The Corpus Christi Old Car Museum Auction

Lot 209
1951 Willys Jeepster

1951 Willys  Jeepster

CHASSIS NO: 473VJ13839

• The last year of Jeepster production
• Four-cylinder engine with manual gearbox and overdrive
• Lovely new paint finish is superb throughout
• Comprehensively restored to a very high level

2.2-liter inline four-cylinder engine, 72 HP, three-speed manual gearbox with overdrive, front transverse leaf spring suspension, rear semi-elliptic leaf springs, drum brakes; wheelbase: 104”

The Willys-Overland Jeepster, borrowing features from both the Willys Station Wagon and Truck, attempted to bridge the gap between the “utilitarian” post-war Universal CJ Series, and the 1-ton "family-oriented" Station Wagons and ½-ton light-utility trucks. Following the end of WWII, the Willys-Overland company chairman recognized the importance of expanding its offerings to include a civilian passenger car, and with the help of young industrial designer Brooks Stevens, presented a model more likely to appeal to younger market segments.

The 1949 Jeepster was produced with the option of the six-cylinder Lightning L-148 engine, and in 1950, received a few modifications to the hood and grille. Unfortunately, due to lackluster marketing efforts and competition in the passenger car market, the Jeepster was phased out completely in 1950, with a few leftover models such as this example sold under the 1951 model year banner. Many, like this example, actually have an OHV head on one side, and a flat head on the other, as they used up all their resources finishing the last few cars.

This beautiful Jeepster is properly finished in a sharp Tunisian Red/black livery, with a clean black soft top and very nice vinyl interior. The fit and finish overall is excellent, with straight panels and no modifications. It looks great with the soft top up or down, giving ample reason to load in the whole family for some open-air motoring. The new for 1950 and 1951 vee-shaped grille makes this one of the most stylish of the 19,000 Jeepsters produced. With whitewall tires and excellent chrome trim throughout, including a covered continental spare, this is a Jeepster that will be a hit at any Jeep convention or concours event.

If a revolutionary Jeep model that received a nut-and-bolt restoration sounds like fun, then look no further than this fine example.

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