1949 Willys JeepsterPhaeton, Rare 6-Cylinder, Older Full Restoration
Sale Pending!!! This is a very high quality older restoration of the incredibly rare 1949 Jeepster with the 6-cylinder and overdrive. The engine is incredibly quiet and smooth indicating that it is a recent rebuild. This is a consignment from a prominent 65 car collection. The owner spent years looking for this model! He’s enjoyed it on hill-climbs and other events.
This example was formerly under the ownership of a member of the RM Sotheby’s staff and was purportedly restored by RM, considered one of the best restoration facilities in the world. Our consignment client and friend has a 65 car collection and added the Jeepster on February 2009.
-a rare 1949, 6 cylinder Jeepster with the optional overdrive
-only 653 Jeepsters of this kind ever manufactured
-original older restoration
-terrific rebuild of the rare 6-cylinder
– L48 Lightening 6 cylinder
– 72 HP at 4000 RPM
– Carter WA1-645S single barrel carburetor
– Borg-Warner synchromesh three-speed manual with the optional overdrive
– Hydraulic four-wheel drum brakes with 9.9-inch drums
– Front engine rear wheel drive
(Front): Independent upper A-arms, Single transverse leaf spring
(Rear): Semi elliptic leaf springs, Torsional stabilizer bar
The Willys-Overland (W-O) Jeepster has an exclusive following among collectors, some 70 years after its original production. It was produced from 1948 to 1950, with leftover models being retitled year to year until 1951. They were marketed as one of the earliest crossover vehicles. Of the 19,132 total Jeepsters produced, 2,960 units were badged as 1949’s, and out of those, only 653 had the 6 cylinder engine option. This engine, a 4 main bearing iron block with solid lifters, is an extremely rare L48 Lightening 6 cylinder with a Carter WA1-645S single barrel carburetor. The transmission is a Borg-Warner synchromesh three-speed manual with the rare optional overdrive; this offers a 70 percent gear reduction. The L head L148 Lightening was later replaced in 1950 by the better known F134 Hurricane, making the L148 in this vehicle, the rarest engine offered for any Jeepster.
The Jeepster features body-on-frame construction. This particular Jeepster is finished in a factory “Fiesta Yellow” with white wall tires and stunning chrome work-including name badging on both sides of the hood. The rear bumper is a simple one-piece chrome design with the inscription “Willys Overland” centered between two chrome bolts. This is a significant feature, since in 1950, the word ‘Overland’ was removed from the rear bumper because of a legal battle with government. The correct canvas top is in excellent condition as are the side curtains.
The standard interior of the Jeepster features metal doors with a partial door panel and a split-bench seat. The rear and front passenger seats both fold down providing ample cargo room. The rear bench can accommodate three adult passengers fairly comfortably. Of note, the windshield wipers are vacuum-operated and the switch is found in the centre of the dash just below the windshield split; in the same place as a W-O logo.
Advertising for the Jeepster at the time touted that: “You’ll drive the Jeepster for the sheer joy of driving, of going somewhere, with laughter in your heart and a song on your lips.” After experiencing this vehicle, how could one disagree?
If you’ve been looking for the 6-cylinder Jeepster don’t wait. You know how hard they are to find. Call Harry Clark at +1.602.245.7200 or email us at email@example.com.
1949 Willys Jeepster
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