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A Timeline of Events in CJ-3A History

This list of events was compiled to show what was happening to Willys-Overland Motors during the CJ-3A era. We can see that a lot was going on, from supplier problems, to military orders, to experimental vehicles and new products.

9/23/40
American Bantam Car Company delivers a prototype Reconnaissance Car to the military for testing.
11/11/40
Willys-Overland's first pilot jeep was delivered to the military for testing. (19)
6/16/45
The first Civilian Jeep CJ-2A was produced. (1)
9/21/48
300,000th post war vehicle is produced. (1)
10/4/48
The 1949 model year starts with CJ-2A 219589. (8)
11/7/48
Tools, dies, jigs, and fixtures for Jeep body-building have been transferred to Toledo from the American Central Manufacturing. (6)
12/23/48
Universal Jeeps with bodies made in-house are now rolling off the assembly lines in Toledo. (2) These are probably the first CJ-3As.
1/1/49
A total of 308 model year 1949 CJ-3As were produced in 1948. (20)
1/11/49 to 1/21/49
Midland Steel (supplier of Jeep frames) on strike. (1)
2/24/49 to 3/8/49
There will be temporary closings of some departments and final assemblies to balance inventories at Willys-Overland. 4,500 workers laid off. (1)
3/49
Midland Steel (supplier of Jeep frames) workers walk out. (1, 2)
3/11/49
David R. Wilson, former president of  Willys-Overland and Wilson Foundry co-founder, dies.
4/8/49
Willys-Overland goes to a 4 day work week to cut costs. (1)
5/19/49
Willys-Overland directors meet to select a president. (13)
5/19/49
Willys-Overland plant to close for one week due to a shortage of  brake parts. The supplier, Bendix Aviation, has been on strike. (2)
6/4/49
600 "Alpine" Jeeps are being shipped to the Swiss Army. (1)
6/6/49
The US Army orders 4000 "new" military Jeeps (M-38) and spare parts at a cost of over 12 million dollars. (1, 2)
6/29/49 to 8/3/50
Willys-Overland Engineering Release 5607, "Front end redesign ('FB' Head Engine Necessitates New Design) (Model CJ-3A)". (15)
7/25/49
A new plant in Bombay, India has turned out it's first Jeeps. (1)
7/25/49 Willys-Overland makes it's first commercial shipments of vehicles to Japan since before Pearl Harbor. (1)
8/1/49
Certain Willys-Overland departments to go from a 4 day work week to a 3 day work week. (1)
8/1/49
Willys-Overland starts production of a four wheel drive version of it's station wagon. (1)
8/30/49
Turkey orders 574 trucks, 279 Jeeps, 74 station wagons, and spare parts. Fifty station wagons were recently shipped to Greece. (2)
9/30/49
The West Coast plant at Maywood, California assembled 5,295 Jeep products this fiscal year. (14)
10/15/49
Willys-Overland to suspend final assembly for a week due to a steel strike. (2)
11/1/49
The 1950 model year starts with CJ-3A 35689. (9)
11/11/49
Willys-Overland suspended most of it's operations due to a shortage of steel at parts suppliers. (1)
11/14/49 to 12/5/49
Willys-Overland lays off  4,000 workers because of a steel strike. (3, 13)
11/23/49
Tools, dies, and jigs for station wagon body building are being transferred from Briggs manufacturing to Willys-Overland. (2)
12/14/49
The Detroit Arsenal tests a pilot model military Jeep (M-38). (12)
12/31/49
The Federal Government recently contracted for 425 Jeeps and trucks to be used in forest fire control operations. (3)
12/16/49 to 1/9/50
Willys-Overland suspended assemblies to install tools and dies for in-house manufacturing of station wagon bodies formerly made by Briggs Manufacturing. About 3,500 workers were idle during this time. (1, 2)
1/3/50
Willys-Overland will produce "Supersonic" engines for Kaiser-Frazer's car. (1, 3)
3/50
CJ-V35/U production starts. (10)
3/21/50
Willys-Overland Engineering Release 5707, "New Model Release 473CJ". (15)
4/4/50
Some bottom mount radiators used in production. (18)
5/12/50
Willys-Overland put 4,500 production workers on a four-day work week to "conserve inventories" because of a rail strike. (16, 17)
5/17/50
Midland Steel (supplier of Jeep frames) operations cut to 40% due to rail strike. (1)
6/50
CJ-V35/U production ends. (10)
7/5/50
Willys-Overland receives an order from U.S. ordnance department for 8,350 M-38 Jeeps. (1, 2, 3)
7/17/50
Willys-Overland shuts down final assembly lines because of Warner Gear strike. (3)
8/22/50
Die makers to strike at Willys-Overland drop forge division. (13)
8/24/50
Experimental CJ-3A number X98 was photographed. This 3A had modified front sheet metal and the F-head engine. (15)
