Andy Gil's Vintage CJ-3A Pics

Submitted by Andy Gil, Miami FL

Dear Jonathan:

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 nostalgic memories.

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 restoration here