1949 Willys Jeepster
Tracking the design history of today's sport utility vehicle is
something few will consider thinking about for the next several
decades. For many, there's nothing "sporty" about them; they're
just gas-sucking behemoths that get the kids from school to soccer
practice, and back to the house in time for the latest microwave
dinner. Jeep, though guilty of manufacturing such uninspiring
machines today, once had a very different vision of the sport
utility. As evidence we present the Jeepster, first introduced to
the public on April 3, 1948, as a sporty vehicle that a growing
family could have fun with.
For consignment a 1949 Jeepster that is a two-wheel-drive
convertible designed by Brooks Stevens. Stevens and Willys hoped
that returning World War II GIs would scoop up these fun-loving
drop tops as soon as they rolled off the assembly line. They are
perhaps one of the most overlooked, but interesting, vehicles in
the storied off-road maker's past: a sporty automobile rather than
an off-road vehicle, never offered with four-wheel drive or in any
commercial guises during the four-year stint. This open bodied car,
an ever-increasing rarity as the Fifties neared-also has a spot in
history as the last true phaeton offered by a major manufacturer.
This completely restored rust free version is a must see for any
The beneficiary of a frame off restoration, all rust is gone, and
new steel replaces problem areas. A beautiful Pastel Aqua now
covers these panels, which are fairly straight, and have good gaps.
Chrome is all polished and shiny with no signs of deterioration. A
nicely preserved chromed "T" bar front grille embellishment sets
off the standard Jeep looking front of this car? A black window
surround as well as a black above the belt line painted bodywork
goes nicely with the new black convertible top complete with side
panels. Chromed dog dish wheel covers with just a hint of pastel
aqua steel wheels underneath showing, are wrapped with wide whites.
At the back of this vehicle is an additional hanging spare tire.
Interestingly the rear bumper sports Willys Overlander script,
which prior to the end of the run they were stopped by a lawsuit
form the federal government by being sued over the use of
A bit of a climb up the chromed steps in front of the rear fender,
then on the top of the fender, but it will be worth it, as this is
a really fun driver. Front seats are split and have a 75/25
configuration as to seat back width. Black vinyl covers all the
seating surfaces and is in pristine condition. Doors are painted as
body works and have a black cardboard like panel screwed on to
them. The metal dash also in Pastel Aqua, has a chromed rectangular
dash insert with the gauge cluster. A nice plastic white steering
wheel complete with circular horn ring, fronts the dash. Beautiful
black carpeting is shown throughout and is protected by rubber
Floating within a well sorted out and restored engine bay is the Go
Devil flat inline 4-cylinder engine. It has a black cylinder so
based on Willys folklore and some fact, this car was tuned for the
below 5000 ft level of altitude version. A 1-barrel carburetor sits
proudly to the side and a 3-speed manual transmission with
overdrive that can be used in 2nd and 3rd gears. Plenty of room for
wrenching if need be.
Very clean, virtually rust free, and any repairs were made under
here, it is hard to spot them. A sturdy X frame helps with the
overall structural stability with the lack of a solid top.
Transverse leaf springs up front for the suspension, and leaf
springs on the rear, and drum brakes for all 4 corners.
As consigner states "pump the sh*! of the accelerator, choke it and
it will start" so I used this exact procedure and it worked like a
charm! Rolled right over, idled very smoothly, and off we went.
Drives great, and the top down was an extra bonus. It will not take
your toupee off, but it will get you there, and supposedly the
history of the Go Devil engine proves it extremely reliable and
durable. It handled well to boot and was most definitely a fun
drive that will turn heads.
A wonderful piece of automotive history, all buttoned up on the
body work, undercarriage, and engine. Not to mention the spacious
and comfortable interior, this snazzy little post war pre SUV
Jeepster is simply a blast...from the past.
Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special
interest automobile showroom, featuring over 450 vehicles for sale
with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle
barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is located in our showroom in Morgantown,
Pennsylvania, conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia
on the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is
www.classicautomall.com and our phone number is (888) 227-0914.
Please contact us anytime for more information or to come see the
vehicle in person.