Return to the index of 1954 Jeeps.
John found this 1954 Jeep in excellent condition (green, with Koenig half-cab hardtop), and has restored it meticulously, including an authentic reproduction of a half-cab soft top, by Beachwood Canvas.
See more photos and details in Hubbard's Halfcabs 1954 CJ-3B, Part 1: Finding the Pieces, and Part 2: Phases of the Project.
See also John's Hubbard's Halfcabs FAQ covering the differences between a 1953 CJ-3B, a 1954 CJ-3B and a 1961 CJ-3B.
Keith is in Spearfish, South Dakota, and also has a '59 3B with a Chevy V6 and power steering. He says this '54 was "purchased for $300. Body is in good condition, all original except for heater. Has a Koenig/Sears metal half cab, rear seat frame. I currently have the engine, trans, and TC out of it and doing repairs."
The Jeep's VIN is OB54 10027, making it #27 of some 2,600 early 1954 models with the unique OB serial numbers. See a rear view (70K JPEG) showing the roll bar and aftermarket flush-mount taillights.
See the right side (150K JPEG) and left side (180K JPEG) of the rebuilt engine. Also the transfer case (100K JPEG) on Keith's workbench.
"I have now sold my CJ-3B to a fellow in Wisconsin, because it was getting difficult to get into and drive for me. He was very happy with the purchase. It had been restored by a ranch mechanic about fifteen years ago and has been well maintained since. New Bestop, tires and shocks, and 12-volt electrics."
Joel reupholstered the front seats himself, with covers and foam from Beachwood Canvas, and did an F-head build-up with a Weber carb and Clifford headers.
See also Joel's new ride, a 4WD AMC Eagle SX/4. Joel says, "It's got 40,000 original miles on it and I have a fuel injection setup to install. It's from Texas and it's just like new."
"I found this jeep in a junkyard -- the firewall and dash board was all that was left of the body. The engine was missing the head and was left open to the weather. Bought it for $100.00 and built it up from there. Buick 225 V6, Ford T-18 trans, Spicer 18 t-case, Warn OD, 2.5" lift, roll bar, bucket seats, five point harness and 34" Swampers."
For photos of Chuck's Jeep with several other CJ-3Bs at the annual Willys Run in Massachusetts, see CJ-3Bs Lined Up For Action.
"We bought this '54 from my grandpa about 4 years ago. It had been sitting in his back yard and hadn't moved for 19 years. We have done a lot of work on it since we bought it. It's running great and it never fails to amaze us with what it will do!"
Richard and Harold sent some photos from a New Mexico trail ride, including a suspension test (110K JPEG), a rear view (60K JPEG), and a minor repair (140K JPEG).
"I drove my stepdad's '53 3B for the first time when I was 13 years old. I learned to drive in that Willys and drove it during high school. Now, 20+ years later, I'm back behind the wheel of a 3B. It took me six months of searching the western U.S. and I finally found one in my back yard (Las Vegas). The body is very rough. Mechanically it's really sound. It has new brakes, master cylinder, generator, Solex carburetor, fuel pump, and gas tank. The transmission is leaking and I'm going to pull the radiator and have it looked at. Now the fun begins as I return it to stock. Thanks in advance for everyone's help."
See also a side view photo (40K JPEG) and the engine (40K JPEG).
Mike, who lives in Bowling Green, Ohio, says: "Fiberglass body with a little fender trimming, Dauntless 225 V6 with fresh rebuild. Original suspension with 33/9.50R15 tires, Saginaw power steering, and rewired for 12-volt electrical. A very unassuming Jeep until she is on the trail and then she just embarrasses most of the well-built trail vehicles. She's also my daily driver."
See also a photo of Mike's Jeep stuck in a monster truck rut, on Do CJ-3Bs Get Stuck?
"My grandfather Paul Wallace bought this Jeep new in July of 1954 and used it until he passed away. He used to drive it in the summer from Los Angeles to Mariposa (outside of Yosemite) to use at his gold mine. Over the years he added a 1957 Chevy 283 V8, 11" drum brakes, extra 10-gallon gas tank (where the original muffler went), Warn Overdrive, turn signals, custom exhaust, and hardtop that he made."
See more details and photos on this Gold Mine Jeep.
