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Find of the Week: Perfectly Restored 1946 Willys CJ-2A

Posted in News on June 16, 2016
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Photographers: Owner

One of the most recognizable 4x4s ever built is the iconic Willys CJ-2A, and since it’s been several decades since once last left the factory so getting one in new condition is nearly impossible. This 1946 Willys CJ-2A Very Early Civilian Model that’s for sale on eBay has undergone a nut and bolt restoration that is in better shape than when it came off the assembly line in ’46.

This numbers-matching Willys was spending its last working years as an airport tug in Kansas before the current owner rescued it and brought it home to Texas for a frame-off rotisserie restoration, and it shows. Since everything was factory and uncut, just covered in several coats of orange paint, the CJ was actually well preserved for being over 60 years old and only minimal rust was discovered when the body was and blasted. With years of paint, dirt, grease, and sweat blasted off the body, the rusty floor panels were and right rear quarter panel removed and replaced.

Extensive research went into identifying the correct color for each component on this Willys. The Harvest Tan color on the body was found inside the original headlight ring so a three part Polyurethane acrylic was mixed and sprayed on the body and the wheels, giving this flatfender a period correct and great-looking finish.

The shiny parts weren’t the only things that received some TLC. Vilas Motor Works rebuilt the Go-Devil engine, and the transmission and transfer case were sent over to Herm The Overdrive Guy for a top-notch rebuild. With the drivetrain built to better-than-new standards, the electrical system was refreshed, and a new wiring harness was added along with a rebuilt generator and starter.

With the drivetrain, body and chassis taken care of a bevy of new period correct components were installed, including a radiator, NDT tires, battery tray, master cylinder, windshield glass, wooden bumper blocks, hood latches, gas tank, volt meter, and a ton of other parts.

This Willys is as close to getting a brand-new 1946 CJ without a time machine. With only 250 miles on the odometer since the rebuild it’s ready for another 70 years of service and enjoyment. This beauty doesn’t come cheap though, with a starting bid of $17,500 it’s not free, but just think of all the time you’re going to save not having to restore your very own Willys.

For more information or to place a bid on this awesome flattie, head over to

PhotosView Slideshow

For more photos from the restoration check out the sellers build photo book at

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