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HomeAutoHunterAutoHunter Spotlight: 1950 Willys Station Wagon

AutoHunter Spotlight: 1950 Willys Station Wagon

“Bad weather, bad roads, or no roads at all!”

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Featured on AutoHunter, the online auction platform driven by ClassicCars.com, is this 1950 Willys Station Wagon.

“Salsa Red” was the color of choice for this one-off custom build, and it was a fitting selection for a vehicle that cranks up the heat via special upgrades. Among its features are custom front and rear bumpers, LED lighting, a winch, meaty Trail Grappler tires, and a modernized infotainment system. It is being offered by a dealer in Tomball, Texas, and the auction will end on Tuesday.

We spent a good deal of time learning about some of the history of Willys-Overland Motors in a prior story on The Journal. The Station Wagon model, as seen here, was manufactured from model years 1946 through 1964. Willys was no stranger to building highly capable four-wheel drive vehicles: according to marketing literature, in 1950, there were four different available body styles offering four-wheel drive:

  • Sedan delivery: “Delivers the goods when others can’t”
  • Truck: “The go-anywhere carrier that gets the load through!”
  • Station Wagon: “Goes on or off the road with passengers or cargo!”
  • Universal Jeep: “All-around work horse for farm and industry”

Sharing front clip design with contemporary Jeeps, the Station Wagon boasted a heightened level of versatility thanks to its generous passenger and cargo space. Willys targeted customers/organizations who had industrial or agricultural needs; among them were contractors, civil engineers, forest rangers, pipeline workers, and surveyors. The over-arching theme that was conveyed via marketing materials was one of utility, which makes sense, since this vehicle essentially set the stage for the “sport-utility” market as a whole.

The VIN and body shell are perhaps the only things that one might call “vintage” about today’s featured wagon. The vehicle has been upgraded outside, inside, and underneath. Power comes from a fuel-injected 327cid small-block Chevrolet V8 mated to a five-speed automatic transmission and a dual-range transfer case. The Dana axles and 285/70 Nitto Trail Grappler tires give off-road chops to the build – that is, if the buyer elects to let this Station Wagon get dirty! To many folks, this vehicle is probably too nice for trail abuse.

The good news is that even as an around-town driver, it has some creature comforts that are daily-friendly: the builder of this Willys weaved in some modern-day tech niceties like power-adjustable front seats, a rear-view camera system, a touchscreen radio, and LED ambient lighting.

If you’re hungry for a unique and spicy vehicle to take on your next excursion, look no further than this Salsa Red Station Wagon.

The auction for this 1950 Willys Station Wagon ends Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at 11:45 a.m. (PDT)

Visit the AutoHunter listing for more information and photo gallery

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Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie is a Phoenix-based automotive enthusiast who has been writing for The Journal since 2016. His favorite automotive niche is 1980s and 1990s Japanese cars, and he is a self-diagnosed “Acura addict” since he owns a collection of Honda and Acura cars from that era. Tyson can usually be found on weekends tinkering on restoration projects, attending car shows, or enjoying the open road. He publishes videos each week to his YouTube channel and is also a contributing author to Arizona Driver Magazine, KSLCars.com, NSX Driver Magazine, and other automotive publications. His pride and joy is a 1994 Acura Legend LS coupe with nearly 600,000 miles on the odometer, but he loves anything on four wheels and would someday like to own a 1950 Buick Special like his late grandfather’s.

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