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1949 Willys Jeepster

Auction: 2023 Lakeland Winter Auction

Year: 1949

Make: Willys

Model: Jeepster

Style: Convertible

Exterior Color: Yellow

Interior Color: Tan


Engine Size: 2.2

Transmission: Manual

1949 Willys Jeepster finished in a yellow paint covering a beautifully refinished tan leather interior. This Jeepster is powered by the original 4 cylinder engine that has recently gone through a complete overhaul mated to a 3 speed manual gear box with overdrive. This well optioned version features the rear mounted spare tire, front grill guard, and AM/FM radio. The cloth convertible top and side curtains are nearly new and in excellent condition. Odometer on this Willys reads 96,169 miles(title reads exempt). No matter what type of classic vehicle enthusiast you are, this Jeepster is a must have in any collection. These are becoming more rare by the day and the skyrocketing valuations on these is a reflection of where this beauty is going. If a Jeepster is on your target list, this is the one you don't want to miss.

You certainly wouldn't be far from the mark if you said the Jeepster was the original “crossover” vehicle, since it was indeed an attempt at being a passenger car while still maintaining some of the traditional Jeep traits and appearance. Willys-Overland, the owner of the Jeep trademark, started producing the CJ (which stood for Civilian Jeep) in 1945, right after WWII ended. The company then introduced the Jeep Wagon in 1946 and added the Jeep Truck in 1947. All three of these models, however, were still very utilitarian vehicles and lacked the finesse, softer styling and amenities of traditional passenger vehicles. The company decided it needed a vehicle to fill this gap in their product lineup, so the Jeepster (known as the “VJ” inside the company) was introduced by Willys-Overland in 1948. While the automotive press was generally enthusiastic about the Jeepster, it was less than a stellar success among the buying public. Its distinctive boxy styling (the creation of noted industrial designer Brooks Stevens) was decidedly “Jeepish” and to many GIs who had served overseas during the war, it was reminiscent of German army.

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