Andy Gil's Vintage CJ-3A Pics
Submitted by Andy Gil, Miami FL
This is the same jeep that I am finishing the restoration here in Miami. I
found this CJ3A in 1970 thrown inside a repair shop in El
Salvador. It was going to be sold for scrap metal and I rescued it for
US$40.00, loaded all the parts in a truck and took it to my home to start
restoring it. Needless to say that when I got home my wife started screaming
and almost divorced me. Well, I convinced her that it was my opportunity to
recuperate the jeep that I had in Colombia. I restored it completely and as
you can see, it looked very much like the first jeep that I owned.
I used this jeep to haul parts and truck tires that I was importing to El
Salvador for resale at my business. For that purpose I fabricated a trailer
using the bed of an old GMC truck. I also used the jeep to haul all kinds of
construction materials while building my house. I always kept it in very nice
condition. In one occasion, the military attaché of the U.S. Embassy ask me
to sale him the jeep, he told me that he drove an M38 during the Korean war
and he wanted to have this jeep. I refused and told him that for me also had
In 1981 me and my family returned to the U.S. due to the violent politics and
guerrilla civil war in El Salvador. The jeep stayed behind in care of a
friend of mine. Without my knowledge he parked the jeep outside and the
weather started to take its toll on the jeep. In 1988 I was working for
Eastern Airlines and with free air passes I managed to travel once a month to
El Salvador and work on the jeep together with my ex-choffeur, whom you can
see on the photos of that year. After the Eastern dimisse I could not return
very often to El Salvador and during that time the jeep deteriorated more.
Finally in 2002, I decided to take real action and get the jeep shipped to
Miami. I got the jeep here and it was in such poor condition that I decided
to do a second restoration. I have done a "frame-off" restoration, bolt by
bolt, piece by piece, and I bough a body kit from Omix Ada. At this time I am
in the final stages of the restoration and I will send you more photos.
Here I am attaching some more old photos of my
first Jeep in Colombia, South America. My father gave it to me a a reward for
graduating from High School in 1957 and to use it to go to the university the
next year. In 1959 I decided to travel to the U.S. to attend aviation school
at Glendale College in California and the jeep went to my sister. The color
photos are from 1961 while taking vacation from college and I traveled to see
my parents and my jeep. That was the last time I drove it, I traveled and
stayed in the U.S. The jeep is still being well kept inside a garage and
belongs to my sister's ex-husband.
Today I am sending you this photo taken by the
publicity and advertising department of the Willys Overland distributor in
Colombia, "Leonidas Lara & Sons" this photo was taken in 1959. Me and three
more friends were traveling to a small city near Medellin, Colombia, and the
people from the publicity department of the Willys distributor saw us. They asked us to let them take a photo for the back cover of the magazine
dedicated to the Willys Jeep advertising. So, they took the photo and it was
published the next month edition of the magazine as propaganda for the Willys
Jeep on August 1959.
The legend at the bottom says: "The same as in the difficult roads that as in
the modern highways, the Willys Jeep performs to its best its
functions of service, as shown in this photo taken in the highway that goes to
the city of Rionegro".
The second photo taken on a dirt road it's me and the CJ3A taken near the city
of Rionegro in 1958.
The third photo (color) was taken in front of my parent's home in Medellin,
Colombia, in 1961.
See more of Andy Gil's