Ran When Parked: 1942 Willys MB

This 1942 Willys MB was found in a Utah garage where it had been parked years earlier. Left there as a running vehicle, the Willys no longer runs and will need an overall refresh to return to road use; fortunately, that’s a manageable affair on w Willys of this vintage. Find the MB here on eBay with bidding approaching $6K and the reserve unmet.

The seller says the body is quite solid, and from here, it does appear to not have major rot holes in it. The flat fenders look intact as well, and the Willys rides on OEM steel wheels. The body is covered in red paint with yellow poking through in more than one spot, along with the occasional bit of gray showing up as well. This is the type of vehicle you’d respray in your backyard.

There’s even some green paint to add to the list if you’re keeping score at home. I’m not sure how we can verify from here what the original color was, but feel free to wage your guesses below in the comments. The Willys four-cylinder is said to both be original and freshly rebuilt at one time, but the seller doesn’t offer any evidence to support this.

However, the seller does reference knowing that the Willys was a strong runner when it was parked, so perhaps the Willys is a bit of a family heirloom. Then it makes even more sense that it was painted over and over again, which thankfully spared the gauges from being covered in red paint. Trucks like these tend to do well regardless of cosmetics, so long as they’re rust-free.


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  1. Gaspumpchas

    Looks like an unmolested Military jeep, I thought the mil spec jeeps didn’t have a glovebox, and this area is where they put the brass mil instruction plates. Look close and it looks like you can see olive drab paint under the hood. Nice restoration project. Good luck to the new owner,

    Like 2
    • gbvette62

      I agree, as a 42 MB, it was likely painted olive drab, though MB’s sent to the Navy, were painted gray.

      New MB’s were never sold to the public, so they were almost all either OD or gray. The first production CJ (for civilian Jeep), the CJ-2A, didn’t come out until 1945, and are somewhat different than MB’s.

      My father and brother were heavily into collecting WWII military vehicles, and have had 4 or 5 MB’s and GPW’s (a version of the MB built under license by Ford), over the years. I’ve been storing an early script bodied GPW in my shop for my brother, until he has time to restore it.

      This ones missing some MB parts, but over all it looks a lot less molested then many of them. The wheels on it are not OEM military spec MB wheels though. MB’s and GPW’s came with a two piece, split rim wheel, that was held together by 8 bolts. The idea was that the wheels could be disassembled, to make it easier to replace a tire in the field.

      MB’s and GPW’s do have a glove box door, the three data plates were attached to the door.

      Like 4
  2. Bob McK Member

    I bet it ran when new too.

    Like 2
  3. Steven Ligac

    As a 1942 I’ll bet it’s a 6volt electrical system.

    • BR

      ’41 through ’49 MB’s, GPW’s and CJ2’s were six volt.

  4. BR

    Spec’d as a non-combatant (civilian type) MB used by the Army and Navy. Big difference is in the electrical system, light switch, and lights. Lineage can be traced from the paint-over colors – blue/grey = Air Force, yellow = Air Force/Navy flight line duty, green(?) = US Forest Service, red = Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

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