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Valentine APU CJ-3As Shipshewana, IN BaT Auction


Several folks shared this auction. Nick is selling his very rare Valentine-built CJ-3A APUs. He’s done a great job of uncovering the history of these Valentine APUs and sharing it with the jeep community.



“These Willy-Overland CJ-3A utility vehicles were converted into auxiliary power units for the US Navy in the 1950s by the Valentine Welder & Manufacturing Company for use in starting jet aircraft engines. Both vehicles are finished in yellow and equipped with a seven-slot grille, flat front fenders, a single-seat operator’s station, and power take-off equipment. The pair includes an NC-2 mobile power plant that was designed for use on aircraft carriers and modified with rear-wheel steering, front-wheel drive, and a rear equipment platform. The other truck is one of approximately 75 such units modified into an NA-4 ground-based mobile APU and is fitted with a replacement Willys F-134 inline-four paired with a three-speed manual transmission. The engine has been removed from the NC-2 and is included in the sale.”

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1952 CJ-3A APU? Prescott, AZ $6800


This might have an APU hood, but hard to tell for sure. Only the one pic provided.


“V8 motor.brand new tires never driven on. New flare fins over tires.brakes all done..seat cushions to put on runs good..paddle tires also”


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Year? CJ-3A APU Robertsdale, AL $700


Darron spotted this APU jeep for sale. It still has the dash gauges.


“1946 Willys Navy Jeep no engine but rest of drivetrain there, has been used as yard art and started to build rat rod at one time.”

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1945 GPW Early APU … Parts Available

• CATEGORIES: Features, GPW (Ford MB), Industrial-Welder-Generator • TAGS: .

UPDATE: As of July 13, 2021, this GPW APU is now in Stefan’s hands in Germany. As you can see, by the time he acquired it parts had already been removed (see original post from 2017 at the bottom of this post). He does not want the APU parts. I figured it is a long shot, but that I would check to see if anyone had an interest in the APU-related parts (some are O.E. Szekely); Stefan is willing to part with them.  Comment below if interested or email me at d@deilers.com and I’ll connect you with Stefan.

Here’s how the jeep looked prior to pulling the parts:

apu-jeep-germany0 apu-jeep-germany1 apu-jeep-germany2 apu-jeep-germany4

Here are the parts related to the PTO:

PTO APU Cover:


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1952 CJ-3A APU Portland, OR $6700


UPDATE: Price dropped to $6700. It’s a Szekely APU jeep.

(09/30/2018) Carl and Marty spotted this APU. It appears to be missing the extra gauges, but does have the original data plates, the hood, and the correct engine. The soft top seems to be a Dualmatic, as it has the large square rear window and the two-part doors with snaps (thanks Pascal!).


“Clean and mostly original 1952 Willy’s Jeep.
Was my grandpa’s since mid 60s.
Most of it’s life spent in Utah – always garaged.
I took it to Portland in 2012. Since then, it’s spent time between here and rural WA (always garaged both places).
Oregon titled. It runs very well. New hoses, radiator in last 1000 miles.
New battery.
Please see pics. If interested, email me and we can set up a time for you to check it out.
$7,000 or best offer. Serious inquires only please.”

1952-cj3a-apu-port-or1 1952-cj3a-apu-port-or2 1952-cj3a-apu-port-or3 1952-cj3a-apu-port-or4 Continue reading

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O.E. Szekely-built(?) Ford-Powered 4WD APU Chula Vista, CA $2500

• CATEGORIES: Other 4x4s • TAGS: , .

UPDATE: Still Available.

Here’s another possibly-O.E.-Szekely-built Ford-Powered 4WD APU similar to one that was posted a few years ago. It’s not clear whether the one below has a O.E. Szekely data plate or not. The seller suggests this as a 1946, but this is more likely a 1953.



year-szekely-built-apu-for-sd-ca3 year-szekely-built-apu-for-sd-ca4 year-szekely-built-apu-for-sd-ca5

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Year? CJ-3A Valentine APU Central Point, OR **Status Unknown**

• CATEGORIES: CJ-3A, Features, Unusual • TAGS: , , .

UPDATE: **Status Unknown** Was $25,000.

I don’t see any of the APU equipment left, so while it’s a rare jeep, it’s also no longer an APU jeep. I don’t see anyone paying the asking price for it. That said, it’s got some interesting mods, including a custom lengthened rear cargo area, a custom spare tire well and holder, what appears to be the Hudson steering mod, and a custom modified top (shortened CJ-6 top perhaps). This also utilizes doors from a late model CJ-5 hardtop by Kelly. The rear portion may even be a modified Kelly CJ-6 top.

“Up for sale is a CJ3A Willys APU Jeep .
This APU Jeep was built for the military Navy and Air Force to start jets by the Valentine Welding Co. they made a total of 75, this is one of two know to still exist, and the only one with a windshield and top .
The newer F head engines were placed in and a custom hood made by the manufacturer
Asking 25k”

year-cj3a-valentine-apu-oregon02 year-cj3a-valentine-apu-oregon01



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1947? CJ-2A? Bluemont, VA $2500


UPDATE: Still Available.

