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The CJ-4 concept was tested and obviously rejected in favor of the other ideas. That ended the CJ-4's usefulness to the company. Most prototype vehicles end up in the scrap heap or the parts bin, however the CJ-4 escaped destruction through the efforts of the Chief Chassis Engineer at Willys/Kaiser from 1955 to 1965, Miguel Ordorica. He had enough pull to get a stay of execution for the Jeep, and ended up purchasing the vehicle in 1955.

The Ordoricas had recently moved into a new home in the suburbs of Toledo. It was a sprawling, wooded place, and Mr. Ordorica soon found that he needed a work vehicle. The CJ-4 spent the next 22 years in obscurity, plowing snow, dragging logs, discing the garden, hauling wood -- whatever. It never left the property, and racked up only about 1,400 miles, plus a lot of dents and dings. A Ramsey winch and snowplow were added.

Mr. Ordorica passed away in 1967, and the CJ was later offered up for sale. The buyer parked the Jeep in his storage barn awaiting restoration. In the midst of hot-rod and classic car work, it has stayed on the back burner all these years.

Source JP Magazine


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