Jeff in Hillsboro, Oregon, lists the modifications he's done: "Dana 44 5.13 Detroit locker, Hi-Pinion 60 5.13 Detroit locker, TURBO 400, Spicer 18 with Warn OD, Buick 225 V-6. And the all-factory WILLYS steel body. JUST DON'T GET ANY BETTER!
"This the most current photo that I have. It still has the old Dana 25,offset 44 and toploader 3 speed in it in this picture. The only number thatI can see is on driver's side cowl -- the number is 778778. My dad bought theJeep off a car lot about 20 years ago. It's a great thing for me toshare with my 3 kids!"
"The photos were token in southern Brazil, where I live. My father took care of the Jeep very well while he was alive. I inherited it, and I never intend to get rid of it, as well as never modifying it or adding accessories that deprive it of originality. The engine is still the original F-head Hurricane. The electrical system is now 12V and has electric start with key."
See also a side view photo (70K JPEG).
"I live in Quebec (Ile Perrot near Montreal) and I own a CJ-3B 1954. The engine is a 4.3 gm tbi, transmission t-90 stock, front differential Dana 30 with Detroit true trac locker, rear differential Dana 44 with easy locker and power disc brakes with power steering. The tires are Super Swamper tsl 33x12.50-15 and the suspension is a Rancho 2 1/2" lift kit."
See the larger photo (140K JPEG) showing the 3B lined up at a show with several Jeep models that have followed the CJ-3B.
This Jeep is an early example of a 1954 OB serial number.
Andy said, "I bought the Jeep from my great uncle who had owned it since at least the early 80's. He used it as a hunting vehicle on his lease for a number of years until he stopped hunting. It sat in his driveway and later garage for roughly 10 years before I bought it in July of '03. I have now converted it to 12-volt. It currently has 32,000 miles on it." See also a front view photo (100K JPEG.)
Note: the Jeep was sold in 2005, and again to Dave Strickler in 2009.
"I have recently purchased a 1954 Willys CJ3B. It appears to be in very good to mint condition. Every little thing works. Speedometer reads 12000 miles. I note that it came from the Indio, CA area. I was told by the former owner, that it was a military unit. If so, someone has mounted the spare tire on the side, as with the jerry can (see a rear view photo, 50K JPEG.) I put the stencil on the tailgate, by downloading the pattern on CJ3B.info. I am also responsible for mounting the handyman jack on the front bumper. I am planning on doing a restoration."
"I live in Cotia, state of São Paulo, Brasil.Recently I was looking for a used Jeep in good condition from the 1980's.Well, it just happened that I bumped into this beautiful, in good shape, only needing an engine rebuild, CJ-3B 1954. I couldn't resist.
"My objective is making the engine with the highest performance possible without losing originality. Also I intend to change the three shift gearbox for a 4-speed, to get some more speed. I started my engine rebuild by introducing light modifications: changing the distributor for an electronic ignition system, changing the mechanical fan for an electric one, redoing all the cabling, changing the carburetor for a bigger one, and adding a power brake system adapted from General Motors parts.
"So far everything is going as expected but for gas consumption, and maybe I will put the old carburetor back."
See also a photo with the windshield up (120K JPEG).
"Has been in the family since 1964. All original. Runs, but needs restoration work. I ran into some tires at Pepboys that worked out great. I was able to keep my original rims and put on some 245/75R16 tires with a nice offroad tread (50K JPEG). I'm still running on them and I am very satisfied with them. I put in an overdrive recently and the Jeep runs smooth (as smooth as it will get!) going at faster than normal speeds (55-60mph) with good handling. The new Saginaw steering helps a bit too."
Khyl had this 3B for sale in Phoenix in 2003, and says, "The engine is a 283 Chevy. When I was in high school '67-71 my friend owned this Jeep. I have no knowledge of its history before that. However, he kept the Jeep all these years and gave it to my son about three years ago. We hired a restoration shop to restore it and modernize it. I don't want it to go to waste. I have no way to store it but outside."
See more photos and details of this Road Warrior.
Marcelo in Brazil says, "I have possessed this Jeep CJ-3B 1954 for three years. Until January 2003 it was original, but after an accident it was remodelled and modified." (See also a rear view photo (70K JPEG.)
For lots of offroad action photos, see High Hood on the High Plains.
