Welcome to Found Off The Street, our look at cars found on the cape that rust liked so much it decided to summer there; Cape Cod, MA. Today we have a 1954 Willys CJ-3B.
Last week's FOTS 1965 Triumph TR4A was in rough shape after years of exposure to harsh New England winters. This week's 1954 Willys CJ-3B is in significantly better shape. The old 4x4 spends its days out in the elements rain or shine, but returns to the safety and protection of a garage every night.
Everyone can recognize an old Jeep because of their iconic design elements. Willy's took the first steps towards producing the Jeep for civilian production as World War II came to an end. They dubbed the prototype models the CJ or Civilian Jeep. In 1945 the CJ-2A was released as the first official Civilian Jeep for sale to the public. The CJ model designation was used by Jeep until 1987 when it was replaced by Wrangler.
This particular model, the CJ-3B is a bit of an odd ball Jeep model. Introduced as a replacement for the aging CJ-3A in 1953, the Cj-3B's is easily identified by its distinctive high grille and hood. The modifications were made to the Jeep flat fender design in order to accommodate the Willy's Hurricane inline 4 engine. Although the heavily redesigned CJ-5 intended to replace the CJ-3B was introduced only a year later, the CJ-3B stayed in production until 1968. During its 15 year production run around 196,000 CJ-3Bs were produced.
Interestingly enough, the CJ-3B stayed in production in other countries long after American production was halted. The CJ-3B's design was licensed to several manufacturers in other countries including Mitsubishi and Mahindra. Mitsubishi produced their version of the CJ-3B in Japan through the late 1990s. It appears that Mahindra still produces a version of the CJ-3B in India. Not bad for a vehicle designed over 50 years ago.
This week's FOTS Jeep was produced right here in America at the Willys plant in Toledo, Ohio. Where it was originally sold or exactly when it appeared on the cape that rust remembered isn't known precisely, but its here now. Sitting up a little higher than when it left the factory, this CJ-3B has been the recipient of a few interesting modifications. When I first noticed this Jeep a few years ago it was blue. As you can see, the paint was changed to the love it or hate it orange and white somewhat recently. Although it is certainly not for everyone, I kind of like it. Another interesting addition to this CJ-3B is the bed extension on the back. Although it isn't factory it appears pretty well done. There is at least one other Willys of the same vintage on the cape that rust remembered with a similar extended bed. I'm not sure if it was a rare factory option or if it is just a local who has modified a few.
In between summers, the Willys is stored by its owner at a local service station where it spends its days outdoors. Although I was lucky enough to get a few pictures of the Jeep during a brief winter thaw, all winter long the Jeep can be spotted sitting out in the snow or the rain while the garage it's stored in is used for business. As you can tell from these pictures, the inclement weather of a New England winter hasn't seemed to affect the old Jeep much. Safe from the metal devouring road salt, we imagine this old Willys will be able to stand up to New England winters for many years to come.