These are basically the mechanical equivalent to a good pair of flip-flops. Our goal with designing this project was to return to the roots of 4x4’s: a super simple, highly capable, utilitarian beast. Now of course we still engineered modern coil-over suspension, modern engine, transmission, transfer case, axles, brakes, steering, electrical etc… but we kept it a no-frills experience. The original Willys design embodied three key values sorely forgotten in modern automotive design and manufacture: Utility, Longevity and Durability.
We chose The CJ38 because the high hood line allows us to fit a wider range of interesting engines. It was affectionately referred to as “The Dog”, or “Dog Face” during and after the war. We call it The Dog”.
Aluminum bodied, CAD designed. We initially launched this as a new standard ICON model, but we never saw the volume of interest and sales we see with the other models, so we discontinued it. As soon as we did that, many peole reached out and asked why we did so. We did because without the sales volume, we could not exploit the efficiencies needed to offer it at the original target price point, lower than that of the FJ. We also discovered, as we designed and built them, that the smaller size, despite the reduced content, actually was very complex to engineer. To make all the elements work well together in such a small space, is difficult.
So we reintroduced it on a time & materials basis, as part of our Reformer line of projects. Here you see a few different ones we have built.
Here it all is deceptively simple. Full function gauges, switches for the locking differentials, Lights, Heater, Wipers, power port and LED indicators for high beam, signals, 4x4, parking brake and check engine light. CNC'ed, knurled and enameled knobs.
The seating is super simple, yet quite comfortable. Front buckets are aircraft inspired, crafted in aluminum, then powder coated. Seat pads are in marine foam, wraped in Chilewich, removable. Removable rear seat is inspired by the original.