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Brush Truck Survivor: 1962 Willys Jeep CJ5

This 1962 Jeep CJ5 is a former National Forest Service brush truck, but really, given it retains all of its firefighting regalia, there’s nothing all that “former” about it. The Jeep looks quite fun with its working bubble siren lamp and fender-mounted ax, along with white-painted steel wheels and hubcaps. The seller notes $600 in recent front end work and some rust issues in the floors. Find it here on eBay where bidding is at $1,325, well off from the Buy-It-Now price of $12,500.

One of the biggest disappointments (usually) about these former firefighting rigs is that they’ve lost or been stripped of the equipment that made them capable of knocking down blazes in the first place. Not so with this CJ5, which still has all of its various spotlights, signage, and firefighting equipment still attached. I’d love to know if the seller found it like this or had to track down the equipment.

This is about as utilitarian as it gets, with no doors, no roof, and not a piece of carpeting in sight. But that’s how it should be in a Jeep, especially one with an important civic duty like this example. The seller notes the Jeep starts, stops, and drives well, and that he had $600 in front-end and tune up work completed during his ownership. I can see a few spots of rust in the floors and body, but nothing major.

The CB radio and the emergency brake are non-functioning at the moment, but the siren and bubble light still work. The seller also lists the other firefighting-specific equipment, which includes a portable hand pump extinguisher; 50 gallon water tank with electric pump and fire hose; hand-held extinguisher; and a flashlight. These former firefighting rigs are always a treat, but bidding is well short of the B-I-N.


  1. Andy

    Well it’s not Forest Service Green which appears to have been standardized in 1956. Also the term “National Forest Service” is a bit off as it is correctly called US Forest Service. It could have been from a local or state agency however. As a long time former USFS employee and fire fighter I am always interested in old USFS trucks. Seems like early original green trucks are few and far between!

    Like 0
  2. JOHN Member

    Pretty cool old Jeep, but that radio is far from a CB…

    Like 6
  3. CanuckCarGuy

    Doesn’t look to have spent much actual time in the brush…or it’s had some help aesthetically. Sharp rig, but seems staged as I wouldn’t expect it to have been sold surplus as a fully functional, kitted out unit.

    Like 3
  4. John Graham

    Several problems. The “bubble” is probably a Federal Signal model 15 or 17. The siren is a electric (mechanical) model also of Federal Signal. The spot lights would not have red bulbs. The “CB” is a Motorola speaker and microphone. The unit would need a control head, antenna (likely a whip), and the transceivers of the era would likely use tubes. The guarded toggle switch is unusual. The axe would most likely be a Pulaski type for woodlands and brush. Plastic tank on the pump is unusual for the era. Roll bar and front “cage” is probably a Smittybuilt . It is nice, but a lot of liberties were taken and it isn’t close to era correct.

    Like 0
  5. Bob McK

    Very cool unit.

    Like 0
  6. TimM

    Really clean and looks well cared for!! I don’t think the price is to bad considering the shape it’s in!!!

    Like 0
  7. John Graham

    Utilitarian brush buggies wouldn’t be running two red bulbed spot lights. Spot lights would likely have been clear lensed aircraft landing light bulbs if not stock bulbs. Some departments ran dual beam headlights in the spots. This gave you both diffused light and reasonable distance. The “bubble” is a Federal Signal and the mechanical siren is F.S. as well. The “CB” radio is a Motorola speaker and microphone. I don’t see the control head, transceiver, cabling, or antennae. This era would likely have low band frequencies used for distance, and the antenna would be a long whip. The fire axe would most likely be a Pulaski style for forest/brush usage. Where is a shovel? The plastic slide in tank is too new. Nice unit, just a little mixed up.

    Like 0
  8. Jon

    Looking at the 24 pictures my guess (uneducated, lol) is this may have been used for “educational displays” and taken to schools, parks, parades, fairs, etc. to show people, and mainly kids, about the work Forest Service employees do. Pass out the Smokey the Bear pamphlets, jr. ranger badges, etc. I have spent a lot of time in the forests here in Wa. State and have never seen one like this with hubcaps etc. If it was actually used in fire service or even in the woods as a patrol vehicle, there should be a lot more wear and tear and rust on it.

    Like 1
  9. Mountainwoodie

    Since I live in the middle of a national forest I could really use this…especially with the Santa Ana’s kicking up……..price is more (of course) than I would spring for though, I’d say its been “restored”.painted…and poorly at that …..like over the rust, given the undersides which look more like a used jeep.

    But super cool………driving this I’d feel just like I was driving a fancy Nellybelle :)


    Like 2

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