Lessons learned with the CJ-2 led to the development of the first full-production CJ, the 1945-1949 Willys-Overland CJ-2A. The CJ-2A looked very much like a civilianized MB with a tailgate and side mounted spare tire. One major difference between the MB and the CJ-2A can be found by looking at the grilles of the two vehicles. The MB had recessed headlights and nine-slot grilles while the CJ2A had larger headlights flush-mounted in a seven-slot grille. In place of the MB's T-84 transmission, the CJ-2A was equipped with the beefier T-90 three speed transmission. However, the CJ-2A was still powered with the reliable L-134 Go-Devil engine. Many of the early CJ-2As were produced using surplus military Jeep parts such as engine blocks and, in a few cases, modified frames. Some of the use of surplus parts was due to strikes at suppliers such as Autolite. Since Willys produced very few parts in-house and relied heavily on suppliers, it was very vulnerable to strikes. Unfortunately for Willys, strikes were very common in the first few years after the war. This undoubtedly contributed to low production totals in 1945 and early 1946.
Since the CJ-2A was primarily intended for farming, ranching, and industrial applications, a wide variety of extra equipment could be purchased with the Jeep. Examples of extra equipment are: rear seat, center rear view mirror(Stock CJ-2As came with only a driver side mirror), front passenger seat (Stock CJ-2As only came with a driver seat), canvas top, front PTO, rear PTO, belt pulley drive, capstan winch, governor, rear hydraulic lift, snow plow, welder, generator, mower, disc, front bumper weight, heavy-duty springs, dual vacuum windshield wipers (stock CJ-2As were equipped with a manual wiper on the passenger side and a vacuum wiper on the driver side), dual taillights (Stock CJ-2As had a taillight on the driver side and a reflector on the passenger side), and hot-climate radiator, driveshaft guards, heater, side steps, and radiator brush guard.
CJ-2As were produced with very unique, lively color combinations that in some ways symbolized the hope and promise of postwar America. From 1945 to mid-1946, CJ-2As were only available in two color combinations: Pasture Green with Autumn Yellow wheels and Harvest Tan with Sunset Red wheels. Additional color combinations added in mid-1946 were: Princeton Black with Harvard Red or Sunset Red wheels, Michigan Yellow with Pasture Green, Sunset Red or Americar Black wheels, Normandy Blue with Autumn Yellow or Sunset Red wheels, and Harvard Red with Autumn Yellow or Americar Black wheels. The Pasture Green and Harvest Tan combinations were dropped later in 1946. The Harvard Red combinations were dropped in 1947 and replaced with: Picket Gray with Harvard Red wheels, and Luzon Red with Universal Beige wheels. In 1948, the following color combinations were also added: Emerald Green with Universal Beige wheels, Potomac Gary with Harvard Red or Americar Black wheels. For 1949, the Picket Gray, Michigan Yellow, and Normandy Blue combinations were dropped. Olive drab was also available for export models.
On early CJ-2As, the front seats were covered in olive drab vinyl. Around mid-1947, Slate Gray vinyl became available for certain color combinations. Later, Barcelona Red was added to the mix.
A total of 214,760 CJ-2As were produced.
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