Friday, July 12, 2013

Old guy, old Jeep

So, where I work we have a Willys MB Jeep, a real-deal World War II jeep that the city obtained way back in the day and used the heck out of it until it was retired to parade duty.  Now it only gets driven a couple times a year.  Today was a slow day for me so I thought I'd take it out for a spin and lubricate the seals by driving it around.   

I've driven M151s in the Army,  owned a CJ7, Wrangler TJ and now have a Wrangler JK.  I had a Suzuki Samurai that was about the same size as this MB but none of them were as hard to get in and out of as this thing!  

I'm not a real big guy, about 5'11" and 175 lbs.  There was hardly any room to clear the steering wheel and the distance between my gut and the steering wheel was minimal.  The leg room to the pedals was so short I had to splay my legs to either side to be able to operate them.  Braking is marginal,  steering is by armstrong and there are no power brakes.  The shifter throw is about 4 feet between each gear and 1st is non-synchronized.  It took me a few grinds before I remembered to first put the transmission in second and then 1st to line everything up.  Just a 10 minute drive was very hot, the exhaust pipe and muffler were radiating heat like crazy through the floor.  

How the heck did GIs operate these in wartime with web gear and bulky clothes on?  Sure they were shorter by a couple inches than me and about 30 lbs lighter but still!!   It was an interesting experience and none that showed me how far technology has come in 65 years!


  1. How cool! I'd love a chance to drive it or one like it. Hard to believe that's what the soldiers drove.

  2. Good job perk! Sounds like a difficult drive but worth it.