A Veterans World War ll Car Story

The Veteran in my life is my Dad, who served in WWII. Thanks, Dad, for sharing your World War ll car story!

 WWll Army Jeep Renovation, by guest writer, WWII Veteran, Phillip Hall

While stationed in Munich, Germany, immediately after World War II, I heard of surplus army jeeps for sale in Paris, France for $200. I drove to Paris, selected the one shown here in photos- even though it had high mileage (25,000 miles) since the body was in good shape

Returning to Munich, I had the civilian bodyshop overspray the olive drab body with the only paint available, an ugly blue. I use this as my own car all over southern Germany, later driving to the port city and shipping it home to New York City.

Since new cars were expensive (at least $800), I decided to make the jeep more climate friendly. The only weather protection was plywood half doors, and a campus top- and it was ice cold.

The veteran and the cabinetmaker

My grandfather, a Swedish cabinetmaker in Brooklyn, offered to make a top for it.  Grandpa measured it in the street – took notes – in two weeks later he had this “Woody Top”. No fitting, no trimming, we just dropped it in place and the fit was tight, the doors opened and locked. Heaven after riding in open Jeeps for years.

Jeep w Woody Top

I decided to go all out in the comfort department and added a heater and electric windshield wipers. Then in difference to high mileage I rebuilt the engine with new rings, bearings, ground valves, etc., giving the jeep a lot more pep.

Just weeks after finishing the engine rebuild (a slow learn as you do process) I came across a brand-new replacement jeep engine in Sears, for $159. Oh well.

Dad and Jeep w Impy

I drove the Jeep for several years all over New York State, never a breakdown, and later sold it to a man whose home was on a steep trail hill where no car could go.

I saw the same jeep several years later still running. It’s served lots of people well and faithfully.

A note from Andrea: Today, on Veterans Day I share this story with you with gratitude for my Dad and all the others who have served our nation well and faithfully over the years.