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Len’s 1942 GPW

• CATEGORIES: Builds, Features

Len says he became a jeep fan while watching episodes of MASH. Despite being interested in jeeps, he waited to buy his first jeep.  Finally, three years ago, he took the plunge and found a 1942 GPW in Eastern Oregon. He brought it back to his home near Seattle to start a rebuild.  He thought it would take one year.  But, as many jeep enthusiasts learn, it took him more time than expected.   Now at the end of year three, he is almost done.  Though he has learned a lot, he swears he will never do another jeep rebuild.

The jeep itself had a pretty rough body, probably because it was raced for a short while.  However, the front of the frame and frame horns were in amazingly great shape and original.  Every part of the jeep has been pulled apart and rebuilt.  His goal has been to build a jeep out of original, rather than replacement parts.  The engine runs well and sounds great.

Len believes the small pits and dents in the body and fenders adds a nice historical feel to the project. Amazingly, he has managed to locate a variety of parts out of junkyards around the Seattle area.  For example, he has found two original pintle hitches from junk yards.  He has found all kinds of F stamped bolts.  He found a prototype, pre combat, rim. He found a headlight bucket.  The list of parts he found was surprising!

One of the most amazing stories he told was that the jeep didn’t come with a hood that matched the original body.  Since the hood was in poor shape, one of the things he began looking for was a better hood.  One of his buddies mentioned that his father had a GPW hood.  Len picked up the hood and was stunned to see it had striping similar to his jeep.  When he got it back to his garage he discovered the hood matched the body exactly!  After Len investigated things further, it turned out his friend’s father had sold the jeep to the guy in Oregon.  So, Len now had the original hood of the jeep.  Even better, the original hood numbers were still readable.  Talk about a small world!

Len’s goal with his jeep is to complete the rebuild, drive it for a few years, and then donate it to Fort Lewis, because the Fort’s museum doesn’t have a WWII jeep in it, though it does have later models.  Len still needs a few more items to complete his build, one being a ford script driver’s seat.  I’ve got a lead on one for him, but if anyone knows of any others, please comment below.

Len mentioned that his wife has been a big support of his effort, though their agreement includes one demand by her:  She gets to drive it first.  Congrats on the great rebuild.

 

4 Comments on “Len’s 1942 GPW

  1. Mike

    Len, WOW! I wish my 45 GPW was as far a long as yours. Hope you have loads of fun with her before you send her to the museum. I know they would love to have that 42 in the collection.

    Good Job!

    Mike

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