Runs and Drives: 1948 Willys Jeep CJ2A

It’s hard to go wrong with a Willys Jeep CJ2A for a project vehicle. Whether you restore it back to new condition or simply keep it running well enough to hop in and bomb around the deer lease, there’s always a good use for them and someone willing to buy it when you’ve had your fun. This example is clearly in the latter category, and the seller doesn’t go out of his way to detail any actual specifics about the Willys beyond the fact that it starts, runs, and drives. Of course, aside from rust (which isn’t likely to be found in Shelby, Texas), what else is there to know about a CJ2A? Find this driver-grade example here on Facebook Marketplace for $2,500.

Now, despite their simplicity, you can still find plenty of surprises in the wrong example. These CJ2As are blunt instruments, and used by people just looking to get a job done – no matter how much brute force is required. You have to give credit where it is due, as the Willys Jeep effectively went from the battle field to the horse pasture without getting neutered in the process, hence why so many owners of this wartime rigs used them for everything from stump pulling to rock crawling. These days, you can find any number of ways to use them if you place an emphasis on collectability, from restoring it as a real-deal military vehicle tribute to building the kind of truck that can shame vehicles half of its age at Moab.

Image courtesy of The CJ2A Page

This old-school advertisement captures this spirit perfectly: if you want a vehicle that can be more than a one-trick pony, the Willys Jeep is the ideal choice. From working the field to parking at the beach, this is a vintage vehicle that is incredibly practical. Now, that’s not to say it’s much fun to try and drive at highway speeds, but if your lifestyle allows you to avoid long expanses of interstate highway, a Willys CJ2A like this one starts to make a lot of sense. Sportsmen and beach bums alike can appreciate the value proposition a CJ2A offers, so hopefully the next owner of this Texas truck will want to inject some new life into those old bones.

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Here’s my next vehicle, let’s see, 933 miles ( more if by 2 lane), be a looooong ride home. Prices for these are all over the place, this particular example seems to be priced a bit low,( I know, Steve and Joe just passed out) did I say that? I’ve decided, for my situation, a Jeep would be much better than the old GMC,( and dirt bike) and there are a bunch out here, as to be expected. I think this is a bit TOO crude for what I want, as I still have to take 2 lanes to get to the hills and I still want some modern comforts, like a heater and wipers. It seems, $5 to $7 g’s buys a pretty decent CJ, and while current trends tells me, I should be able to trade my squarebody even up for one, although, I know, it doesn’t work that way. This is a great find, for what it is, not what someone thinks it could be, it’s no Rubicon. Great find.

    Like 8
  2. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    This is a GREAT price if it’s what it’s purported to be! And Howard, should you decide you’d like to take it home, I’ll take bets that someone here at BF would give you a hand, and if they don’t I will.
    Nevadahalfrack

    Like 6
    • Howard A Member

      Thanks pal, but like I say, I’m a bit spoiled for the simpler things, like wipers and a heater. Top and doors would be nice too. With as many Jeeps that must be here, I don’t think I’ll have to go that far for one. I’m in no hurry, and squarebody prices, apparently are still on the rise, just not in winter.
      ALSO, since I’m on Nevada’s soap box, and this is as good a place as any,, I’ve decided, I give up. I admit defeat. I will no longer complain about exorbitant prices,( yay) this example not included, for once, however, someone will spin this faster than Superman, and the hobby, society in general from which this foolishness originates,, for that matter, is out of control. I always thought I’d have the old car hobby to fall back on in retirement, but that’s clearly not going to happen, and I’m just upsetting the people that make their living with these shenanigans, I simply give up. The reason a CJ? It’s the simplist vehicle I can think of to give the hobby and this current society a giant middle finger,( and still get around without going the moped route) and I think we’ll all be happier. If you don’t hear from me for a while, me and the ol’ CJ, to be, will be back in the hills, enjoying my last years and if this inflation is any indicator of the future, all I can say, is good luck. I’m happy to say, however, me and folks my age had it made, eat your hearts ( and wallets) out.
      Thank you.

      Like 13
      • Robert Eddins

        I agree with all you,ve said. I need to stay off here too. Warren Buffett call it irrational exuberance.

        Like 1
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        Robert, ignore Warren Buffet and listen to JIMMY Buffet-he’s not nearly as rich but he has a heckofva lot more fun and fans!!
        Besides, without perspectives from folk like you and Howard this would make for very one-sided reading, dull at best IMO.

        Like 1
    • Gator Member

      Might make a nice companion for my 46 CJ2. Nah, two would be tempting fate.

  3. Dan B.

    Looks like a great price for an early CJ.

    Like 4
  4. stephan

    This Jeep is a keeper, parts are dirt cheap, from engine bearings to sheet metal, Debella in NY, Nelson jeep in Ohio, John Bizel , Midwest in Minnesota, and on and on ..go-devil motors are still being produced. You need to use non ethonal gas and a little re-lead in the gas as the motors were designed to run on leaded gas…Have fun whoever buys this,I aint agoing to sell My M1952 M38Ai Marine Corps jeep!…

    Like 3
  5. Maestro11 Member

    Yes indeed, if I had the room. Somebody jump on this Jeep.

    Like 1
  6. lbpa18

    Dont come this cheap (by today’s standards) often. Jump on this if you want one. Frankly, I still cant figure out what a $30K UTV can do as a work truck that these havent been doing for eighty years at a much lower entry price. The only plastic on these are the shift knobs.

    Like 3
  7. Mike T

    I bet if you put hard valve seats in the block and hard valves you could run non lead gas. I did that to my 1929 Ford and it runs great.

    Like 2
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      Good point! I’d forgotten that trick. Found a ‘64 T120C some years ago in an old Reno garage & did that same thing to make it compatible for the local gas pump.
      In the words of many BF readers, “Wish I still had it”!

      Like 1
  8. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Would have like to see more pictures for that price. Been dealing in these early Jeeps for awhile. CJ2’s should have a split windshield but that’s a easy change out to the later.

    Like 1

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