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Wheeler
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Valentine APU Willys CJ3A

Looking at this old Jeep my buddy has, he thinks I should own it not really sure what it's worth, no paperwork .


Has an F head engine in it as you can see, obviously military, but the Jeep itself does not seem to be military to me at all, yet there is old olive drab paint in areas underneath other paint on parts of the rig .


WTH is that steering column out of ? It's chrome !


Beer can/Koozie is not staged, that is a total coinky-dink


Open to opinions/questions/answers, except for Greg .


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Premium Member
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I don't see anything military about that Jeep. Looks like a civvy CJ3A to me.

The back is interesting. It looks lengthened behind the rear tires. But it looks well done. There were some very rare conversion kits that accomplished that. Can you get pictures of that rear section? I'd love to see how that was done.
 

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Willys Fan
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I think the steering wheel, column, and box are from a Hudson. I think I’ve seen others with a similar setup. Interesting rig. Looks like a stretched 3A to me too. Like the top!
 

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Very cool! I like the rear tire storage "basket" in the rear wheel tub. Very clean stretch... an OG "overlander" it seems?

1950s Hudson Steering wheel, the original "power steering" conversion kit. That top is pimp! Too bad the hood is so fn' ugly! That thing is begging for a 5.3 swap
 

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I've only ever seen one extended like that. Or I should say extended in such a professional manner. It could be a rare add on kit. Or it could be a well done one off.

I'll shoot some pictures to a friend. He owns a similar conversion. He may be able to tell you what it is.

This is the one I'm referring to. Just a handful were made.
 

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Non-Lemming
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I don't see anything military about that Jeep. Looks like a civvy CJ3A to me.

The back is interesting. It looks lengthened behind the rear tires. But it looks well done. There were some very rare conversion kits that accomplished that. Can you get pictures of that rear section? I'd love to see how that was done.
Yup. Looks like a CJ3A that someone swapped in an F-Head motor. The F-Head's taller than the L-Head and that why the CJ3B had the high hood. That stretch in the rear is real interesting. You could possibly move the rear wheel opening back and make it similar to a CJ6.
 

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Wheeler
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Discussion Starter #9
The top is a trip, it's in perfect shape and has those little extra windows, here's a few more pics, as far as the extension of the body goes it looks home done to me, the welding looks a little rough but who knows, oh and the back window is sitting in the back of the Jeep .

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Wheeler
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Okay so, I'm pretty sure I just totally accidently stumbled upon who made this Jeep .

https://cj3b.info/Tech/LowHoodFHead.html


O.E. Szekely & Associates, Inc. in Philadelphia converted hundreds of Jeeps as "self-propelled electric power plants" for the U.S. Navy and Air Force. These auxiliary power units (APU's) were used for starting airplanes at air bases or on aircraft carriers. Some used the smaller L-head engine, but many had triangular sheet metal covers over a hole in the hood, to accomodate an F-head .


Jerry Formaz sent this picture of himself in a US Air Force APU in 1953. He commented, "We had two in our unit (44th Fighter Bomber Sqdn.) at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. I was crew chief on an F-80C aircraft and later on a F-86F. In 1953 we received two of these Jeeps to start our aircraft; they were in addition to the big clumsy Lycoming Power Units that we had to manually move from plane to plane. The Jeeps were produced by Szekely and were powered by the F-head engine."

Note: Lycoming later also put its Lycoming JB-1 Aircraft Generator in a Jeep, with a different solution for fitting a larger engine.



So that Jeep in the left pic looks identical to mine, it even has that weird long mirror, but I cannot tell if it has the extended body, or if in fact the same company did that extension .


EDIT: So to be clear, both of these pics below are from the intardnet, the Jeep in top pic is identical to mine except I cannot see if it is stretched .


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wow.....you may be on to something here!

Verify what it is before you chop it up. You got collectors out there that would pay handsomely if it's the real deal. APU's are super rare.
 

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Wheeler
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Discussion Starter #15
wow.....you may be on to something here!

Verify what it is before you chop it up.
Hey did you ever get ahold of your buddy ?




I wouldn't even dream of chopping this up, or stretching the wheelbase or the wheel opening nor any of that, this thing is ultra rare and a survivor, I highly doubt many of these actually still exist in totally stuck unmolested form


I learned to drive in a 47 CJ2A with no roll bar nor windshield, it popped out of second when you let off the gas (like when you were going downhill) and you had to pump the brakes three times to get pedal, a life preserving skillset was established rapidly


I love old stock Flatty's, Ford and Willys, they are the ultimate original 4x4 to me personally, have not owned one since I was a teenager and that was in the 80s, so I am really looking forward to getting this running and tooling it around . :D
 

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That steering wheel and column and probably the steering gear, all came out of a Hudson Hornet. I have a 51 M38 that has the same setup in it. This was a popular swap in the 60's to improve the steering.
 

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Wheeler
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Discussion Starter #18
check out this thread. This guy knows more about APU's that anyone I have ever seen.

Maybe reach out to him and he can help you verify if this one if the real deal.

https://www.thecj2apage.com/forums/time-capsule-navy-cj3a-by-valentine-apu_topic37074_page1.html?KW=APU





Dude !


That is the most extensive compilation of info on these APU Jeeps that I have seen, probably the most in existence, that guy has done some serious OCD legwork, hats off to him .



On a side note, in post #10 in this thread (my post) the upper pic of an APU Jeep that I found on the intardwebs that I said looks just like mine ?

Ya, that's because it is, just realized today that the pic of another APU Jeep I have been looking at is actually the Jeep I now own . :laughing:
 

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Willys Fan
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The Summer 2016 issue of "The Dispatcher" has a nice article on the barn find story of the same Valentine modified CJ3A APU that's in the post thread on the CJ2A site cited above. Nice glossy pics and a great article. Lots of the same info, but nice in hard copy. They usually have their older issues available as back orders. Here's their site: https://www.dispatchermagazine.com

While the article is on the Valentine model, it also refers to a contact the author has collaborated with who has an OE Szekely APU, and who has a lot of knowledge about them.

Cool that the pic you found is the jeep you now own! It's really a cool piece of history!
 

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My dad is in a WW2 military vehicle collectors club. He's got a WW2 (replica) jeep I put together for him a few years ago.

One of his club members has several airplanes from WW2 and a couple of original jeeps.

Your jeep, if original, would be a great vehicle for that guy, or, a guy like him.

Be a shame if you cut it up.
 
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