Got the Willys: ’46 Willys Jeep CJ 2A
Production of the Willys B, better known as Jeep, began in 1941, shared between Willys, Ford and American Bantam which had initiated the original Jeep body design. 8,598 units were produced that year, and 359,851 units were produced before the end of WW II. In total, 653,568 military Jeeps were eventually manufactured. The origin of the name “Jeep” has been debated for many years. Some people believe “Jeep” is a phonetic pronunciation of the abbreviation GP, from “General Purpose”, that was used as part of the official Army nomenclature. The first documented use of the word “Jeep” was the name of a character Eugene the Jeep in the Popeye comic strip. The first postwar Willys product was the CJ 2A. Willys initially struggled to find a market for the vehicle, with early efforts to sell it primarily as an alternative to the farm tractor. Tractors were in short supply having been out of production during the war. The CJ 2A was among the first civilian vehicles of any kind to be equipped with four wheel drive from the factory, and it gained popularity among farmers, ranchers, and hunters. Guess what? That is where today’s offering was found – on a farm. It is a totally original 1st year production of the civilian Jeep. Everything is intact. In fact the seller removed the original fan belt to preserve it. From the pictures you can see the paint has patina from years of storage but we wouldn’t touch it. We would try and preserve it as is. The only iffy item is the soft top and side windows. Probably easy to recreate so you’ll have the entire package. We remember seeing a photo of Ralph Lauren on his ranch in Telluride driving a Jeep in similar condition and age as this one. His was sky blue but we are sure if he saw this one, he would want it for those days when blue just isn’t right. See this amazing, historic Jeep on eBay by clicking here. Thanks Mike M for sharing it with us!