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1949 Jeep CJ2A Willys Overland - Atomic Icon

Posted in Features on March 1, 2002
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Contributors: Wendy Frazier

Rugged, durable, and unstoppable-words that describe an American classic. Both Willys Overland Motor Company and Ford Motor Company manufactured what was to become a four-wheel-drive icon-the jeep. Between 1941 and 1945, for a mere $738.74, the U.S. government was able to purchase roughly a half million jeeps. When WWII was nearly over, Willys Overland retooled and began marketing a civilian version of the military's "jeep that won the war," and between 1945 and 1949 the company made the CJ2A.

Aside from owning a part of the Jeep character, Jed Colledge wanted to explore the great outdoors. His '48 buildup is a story not unlike the classic 11/44-ton itself. Practically built from the frame, his CJ2A is modified to favor rockcrawling more than anything else. That means that the components Jed selected, like twin Ford 9-inch axles, a well-laid-out/well-functioning drivetrain, and a spring-over with Wrangler leaf springs, make for one heck of a good time.

Jed Colledge: Proud owner of a '48 Willys Overland CJ2A.Envy: We want it.Enjoy the outdoors: The purpose for which it was built.Perfect tools: What's better than a backstage pass at a Metallica concert? An all access pass to your dad's machine shop. Think tube bender, grinder, and all sorts of amusing metalwork gear.

Custom six-point rollcage built by Colledge Machine of Lindon, Utah, and painted DuPont red to match the rest of the rig.Jeep: The American icon.2 years: That's the time it took Jed to build the 11/44-ton.Air tank and compressor built into the rollcage make for convenient, compact air and tool access.

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