Re: [MV] Original or Repro

John Bowen (
Sat, 02 Jan 1999 10:31:09 PST

I think that 'personal choice' is the key issue in the original vs repro
question. Clearly to have an MV with all NOS or professionally restored
components might be the ideal and clearly would enhance $ value.
Speaking only for myself there also is great satisfaction to be derived
from having a vehicle that is mechanically sound and generally visually

About 5 years ago I bought a '43 MB for $500 that, in retrospect, the
owner should have paid me $500 to haul away. I got my hands on every
book and manual I could, bugged a lot of people for advice on how-to and
finally built a jeep that 'looks WWII right'.

All that remains of the original body is the grill, hood and windshield
frame and there is, for instance, an 'F' stamped bellhousing behind the
CJ-X engine. The orignal serial number is also a bit suspect. I had to
rebuild every major compenent in the drivetrain that had been damaged
through years of deer lease absuse and a final attempt by the last owner
to pull live oak stumps out of the ground.

But through a lot of work (I did it all except the machine work on the
engine) I have something I'm proud of even though it might not win any
national awards. Richard Grace, in Palmetto, GA, told me something when
I got started on this project about his own experience with restoring
MV's, Jeeps in particular, and that was " fit his skill level." I
think Richard may have been a bit modest in his statement but the truth
is you can still produce a good result through hard work even if you
don't have the ability to shoot a paint job worthy of a Dusenberg

I have my piece of rolling history and to the previous owner I can only
say " oughta see it now."

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