1948 Willys Jeepster VJ2

Fort Worth, TX 76137
United States

1948 Willys
Stock Number
VIN Number
Category  Trucks

GIs returning from the war were in love with the Jeep, but found that once they got home and raised a family, the rugged little 'GP' was not really a suitable family car. Willys-Overland, recognizing the demand and wanting to keep their burgeoning off-road reputation growing, promptly introduced the Jeepster, a somewhat more civilized version of the military favorite. This 1st year 1948 Willys Jeepster VJ2 delivers on its promise of simplicity and ruggedness, all with a distinctive look that .....
is beloved around the world. WWII was over and Americans finally had some spending money in their pockets after several lean years, along with a strong desire for brand new, inexpensive passenger vehicles. The ""Jeep"" (a named likely derived from a combination of WW1 slang for greenhorn recruits and prototype vehicles, the WWII Ford GP, or the character 'Eugene the Jeep' from 'Popeye' cartoons) was a hero on battlefields the world over, and Willys-Overland looked to capitalize on the vehicle's go-anywhere popularity. Knowing that they needed to soften the car's look for civilian life, Brooks Stevens was hired by the company and subsequently designed several models, including the popular Jeepster. Willys-Overland applied for exclusive trademark of the Jeep, but when it came time for production, they didn't have the money or the tooling to create complex shapes like curved fenders and swooping lines. As a result, the simple look comprised of straight sides and simple fenders became a patented design of early Jeeps that still survives to this day. For his famed Jeepster, Stevens offset design limitations by incorporating bold, two-tone paint jobs and a phaeton-like body atop the new CJ chassis. Despite their more user-friendly nature, these were still tough little trucks and were used as such, so finding clean ones today can be a challenge. This one seems to have been used exclusively as a passenger vehicle all its life, showing signs of use and age in the driver quality finish, but no signs of abuse or neglect. The Pacific Blue paint contrasts neatly with the Potomac Gray accents around the windshield, encircling the cabin, and on the bumpers and grille, and although imperfections can be spotted upon closer examination the curb appeal is undeniable. Fit and finish are about what you'd get from the Willys-Overland dealer in 1948 " average " and that's nothing to be ashamed of on a vehicle design that just came back from battle. A Vee'd split windshield is a wonderful throwback to a simpler era, step plates are on either side provide rear-seat access, and a rear-mounted spare spruces up the look further by mimicking the popular continental kits of the era. You can see how Willys-Overland civilized the Jeep inside, where comfortable black vinyl bench seats replace the canvas-wrapped buckets in the military versions. The passenger's side flips forward for access to the back seat, just in case you have ladies unwilling to clamor over the gunwales, and once they're back there they'll find it comfortable for two and cozy for three. The dash is still basic, with the gauges and controls clustered in the center, but the shifter has moved to the steering column as was fashionable at the time, and which also frees up a spot for a third passenger in the middle. A beautifully restored, deluxe steering wheel anchors the cabin with its period-perfect design, and its off-white finish matches the decorative strip that runs the length of the dash, whereas the metal door panels at the flanks were finished in Potomac Gray to match the dash and exterior accents. Plush black carpets replace the basic rubber mat that the car was born with, and the cigar lighter and locking glove box were all factory features. Weather protection consists of a black folding top and snap-on side windows, since roll-up windows were not on the features list, and although it's not all in the greatest of shape it can still save you from the wet stuff. The same rugged, indestructible, WWII-proven 134.2 cubic inch ""Go Devil"" Inline four that brave GIs used to liberate millions from tyranny can be found under the hood of this Jeepster. It's not a high-horsepower screamer, but on the other hand the L-Head block will practically run underwater with a tank full of Polish vodka, and parts are still easy to find and fairly inexpensive. Combined with a 3-speed manual transmission with electric overdrive and a durable rear end with a 4:88:1 axle-ratio, it feels lively around town and downright nimble on dirt roads where it's right at home. Learning from their battlefield experience, the engineers put a lot of the delicate stuff up high, including the 1-barrel carburetor and distributor, while the original barrel-style air filter housing is still in place atop the bright red motor. The engine bay is fairly clean and shows neat details like the curvy exhaust manifolds and the original generator still making six volts through the newer battery. A single exhaust system gives it a characteristic Jeep growl that sounds suitably industrial for the stout little trucklet, and the correct 7.10x15 BFGoodrich whitewall bias-plys are wrapped around upscale-looking painted steel wheels with shiny trim rings and Willys hubcaps. Fun, open-air motoring with unbeatable reliability and a can-do attitude, this Jeepster is a great alternative to all the usual post-war cruisers. Call today!

Fort Worth TX 76137
United States
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