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Part III of the Ford Jeepster

• CATEGORIES: Features, Jeepster, Unusual

UPDATE:  Bob reports the vehicle arrived safely in Ohio.  He verified that the frame is a Ford and the body is well-built.   

He reports, “The thing looks pretty solid and seems to be made out of thick steel and very well made. I just can’t imagine some guy in his garage making this thing, but I could be wrong. Someone updated the running gear with a mustang straight 6, auto trans and the mustang differential. You can clearly see where it was column shift originally, and the frame is definitely a 46 ford.”

“The grill does seem stamped from what me and some other guys who looked at it think. There are no indications of it being welded up from pieces. The hood looks the same, like it was made in one piece. The window glass looks like cj3a, 3b era, but the frame is not.”


18 Comments on “Part III of the Ford Jeepster

  1. mark

    I’m in the middle of a frame-up on a 48 jeepster so I’ll speak to a couple of things:
    -someone went to a lot of fab work to make that grill/hood matchup. If you were building a jeepster rod why not just use a willys salvage?

    -interesting fender to boards to fender fabrication. The rear fender matches the wheel well and the front fender seams up to the grill in a weird way.

    -Ford straight 6 but with A/T. probably a swap.

    -finally if that’s not the early 60s Bronco dash cowl I don’t know what is. It’s excactly the same angle and look.

    My money is on a Ford prototype that was tested but never made it far. Many test prototypes had the heck ran out of them, hence the later engine swap. I can’t wait untill ewillys solves the mystery.

  2. deilers

    Remember that for the 1/4 ton CJ-2A Willys Overland switched to the seven slots because Ford developed the nine slot stamped grille and Ford didn’t want to share that design for the 1/4 ton. Willys didn’t trademark the grille for decades; instead, the grille became, over time, a defacto trademark that Willys decided to register as a trademark later. So, in ’46, there was no trademark for Ford to violate. In fact, the first Jeepster grille was 8 slots and not 7 slots.

  3. Bob

    This thing is definatley built on a 46 ford frame, same crossmembers and front suspension. I’m not the Bob who bought it, but a buddy of mine. I figured the engine swap was done in the 80s. The owner says there is evidence of a column shift at one time

  4. Barry Evans

    Please keep me advised if someone figures out what this vehicle is!! I have 4 VJ Jeepsters and man does it ever look like a cross between a CJ2A & VJ Jeepster. I think the engine is an 80ies swap, but someone said the the frame looks Ford?? Front suspension, at least from the photos, resembles the planar front suspension of my Jeepster.

    AWESOME find!

  5. Bob

    There’s going to be an effort this weekend to get this thing running and see if it will move under it’s own power. The trans linkage needs some work. One funny thing about the engine swap is that the motor is way too tall, leaving no room for an air cleaner. Good thing nobody cut a hole in the hood. The only area of concern we’ve seen so far is the rear differential swap. The spring perches on the front of the springs do not sit on the frame very well, looks like they have maybe 1/2 an inch of frame contact and the welds look like they were done by a 9 year old. The back hangers are not much better.

    Also, the body seems to be a one piece deal on this, there’s not a seam anywhere to be found. The other Bob seems to think it’s a unibody deal, but I tend to disagree. The body is welded to the frame in several places though.

  6. mark

    Great Mystery! History Buffs, Car Buffs, Ford Buffs, Willys Buffs….Who will solve it?

    Here’s one MAJOR clue, the front grill emblem, surely that had to be documented somewhere deep in the FoMoCo archives. They guarded those iconic emblems pretty well and more than some of the other design patterns.

    And I still can’t get past the dash, it appears identical to an early Bronco.

    Keep us posted.

  7. Barry Evans

    Yes the dash does resemble an early bronco, but if you look at early C-101 Commandos is has a strong resemblence there as well. The windshield frame also looks early CJ5 with the wiper up top. May this was an attempt to revive the Jeepster in the late 50ies? What is the Radio?

  8. Bob

    I can’t say what the radio is as I did not look at it that close. The glass looks to me like 3b or 3a but the frame is its own thing. We have the carb off right now for a rebuild. It’s a carter yf but a different model than an f head has. The motor, obviously a replacement at some point, is a ford 200 straight 6. It has a broken exhaust manifold. We found one at the local pull a part.

  9. Steve Noland

    Did you ever figure out what this is and who made it? Another one has turned up.

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