Live Auctions

$2,500 CJ: 1951 Willys CJ-3A

Here’s a 1951 Willys CJ-3A and it’s on Craigslist with an asking price of $2,500. That seems like a good deal, doesn’t it? This would be a fun vehicle to bop around the neighborhood with, there’s no question about it. Oh yeah, and it’s also a rugged 4×4, too! This one is located in the Portland, Oregon area.

I was surprised at what I thought was a seemingly low price on a recent post about a 1955 CJ-5 that sold for $3,150. This 1951 CJ-3A looks even more enticing given it’s even lower price and it being in somewhat similar condition.

Sure, there’s probably $2,500 worth of spray paint on this one, but redoing this flat-and-easy-curved bodywork shouldn’t be too daunting of a task for any one of us. You know that lots of parts are available for these Willys-Overland 4x4s. The CJ-3A was a part of the Universal CJ series, introduced for the industrial and agricultural markets. In 1951, a basic “Farm Jeep” was introduced which included a PTO (power takeoff).

The seller isn’t giving out too much info here, other than “Clear Title, Just relicensed for 2 more years, Runs and drives well.” It looks solid and clean, although with no interior photos it’s impossible to tell the condition there. But the engine, from this one photo, looks pretty clean and tidy, much more so than a lot of other $2,500 vehicles out there do. These “Jeeps” used the Go Devil” L-Head 134 I4 engine with a T-90 3 speed sending power through a Dana 18 transfer case. What do you think of this one? Is $2,500 a good price for this CJ?


  1. Rustytech Member

    Not many of these left around here! This Jeep actually looks like a solid example. It would be great for the trails around here. Wish it wasn’t on the opposite coast. This would actually make a nice military tribute.

  2. MrF

    I would take it, if it were nearby.

  3. Fred W.

    For once something priced well within reason.

  4. olddavid

    Absolutely the most fun you can have with your clothes on. $2500 and in my area? Good thing my wife is here to curb my natural excesses.

  5. Rustowner

    Looks like a decent deal for the money. Appears to have had a new water pump and recent head gasket. Definately check out the front frame rails for damage and patching. The windshield frame and tailgate are butched up, but everything else looks pretty decent. This has a early non ribbed cj2a head on it btw. Interesting mish mas for the air cleaner! I’d add it to the collection for the money.

    Oh btw, the “sell your vehicle” ad for this site with the 4 jeeps happens to be a shot from my back yard, lol.

  6. Howard A Member

    I agree with Rustowner, this one could be crusty underneath. That strap from the firewall to the fender is not stock. Still, for puttin’ around the compound, can’t go wrong here. Driving on the road would be another matter. A late model Wrangler it ain’t.

  7. DrinkinGasoline

    Not too much to be concerned with about the interior because well….they didn’t have much of an interior. A lot of support for these. Cool Willys.

  8. Dave Wright

    The prices on these early keeps have been on the decline for years mostly because you can buy a more capable safer modern utility vehicle for reasonable money these days. I used to buy and sell a lot of this type vehicle but at even at 2500.00 I can buy a good running Kawasaki Mule that is better in any practical application. Here in Idaho we can even drive them on the street like any other vehicle. These pre Wrangler Jeeps are scary at speed, heavy and thirsty for what they are. Otherwise, I have enjoyed and made a lot of money reselling them over the decades.

    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Not sure if the values have gone Dave. I think they are climbing. Not a good comparison with the Jeep and Mule. I agree that the Mule might be better, whole different rigs but I prefer the Jeep.

      • Dave Wright

        10 years ago I would have sold one like this for 7500.00 to some elk hunter that would have towed it behind his pickup camper during the season. Now the same campers are towing trailers full of Atv’s and Utv’s. Snowplow duties have even been taken over by the same vehicles. The people that prefer an old Jeep have never experianced a new Polaris that will do 70 MPH with 4 people and has 20 inches of suspension travel. In the old days a rusty hulk of an early jeep with a running flathead would bring 4,000.00 not any more.

      • Howard A Member

        Gonna have to go with leiniedude on this one. 1st of all, 10 years ago, you wouldn’t have sold a Jeep like this to someone in Wisconsin for $7,500 dollars. Just about everybody in the country had one ’round back ( or knew where several were) Today, that’s not the case. Those Jeeps ’round back, are pretty tired, and decent ones are hard to find.( I’m actually surprised at the price of this one) And of course, a new Mule is going to be better, but again, our incomes surely don’t jive, because I don’t have a years wages ( or more) to piss away on one and in 10 years, it will be a piece of junk, because the dealer destroyed all the spare parts, forcing you to buy a new one, while the ol’ Jeep chugs on, ( with replacement spares from AutoZone).

  9. Tirefriar

    I’d buy it just to drive to work and back. Then to the beach for those great sunsets on the PCH. To go to work, I take left and then it’s 15 minutes by streets. To go to the beach I take a right and it’s 15 minutes by canyons. Most of the time I get that’s right. Most of the time….

  10. Anthony

    I’d leave it just the way it is – and enjoy…

  11. edh

    Add a soft top and it would be great commuter for me.

  12. al8apex


  13. Tim W

    When the horn is as long as the motor, you either need a bigger motor, or a smaller horn. Just sayin’ Did a 53 CJ-3A for a guy years ago. Had a PTO driven post hole digger on it when he got it. This one on BF looks to be well worth the money

    • Big Mike

      I have seen them with the PTO on them, the farm next to my Grandfathers had one of them they worked real good down alone the river bottoms in the area, good rich farm land as long as the Mississippi stayed in its river bed and not flooded.
      But the river bottom would get boggy like the year after a flood, so the ole boy would use the jeep to plow up the river bottom to let the sun help dry it up.
      Of course I was talking about back in the 70’s early 80’s also, it is done totally different these days.

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