A Brief History of the 1946 Farm Jeep

Dec 30, 2015

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My former boss was a big collector of World War II military Jeeps and owned about 60 of them at one time. Ever since then, it’s been hard to pass by a classic Jeep without admiring it. This year, there was a lot to admire at the Off Road Success Center that was part of SEMA 2015.

Omix-ADA and Rugged Ridge sponsored this display of collectible Jeep vehicles and the vehicle that really stood out was the 1946 CJ-2A loaded with Farm Jeep options. Willys, the company that made this Jeep, had been interested in manufacturing agricultural equipment for many years. John North Willys even bought the Moline Plow Co. and made the Universal Tractor. 

During World War II, Willys cranked out thousands of Army Jeeps. But, the company knew the war wouldn’t last forever and that old Army Jeeps would flood the market and hurt its sales of new models. One solution to the problem was to create versions of the four-wheel-drive Jeep that could do farm work.

The result was the Farm Jeep with a hydraulic lift, drawbar, prop shaft guards, heavy-duty springs and a variable speed belt driven governor installed at the factory. A second model, called the Jeep Tractor, added a power take off, a front bumper weight and a radiator chaff screen. The field-use-only Jeep Tractor lacked front shocks, a spare tire, a windshield, a fuel pump vacuum booster, a tailgate, lights, door curtain holders, an oil filter, a speedometer and a horn.

Factory-built Farm Jeeps or Jeep Tractors were all 1951 or later CJ-3A or CJ-3B models. However, older Jeeps could be turned into Farm Jeeps or Jeep Tractors by purchasing the right equipment and installing it. Many CJ-2A and earlier CJ-3A Jeeps were retrofitted as Farm Jeeps or Jeep Tractors. 

The 1946 Willys CJ-2A owned by Omix-ADA is fitted as a Farm Jeep. It is one of 214,760 CJ-2As built. It has a 134-cid Willys “Go-Devil” L-head engine, a T90 three-speed transmission and a Dana 18 transfer case. Up front is a Dana 25 axle with a Dana/Spicer Model 41 axle at the rear. CJ-2As had an 80-inch wheelbase and 122.75-inch overall length. They were 59-inches wide, 69.38-inches high (with the top up) and weighed 2,137 pounds.

This Farm Jeep has a front PTO winch, an engine-driven air compressor, a General Electric 6WD 200-amp arc welder in the passenger seat, a side arm mower bar on the driver’s side, a Canfield folding wrecker made by Canfield Tow Bar Co., of Detroit, and a Newgren buzzsaw with table. The dual tires front and rear provided stability and traction when the Jeep was used in farm fields. 

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