The Jeep CJ-5 Had Guts And Not Much Else

Nowadays you can get a Jeep with a menagerie of toys and tech, like hill descent control, navigation systems, premium audio systems, and floormats. But way back in the days of the old-school Jeeps, the only amenity that could be advertised was "guts," and the rest of the list wasn't much longer.

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The rest of that list, by the way, was composed of four-wheel-drive, and a frame. Both of which are important to have, I suppose, if you're going anywhere off road.

But that's part of the reason why old Jeeps were, and still are, so beloved. They were simple, easy to fix, and hell, there were only about five moving parts to fix if something went wrong.

Sure, the stiff suspension might've rattled you out of the threadbare seats if you took it anywhere near a slightly bumpy road at anything quicker than a few miles per hour, but that was part of the joy.

Because there's nothing like a car that you don't get in, but rather sit on top of.

DISCUSSION

We moved to SE Indiana in the late 70's. 136 acres of hills and trees. My dad bought a 1942 Willy's Jeep as a farm vehicle. It was what I learned to drive on. And learn to drive it I did. You had to be good to drive this beast. Yes, it was underpowered, but when you add(or take away) things like steering with 12 inches of play in the wheel and brakes that only worked on the right front wheel(and only if you pumped the pedal), it was frightening. I probably never went over 30mph in it, hard to tell when none of the gauges worked, but I learned valuable lessons about vehicle control behind the wheel of that Jeep. Now my dad has another country place, 125 acres this time and he has another Jeep, a 1948 model, that is in considerably better condition than the 1942 model. Dad is now teaching another generation how to drive. My 11 year old daughter can almost shove the clutch in.