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Part One, Verne’s 1946 CJ-2A Walk-Around

A video walk-around.

I drove two hours and bought this CJ-2a not too far from Heber, Arizona, in August 2018. I'd seen the Jeep for sale on the internet for a few weeks, and I had inquired about it a few times. I could tell that it was a fairly early and mostly complete project, albeit pretty well pulled apart. I was looking for a few things that are hard to find in an old Jeep. Namely that it had great patina, original seat frames, all of the sheet metal, and that many of the parts were loaded in the back. It lacked an engine and a radiator. The lady who sold it to me said it was pretty rust-free, but it did have a few issues with rust in the hat channels and floors. But I have a welder and am not afraid to use it. I knew I could bring this Jeep back and make it enjoyable again. I'd like my kids to have fond memories of riding around in it, and heck, old Jeeps are handy to have around the homestead. Anyways, here we are approaching three years after I bought the Willys, and the little 1946 Jeep is running and driving and about to go on a third off-roading adventure.

This 1946 CJ-2a as it was

This is the Jeep on the day I bought it.

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This was a selfish project, for me—not for the magazine—but because I've been conditioned to take pictures of everything, that's what I've done. Even if it was just with my then-archaic smartphone. I love this Jeep, and I thought our readers might get a kick out of hearing its story. There's 72 years in which I didn't own it that I can make educated guesses about, and that's all. All I really know is the Jeep is here, and it brings a smile to my face every time I drive it. I call the effect of driving it "Permasmile" because it's almost impossible not to smile while driving it—especially down a dirt road with the windshield folded down. If folks want to see more, I can talk about how I rebuilt it slowly over the past few years and what I've changed since it's been "done." For now, here is a "walk around" video of the Jeep as it sits right now.

Verne shows us some aspects of his 1946 CJ-2a as it is Today.

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