In my younger days I was never one to be handy with tools nor was I ever one to really care about building anything. Maybe I wasn't mechanically challenged, but I definitely wasn't inspired to learn about automobiles...until the day came that I decided to rebuild my first jeep: a 1945 GPW. My addicting personality shined through and after approximately 3 years of dilligent research and who knows how much money, with the help of my dad, I was able to faithfully restore a dilapidated jeep back to its original war-time glory.
And ever since then, I have been addicted to the process of restoring and rebuilding military vehicles. I branched out once and did a partial restore on a Dodge 3/4 Ton M37, but I have always had a soft spot for jeeps. I am always looking for the next one, kicking tires and tirelessy searching for that diamond in the rough or a bonafide barn-find.
Well, I found it. At least that is what I am telling myself AND my family, friends, children...whoever...that this can and will be something good one day. And "it" is actually "them". Tripletts, to say the least AND they were sitting in a lean-to attached to a barn. My triple crown and triumbirate! Three little maidens (jeeps) sitting there just rusting away.
The goal is to morph all three into one complete jeep. Each jeep will donate something to the project. Jeep A (the green one) has the most to offer. The tub, although having some rust issues, is very decent and quite salvageable. The engine head is a legitimate MB wartime head sitting on a postwar engine. The second one spent a big chunk of its life working as a beach patrol vehicle and thus its frame is disgusting. Water is bad when mixed with metal and salt water is hideous. However, its engine is a bonafide 1944 MB block that will need to be rebuilt and then mated with Jeep A's head. Also, the beach jeep has the correct T84 transmission and T18 transfer case...that will both unfortunately need to be rebuilt. But, looking at the jeep and not knowing its history, anyone would come to the same conclusion. And the third jeep has already been ravaged by scavengers, but they have left one very important, no, strike that, two very important pieces to use: the frame (which will be the foundation of the new jeep) and it has the original frame data tag with its serial number; and two, all THREE ORIGINAL glovebox dataplates...with the serial number that matches the frame tag!
One has to be either a jeep geek or just a general motor head to get excited by the numbers game...but this means that there will be a semi "numbers matching" jeep in the end. The engine block serial number will be close to the frame/glove box number in that at least it will be a 1944 engine in a June 1944 jeep. Not too bad considering these jeeps are almost 70 years old and most of the wartime parts were/are interchangeable with several models of the postwar jeeps.
Also included with these three jeeps are a plethora of what I call "bolt on" parts that are often AWOL and need to be purchased seperately. From what I can tell (at this particular moment) is that there are only a small handful of parts "missing" from mix. So I've got a heck of stockpile to begin from. However, this is not to be mistaken for not ever having to purchase anything for this restoration. Some items will have to be replaced, like it or not, for safety's sake. A few that come to mind are the wiring harness (crusty and tattered), tires, brakes, engine/transmission/transfer case internals, gaskets, seals, bearings, ect. However, the cores are present and can be rebuilt! Or shall I say "will be rebuilt!" in their own sweet time.