“Let’s restore Grandpa’s jeep,” said my son. He had fond memories of riding around the farm with Grandpa driving the jeep… “That jeep could go anywhere… Grandpa called it a goat. It could do anything except stop. The brakes were terrible… non-existent… Sometimes he had to run it into a tree to make it stop.”
According to body style Grandpa’s jeep was a CJ2A. The Oregon license plate was issued in 1956 and the last tag update lasted until 1986. Between those years the jeep saw a lot of action hauling deer and elk carcasses out of the woods. He removed the canvas top and replaced it with a plywood cab.
When dad retired from hunting he parked his jeep under a big Douglas fir tree where it collected a covering of fir needles. Occasionally he used it to haul grandchildren around the farm.
Since Grandpa died his jeep has been collecting rust and losing parts.
The jeep turned into a midnight auto supply for neighborhood thieves. First the hood disappeared, then the radiator and the winch. Someone removed the air cleaner from the carburetor and a spark plug from one cylinder… perhaps they were trying to decide if the engine was worth stealing and they didn’t bother putting the air cleaner or the spark plug back in place… so rain water seeped in and completed the ruin of the engine.
We plan to remove the homemade plywood cab… remove the rusted-out tub… if the frame is in good shape we would replace the engine and install disc brakes… install a new aluminum tub… it is going to be a big project and not much of the original jeep is going to remain.
It might be easier to get a new jeep… but only one jeep can be called “Grandpa’s Jeep.”
“Let’s do it.”
Photo and story byLarry