First of all, it's pronounced "Willis" and there's no apostrophe;
if you're going to own something as cool as this 1950 Willys
station wagon, you may as well get it right. Stylish yet built to
work hard, these tough little wagons provide the kind of nostalgia
that drives the hobby, yet still make sense in today's world,
something that can't be said of many hobby vehicles.
It's impossible to ignore the Jeep DNA running through this wagon's veins, although it was the upscale, suburbanized alternative to WWII's favorite 4x4. The light-colored "frames" were perhaps meant to recall wood wagons of the past, although this one is 100% steel, so no worries about maintenance. Flat-top front fenders and the V-shaped grille was new for 1950, lending this wagon a tough but stylish attitude that remains appealing even more than half a century later. The restoration is just beautifully done, far better than most of these ever receive simply because they were so reasonably priced for so long. However, if you want one that you can use on a regular basis but that will also be competitive at any show you attend, this is a fantastic choice. The handsome burgundy paint shines up nicely, the bodywork is in good order with no signs of rust belt issues, and the chrome is far nicer than you'd expect for a commercial vehicle like this. It wasn't so long ago that only high-end cars got restorations this nice.
You can fit six inside on the split bench seats, which are neatly divided to allow good access to the rear areas. The burgundy vinyl upholstery is tough enough for everyday use and has a simple, flat pattern that works well in this 1950s hauler. There are carpets up front, which were a real luxury in something like this, while the rear area has beautifully finished wooden rub strips for durability, although I'd never put anything in there again, it's just too pretty! The oversized steering wheel makes the unassisted steering feel light and agile around town and all the gauges are clustered in the center of the dash, Jeep-style. It's basic, yes, but basic is good when you need uncompromising reliability. Three-on-the-tree shifting frees up room for a center passenger and this was a bare-bones machine, so no radio, but it does include a heater and the turn signals are an aftermarket addition. But surely all of that adds to this Willys' appeal; it's all about getting the job done.
The engine is the standard 134 cubic inch inline-four, called the "Hurricane" for reasons that aren't altogether apparent. What it is, is durable, reliable, and torquey, perfect for the Willys all-purpose mission. It's rebuilt and nicely detailed, an oversized air cleaner designed for harsh environments, and easy service access. Parts are still plentiful and if you can't keep this thing running well, then you probably shouldn't be playing with old cars. A big radiator keeps it cool even in the hottest weather and there are correct fittings and details throughout. The 3-speed manual transmission shifts easily and it includes an overdrive that makes it a genuine 60 MPH cruiser on the highway. Rigid axles, leaf springs, and a grumbling single exhaust are ties to its military roots, but this one is so clean that it's hard to believe that it ever worked for a living. Steel wheels with Willys hubcaps, trim rings, and great-looking 6.70-15 wide whitewall tires complete the suburban look.
This is an easy machine to like. Practical, attractive, and there's probably nothing more American than a Jeep-based station wagon, and this is one of the very best we've ever seen. Call today!