Odd-finds: 1950 Willys Jeepster sold for AU$25,000

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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Willys Jeepster front side Willys Jeepster front side
Willys Jeepster rear side Willys Jeepster rear side
Willys Jeepster interior Willys Jeepster interior
Willys Jeepster engine Willys Jeepster engine

Interesting classics need not cost a bomb

There are a variety of reasons that classic owners love their cars: sometimes it’s exquisite period design, or world-class performance for the era. Sometimes, however, the car just has a plain good story to tell.

Like this 1950 Willys Jeepster, which was just sold through Hemmings’ online auction system for US$15,000.

Debuting in 1948, the same year as the fabled original Land Rover, the Willys Jeepster took on a markedly less utilitarian ethos; and instead was deemed a niche-filling ‘leisure-time’ vehicle which bridged the gap between the famous WWII Jeep and the commercial Willys-Overland pickup.

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It was a niche that didn’t quite take off back then, but could be argued as far ahead of its time: in a round a bout way, this may be the first foray into today’s craze of soft-roading SUVs.

A little over 19,000 Jeepsters were made over three years of production; with this one representing one of 5,836 produced in 1950.

This one comes to market unrestored and exceedingly original with just three owners from new.

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The original owner won the Jeepster in a raffle at the 1950 Indiana State Fair and since then its travelled just 38,930 miles (believed to be genuine).

It received a repaint back in the 70s, although is said to be starting to show its age. Otherwise, it is remarkably original and untouched – retaining its original hubcaps, chrome and glass.

Willys-Jeepster-interior.jpg

Inside, the cabin is incredibly well presented, with only minor pitting in chrome and surface corrosion on seat frames. All interior and exterior lights are functional except for one brake light, with the seller stating that all instruments are functional – except for a suspected inaccurate fuel gauge.

The original winner of the Jeepster kept it for 54 year, with the second owner retaining ownership for a further 12 years.

Apart from servicing and an engine tune-up; the mechanicals are largely unrestored.

It’s a fantastic backstory behind this characterful classic; we’re sure its new owner is wrapt.

 

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