Willys jeep in Bucharest house yard

Willys Jeep in Bucharest house yard (©Valentin Mandache)

I encountered this vehicle, which is a Willys Jeep, the World War II iconic jeep (the make is embossed on the engine bonnet), in Domenii quarter of Bucharest, itself an area built up in Art Deco, Modernist and Neo-Romanian architectural styles roundabout the great conflagration. The army car, which is excellently restored and kept, suits thus wonderfully the surrounding architectural designs. I am curious how the the vehicle was acquired by its actual owner, as this type of US Army motor is rare in Romania, a country that was on America’s opposite camp during both the war itself (with the exception of the period 23 August ’44 – 9 May ’45) and the Cold War that followed. I know that some of these jeeps were captured from the Red Army on the eastern front, which were part of the US support of the Soviet Union against Germany and its allies, transported by sea to the Russian held Arctic port of Murmansk and then distributed on the huge front-line, some of them ending up as captured material as far south as Romania. King Michael, the sovereign during wartime and a passionate car collector, has among his collection a Jeep of that origins. I also believe that this particular vehicle could have been acquired in the last decade or so on the open antiquities market (ebay, etc.) once Romania got rid of the communist dictatorship and joined again the more normal world.

Willys Jeep in Bucharest house yard (©Valentin Mandache)

5 thoughts on “Willys jeep in Bucharest house yard

  • Yes Valentin I have to admit my first love is the the restoration of “old cars” “old houses” being my second 🙂 I sold my last “old car” 3 years ago, a 1915 Studebaker EC6, it had lain untouched since 1937, I was the first to drive it in 70 years! 🙂 I was thinking the other day, if I ever live in the Casota Conac…. I will be the first in 100 years! 🙂 as I believe the last owner died in 1913

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    • Perhaps you need a period car to complement Casota! I believe a 1930s-40s one will do well that job 🙂 Thinking about the Jeep in this article- it looks as somehow post-war (1945), you may well be right in your analysis. Valentin

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  • Great to see such a vehicle in Bucharest, the large aluminium plate, fitted on the “glove box” on the right of the dashboard, has all the details, maker, date of manufacture, etc, I am surprised it is said to be before 1947, unless much was changed in the “restoration” the one piece windscreen, lack of mounting for the axe and spade, outside fuel filler…. the wartime Jeeps, Ford GPW (General Purpose Willys) mainly, had a huge filler directly under the drivers seat, split windscreen etc, Many Jeeps continued to be manufactured by Hotchkiss in France etc, they were in use in the Korean war and Vietnam.

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    • Thank you for the comment Moray, you seem to be an expert in such vehicles. I am sure that the communist period has not been propitious for finding spare parts or other restoration materials to keep it as close to the original as possible, but is in excellent condition for the local circumstances. I now remember seeing at least other two such Jeeps in Ceausescu’s time, one of them running on Bucharest’s streets, and another one, close to my student dormitory, in a backyard, used as a sort of huge flowerpot by the people living in the house there. Valentin

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      • Hi Valentin, Are you seeing any more jeeps these days in Bucharest? The one on the picture is a CJ3A. Zoli

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