In 2016, Jason Miller bought a run-down 12-acre farm in south-central Pennsylvania from an elderly relative. There’s a lot of work that goes into getting a neglected farm back up and running. Jason got to work: fixing the farmhouse, repairing fencing and taking care of the land. He soon realized he needed a utility vehicle that could help him get from one job to the next. The solution? A 1965 Jeep CJ5.
A Project with a Purpose
After searching high and low for a rig that fit the bill, Miller found it on Craigslist: a 1965 Jeep CJ5 Tuxedo Park Mark IV—one of just 1,945 CJ5s built for the ’65 model year. The seller’s post didn’t give him much information, but he took a chance. It was love at first sight.
From Barnyard Junk to Farm Machine
While the 4-cylinder Hurricane engine and 3-speed transmission were in great shape, Miller had his work cut out for him. He ditched the 5-gallon gas can behind the driver seat and replaced it with a new plastic tank, a fuel line and sending unit. He replaced the alternator and radiator. He installed a new oil pan, gasket and rear main seal after noticing oil puddles under the Jeep. And last but not least, he gave the electronic ignition a complete tune-up.
Modded from the Ground Up
Now that Miller had the mechanical quirks worked out, it was time to focus on the fun stuff. After watching an episode of Dirt Every Day, he noticed that Fred Williams, the host of the show, had a Jeep outfitted with BFGoodrich® Mud-Terrain T/A® KM3 tires—and he knew his CJ5 had to have the same. He mounted a set of 30X9.50R15s and also had the original 15” wheels professionally refinished. And after installing a Rough Country 2.5” suspension lift for a little extra height, the CJ5 didn’t just look like a dream, it drove like one, too.
A Rattle-Can Paint Job
Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a professional paint job, Miller decided to try his own hand at painting. He set up a makeshift painting booth in his barn, complete with plastic sheets and portable heaters. Jason sat the Jeep on jack stands, taped it off and sprayed his heart out—18 cans worth. After a Jeep-load of Krylon Peacock Blue spray paint and clear coat at a cost of $150, the CJ5 had a fresh look that most people still don’t believe Miller did himself.
Sharing the Nostalgia
After pouring countless hours of work into the CJ5, there’s one thing Miller loves most about the build: the sheer feeling of nostalgia coupled with modern performance when he’s cruising around the farm. From the ground up, it’s a machine born of a rich heritage of performance and reliability that allows him to care for the land and the people he loves.
Jason shares that love with the rest of the world through his YouTube and Instagram pages (@65seejayfive).
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