With the exception of a few minor things,I have officially declared this restoration as complete. Like I have said before, this was the first time I have ever restored a vehicle. I had no special tools or equipment, just a welder and common hand tools. My garage floor was my work bench for cutting sheetmetal and a vise, hammer, dolly, and some C clamps were used for shaping.
I could not have done this restoration without the help of this site and the knowledgable people that are regulars here. This is truely a Wonderful site! Thank You all!
This thread has been on top of the page for almost two years now. As it slowly fades to the bottom and finally out of sight I look back to when I first started this project. What started off as a simple flatfender fix up project turned into a full frame up military vehicle restoration. I Learned a lot, cursed alot, sweat alot and even bled some, but over all it was a fulfilling experience and something I can say I accomplished myself.
The jeep has been busy at work participating in all the Veterans Day celebrations this past week with my local MV club. It has been a blast and an honor participating in these activities.
The first event the jeep participated in was the Gilbert Veterans celebration on Wednesday where our club provided vehicles for a static display around the stage/festivities area. Lunch was provided to all veterans after the ceremonies.
I've been collecting some period military items that the Airmen are wearing in the photos my father gave me and using them as props while displaying the jeep.
I painted and marked the helmet liner in the same manner as the one my father is wearing. Before he passed away I asked him what was the color of the helmet, and he said they were silver with blue markings, so that's how I painted it. The billy club was the actual billy club he used when he was an Air Policeman. My Mother gave this to me plus another one that he used when dressed in Blues.
I also put together these temporary placards explaining the history of the unit and the dedication to my father.
Thursday the jeep participated in it's first parade. Our group provided vehicles for the Vietnam Vets. Here it is all parade ready.
I was fortunate to have David ride with me. David is a WWII combat vet and it was an honor to have him as my first ride along.
Saturday our club participated in the Gilbert Days parade to celebrate the city's 90th birthday. We had a really big turnout with a lot of different types of MV's. It was a blast seeing all these vehicles.
Finally I took the jeep to the National Cemetary where my father was laid to rest. He never saw the jeep completed so it was my way of showing him the jeep that I had dedicated to him. It couldn't have been a better day. The cemetary is beautiful and peaceful in it's desert surroundings. There are also several monuments within the cemetary honoring all veterans from all wars. To top it all off there were several vintage aircraft flying overhead including the B-17 Sentimental Journey from the CAF. They were doing a show for a veterans celebration at a nearby airport. Then at 12:00 noon the cemetary bells played each of the service hymns. Just a wonderful day and sort of a closure for me at the same time.
When I was a boy I loved to put together model airplanes. My father worked shift work so he usually came home late at night when we were all asleep. When I completed a model I would set it on the dining room table all proud of what I had done and to show my father when he came home. The next morning he would give me that smile and nod of approval and tell me I had done a good job. Going to the cemetary today was symbolic of that same ritual I used to do when I was a boy. I know he's looking down at me right now with that same smile on his face and telling me, "Good Job son!"
I love you and miss you Dad!