Greg tells me that a few years ago he was half-heartedly looking for a flat fender when found an old, modified (or perhaps more accurately hacked up) 1956 DJ-3A for sale. He bought it and began a complete refurbishing of the jeep into something he could dependably drive on-road and off-road. He credits Randy Ellers, his boys, and eWillys for a variety of the ideas he employed in his rebuild. The real credit goes to Greg himself, as it looks like he’s done some great work on this rig.
Greg writes, “I had been seeking a flat fender Willys off and on for several years, and had taken to surfing several jeep sites on the net in search of a suitable candidate for my goals.
I wanted something that I could keep true to the character of the Willys, but improve on the dependability and capability over time. When I found my jeep, the condition of the body is primarily what attracted me. The body was in better than typical shape for its age and I thought it would be a good start point for my vision. In fact I thought it would be roadworthy enough to make it a long term project while having fun jeeping it as I enhanced things.
As purchased, it was a 1956 DJ3A body on a late CJ3A chassis with an owner built roll cage, Vintage 8000# Ramsey winch, 10.50 x 31 Michelin tires on 7×15 wheels. After service as a runabout delivery vehicle in/around Auburn, AL, it eventually became an unlicensed farm vehicle for many years. Evidently the original hard top can be credited with limiting typical rust damage.
Shortly after I got it, I rebuilt both the three speed and transfer case. I also found a full set of 4 NOS 11” brakes to significantly improve stopping power. Soon after, I discovered the engine block was cracked so the search for acceptable re-power was on. Ultimately the Chevy 4.3L Vortec and TH350 transmission got the nod.
Over the course of the past 5 years or so, I’ve essentially gotten the jeep close to where I want it both in character appearance and performance. I’ve had it on a few club and Jeep Jamboree events and to date it continues to impress me. While it doesn’t have the creature comforts or modern flex suspension of the newer jeeps, it still does rather well on the trails, and we have loads of fun with it.