When I received the Fall 2014 issue of Hagerty magazine, I was excited to see a Willys CJ-2A on the cover. When I read the article “The Inexplicable Jeep”, I was even more excited to see the photo shoot was done at Malibu Creek. As the article mentions, it was this site that MASH was filmed. I would watch MASH with my parents when I was younger, which helped to emphasize my draw to the iconic Jeep. It wasn’t until I bought my own house with a garage that I started to seriously consider buying an antique car. My dream of owning a Willys MB became more of a reality when I saw one at a local car show. A few months later, after an extensive search, I found my Jeep. It was everything I wanted for a good price. My 1944 Willys MB was in good working condition, had almost all the correct parts, was drivable and would give me years of fun driving before I would need to do a major restoration.
Since that day, my Jeep has been nothing but enjoyable. It is a blast to drive and just as fun to work on. Whether I am driving around town or taking it to a car show, it always gets attention. One thing I have learned is that almost everyone either loves or at least appreciates an old Jeep. Another aspect of my Jeep that I find to be very interesting and touching is the number of veterans who have Jeep stories. Whether it is a WWII Willys MB or a Korean War era M38 to a Vietnam era MUTT, the military Jeep has touched many soldiers who even today, will share their memories of Jeeps with me. By far the most touching memory I have was at a show I brought the Jeep to last year. A veteran sitting at the entrance stood up when he saw the Jeep and saluted. To me, this served as a testament to the emotions that an old car can evoke in people. My Jeep became more than just a fun car for me; it was now also a living piece of history that indirectly stands for years of service. My Jeep has also taught me that an old car doesn’t need to sparkle with a fresh coat of wax and have polished chrome. In fact, the well-worn patina of olive drab and the boxy lines of the Jeep’s body are beautiful in their own regards. It is thanks to my childhood dream and the service of others that I am able to enjoy this car. And as Hagerty boasts, “This Car Matters”, and will continue to matter as a fun project in my garage, a joy to drive on the roads and a memory of times past.
Owner of an "Inexplicable Jeep" ('44 Willys MB) insured through Hagerty