Caitlin Moran
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Ohio Jeep Lover Restores 1948 Jeepster After Six Decades

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Oh, love—what a magical thing. When you first fall in love, everything in life just seems better, brighter, and more fun. Sadly, though, this honeymoon phase doesn’t typically last long—unless, of course, you’re Ed Masuga of Akron, Ohio and you’ve been deeply in love for almost 60 years.

With a 1948 Jeepster, of course.

1948 Jeepster

Masuga bought the Jeepster back in 1950
Photo: Fiat Chrysler Official Blog

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Masuga, an 83-year-old retired machinist, first fell in love back in 1950 when he bought a used 1948 Jeepster from his brother-in-law, Dan. He used his Jeepster as his go-to daily driver, driving it around his hometown of Akron for years as he hung out with friends, went to school, and courted his future wife.

Like any other Jeep lover would do, Masuga decided to keep his Jeep around even when he started raising a family. While he didn’t use it anymore as his everyday driver, he decided to “put it in mothballs.” He states, “I put it indoors, off the ground for many, many years until I retired at the end of 1998.”

Talk about commitment—commitment that wasn’t exactly easy.

Ed Masuga 1948 Jeepster

Masuga with the finished product
Photo: Fiat Chrysler Official Blog

Once he was retired, Masuga decided to start to work on it using his skills as a retired Goodyear machinist. There are only a few pieces used in the Jeepster that Masuga hasn’t touched, cleaned, painted, replaced, or somehow restored. He started by raising the body two inches off the frame. He sanded the body, polished it, and then gave it a paint job.

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“I painted the underbody a medium red,” he explained. “The original was black. I did it because I wanted to do something different. You can see it from the sides of the fenders.”

He went on to replace the old rubber parts, such as the brake cylinders, hood molding, and gaskets. The rims were also sand-blasted and painted. While he had some help to recondition seats’ metal frames, he did the majority of the restoration and rebuilding himself over the past 18 years.

Even better? He did this all for himself.

“I’m not interested in taking it to car shows,” Masuga said in a recent Fiat Chrysler blog. “I did it for myself.

Now, that’s what I call a true love story.

PHOTOS: Check Out Ed Masuga’s 1948 Jeepster

  • Caitlin MoranEditor

    A born-and-raised Jersey girl, Caitlin Moran lives in Dayton, Ohio at the moment and loves getting down and nerdy with English. After recently graduating from the University of Dayton with her Masters in English Literature, Caitlin is now combining her love of writing and cars for The News Wheel. She is also continuing her love affair with traveling, broadening her knowledge of foreign automobiles. See more articles by Caitlin.