Build a Fire Patrol Jeep


Here's a great project, conceived and executed by Willys America in Cazadero CA, with their local fire chief.

If you're going to do a complete resto on a Jeep, and you're looking for something a little different, why not build a fire service Jeep? People take old CJ's and turn them into military Jeeps all the time. A fire Jeep doesn't necessarily have to have a pump and hoses; the idea here was a chief's car. The "Fire Patrol" CJ-2A was a big hit at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas in 2014.

SEMA 2014

SEMA 2014"Did you see the Fire Jeep?" was heard more than once at SEMA. This fire department prepped '47 2A in the Crown Automotive booth was an absolute gem on the floor of the off-road hall. Amazing condition and it stood out perfectly as the great grandaddy of all the JKs.

That's what JPFreek.com had to say, in their article "SEMA 2014: Top 15 Jeeps".

Rear view

Quadratec also featured the CJ-2A on their website, as one of their favorites from the show.

Willys America typically uses some Crown parts in all of their restorations, so putting the Jeep in the Crown booth at SEMA was a good attention-getter for everybody.

InteriorA few accessories were added to enhance the impression of a real piece of fire apparatus. The fire axe, shovel and soda-acid extinguisher give the Fire Patrol a bit of suppression capabiility, for any small incidents where they might be first on scene. The dashboard gets a two-way radio and a switch for the siren.

Driver's sideThe top bow supports on the rear corners, which seldom serve much purpose on a Universal Jeep, make a great place for some warning lights. And the "Civil Defense Fire Patrol" stickers on the cowl turn the Jeep into a perfect companion piece for Willys America's Rescue Truck.

Side viewPaul Barry of Willys America says, "The 2A belonged to Steve, our local fire chief. It was a hunting Jeep when he purchased it and we restored it as a fire chief's buggy just for him. It had no original history as a department-owned vehicle, so you would probably call this a clone car in the collector car world. He kept it for several years and then decided to sell it. My wife wanted it, so now it's hers!"

The Restoration

Willys America photo
"The Jeep came to us first for brakes, then Steve said "pull the head and check the top of the motor. We did and the motor was worn out. The differentials had bearing and gear wear, the springs were shot, the transmission jumped out of 2nd."

Willys America photo
"The frame also had stress cracks and bends, so we just said, Steve, this hunting Jeep needs everything. Since that was the case, he said to do it and change it into a chief's car."

Willys America photo

Willys America photo

Willys America photo

Willys America photo

Willys America photo
"Steve has 45+ years in the fire service and nearly 30 as Chief of the Department. He kept it for 4 years and drove it occasionally."

Willys America photo
"I borrowed it for parades and events as he lived nearby and we were friends anyway. Then he decided to buy a Power Wagon fire truck and sell the Willys. My wife loved the Jeep so she found the money to buy it!"

Another Fire Patrol

Fallbrook CAIf you decided to do a fire service restoration, you could either freelance the design as Willys America did, or base it on a real historical vehicle, as the Crown Firecoach Enthusiasts did with this example further south in California. They used an M38 to clone the Jeep once used by the first Fire Chief of Fallbrook, and donated it to the Fallbrook Museum.

Other possible Jeeps to clone? How about the U.S. Forest Service, the Border Patrol, the First Popemobile, or some of the ideas in The CJ3B Page Collection?

Thanks to Paul Barry at Willys America, Quadratec for the show photos, and Karl Klotz for the Northwest Homer photo. -- Derek Redmond

Also at SEMA 2014: the high-hood Warn Willys.

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Last updated 10 October 2017 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond