Please Support our Sponsors

Book Review of

"Building a WWII Jeep:

Finding, Restoring and Rebuilding a Wartime Legend"


By Christophe Jacquemont


Basic Item Information


Building a WWII Jeep: Finding, Restoring and Rebuilding a Wartime Legend


Sean Dunnage


Pen & Sword Books, Ltd.


9 781526 755506


Hard Cover Book

Number of Pages

272 Pages
Number of Photographs 425 color photos of the restoration; 24 Illustrations of vehicle Technical Manual (TM) drawings or TM covers; 8 period photos and 13 miscellaneous photographs including other restored Jeeps

Text Language


Retail Price

$34.95 USD


Christophe Jacquemont

Review Date

May 7, 2021

Review Summary

Review Type

Full Read 

Basic Positive Features

Enthralling military vehicle restoration story, reads like a novel. Outstanding color photos illustrating the process step by step

Basic Negative Features None.


A "Must Have". An unconventional, yet thrilling book for anyone who loves military vehicles





The review copy was provided by WarWheels sponsor Casemate Publishers.


This review is of the new book released by Pen & Sword Books Ltd entitled “Building a WWII Jeep, Finding, Restoring and Rebuilding a Wartime Legend” and authored by Sean Dunnage.  The book is in English.  It's a "labor of love" volume telling the story of the restoration of a WW2 Jeep from start to end. The book is divided into the following chapters:

1.   Before Starting Your Restoration
2.   Identifying Your Jeep
3.   Rebuilding the Chassis & Drive Train
4.   Engine sub-sections
5.   Drivers Controls
6.   Engine Start Up
7.   The Body
8.   Wiring: The Electrical System
9.   The Fuel System
10. The Jeep Console & Firewall

11. The Final Details

Photograph/Illustration Quality and Selection

The many color photographs (exact count in the 'Basic Item Information' section of this review) are of the highest quality and perfectly printed. This is the best photo quality I have seen in a book to date, truly remarkable. The Technical Manual drawings are OK. Some, but not all, are slightly blurry/fuzzy.  But overall, they do the job. The photos and illustrations are perfectly integrated within the story and one can see much care was taken in the selection process.

Book Quality

This edition is in hardback format of 9.5” x 6.5”.


It's not an easy book to review, because it is so many things at the same time. One might initially assume it's only a "how to" reconstruction manual directed toward military vehicles restorers.  However, it is so much more than that.

In a way, it reminds me of the documentary series you watch on TV or cable, showing the restoration of a vehicle from being a total wreck to a perfect show-worthy, award winning state. Those series are fascinating viewing even if you're not a restorer, MV collector or even mechanically inclined. This volume has that kind of appeal.

It reads like the captivating narrative of a 4-year real life adventure. I immediately related to the author, a bit like you would identify with the main character of a novel. I think this works because the story is told so well. Sean Dunnage is being very candid about his experiences and choices; for example trying to build what he calls a  “motor pool Jeep” (e.g. A vehicle serviced and repaired with what was at hand in an army maintenance unit in the field ; as opposed to a Jeep that would be 100% factory fresh). You live with him. You experience all the hurdles, the problems and their eventual resolution.  The small victories and ultimately the satisfaction of the completed project almost seem personal to the reader.

At the same time, you get a complete education: an intimate knowledge of all the components that make up a wartime Jeep. As a modeler, I found that especially interesting and useful.  This aspect of the book will definitely help me better understand the construction of my future 1/35th modeling hobby Jeep projects and enable me to add many unique and authentic details.

As for vintage military vehicle restorers, they will love the inspiration but also the practical aspects: they will learn a number of techniques and get many useful tips. These include, how to source parts, getting the perfect tools for the job and where to look for help, reference and advice when the need arises.


This book is a well-written, engaging opus which is on the level of a documentary series.  It is a manual and a reference handbook rolled up into one. Kudos to publisher Pen & Sword Military for making this title happen, because it is a bold unconventional editorial decision that pays off massively in the end. This book will be a welcome addition to the library of modelers, Jeep fanatics, military vehicles enthusiasts, restorers and collectors.

Recommendation: “A Must Have"


Thanks to Casemate Publishers for the Review Sample.

Copyright: Christophe Jacquemont - May 2021