathead inline-4-cylinder engine commands a stock-appearing engine bay. Surfaces are clean and components appear properly mounted. Viewed from below, the chassis is similarly clean with no sign of the sort of damage that might arise from too aggressive off-road driving. The clean lower side of the engine and newer complete exhaust system are visual focal points. A newly installed plate protects the transfer case. (To best evaluate the condition of undercarriage surfaces, please review the gallery photos shot from below.)
While the more than 100 high-definition photographs and the short walk-around-and-startup video available on the GarageKeptMotors website showcase this '52 Willys Jeep in detail from every angle, including from below, we expect and encourage in-person inspections at our Grand Rapids, Michigan showroom. Please call to arrange an appointment in advance as our showroom is not open to the public. And feel free to get in touch anytime by phone or email if you have questions
The Top Gear review rightly concluded: “In fact, every SUV on sale – right down to an Evoque Convertible – follows the trail first blazed by the Willys. It's an important car, but it's fantastic to report it's also a joyous one.”
Most every American driver cannot help but feel a sense of history behind the wheel of an early CJ like this red one. Few brands have so held to their identity so steadfastly through the generations.