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1951 Unrestored CJ-3A W/ A lot of Fixin’s Auction Oct 14-15

• CATEGORIES: Auctions, CJ-3A, Features This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Thanks to John for sharing this one-of-a-kind low-mileage jeep: 1731 miles … just stop what you are doing and check out these pics! Sadly, no engine pics are included. This jeep will be auctioned October 14-15th. Thought it is listed as a 1952 model, the serial number puts this as a 1951 model.

Some of the implements are unused!


1952-cj3a-auction1 1952-cj3a-auction3

“Chassis No. 451GB117583

This four-wheel-drive CJ-3A Jeep was ordered in January 1951 from Wiley Brothers and Lewis Packard-Willys of West Chester, Pennsylvania, by Arthur Knorr. A producer of Milton Berle’s Texaco Star Theater and the Miss US and Miss Universe pageants, Mr. Knorr would occasionally escape to his wife Ruth Gray’s family home on Halfmoon Valley Road near State College, Pennsylvania. The Jeep was ordered to support any and all possible maintenance needs on the Pennsylvania property. Accordingly it was outfitted with all the options, including a Ramsey cable winch, both front and rear tops with side curtains, floor mats, a hood lock, a radiator cover, and a heater/defroster – but also a dump trailer, power take-offs in front and rear, a pulley drive, and a hydraulic implement lift, running attachments that included a Timken buzz saw, grass cutter, ‘bush and bog harrow’, and hydraulic 6-foot snow plow!

The Jeep and trailer remained on the Knorr estate in West Chester until 1999, when they were sold to Joe Copnio. Both eventually passed in 2013 to Jim Taylor. As the Jeep had only been used on the Knorrs’ property, and not actually for regular road use, it remains in utterly pristine condition. Paint, upholstery, glass, and top are all original and in remarkable shape; the original wheels and tires have been replaced, but both accompany, loose; and the engine compartment is nearly pristine. The original tailgate was never installed – and is actually framed under Plexiglas for display – and the surviving implements have their original tags, indicating they had never actually been used; the cable for the winch is still in its wrapping, and the snowplow has never been assembled, while the Newton mower does show some use.

At the time of cataloging this remarkable Jeep had recorded just 1,731 actual miles, indicating it may well be one of the lowest-mileage and best-preserved of its generation in existence. Accompanied by its original paperwork and manual, as well as all the aforementioned accessories, it is a truly one-of-a-kind opportunity for the Jeep enthusiast.”


23 Comments on “1951 Unrestored CJ-3A W/ A lot of Fixin’s Auction Oct 14-15

  1. Bill Reiss

    Dave, I think you’ve featured this one before. I remember the story from the last time it came up for sale.

  2. Chris

    All I can say is wow! This is why our hobby sustains us. It’s rigs like this that keep me going. What a find and I hope the new owner keeps it original. Thanks for sharing!

  3. David Eilers Post author


    I did? You’d think I’d remember that. I’ll see what I can find. I’m not concerned at all about my memory …

    – Dave

  4. wilpenney

    weren’t all windshields painted black on this model or am i wrong? i have two unrestored cj3a’s and there both black. love this willys either way!

  5. Don

    Early CJ3A windshields were painted the body color and later on they switch to black painted windshields.

  6. Dave

    Is this a known Jeep? I feel like I’ve seen it before.

    Kind of interesting as to why the wheels and tires were replaced, why there’s no rear reflector, and why the speedometer looks so much newer than the other gauges.

  7. JohnB

    Dave…who commented on the 12th…
    For more history on it, look at the link provided by Bob W above.
    It shows original sales paperwork and more.
    So yse, the Jeep seems to be well known and documented.

    And since it is being sold as part of a car collection valued in the millions, I don’t think The seller is trying to pull a fast one with a phoney low mileage Jeep!

  8. Terry

    Jeep buyers beware of low mileage flatfenders , the speedometer can be changed in 10 minutes, and without tools! Large speedo Cj5 take about an hour to take out and its verry easy to spin the odometer back.

  9. Barney Goodwin

    Really neat to see this and the history to it. But am I missing something? I scrolled through all 75 photos the auctioneer had and could not find one photo of the engine compartment. Also it might have been nice if he had his helpers unload and photograph ALL the implements in the trailer, not just leave it all in a pile.
    The speedo is a King Seeley. And while it’s true they can be swapped out easily, you take it in context, both the vehicle history and the venue as JohnB pointed out.

  10. Mason A

    Hi all,
    Just wanted to chime in to say that Joe Caprio, this Jeep’s second owner, was my grandfather and I grew up drooling over this 3A as well as the other great vehicles in his collection. To the best of our knowledge, the mileage is correct, and the history of the Jeep is pretty well documented, thanks largely to Derek Redmond at If the mileage was toyed with, it was prior to the jeep being auctioned in 1999, which is very unlikely based on what we know about it.

    I am very saddened to see the wheels were either repainted or replaced, my Pap is no doubt rolling in his grave over that. I also wish they took some better photographs, but I am happy to have these as it is one of the only vehicles from my pap’s collection that I do not have very detailed photos of.

    I always told myself that I would do everything in my power to buy this back someday. Unfortunately this is not that day. Oh how I wish I had the money! I pray that this goes to a collector who will care for and appreciate it as the important piece of Jeep history it is.

    Thanks for spreading the word about the auction, I am glad to see this Jeep still draws attention from collectors just like it did years ago.


  11. Matt

    Hammered for $30,000. A good deal for a Jeep in such immaculate condition with all of its documentation.

    Mason, after reading the ad again I realized the original wheels and tires were currently off the Jeep but included in the sale. Thank goodness they weren’t repainted!

  12. Mason A

    Yes, thank goodness they were included. I couldn’t believe it as I watched when the bidding slowed and stopped at 30,000. Certainly a great deal in my opinion. I believe Jim bought it for 40,000 but I am not certain. I hope whoever won the auction cares for and preserves it like it deserves!

  13. Matt

    Do you happen to know if the Jeep is staying stateside or going overseas?

    The description was a little confusing but it did state “ the original wheels and tires have been replaced, but both accompany, loose;” I wasn’t 100% sure what that meant.

  14. JohnB

    The lesson here is to rake the right vehicle to the right auction…though since it was part of a collection that wasn’t an option.
    In other words, don’t rake a Jeep to a muscle car-centric venue.
    An example…A brass-era car will do better at Hershey than some Monterey sales.

    I bet at a sale with more Jeep/truck or even farm equipment buyers the Jeep would have brought more.
    After all, on we frequently see lesser Jeeps with higher asking prices.

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