The Willys Overland company, fresh from helping to win World War II with the ubiquitous military Jeep, branched out in 1947 with a lineup of larger wagons and pickups based on the same architecture.
The Pick of the Day is a 1948 Willys Jeep pickup truck that has been restored to mostly original condition, with a few upgrades, according to the Dallas dealer advertising the Jeep on ClassicCars.com.
The pickup retains its original, rebuilt 134cid 4-cylinder Go Devil engine, not exactly a powerhouse but fairly bulletproof, as proven during the rigors of war. The engine is mated with the correct 3-speed manual transmission and 4-wheel drive, with a two-speed transfer case.
The electrical system has been converted to 12 volts, the seller notes, and a power takeoff system has been added to the driveline. Otherwise, this Jeep seems to have been kept original.
“In the postwar era, this was one of Willys’ most-successful models, with over 300,000 produced,” the seller says in the ad. “While the steel body may not be as desirable as the wood-bodied cars to many people, they were easier to mass-produce, easier to maintain, and, most importantly, safer than the previous lumber-bodied pre-war cars.
“This particular Willys Jeep has been well-restored and continues to be a formidable off-road vehicle.”
Post-war America was struggling with a shortage of vehicles, in particular work trucks for farms and construction, and Willys’ expansion was a wise move. Of course, the Jeep name had become synonymous with victory, as well as indestructibility, so there was an eager market for Jeep-branded vehicles.
Willys also was wise to keep the simple styling touchstones of the Jeep, such as the upright slatted grille and flat fenders. There was a considerable level of charm to that uncluttered look, which still resonates today.
The asking price for this handsome Jeep pickup is $25,000.
To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.