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1947 Jeep CJ - 7-Year Itch

Posted in Features on May 1, 2005
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Gary Moss of Menifee, California, convinced his wife that purchasing a '47 flattie - a rusty pile of twisted metal with a valid registration - was a good idea and that it would become a family toy in no time. For a mere $800, Gary's front yard was blessed with the addition of two axles, a set of springs, a broken half-stock frame, five Carol Shelby wheels, and lots of unusable parts. With great enthusiasm, he immediately repaired the frame, found a beat-up M-38 tub, replaced the sub floor and the rotten rear, and got rid of all the rust. Then Gary removed all the paint and built a new set of front fenders by hand. He then had a rolling canvas to work with.

Then life intervened. Gary's children were very young and his wife decided to go back to college. So money was tight and Gary's attention was directed elsewhere. For the next seven years, the flatfender sat in the garage, moth-balled, awaiting its day.

Finally, in September 2002, the build was on again. Not pleased with what he had accomplished the first time around, Gary scrapped the stock frame and started over. With $65, a Miller welder, and his own two hands, he built a completely new frame. Having no real disposable income to support the project initially, Gary had to be creative. At one point, he swapped in a T-18 transmission that he found on the side of the road, and later he robbed his '66 Mustang of its engine to bring the flattie to life. Slowly, the beast started to come together.

With a little help from Rockbuggy Supply and a pile of scrap metal he had accumulated over the years, Gary handbuilt his flatfender. It still sports a classic look but with a number of modern modifications. The Jeep was taken on its maiden voyage in November 2003, and in Gary's own words, "It was a real kick in the pants." If you ever have an opportunity to see this Jeep in person, you will see that Gary's attention to detail was simply phenomenal.

Year/make/model: '47 {{{Jeep CJ}}}-2A
Owner/hometown: Gary Moss/Menifee, California
Engine: PAW 289
Induction: Holley Pro-Jection
Transmission: T-18
Transfer case: Dana {{{300}}}
Frontend: Dana 25 with a Powerlok
Rearend: Dana 44 with a Detroit
Ring-and-pinion: 4.27
Suspension: Spring-under, extended shackles
Tires/wheels: 37x12.50 Goodyear M/TRs/ 15-inch Carol Shelby

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