After finishing the restoration of my Army jeep, I started looking for another project. I found a Navy “slat grill” jeep built on January 2, 1942. I bought the jeep and towed it home on September 13, 2003.
This jeep looks great, but what I didn’t realize at the time was that it was covered with a thick layer of Bondo which concealed
major damage and rust. It would be a much bigger project than I had anticipated.
My first task was to remove the Bondo. Then I bought a MIG welder and began to learn how to repair sheet metal.
Out comes the motor! Rebuilding the motor was
the most challenging aspect of this restoration. I had never done it before, but what a great learning experience!
The rear frame and cross member was badly damaged and required new metal and some serious welding.
I replaced rusty and damaged panels on both sides of the jeep, the floor, replaced the tank well and side steps. My welding
improved as the project went on.
Wow, this frame is looking good! Note the shiny new break lines.I rebuilt my transmission and replaced the seals in the transfer case.
The project is coming along nicely. I love seeing how old metal can be repaired and renewed.
I painted the tub with a flat Navy gray. Next comes the wiring (much easier to do with the tub off the frame).
When installing the jeep tub on the frame, I recommend getting help from your neighbors. Watch out for the steering column and the wiring.
On the last day of 2011, I drove the jeep out of the driveway for the first time and went on a test drive. The 8 and 1/2 year project was nearly complete.
I marked the hood “U.S. Navy” and add “Shore Patrol” to the windscreen. Note the Federal siren! It will be used in parades!
I showed off my jeep at the Military Vehicles Preservation Association Convention which our Military Vehicle Collectors Club of Oregon hosted in Portland (July 2013).
Although I have not served in the military, I am privileged to represent and honor the men and women who serve in the U.S. armed forces whenever I drive my jeep in a parade. Thank you for your service, veterans!