I recived an email a while back from a fellow with a very low mileage CJ3B and a WW2 Jeep. He wanted me to come and look over the CJ3B with an eye to making it roadworthy again and look over his WW2 Jeep just to let him know what he had. The result was meeting a wonderful fellow who has inherited a Jeep and a passion for Jeeps from his father.
The story of the jeeps began back in 1943 when the father, Pete, shipped out with the merchant marine delivering cargoes of Jeeps to Italy. When they had shore leave Pete would keep a spare rotor in his pocket (in WW2 Jeeps did not have keys so the men would take the rotors out of the distributors to keep Jeeps from being stolen) and he would seek out a Jeep for his weekend on the town. Pete became very fond of Jeeps during the war.
When he returned from WW2 Pete bought a 1947 CJ2A, and then in 1960 purchased the CJ3B pictured here. The 1959 CJ3B came from a quarry where it saw few miles, and it moved to Pete’s 60 acre farm where it roamed the woods and made occasional forays into town. Pete’s sons grew up driving the Jeep around the farm when it was running.
Over the years the Jeep had many periods of downtime and so with mainly driving on the farm and then sleeping for periods the CJ3B only racked up 1,795 miles.
When Pete passed away his son, Jonathan, spent alot of time sorting out the estate. The jeep went to him. As Jonathan put in long hours a friend suggested that when all was said and done he should buy something nice for himself.
Jonathan already had a plan, as his father loved WW2 jeeps so much Jonathan wanted to buy a WW2 Jeep and name it something like “battling Pete” or “For Pete’s Sake.”
It turned out the owner of his favorite gun shop had just acquired a WW2 Jeep. Jonathan and he chatted about it and the owner brought the Willys MB to the shop for him to see. Jonathan said he teared up because the Jeep already said, “for Pete’s sake” on the side. It was like his father was talking to him he said.
Jonathan offered to buy the Jeep then and there but the owner wanted to keep it a bit longer. As it goes when things are meant to be Jonathan received a phone call four months later that the Jeep was his if he wanted it. And you can see how that went!
The 1943 Willys MB is the nicest I have ever seen. The restoration was impeccable and it retains its original tub. Jonathan is the owner of two real gems and I am sure his father is proud of how he carries on this family tradition.
We will be working on the CJ3B to make it roadworthy and reliable and I will post more when it comes to the shop. I was honored to hear such a wonderful story and see such examples of Jeep history.