Jim’s Blog: War Jeep in the Barn

My brother-in-law Cameron is a high school teacher here in Oregon, and the school where he works owns some land that includes a run-down house and a big yard. The school uses the house to store stuff — chairs, desks, lawn equipment, etc — but some of the original owners’ things are still around, seemingly abandoned when they left.


Last week, Cameron had some time to himself between classes, and while he was out walking on a rare 70-degree April day, he ended up in that yard, checking out some stuff he hadn’t seen before.


What he found there is the stuff of barn-find legend. Pushed way back in the corner, under a lean-to and behind a 1960s-era single-axle camper trailer, was what he called a “vintage 1950s-era” Jeep. 


I asked him to send me a few pics. He did, and it only took a second to see he’d found something a little more special than your standard Eisenhower-era CJ. Small headlights screamed Willys MB or Ford GPW, and ACC’s resident Jeep specialist, B. Mitchell Carlson, confirmed it. 


Using BMC’s tips, I narrowed it down to a ’40s-era Ford GPW. It was likely war surplus from a local military installation. And from the looks of it, it’s been sitting there, under cover, for a long, long time. 


Sure, it’s not exactly stock, with an extended tub, roll cage, and later Jeep Hurricane engine — but it’s dripping with cool just the same, and it’ll make a great resto project or parts source for someone — maybe even my brother in law, if the school has title to it. 


This just goes to show that this stuff is still out there — and it can be hiding in places you’d never think to look.


Got any good barn find stories? Share them below.


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