1950 Willys Overland Wagon
Colorado Vintage Wagon
1950 Willys-Overland Wagon
- Ford 223ci Inline 6
- 3 Speed Manual Transmission
- 38k Miles
- Colorado Truck
- Complete Mechanical Restoration
- New Suspension
- Front and Rear Disc Brakes
- Rebuilt Transmission
(Please note: If you happen to be viewing this 1950 Willys Overland Wagon on a site other than GarageKeptMotors.com, it's possible that you've only seen some of our many photographs of this vehicle due to third-party website limitations. To be sure you access all the more than 170 high-definition photographs, including a short startup-and-walk-around video, please go to our main website: GarageKeptMotors.)
“One car you can use for almost everything” –Circa 1950 Willys-Overland Magazine Advertisement
The SUV craze in the country didn't really begin with the Chevrolet Suburban as many think. Nope, it all started with the humble Willys-Overland Wagon that appeared not long after World War II ended. The advertisement referenced above touted the Wagon's versatility, load-carrying capacity, and go-anywhere ruggedness. And its build quality: “With steel body and top!”
Forget “concours restoration,” the '50 Willys Wagon offered here has been returned to service with a bit of a Rat Rod vibe, and a good deal more attitude than most anything you'd find competing for a concours judge's attention. It may not turn the heads of concours judges, but this special Willys has been the recipient of many awards, including at 2017 the AutoRama event. Solid, reliable, fun, interesting, and truly unique, this Wagon is something special.
The largely stock exterior features original metal painted ivory-over-bronze, apparently the livery color for the good folks at the mythical “Willy's Hot Rods," as the hand-painted front-door lettering suggests. The paint is actually vintage paint that has been clear coated with a matte clear coat in order to "preserve" the patina. Body-panel condition is very good, appearing never to have suffered major accident damage. Original trim pieces include round side mirrors, chrome door handles on both doors and rear lift-up two-frame-window "hatch," chrome headlight surrounds and hood trim piece, spring-loaded hood hold-downs (as seen on WWII Jeeps), exposed gas cap, and both “Willys” and script “4 Wheel Drive” emblems. Decidedly not original are the “bullet” taillights from a '59 Cadillac, the orange steel wheels, the extended-frame front winch, extended-frame rear cargo bumper (apparently added after the slight body damage occurred on the right-rear corner of the body), and patina chrome front bumper with over-rider bar. Goodyear all-terrain tires are mounted.
Inside, the “perfectly less than perfect” character continues, beginning with a leopard-skin cloth throw on the driver's seat. Orange paint matching that on the wheels, is the primary color on the dashboard and window trim. Brown vinyl upholstery covers the front-row bench seat, behind which there is no second row, only an expansive, ribbed-floor cargo area. “Pioneer tools” (a shovel and ax) are mounted on the driver's side of said cargo area ahead of the drop-down tailgate. On the passenger side, the spare tire is mounted. The dash features simple, center-mounted instruments (the Willys-Overland-branded odometer reads: 38,189.9) augmented with aftermarket gauges for oil pressure and engine temperature, glove box, original “W” branded steering wheel, restored 3-speed manual transmission shifter and 4-wheel drive and winch-operation levers (labeled with operating and safety instructions). A fabric headliner is in place and features a whimsical stuffed mouse... just because.
Under the hood is a professionally re-manufactured Ford 223 cubic-inch inline 6-cylinder engine in a complete, but decidedly not detailed engine bay. The front axle features a limited slip differential and is paired with a Dana 44 rear axle with true posi-traction.
There are 4.30 gears in both differentials. Underneath, the new suspension with 4-wheel disc brakes, and rebuilt transmission—all part of a comprehensive mechanical restoration—can be seen. The clean undercarriage is a legacy of the Wagon's long-term Colorado ownership, and the avoidance of Michigan salted winter-roads since this Willys arrived in Michigan in 2016.
The more than 170 high-definition photographs of this Willys taken from every angle, including from underneath, faithfully represent its perfectly imperfect character. To fully appreciate the vehicle, we encourage in-person inspections at our Grand Rapids, Michigan showroom. We ask only that an advance appointment be arranged by phone or email. Our showroom is not open to the public, so your appointment helps ensure you have our full attention during your visit.
This is a classic Willys-Overland Wagon to be enjoyed by its next owner, and all who will admire it at every stoplight and render their thumbs-up salute. Don't be surprised at the cars-and-coffee gatherings if “People's Choice” (or even "Best in Show) is its next honor.