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Thanks to all who wrote concerned notes about my being away from the blog.  I had said I wanted to get away from the city and the blogger’s desk.  l’m back renewed although restless with conflicting ideas about where I’m headed.  These roosters, and all they had to say,  were part my company in the past week and a half.  If you’re interested in a critter post about the garage roosters, let me know.  They did everything except pick up a tool.

One thing I did was work with my brother to advance this project.  The roosters crowed about every last act, even when I was sitting in the shade taking a break.

Here’s how I started last week.  White chalk marks on the cowl and hood and other places indicated more sanding. “Wax on, wax off” is not different than sand, run your fingers over the imperfection, sand some more.  Repeat.  And hours go by as I

go about taking out 72 years of scratches, dents, and chips.

What had been a surface of primer eventually after sand/fill/sand/fill  looks like this.  “I’m not sure my fingers can still detect an defects in the surface.”  Number 1 rooster is skeptical though.

By the end of the day, a new coat of primer goes on . . .  and yes, those excesses and craters,  on the cowl ARE still there, now immediately drawing my eye.  Apply some filler, let harden, and tomorrow sand there again, eliminating all the overfill.

Once that sanding is “done,” tape off the passenger cabin belt

so that it can receive its black paint.

The belt is painted, the masking is off the body, and sanding must eliminate all imperfections . . . one hopes.

When my brother approves and new masking is complete, and the weather is right* for painting, he suits up and starts a transformation.

First the masked front was painted, then ditto . . . the back.  The next day, we roll it out.  The windshield frame, painted separately, was added too.

The holes on the rear body are for the spare tire kit and the Willys Overland logo trim.

Add the convertible frame and side step trim…

and grille, lights, and front bumper . . . there’s still lots to do on all three.  The pickup was featured here.

The 1963 CJ I did not get to document, but it started out looking quite forsaken . . . as someone’s backyard project in waiting.  All three need to pass inspection, and there’s details upon details before then.

All photos, WVD, and all taken since June 19. Upstate New York is starting to look like Cuba, not Cuba NY.

For heroic tales of a now defunct 1975 former postal Jeep that made a 4000-mile road trip last year, click here.  For a Hemming Motor News description of this era of Jeepster, the last true phaeton manufactured by a major US automobile company, click here.

For more tugster NYS automotive joy, click here.

*Re:  the weather is right . . .  it turns out that although the painting was done in the shade of the garage, the Jeepster sheet metal was too hot, causing the hardener to work too fast, and we ended up with some “orange peel surface” that now needs buffing.

I started this series as an April Fools post in 2015 here.  The next day I “recanted” (actually, I gave the context I had wanted to establish all along) by focusing on the inherent economy of shipping some cargo by water rather than highway.  Then and now I want to highlight the similarity and relationship between workboats and trucks, so here’s the whole series to date.

My older brother has driven, owned, and repaired trucks his whole life and developed a lot of skills in the process.  He and I would periodically talk about co-owning a truck, narrowing the search down to a Willys.  It was all talk until last fall when a 1962 Queens NY cemetery pickup that had never been on streets or highways became available via a farmer near Ithaca.

Below is the truck as the farmer (RD) purchased it in 2012.


RD replaced the rusted out pickup box with a wooden box, as he fancied his carpentry skills.  He also added an uneven coat of green paint daubed on with a barn brush. Then, it took back burner to his multiple other projects, and he parked it in the proverbial barn, only recently putting it on FB marketplace.

Below is a photo I took of it back when I first saw it in late September 2018.

Reconstruction can involve some deconstruction.  That continued through the fall and winter.

My skills are manual . . .

but deconstruction requires a fair amount of manual labor.

Measuring, cutting, and assembly skills  . . .  they take time to learn.



As soon as it was warm enough in spring to disassemble brakes, steering, and axles, that work began.


Late spring we problem solved and continued working on the body and interior.

Come summer, the neighbor from across the valley pronounced it ready for the final paint,

which concluded yesterday.


It’s not done, but it’s ready for this truckster post.  I’ve got at least a hundred other photos of the process.

Hats off to my brother for his fine work.  He never fired me for being an “all thumbs” apprentice.  Also, hats off for the body-and-paint neighbor across the valley.  Three cheers for tradespeople no matter how they learned their trades.  Here’s some general info on Willy-Overland trucks.  This one has the Super Hurricane engine built by Continental.

Soon after 57 years, it’ll carry its first-ever license plate.


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November 2022