1942 Dodge 1/2 ton ambulance

I traveled this weekend to Petersburg Virginia to view a vehicle rescued just hours before it was supposed to be cut apart as scrap.  It was a long drive but the owner, Dave, was a wonderful host whose main goal is to see this vehicle preserved and not parted out. Dave has been restoring military vehicles for many years.Image

The Dodge was driven regularly by a refrigeration company until the early 1970s we believe.  At that point there was a fire in the building it was parked next to.  The fire warped the driver’s side and burst the windows. After that the Dodge sat for around 30 years.Image

The interior was remodeled by the refrigeration company as a work truck.  Although we have wondered if this was done as far back as WW2.  This half ton saw service in Maryland during WW2. The door bears the emblem of Third Maryland Service Command.Image

The engine compartment is very original and the engine cranks over by hand with a feeling of good compression.  This amazed Dave when he first found it in the salvage yard.Image

The ambulance will be coming North to Hanson Mechanical for what should be a very long restoration process.  It will be a true labor of love 🙂 Thanks to Dave for being a wonderful host and for saving this rare piece of history.Image

Family Guns episode online

My students and I were relocated to another classroom today.  With no library to wander and no computers to play with they asked if we could watch the Hanson Mechanical episode of Family Guns.  It is online now so they were able to watch it.  For your viewing pleasure here is a link to Family Guns Episode 3: I Wanna Jeep where we restored a Ford GPW in a month (not two weeks!!!) Enjoy!!

Click Here: I Wanna Jeep!



Before and after

We were playing Tetris with the Jeeps today to get a 1961 Willys pickup in the shop and the end result was some nice shots of a 1944 Willys MB that awaits restoration, and a finished 1952 M38 resto-rod.Image

I love this shot of the barnfind Jeep seemingly staring at the finished 1952 M38. I can imagine it saying,” that will be me someday….” 🙂ImageImage

It is fun seeing one before anything has been done, and one complete and ready to go home.  And here is the pickup now in the shop 🙂Image

Have fun!! -Merlin

The M38 makes a friend

We have been working on a 1952 Willys M38 for a while now and it is finally on the road.  There were MANY Bubbafications that we had to work through (goopy paint, bad welds, destroyed pedals, a V6 needing a proper cooling system etc..).  In the end it has been worth it.


My mechanic, John, was taking the M38 for a test run the other day after our third attempt to get the brake system working properly.  When he turned around in a driveway a fellow waved him down and pulled over.  It turns out the man owns a CJ3A.  He and John talked for a bit and the fellow said he would bring his Jeep by the shop for us to check out.  He was having a couple issues with it.


His name is Marty and this CJ3A was his first car! I love it when folks still have their first car.  The CJ3A is beautiful and I enjoyed having a chance to drive it. We had fun showing Marty our projects and going over his Jeep.  I hope we were able to help him with a couple minor issues. It was really nice meeting a new Jeep friend.

As I always say, drive your Jeep!! You find other jeeps, make new friends, and your Jeep is happy to be on or off the road.

For more photos of our work on the M38 go here: M38 restoration