Hunting Truck Rescue: 1947 Willys CJ2A

When it comes to Jeeps of practically every vintage, few vehicles get quite the same nods of approval when left in completely ratty condition. This 1947 Willys CJ2A has lost all of its paint and looks like it just escaped from a battlefield somewhere, but that actually adds to its charm among the Jeep and Willys faithful. It even runs and drives, and you can find here on eBay in a listing that remains active despite saying it’s out of stock.

So, there may be some potential disappointment lingering if you’re intrigued by this old-school Willys, and for that, I apologize – but it’s just too cool not to share. The seller notes it was barn-stored for 40 years but has emerged with working four-wheel drive, a fresh gas tank, upgraded locking front hubs, and floors repaired properly with metal replacement panels.

OK, it didn’t literally emerge with those repairs done – the point is, someone’s already been busy improving this Willys in the months after it escaped the barn. Still, it has needs, including brakes that need a full going-over. The seller notes it will be sold with the heavily caked-on mud you see here, as a testament to its many years of duty as a hunting truck that was never washed.

The engine bay is filthy, but who cares? That’s the way it’s supposed to look. Incredibly simple and tough as nails, it’s not surprising in the least that this Willys still runs. Now, the question becomes how do you use it – keep it as-is, preserving its hunting history, or restore it back to like-new form? Let us know in the comments below how you’d treat this barn find Willys.


  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    With apologies to Alfonso Bedoya (Treasure of the Sierra Madres) “UTV’s!??!?!? We’d don’t need no stinking UTV’s!” We’ve got an original UTV setup here, so leave it alone and go have some fun bangin’ around off-road somewhere it’s still legal to do so, unlike the dunes at Pismo Beach in the near future..
    Slide into a tree? No big deal. A comealong and a Farmers Jack will probably be all you’ll need. Pranged the bumper again? Just find a BFR (big freakin’ rock) and straighten it out if you want. Need to get anywhere in a hurry? Wrong choice-and that’s the fun, plus it’s easy to work on. The real original Jeep-its the best one.

    Like 6
  2. Ikey Heyman

    Needs a real, cross-braced roll bar…..that is, if there’s enough of a frame remaining to weld it to.

    Like 3
    • Rik

      The tub of a Jeep bolts to the frame through rubber isolation mounts…if you wanted to weld to the frame, you’d have to cut holes in the floor to get at it…I guess you could…

      Like 2
      • Ikey Heyman

        I guess it’s just me, but I wouldn’t trust a bolt-on-the-fenders roll bar on this particular jeep and then go off-road. I could live with the holes.

        Like 3
  3. Matt

    That looks like a VEC 1946 2A (Very Early Civilian). Note the pioneer tool (axe and shovel) indents by the gas filler and the 3-piece data tags on the dash. Later ’46 and on models had a 1 piece long data tag on the dash.

    Like 4
  4. MarveH

    I don’t think you’ll find any “Silly boys, Jeeps are for girls” stickers on this one.
    I’d jounce my kidneys into interoperability in this baby as it sits, for a while. Then my OCD would kick in and I’d start a light, rolling restoration.

    Like 2
  5. stillrunners Stillrunners Member

    Should have the two piece windshield.

    Like 1
  6. Andrew Franks

    I’d clean it up, do what it needs and drive it frequently. Eventually paint it the same color it is now, known to you as Earth Miles…….

    • Pearl Harper

      Caked on mud from being in a barn in Beaumont, TX? Sounds like this jeep met Harvey up close and personal. Buyer beware.

  7. TimM

    My brother-in-law had one of these the same year and he drove it everywhere!! Only did 45 mph top speed but he didn’t care!! He sold it cheap!! Wish I would have got it!!!

    Like 1
  8. 8banger Dave Member

    We have a customers 1948 at my shop, and it looks nearly identical. We’ve done some stuff to it like 12v, etc. like this one has had. Runs pretty dang good for stock and is a blast to drive.

    Like 1

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