Spotless Refurbishment: 1947 Willys Jeep CJ-2A

This 1947 Willys Jeep CJ-2A has led a sheltered life, but that didn’t stop its previous owner from performing a meticulous nut-and-bolt refurbishment of the vehicle. The result of all of this hard work is a vehicle that not only presents superbly but is ready to be driven and enjoyed by a lucky new owner. If a classic off-roader is on your radar, you will find the Jeep located in Polk City, Florida, and listed for sale here on Barn Finds Classifieds. If you hand the owner $18,500, you can drive home in this superb little classic.

The history of this Jeep is a fascinating one. The Girl Scouts of America originally owned it, but it spent decades in storage at their base until the last owner purchased it. He located a collection of registration cards for the vehicle that dates back into the 1950s, and it appears that while the Scouts owned it, it only accumulated 5,600 miles. The new owner decided to revive the vehicle, but he decided to undertake the task to the highest possible standard. He dismantled the Jeep down to the last nut and bolt and whipped the body into shape. Once he had accomplished that task, he applied the Pearl White paint that you see gracing its flanks. The panels are laser straight, with no visible dings and marks. The paint shines as superbly as you might expect on a vehicle that has had virtually no use since the work was completed. All of the body hardware is in as-new condition, as is the glass. The wheels are a later addition, but the buyer could replace these if they wanted to achieve a stock appearance.

The owner supplies numerous photos of the Jeep’s underside, and this one is indicative of its condition. The vehicle is completely rust-free, with not so much as a trace of surface corrosion. If it were physically possible to do, I would have no hesitation in eating my lunch off the floor. It and the frame are about the cleanest that I’ve ever seen in an off-roader of this vintage.

The interior didn’t escape his attention when the previous owner refurbished the Jeep. Once the interior had been stripped to bare metal, a spray-on coating similar to Raptor or Line-X was applied to the floors and other surfaces. This is a better alternative to mats because it is easy to clean and doesn’t trap moisture. Aftermarket seats and a rollbar were installed, although both could be removed if the buyer is seeking total originality. All of the painted surfaces appear perfect, as do the gauges, plaques, and wheel. Apart from the previously mentioned seats and roll bar, the previous owner has installed turn signals. Beyond that, it is as it rolled off the production line.

While some aspects of the Jeep could be classed as refurbished due to the use of some non-original components, the vehicle’s drivetrain is completely original and numbers-matching. It features a 134ci 4-cylinder engine that is backed by a 3-speed manual transmission. The Jeep proved itself in the field of battle with its dual-range transfer case and 4-wheel-drive capabilities, and many of these components carried over into the civilian version. The four is not the most powerful motor on the planet, but with 60hp and 105 ft/lbs of torque delivered low in the rev-range, it was a proven package when the going got rough. The previous owner treated the entire drivetrain to a rebuild, replacing every gasket and seal along the way. The car is now in perfect mechanical health and drives as well as it did in 1947. The buyer could fly in and drive away in this classic, and they wouldn’t merely be receiving the vehicle for their money. There is a significant collection of documentation, the Owner’s Manual, repair books, receipts, and some spare parts.

This 1947 Willys Jeep CJ-2A is a spotless classic that appears to need nothing. Returning it to its stock appearance would not be difficult, but the previous owner’s changes during the refurbishment would make it a more comfortable and civilized vehicle both on and off-road. Even if the buyer chose to fit standard wheels and a set of original seats, it would still turn heads wherever it went. That’s what makes this such an attractive proposition. None of the changes are irreversible, so it is ideally suited to traditionalists and those who aren’t opposed to a few sensible upgrades. That makes it a real winner in my book.


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  1. Howard A Member

    Whoo-wee, here’s a sweetheart. Correction, bring a trailer*.
    ( * disclaimer, has no connection with that site)
    Unless you are this persons neighbor, driving it any distance will be a chore. Fact is, when I looked at that ’65, even WITH the O/D, route planning showed, there were no 2 lanes for a 24 mile stretch, and interstate travel, of any kind, was not a good idea. Fantastic restoration, a salute to American freedom, why I bought a Jeep in the 1st place, but what do you do with it? I took mine on some gravel roads the other day, the county laid down some crap that I believe is supposed to keep dust down, it doesn’t dry, leaves a mess. You want to do that with your 5 figure restoration? And rough, due to lack of funds( allegedly, more accurately, can’t find someone that can run a grader) and have opted to not grade any back roads. With the damage modern ATV’s do to the roads, it ruins it for everyone. “Speed ripples” for miles, and potholes you can lose a driveshaft in, again, in this? This Jeep itself is a great restoration, as far as interest, you’ll never go wrong restoring one of these, you just may not get 5 figures of use out of it, if that’s an issue. I bought my Jeep to bounce through the woods, not for behind a velvet rope at a car show.
    In a sidebar, of sorts, a Jeep, to me, just screams FREEDOM,, something a Toyota owner can’t claim, and might sound an awful lot like my old man, but I mean that. Fact is, my Jeep had an aluminum cover over the grill slats, and was the 1st thing I removed,,,why? I’ll tell you, that grill, with those vertical slats, is a trademark, of sorts, for a Jeep. While the YJ pushed the limits with square headlights, Jeep kept the grill for all it’s models, even today. To cover that up with some cheesy, shiny panel, is blasphemy.. What’s the big deal? The Jeep carried many of our fathers out of combat, and many owe our very lives to that vehicle. I can’t think of a single more important vehicle, that made it into the public sector, than the Jeep. It truly represents freedom for the USA, and why I bought one. This is a beautiful restoration, and guaranteed, never left Toledo looking like this.

    Like 17
  2. Bunky

    It is in very nice condition, but seems like a waste of a low mileage, original Jeep.
    Seems to me to have a bit of an identity crisis. Low mileage original- no. Restoration- no. Upgraded, user-friendly off roader-no. Bone stock “restoration” of a low mileage original- with chrome wheels and high back buckets. To each his own.

  3. BR

    Three speed and two wheel drive? You ain’t going far off the asphalt.

  4. Steve Clinton

    This would be impractical for four-wheeling (obviously), but what a neat little Jeep to show up in at the next cars and coffee meeting!

    Like 1
  5. robj Member

    Those seats!
    To me a bit overwhelming for a utilitarian vehicle such as this. My fiend has one restored to original and even with original seats there’s really not much room between your beer keg and the steering wheel.
    [The rear wheel tubs prevent the seats from moving back very far. ]

    With these seats a test fit is suggested…

    Like 1

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