"Just rolled my Jeep down off the trailer from the body shop and spent the day bolting things back on. Still need to paint the windshield and a few things. Read a little about the 2.3 Ford 4 cyl. swaps, and have a finished one with power steering and vac. brakes and juice clutch. This Jeep was not at all stock when I purchased it. Had been wrapped with steel diamond plating and tin, and probably 6 gallons of bondo. Had a blown 260 V8 in it and had been rolled. But it had new tires/rims and a Bestop in the box. Salvaged the grill from the old body, and the bad hood yielded one intact WILLYS for the aftermarket tailgate. Tub is an original with probably 60% patch panels."
See also a rear view photo (100K JPEG).
"The serial number indicates this is a '54 but the title says '55 (see CJ-3B Serial Numbers for some likely reasons). Has the original 6-volt system, vacuum wiper and F134. I completely rebuilt the engine with an .030 overbore and it runs quite well now. The body is solid and does not have any of the usual rust, having been kept in a barn for many years.
"The previous owner added a roll bar, top, and tow bar, but everything else appears to be unmodified. I re-covered the seats with khaki canvas and they contrast nicely with the paint colors. It has a bikini top but I plan to add an original style, multi-piece unit once I obtain the bows. The wheels, interior and front fenders are black, and the rest of the exterior is painted with an original green shade. It has new 7.50-15 Xtra Grip-style tires from Cordovan. I live in a rural area on a small piece of property so use it daily for chores and running around the neighborhood, plus haul it to the deer lease every year where it gets a good workout in rocky country in the mountains of west Texas."
"I live in Buenos Aires, Argentina. CJ-3Bs are rareJeeps here; mostly we have CJ-5s made in our country. I bought mine last yearat 5000 pesos, something like 1600 dollars. All 4WD vehicles are expensivehere. It is a '54 3B, far from being original; I think it wasborn green, now white. The engine was replaced by a Ford inline 6, the gearbox by a 4-speed ZF, and the steering box and column by a Torinopart (an Argentine car based on the Rambler; see IKA Jeeps in Argentina on CJ3B.info). The shackles were replaced by larger home-made ones.
"An interesting mod is the addition of an extra 13-gallon fuel tank at theback where the rear passenger seat should be. A valve connects it to theother tank which has no more refuelling hose, thus, no more leaks or smelt.At the back, it has Wrangler lights and the spare tire (originally at theright). Tires are Dunlop AT2 31-10.5-15. They give me great performance on tarmac and sand, but while mudding I prefer to use them with chains; they make the Jeep unstoppable.
"Diffs are 5.38:1. Lots of power but very slow highway speed, only47MPH at 3000RPM; fortunately I tow it for long trips. I'm very happy with my Jeep (actually it's my wife's Jeep). The excuse tobuy it was that we needed another car. It makes me happy when driving withthe windshield down in the streets, when fourwheeling, and also whenrepairing it. Working on it is great to free my mind, and as someone saidin the CJ-3B Bulletin Board, it makes me feel like a child."
See an underside view (70K JPEG) as Roberto crests a hill, and a view from behind of the Jeep attacking the hill (60K JPEG).
Thovar's 3B in Brazil has a number of eye-grabbing elements, including a deluxe folding soft top, aggressive mud tires, and some unusual features in the engine compartment.
See more photos and details of this Hurricane With a Silver Lining.
Henry in Round Rock, Texas was looking to sell this '54 in 2005. He estimated it's 90% original (see a before photo, 40K JPEG). He said, "I added the roll bar, winch and larger tires, other than that its pretty much original. I have the service manual, parts list etc. for the vehicle. I purchased the vehicle in 1999, restored it and still own it. Only a couple of hundred miles since it was restored."
See a left side photo and a photo of the engine (40K JPEGs).
Marco lives in Tietê, a small town near São Paulo, Brazil. He says, "I bought my 1954 Willys CJ-3B last April. Its chassis number is 454GB236178B. A friend owned it during 32 years. The CJ was in relatively good shape and 90% original (50K JPEG), but I decided to rebuild it and now I'll start driving it!"
Marco sent some photos of the work he did over the summer and fall of 2005, including the interior after sanding, the chassis in primer, the final assembly, and the interior finished (80K JPEGs).
Another '54 from Brazil; Aurélio Mariano's red 3B has an Opal 4-cylinder motor, one of many popular engine swaps in South America.
"The owner is Adilson Silva, but people usually call him 'Sabiá' (the name of a bird in Brazil)," writes his friend Denis who takes his CJ-5 with Adilson on the trail (40K JPEG). "Once while we were 4-wheeling, Adilson rolled but the roll bar saved him, except for a windshield and a few jokes from his friends.