(10/16/2019) This looks to have an Szekely APU hood and possibly a DJ-3A body (I can just make out the DJ-3A parking brake hole on the dash).


1947-flattie-bluemont-va2 1947-flattie-bluemont-va3 1947-flattie-bluemont-va4

“1947 Willy’s project
On a 1969 jeep chassis with mounts set up for the 1947 body.
327 Chevy motor
Dana 18 transfer case
1969 jeep axles
A bunch of other new and used parts.

The fenders, hood, body, etc is not bolted to the frame. I just set them on for the pictures.
I was planning on buying a new steel tub for it or you can fix the one it has. It comes with a title.”

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1948? CJ-3A? APU? Modesto, CA $2750


This has an APU hood. It’s listed as a 1948, but doesn’t appear to have frame/bumper gussets on the front.


“1948 Willey’s (Jeep) priced and ready for restoration. Vehicle is located in Gustine, CA. Please serious enquiries only.”

1948-cj2a-apu-modesto-ca1 1948-cj2a-apu-modesto-ca2

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Action Video of an APU Jeep

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos • TAGS: .

Nick shared this video of a 1955 airplane test that included multiple shots of an Valentine APU-equipped jeep. You can see some other updates here: https://www.thecj2apage.com/forums/time-capsule-navy-cj3a-by-valentine-apu_topic37074_page6.html

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1951 CJ-3A Biggs, CA **SOLD**


UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $3500.

(05/10/2018) Has an APU hood, but doesn’t look to have been an APU.

“1951 WILLYS JEEP 4X4. Original 4cyl. 4 speed. Has been converted to 12 volts already. Just installed new ring gear. Newer tires and wheels. Seats just redone. A nice straight little jeep. Has tow bar. Original black and yellow plate. I just have too many projects, time to liquidate. No time wasters please..”

1951-cj3a-biggs-ca2 1951-cj3a-biggs-ca3 1951-cj3a-biggs-ca4

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1965 M-151A1 APU? Branford, CT $2000


This includes some interesting historical info about why no M-151s were built to be APUs. The question seems to be, was this a motorpool modification or someone’s backyard customization.


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“Not much is known about the history of this little MUTT except that it was an original Ford built M151A1, produced in 1965.

On the back is a rather elaborate electrical generation set up, that includes replacement of the transmission with another generator unit. Power comes from what is believed to be a Continental flat head 4 cyl. The vehicle moves by an Autronic Unit transfer gear set-up that hangs off the front of the small “jeep”. A shaft coming off the front of the crank runs a chain that drives the “transfer case” that powers the front axle. Continue reading

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Nick Find’s Another Valentine APU

• CATEGORIES: Features, videos • TAGS: .

Nick’s on a roll this week. His tireless search efforts have paid off with another Valentine-produced APU, but this time it’s a 3 wheeler.

You can read his update on the end of this thread: https://www.thecj2apage.com/forums/topic37074_post416567.html#416567

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Nick’s New(Old) Valentine APU Archives

• CATEGORIES: Documents, Features • TAGS: .

Nick just obtained some wonderful archives about APUs and other items. Check out the pics and other info here:



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1951 CJ-3A APU? Gridley, CA **SOLD**


UPDATE: **SOLD** “Was $2300.

(03/02/2018) Bill shared this ad. There’s no sign of the extra gauges, so I can’t tell if this was an APU jeep or if the hood was appropriated from an APU jeep.

“1951 Willys Jeep Body Type VA Flat fenders is not running fly wheel is broke. Owner says it has new tires, rims, brakes, seat.”

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1952 CJ-3A APU? Ogden, UT **SOLD**


UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $1200.

(02/15/2018) This has an APU hood, so it may have been an APU.

“Not a clean one owner, bad engine”

1952-cj3a-apu-ogden-ut1 1952-cj3a-apu-ogden-ut2

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1952 M-38 Cars, TX $500


This M-38 has an APU hood. This must have been swapped onto it when the F-head was installed (maybe from the same APU?).

“1952 Jeep m38 need radiator, and maybe engine overhaul. See pictures needs to be restored but good project for someone. Asking $500 but look and let me know,”


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1953 CJ-3A APU Salem, OR **SOLD**



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“This is a solid 1952 Willys Jeep. It runs well and is drivable, but will need some brake work before it’s ready for the road. It has the overhead valve engine. The hood scoop is because it was updated by the military to the overhead valve engine from a flathead, and more room was needed for the carburetor.

I’m no expert, but here is a brief description of the APU conversion. They were converted by two companies for the military, O.E. Szekely and the Valentine Welder and Manufacturing Company. The APU stands for auxiliary power unit, and they were also called jet starter jeeps. The military converted these Jeeps for use in the Navy and Air Force. They were used among other things to start jet aircraft. There were a few variations, they made both 3 and 4 wheeled versions.

