My 1947 Willys CJ2A

This is my 1947 Willys CJ2A. When I purchased it (out of state), it was actually titled as a 1948 for some reason, but the serial number shows that it is actually a very early 1947. (It was around the 200th or so CJ2A to be built in 1947, out of a total of approximately 65,000 for that year.) I was somewhat concerned about that, and brought some information printed out from the web to the DMV when I went to register it. (I also had Jim Allen's book on order which shows the production info but hadn't received it by that time. I figured I'd give it a shot anyway.) It turned out to be a non-issue. I had filled out the paperwork and applied for insurance as a 1947, and when the person behind the counter was processing it, they noticed the out of state title which showed it as a 1948. I said "Yes, that's incorrect - the VIN shows it as being a 1947". She punched a couple of keys on the computer and confirmed that yes, it should indeed be a 1947, so now its titled correctly. I didn't even need to use my supporting documentation.

The CJ2A is the civilian version of the famous WWII Jeep (known as the MB) from which the term "Jeep" was coined. Of course, there were no new vehicles available during the war, so the civilian versions were first produced in July of 1945 (2 months after V-E day and 1 month *before* V-J day!), with production ending sometime in 1949. Other models such as the CJ3A and CJ3B continued the lineage which can be traced right to the present day TJ (Wrangler). As far as Jeeps go though, this body style is the absolute earliest a civilian could purchase. Although the civilian and military versions are not identical, there are more similarities than differences. (For more information about the Willys CJ2A, please check out The CJ2A Page.)

As you can see, this particular CJ2A has been painted in military colors, and is equipped with military tires. This was done by the previous owner who used it in parades. I think its pretty neat, so I plan to leave it that way. The body is in decent shape, I guess. Its kinda hard to say since I am a relative newcomer to these Jeeps. I have seen some really trashed CJ2As out there, and there are also some pristine, restored examples. This particular jeep has obviously been hacked on over the years, although sometimes its hard to tell wether something has been altered somewhere along the line or if its just 1940s technology. I am doing my best to correct the jerry rigs and cheezy hacks as I come across them.

These Jeeps were powered by 4 cylinder flathead known as the "Go Devil". (60hp at 4,000 RPM, 105 lb-ft at 2,000 RPM) However, this particular Jeep is powered by a 1972 Ford EAO engine. It is an overhead cam inline four displacing 122ci (2.0L) and produces 86hp and 103 lb-ft of torque. This engine was made in Germany and used in many European Ford vehicles, and also exported to the US for use in the Capri and Pinto. This was apparently a somewhat popular swap for these vehicles, as there is an aftermarket adapter you can purchase to make the switch. I don't have any particular fondness for Fords in general, and I certainly wouldn't have done this swap myself, but as long as the motor continues to run, I plan to leave it alone. (I'm not sure when the swap was done; it had been done before the previous owner acquired the vehicle, which would put it sometime between 1974 through 2000 or so.) Although I must admit that it is somewhat embarrasing to have to admit to having a Ford under the hood, I plan to give it the opportunity to prove itself. Ford did make a version of this vehicle (known as the GPW) for the war effort after all, so there is a shaky bloodline of sorts. If the motor gives me trouble, I will either look for an original engine or another idea kicking around in my brain is to drop in a fuel injected V6 Magnum from a Dodge Dakota, Ram or van or more probably a 2.5L I-4 from a Jeep or Dakota. I don't purchase my vehicles to show or as an investment, I buy them to use and enjoy, so in some ways a modern engine fits better for my needs, but there is something pretty neat about the thought of having an original 60 year old motor purring away under the hood...

Except for the engine, the remainder of the drivetrain is correct for this vehicle:

For those who are into that sort of thing, the trans, transfer case and gears give this Jeep a crawl ratio of around 38.8:1, which is actually about the same as most modern stock Jeeps and Dodges. I had figured the crawl ratio would be pretty impressive on these old Jeeps to make up for the weaker engines, but apparently not. Despite the impressive 5.38s in the diffs, the (relatively) tall transfer case and first gear ratios conspire to knock that down a bit. Oh well, should be plenty for what I need; I'm certainly not planning on doing any rock crawling with it!

With a top speed of around 45mph, this is certainly no highway cruiser, but then again its not intended to be. I plan to use this for running around the fields and woods and also to take to the occasional car show, etc. My plans for this one are to basically leave it alone to retain its original appearance, and do repairs/upgrades as needed. The biggest thing that I can forsee is a possible engine swap, but again, this won't happen unless the current motor decides to overstay its welcome. The only other "major" mod that I might forsee undertaking is installing an overdrive unit in the transfer case, should I stumble across one for a very good price. That would give me the ability to split gears and give me a bit more speed on the highway.

The links to the left will provide you with more information about my CJ2A and some of the modifications I have performed. I hope this page is of some help to you and your own vehicle!