"Here in Brazil we change almost all the parts, and Adilson's Jeep received a few modifications. The engine is a Chevy 4 cylinder, 151 cu. in. People don't like the F4 hurricanes so much here --- they are 'weak' and have serious problems with the Brazilian climate, it overheats so easily here. The gearbox is a 4-speed from the Brazilian CJ-5, and it has disc brakes (front) and CJ-5 drums (rear)."
"I am attaching two photos of the CJ3B taken the day I received it just a little over one year ago. Since that time I have adjusted the soft top so it fits properly in the rear (100K JPEG) and updated the tires to ones that are a lot more roadworthy. I also removed the "Jerry can" carrier and the spare tire carrier from the tailgate; both had cracked the metal. I had the tailgate welded to fill in 23 holes that had been drilled in it over the years and seal numerous cracks that developed from faulty mountings. I thought it was important to preserve the original tailgate with its "Willys" embossing and I wanted to move the spare tire carrier back to its original position on the right rear fender. Both restorations will be completed sometime this winter. It already looks much better than these pictures show."
Larry has found what appears to be his engine number stamped into the left side of the frame near the fuel pump (see Numbers on CJ-3B Frames for photos). He comments: "I live in Carson City, Nevada. This Jeep came from Plumas County in northern California where I think it might have been in the Forest Service once upon a time, judging by one of the colors it was painted in the past. Plumas County is quite high in the Sierra Nevada mountains and it is rather common for older vehicles to have the head and sometimes the top of the block milled to increase compression. My guess would be this has been done to my Jeep and the engine number was "moved" to the frame member to preserve it for future reference? Glad they did that since it is also the number that appears on my title."
"I have a 1954 CJ3-B that has been in the family since 1963. The original F-head was replaced with an L-head from a stationary generator application in the mid 1960s. The Jeep originally belonged to the Port Authority of NY and was used to push or tow disabled vehicles out of the Tunnels. It was sold to a second owner who repainted it, and sold it to my dad who used it to plow snow and pull tree stumps. I welded in a new floor and it is a very sentimental vehicle to me and I would never sell it. There are some old photos I believe, that my mother has. I live in NY, not too far from where Sarafan used to be, in Spring Valley."
See also a right side photo (50K JPEG).
Gary in Pennsylvania recently purchased this Jeep: "It was used in a coal mining operation for boring core samples (I think). It had a drilling/auger setup attached to the rear. The tubes attached to the front bumper may have held flags or they may have held a support to carry drilling equipment over the roof. The top is a steel halfcab made by Kelly. The motor was rebuilt at some time since it has .060 over pistons and the serial number is missing off of the block indicating that the block may have been decked during the rebuild. It also has the rear PTO still attached to the rear of the transfer case, and an engine-driven Koenig winch (not shown in the picture as it was removed prior to me picking it up, but it is complete and I do have it) that was mounted up front. The rear of the body was modified with recessed tail lights. Also, the rear crossmember was replaced with a steel channel and the "V" brace underneath the bed has been removed, possibly to accommodate the drilling rig. There are remnants of extra coil springs that were welded to the frame over the rear axle to accommodate additional weight, no doubt.
"The previous owner had some problem with the engine making a terrible noise the last time he parked it and he never ran it again. When I got it home I tore into the engine and found all of the teeth ground off of the starter gear. It sounds like the starter engaged inadvertently while the engine was running but the young man who owned it didn't recognize the sounds. The motor was locked-up when I got it and we found the rear cylinder had some water leaked into it while it sat and rusted the piston to the cylinder. We freed it up and are in the process of reassembling to motor to try to get it running. Plans are to restore the Jeep over the next couple of years."
"I live in Registro (São Paulo, Brasil) and bought my Jeep CJ-3B '54 in 1998 in the city of Sorocaba. I have made the following modifications: Volkswagen AP 1.800 cc engine (70K JPEG) and 4-speed gearbox from a Ford F-75 pickup, Volkswagen Santana steering box, SBD disc brakes and Ensimec full locker on the rear differential.
"The wheels are from a Ford F-1000 pickup, with Firestone AT 750x16 tires, AVM locking hubs and a 2-inch body lift. I have also installed a gas tank under the box, electric winch, Gaucha convertible top, Volkswagen Gol seats and Maxion CB."
This nice photo of Nelson crossing a log bridge was featured on our cover in January 2005.
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