For Sale: 1948 Willys Jeepster in Morgantown, Pennsylvania

Vehicle Description

1948 Willys Jeepster

Having produced pickup trucks and other utilitarian trucks in the mid 1940's, Willys Overland Motors saw an opportunity to appeal to a new audience with a more pedestrian friendly car that would retain the dependable military drivetrain but could serve as a family car. When everything else at the time had rounded, articulated fenders and bulbous hoods, Willys created a slab sided vehicle due to lack of machinery and created a car for city and country driving.

For consignment, a 1948 Willys Jeepster, the first year of the model which ended production in 1950. More than 10,000 were produced in '48, then dwindled to about 3,000 in 1949, and 5,800 in 1950. They just never caught on as Willys had hoped but are now sought after collectibles. Move quickly on this one as every Jeepster we've had at the mall has found a new home in short order.

Brick Red Metallic is an appropriate name for this dark red exterior, interrupted in front by a polished metal trim piece on the grille, a design cue surely intended to differentiate this streetcar with the military and utilitarian versions. A chrome bumper also helps tame the Jeep but the sharply angled front fenders mirror the rest of the Willys line. In the case of our car, the A-pillars are painted black which flows onto the shoulder line's vinyl black stripe which wraps around back, separated with a metal trim piece. 14-inch American Racing wheels are more modern of course, but look great, and there's a spare one mounted on the back for good measure. Dual exhaust tips hint at perhaps an engine swap while the metal step pads offer an inviting path to get in the back seat. Large windows are attached to the new white canvas top with a fixed plastic rear window and a plastic sunroof! The paint up top is mostly in good condition with a few random dings and scratches, bubbling and some orange peel. Down low, however, several areas of cracked paint, rust and rough paint on the rocker panel make an appearance.

The metal inner door is painted body color, and a door card consists of white vinyl sandwiching cloth that is a sort of Aztec/Indian print with matching colors. This pattern covers the front bucket seats and rear bench and is backed by white buttons and rear side walls mirror the door inserts. The steering wheel is familiar to us as a 1970's Firebird unit on a tilt steering column. A rounded wood piece frames the top of the dashboard while a crafted wood panel houses the AM/FM/CD radio in front of the steering wheel, while the vintage center gauge cluster remains in a machined metal surround. The locking glove box was a new feature for Willys and intended to be more personal car-like. A T-handle shifter is floor mounted with a wood panel on top. Tight loop style black carpet covers the floor and looks good, as does the underside of the canvas top.

Long gone is the inline four that would have come with the car in 1948, and in its place we find a 283ci V8 fed by a 4-barrel carburetor, looking clean and right at home in the bay of the Jeepster. It is tied to a Powerglide 2-speed automatic transmission and sends power to the 10 bolt rear. Drum brakes are all around. Our consignor states a new radiator, fuel pump, brake shoes, and distributor have been installed as well as a rebuild performed on the carburetor.

We first confirm the new gas tank per our consignor and then view the clean and dry underside of the car. There is very little surface rust to speak of and no visible fluids. The dual exhaust flows into glasspack style mufflers and then out back where we noticed them earlier. New heim joints have been added in front and new shock absorbers as well. A front suspension consists of a transverse leaf spring while leaf springs with traction bars live out back.

We need to open the passenger's side door from the inside as the outside handle does not work. Start the Jeepster up and it sounds like none other we've driven. Dual exhaust and a V8 will do that. We steer this fun ride onto the loop and while we're not comparing it to a Hellcat engine in a Wrangler, it does have more power than any Jeepster drivetrain. This car likely weighs about 2,500 pounds, so the power to weight ratio is substantial and moves the car with very good acceleration, limited only by the two speeds. We note the steering is quite vague, rather sloppy but the braking is adequate and the ride is smooth and more refined than the military version.

Here's a slightly hot rodded version of a relatively rare car. The work has been done and it's ready for your personal touches, some TLC in the garage, and in return will deliver miles of smiles. These make great parade vehicles and weekend toys and yes, there's a national Jeepster club for you to join!

Classic Auto Mall is home to more than 1,000 classic and collectible vehicles for sale via consignment in a climate controlled 336,000-square foot showroom (that's more than 8 acres!). The largest single location consignment dealer of classic and collectible vehicles in the country is located in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, just 1-hour west of Philadelphia off Exit 298 of the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. For more information visit or call us at (888) 227-0914. Contact us anytime for more information or to come see the vehicle in person.

With so many great cars, you know we have a lot to talk about, and we do that each week on the Classic Auto Mall Podcast with host Stewart Howden. Stewart discusses new inventory as well as trends in consignments and car prices, while interviewing celebrities and automotive professionals about amazing cars and their history. Tune in each week to the Classic Auto Mall Podcast wherever you enjoy listening. You can also watch on YouTube!

Vehicle Details

  • 1948 Willys Jeepster
  • Listing ID: CC-1847047
  • Price: $24,000
  • Location:Morgantown, Pennsylvania
  • Year:1948
  • Make:Willys
  • Model:Jeepster
  • Exterior Color:Brick Red Metallic
  • Interior Color:Red & Black
  • Transmission:Automatic
  • Odometer:105755
  • Stock Number:6375
  • VIN:46368377
Listed By:
Classic Auto Mall
6180 Morgantown Rd.
Morgantown, PA 19543

Contact Seller

Characters /500
 Sign me up for the Newsletter
By contacting this seller you accept Visitors Agreement.
Interested in something else? Search these similar vehicles...