1. home
  2. project vehicles
  3. DED Project Revived for Flatfender Frame & Rust Repair

DED Project Revived for Flatfender Frame & Rust Repair

Grampy

Fred WilliamsPhotographer, Writer

How many of you have a project vehicle you started when time and money seemed abundant and that now sits waiting for the next allotment of spare time and spare change, which never seems to come? Well, I do to. Many people know of my old 1986 Toyota rockcrawler Clampy, but let me introduce you to Grampy. Grampy is a 1950 Willys Jeep CJ-3A that I’ve been dragging around for a few years and have finally resigned myself to finish. Since I started this build I have had other more pressing projects and work assignments take my time away from it. Not to mention personal life changes, moving to a new house twice, dogs, cats, goats, and so on. Basically, Grampy had a bunch of work done to it and then was pushed in the corner and ignored.

No one puts Grampy in the corner! It’s time to make this Jeep a priority, or just something that I stop ignoring. And since I have most of the parts already, it shouldn’t be too hard to finish. If I just make the time for it. And I’m hoping this recap gets me motivated to put in the time because you will be looking for a follow-up.

The idea of owning a flatfender Willys Jeep started when I was in high school (decades ago) and read an article about a Jeep built by Jimmy Nylund in an issue of Four Wheeler magazine (“Ugly,” Sept. 1989). This Jeep didn’t have a fancy paint job and really worked off-road, both attributes that I could appreciate as a poor kid in high school. I even had a substitute teacher with a Willys that I would talk to about my Jeep obsession, and I decided I would own a flattie. Then other things happened. I bought a CJ-5, sold it, bought a CJ-7, and then sold it to go to college. I moved away from home. I traveled around the country and I ended up at this magazine. I had other Jeeps, other trucks, Clampy, built a rock buggy, ran this magazine, started a web show, and so on. But I didn’t own a flatfender. One summer I was home in Pennsylvania driving around the woods with my mom and I realized that it had been years since I dreamt of owning a cool old flattie and I still didn’t own one. Upon returning to California I found a CJ-3A I could afford on Craigslist and drug it home. I had finally realized my dream! I would soon realize the truth of the notorious saying “A Jeep is never finished”

Before you know it, I had torn into the little Jeep to “fix a few things,” and I had it fixed all the way down to a pile of parts. I am tarnished with a reputation for being late with everything. I really wanted to have this Jeep fixed and ready to wheel for the 75th anniversary of the Jeep brand in 2016. I’m not holding my breath to have it done, but the second best thing to wheeling a Jeep is working on a Jeep, so I have that going for me. Here is a quick recap and an idea of where old Grampy is headed.