Sheesh; grab a CJ-2a and drive it. Fix it up as time allows; and drive it.
It does all these things; it has a flathead, it will do 55 if you change the gears in the axle, and still have plenty of low speed torque.
If you want to put a rat rod body on the frame...fine; but you could also turn the jeep into a pick up body pretty easy and other have made them rat "rodderish." To me flat fenders are sacred; adding less gear or say a 4cyl/5spd is cool and all but Id leave it alone...and drive the snot out of it.
You can get them in need of help for under a grand.
We've had one at our cabin since 1968. It was a side by side utility vehicle WAY before this new stuff AND its street legal.
Only concessions I'd make, aside from lowering the axle ratio slightly is look at converting the hubs to run a more conventional rim/tire package (it used to be hard to find a tire to fit those rims, and the military tires can be scary at high speeds, although they will go through any mud you can find), convert to 12v and put a small winch and trailer hitch on the vehicle.
Hey if it worked in the slop of WW2; it'll be fine for anything you and your dog get into.
Ours (47 CJ 2A) was converted for the Ford(?) bolt pattern at one time I believe, but now its back to stock wheels and military tires; has a 12V conversion, a "winch" made from a Model A transmission and a BIG handcrank and an angle iron front bumper with a hitch ball on it (we used it to push trailers around) Its ugly but it works and all us kids learned to drive it. We love it more than my Uncles Polaris RZR side by side.
Last edited by AutoGear; 12-11-2012 at 12:40 PM.