9/50
M-38 production starts. (10)
9/24/50
UAW approves new Willys-Overland labor contract. (13)
10/5/50
Willys-Overland Engineering Release 6396 "4-Wheel Drive Ambulance -- Research Tests". (15)
10/6/50 to 3/15/51
Willys-Overland Engineering Release 6400 "Jeep-Advanced, (1/4-ton 4x4, AJ)" (15)
10/27/50
Willys-Overland receives an order from Army Ordnance for Jeeps and Jeep engines. (1, 2, 4)
11/8/50
The director general of Baghdad's police orders 121 Jeeps. (16)
11/30/50
Willys-Overland final assembly lines shut down due to snow storm. (13)
12/28/50 to 6/21/51
Willys-Overland Engineering Release 6555, "Military jeep with 4FB Engine, (Test & Design one Military Jeep) (Model CJ-4M)". (15)
1/1/51
Two new models are released, the CJ-3A Farm Jeep and the CJ-3A Jeep Tractor.
1/22/51 to 3/28/52
Willys-Overland Engineering Release 6600, "Advanced Military Jeep, Model MD (New Model Rel.) (Model MD)". (15)
2/18/51
New 4 cylinder, F head, Hurricane engine is now standard in wagons and trucks. (3)
2/51
Midland Steel (supplier of Jeep frames) workers on strike. (1)
3/23/51
Factory photos taken of CJ-4MA-01 Ambulance and Personnel Carrier. (15)
4/8/51
Steel upper radiator tanks used to comply with Government control regulations. (18)
5/14/51
Some Carter fuel pumps being used in production. (18)
6/29/51
Willys-Overland production suspended because of inability to obtain parts from Spicer Manufacturing who has been on strike. (1)
7/30/51
Willys-Overland is awarded contracts for 555 one quarter ton trucks (M-38) and 1,773 hard top cabs. (1)
9/29/51
Willys-Overland announced and agreement with the Canadian Government and the Ford Motor Company of Canada for production of military Jeeps (M-38 CDN) in Canada. (1, 2)
10/22/51
Willys-Overland's new conventionally styled automobile (Aero Willys) is in production. (3)
11/30/51
Final development of the CJ-4A begins. The designation later changes to CJ-3B. (15)
11/30/51 to 1/3/52
Willys-Overland Engineering Release, "7474 4 FB Jeep". (15)
11/11/51
Employee "Family Day" open house at the Willys-Overland plant. (14)
11/25/51
The Maywood, California Willys-Overland plant tools up to produce the new six passenger sedan. (4)
11/30/51 to 1/3/52
Willys-Overland Engineering Release 7474, "4 FB Jeep (model CJ-4A)". (15)
12/15/51
The U.S. Army Ordnance department places a large order for M-38A1 Jeeps and spare parts. (1, 3)
1/52
Aero Willys passenger car is introduced to the public. (14)
1/12/52 to 4/6/53
Willys-Overland Engineering Release 5607 reopened. (15)
3/19/52
One millionth Jeep rolled of the assembly line.
4/1/52
An order for 149 million dollars of military (M-38A1) Jeeps was placed by the Army. (5)
6/52
M-38A1 production starts. (14)
6/30/52
Work on a Jeep contract to halt due to steel strike. (21)
7/52
M-38 production ends. (10)
7/2/52
Willys puts two new giant forge hammers into operation. (1)
7/8/52
US Ordnance Corps orders $27 million M-38A1s. (1)
7/13/52 to 7/19/52
Willys-Overland annual inventory shutdown. (14)
7/21/52
Only partial operations resume at Willys-Overland plant due to steel strike. (14)
7/18/52
The Army contracts for 42 Jeep fire engines.
8/1/52
The 1953 model year begins. (15)
8/13/52
Willys-Overland assembly plant is under construction in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (1)
8/21/52
Willys-Overland publicly shows it's new Jeep (M-38A1) at Aberdeen proving ground. About 50 of these Jeeps are currently being tested by the Army in the U.S. and Korea. (2, 3)
11/20/52
The FBI arrests 3 people accused of large scale theft of Jeep parts from Willys Overland. (5)
12/52
CJ-3B production starts. (15)
12/31/52
2,360 CJ-3Bs were produced in 1952. (15)
1/25/53
Willys-Overland ranked fifth place in industry production for the 1952 calendar year. (11)
4/28/53
Kaiser-Frazer buys Willys-Overland for $60,824,767. (7)
9/1/2004
The CJ-3A Page goes online.

References
1. Wall Street Journal
2. New York Times
3. Chicago Daily Tribune
4. Los Angeles Times
5. The Washington Post
6. Oakland Tribune
7. 1953 Financial Report
8. Willys-Overland Sales Bulletin 48-38
9.
Willys-Overland Sales Bulletin 49-10
10. Military Production sheet, Richard Grace
11. Oakland Tribune
12. Mansfield News Journal
13. The Lima News
14. Willys-Overland Annual Reports
15. The CJ-3B Page
16. Oxnard Press-Courier
17. Coshocton, Ohio Tribune
18. Willys Overland Service Bulletins
19. Willys Overland Salesbuilder
20. Master Parts List
21. East Liverpool Review


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