The right seat and factory toolbox underneath it were removed, and a pto was run up thru the floor towards the right seat well, to power the generator. I will attach a picture showing one, and here is a link to get you started:

http://warjeeps.com/articles/APUnavyJeeps/apu-jeeps.html [ed note … fine but slightly dated article at this point. I need to update that]
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1952 CJ-3A San Diego, CA $9500


UPDATE: Still Available.

(07/18/2017) The one has an APU hood. Maybe it was an APU jeep?

“1953 Willys Jeep. M38A1 Chevy V8, 4 Speed, Edelbrock intake manifold & carburetor, 8000# warn winch, 1 ton full floating rear axle, full roll cage, headers and dual exhaust, front lockout hubs and brake master cylinder rebuild new brakes, 32″ BFG mud terrains.”


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1951 CJ-3A APU Estacada, OR **SOLD**



(06/15/2016) I emailed the seller to let them know it’s an APU.

“52 willys with solid tub, original engine/ running gear, it runs drives and stops. Needs a gas tank to run it though, it had a keg gas can that I took out. Also needs wiring for lights to drive on the road. Last tags on it were 2009. Has driver seat and a soft top cover, Dana 44 rear. I got it to restore but things changed and have to get rid of it.”

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1953 Custom APU Los Angeles, CA **SOLD**

• CATEGORIES: Features, Other 4x4s • TAGS: .

UPDATE: **SOLD** Was $3600. Vince wrote a post about this at the DailyTurismo.

Rudy’s selling this rare purpose-built APU on a jeep chassis.

“Very Rare 1953 limited production 4X4 specially built for the U.S Military by O.E Szekely and Associates. This is an all aluminum body, tub, fenders, and hood so theres no cost for rust rot work and repair . Dual Aluminum gas tanks so theres no need to worry about rusted out tanks. The Chassis is Jeep. The engine is a Lincoln (ford) 317 V8. This is not Frankensteined, this is the original way it was built for the Navy to jump start, run system checks, and tow jets. Do not have the generator equipment. does not run and is for restoration or customize purposes. As is where is. Unique, rare and easily bad ass potential. Add seats, swap motor, take the paint off and pollish the aluminum body, run through the chassis. pink on hand. first $3600 obo takes it.”


This photo shows one of these “in action”

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Searching For APUs

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

Tom Sterndale has been building a database of existing APUs, a challenging task given how little they’ve been documented. As part of his effort, he hoped to identify these jeeps which were once listed on eBay.

Tom writes, “Help me prove that ebay is not a black hole out there some were sucking up all the Szekely APU’S.

  1. The four pictures of the four wheeled APU is a NC/5 Szekely used by the Navy up until the 70’s. Was on Ebay in 2010 would like to know were it is now.
  2. The pictures of the Tricycle APU’S are NC/1 Szekely’s they were on ebay in 2003 or 2006 I would also like to find   them or others like them.
  3. Both the  NC/5 and the NC/1 used Willys Jeep as a base.I have found some APU’S like the red and blue ones they all seam to be NA/3 Szekely built for the Air Force. I

I am trying to keep a data base of all units that I can find any body with a Szekely of any type I would like to be put in contact with them.”

1. Four Wheeled APUs:

20160530_111306 OR APU 5

2. Three-Wheeled APUs:
power unit 2

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Another APU Photo

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images • TAGS: .

Brian shared this photo that shows a couple APUs with the hood bumps.


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3 Wheel APU Photo

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

This photo that Dan spotted shows an l-head powered 3-wheeled APU. I can’t remember seeing a bracket over the grille like that on other APUs.



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1951 CJ-3A Valentine APU Jeep on eBay


Nick’s jeep was just featured in the most recent issue of Dispatcher Magazine.

View all the information on eBay

1951-cj3-valentine-apu-ebay1 1951-cj3-valentine-apu-ebay2 1951-cj3-valentine-apu-ebay3 1951-cj3-valentine-apu-ebay4

Where do I even begin? This is a very rare and authentic piece of military history; it may be your only chance to own a vehicle like this. If you search “APU Jeep” this very Jeep is all over the internet. It is a 1951 Willys Jeep CJ3A, but was specially contracted by the US Navy to be used as a mobile power unit. This is known as an APU (auxiliary power unit). It’s sole purpose was to start early jet-aircraft as they did not have on-board starters. It utilized a PTO-driven generator off the transfercase and fed power through cables to the jet. The equipment was so heavy duty, the Jeeps were equipped with larger engines that weren’t even available to the public yet. Two different manufacturers built these Jeeps: A company named O.E. Szekely which a handful of Jeeps are left, but none have any of the original jet equipment. They are only known by their data plates. The other company was Valentine Welder & Co.

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