On this “episode” of 67 Designs Customer Spotlights, where we share the stories of some of our customers, we get to know Jacob Bull. Bull, from Watertown, NY, has been working in law enforcement for 17 years. After waiting quite some time to fulfill his dream since 15 years old, Jacob finally found his vintage Jeep! Read on for more.
Proud owner of: a green 1955 Willys M38A1 (old military Jeep).
History/story behind the vehicle: One day, he was talking with a friend and mentioned his dream of a vintage vehicle and his friend mentioned that he knew someone selling an old military Jeep. Jacob was put in contact with him, but unfortunately the man passed away shortly after. A bit later, the widow reached back out and asked Jacob if he would be interested in the vehicle. In June of 2019, he bought the Jeep! After doing some research on the vehicle, he has found a few things. The Air Force was stationed on the border of Canada during the Korean War and he believes that the vehicle was used at military radar stations. In the 1980s, the military sold the Jeep to a mechanic in a small town, who sold it to the late owner who sold it to Jacob. Therefore, he is pretty sure that he is the 3rd civilian owner of the vehicle. In terms of the paint color, it has taken on a range of colors—strata blue, green, desert tan and now green again.
Featured upgrades: Jacob’s Jeep is decked out with the following features… (mostly stock upgrades to keep the Jeep as it was in the 50s! If he wanted, he could make it stock easily)
- 2.5” BDS Suspension
- Deestone D503 (Originally had military non directional tread)
- 67 Designs Series 55 Rail with Universal Phone Holder
- USB port
- New parts
- Transfer case
Customer of 67 Designs since: May 2020.
Inspiration for buying his M38A1 : Jacob has wanted a vintage Jeep since seeing one when he was 15. Once it became a possibility, he was still interested and bought one. He loves how when you drive it, there is no power steering and you can really feel the trail/road you are on. When you drive it, you concentrate solely on driving and nothing else in the world.
First adventure with a vehicle: June 2019. Once Jacob fixed up the vehicle and got it running, the first adventure he went on was with the late owner’s wife. The first time it hit the road, he went to surprise her and she loved it—“she had the biggest smile on her face.”
Most recent adventure/COVID-19 adventures: March 2021. Jacob went to central Pennsylvania for a trail ride with about 15 other vintage Jeeps. They did a 90 mile trip on dirt trails and saw the Susquehanna River. It was really cool for him because everyone had a Jeep of the same era.
Most memorable adventure: July 2019. It was not so much of an adventure, but when he first got the Jeep going, he would always get waves and smiles from everyone on the road. One day in particular, he was going down a rural road, where there was a vegetable stand. The owner stood and saluted the Jeep, something that has always stuck out in Jacob’s memory. Jacob is a veteran who served in the Marine Corps. He shared that he was the docent of the Home of Commandments for some time, the oldest continually occupied house in DC.
Upcoming trips: Because of COVID-19, he does not have anything big planned, but Jacob is most likely going to the Mason Dixon Willys Jeep Gathering in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. There, the Jeeps from the 40s/50s will do a tour of the battlefield. On top of that, he would love to explore his backyard of the Adirondacks and head up to Wolfe Island in Canada when the border reopens.
Dream trip: Jacob would love to take a cross country trip or long distance trip with his Jeep. He saw someone take a route from the Canadian border in Montana to the southern border and thinks it would be a great trip!
Advice for those who are just beginning overlanding: “There are a lot of resources online for those buying old Jeeps,” “figure out what the most common issue is [with old Jeeps] so you know what to look for,” and “don’t be afraid to reach out for help—you can post pictures of an issue and receive replies in 10 minutes.”
#1 place he has camped: Jacob does not camp too much—the last time was at summer camp as a kid! It is also important to note that having an old Jeep does not allow you to hit the roads like having a 2021 Jeep.
Fun fact about: Jacob grew up working on farms and milking cows!
Jeep club memberships: N/A (but he finds a lot on Instagram and that is how he has connected with people to ride)
Notes from the writer: While having an old Jeep may not be able to take you through crazy off road trails, it is certainly one heck of a vehicle to own. It also takes a hard worker to buy one because of all the fixing it needs—that is Jacob for you! If you are ever in Upstate NY and see an old Jeep, it may be Jacob, his wife and his Schnauzer puppy!
Check out his work here: Follow all of Jacob’s posts and adventures below!
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