[MV] reply "Original or Repro" for Chris' M38

Brent McClearen (brent@multipro.com)
Sat, 2 Jan 1999 12:06:32 -0600


After 12 years fiddling with trying to go for the perfect restored jeep,
I finally resolved to ONE verdict. Do what makes YOU happy.
If you want to have fun, screw the repro body because you'll never drive
off road again for fear of destroying your high dollar hard work. But
you'll have a nice parade ready vehicle to be proud of.
If you do a full resoration, you'll soon be looking for a "woods" jeep
to satisfy the need for a occasional mud bath. You will be $4-5000 poorer,
but it is an investment which will go up in value.
I rebuilt (NOT restored) a 1948 CJ2A for my off road fun, from ground up
the way I wanted it. Very few NOS parts, but mostly correct repro or
aftermarket, hard top, insulation, winch, new electrical stuff, new tires,
new sheetmetal, virtually ALL new. Then I painted and marked it WWII D-Day
style. Heck, everyone likes it and only one in 1000 even knows the
difference. I drive the heck out of it for 10 long years and STILL have no
mechanical problems with it. I'd take off today for California in it if I
wanted to.
I also have a 42 GPW which will be correctly restored in every sense of
the word. It is my investment for the future, and will be a 10 year
So have fun both ways, but do YOUR thing, not everyone elses!

-----Original Message-----
From: Ranger3id@aol.com <Ranger3id@aol.com>
To: mil-veh@skylee.com <mil-veh@skylee.com>
Date: Saturday, January 02, 1999 9:45 AM
Subject: [MV] Original or Repro

>Good Morning:
>Something that I haven't seen discussed at any great length is the issue of
>using repro parts instead of NOS or restoring worn/damaged originals. I
>understand that this is, in many ways a personal choice, which will be
>effected by whether you are looking to do a true restoration, or simply
>a worn MV and making it serviceable again. Personally, my goal is to have a
>vehicle that I drive weekly (to shows, hardware store, or light trail
>I'd love to keep as many orginal parts as possible, but is it silly to
>that an "original" body that is more bondo than sheet metal is "better"
than a
>brand new tub? And, at what point does a vehicle cease to be "original"?
>is, If the only parts that were actually together when the vehicle rolled
>the assembly line were the frame and the wheels, is a vehicle that is made
>piece meal, of NOS parts any more "correct" than one using quality repro
>In my case, I have a '52 M-38 with a '51 M-38 engine. But the real issue
>the body. The tub probably has more bondo and metal patches than original
>sheet metal. The tub channels are completely rusted out, the tail gate has
>been replaced with a home made gate that was permanently welded shut, and
>spare tire carrier is also a home made affair. When I bought the Jeep, my
>intent was to have a professional restore the body to it's former glory (I
>have neither the time or nor the expertise do it myself). However, over
>past year or so, a number of them have told me that the body is probably
>worth saving ( it would cost as much as the jeep and I'd still end up with
>body that was mostly bondo). The question then becomes whether to find a
>from another M-38, or consider one of the repro bodies like those offered
>Darryl Bensinger.
>I understand that this is a complex issue, and there will be no definitive
>answers. But, any input from the list would be greatly appreciated.
>Chris DeWitt
>52? M-38

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