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LOT 230

Selling on Saturday

1949 Willys-Overland Jeepster

  • No-expense-spared restoration by Jeepster Jim
  • Three-speed manual transmission with overdrive
  • Mechanically sound and ready to be enjoyed
  • The 220th Jeepster restored by Jeepster Jim

VIN: 72321

Register To Bid Auction Info

When John North Willys acquired the Overland Automotive Division from the Standard Wheel Company in 1908, he did not anticipate the monumental impact it would have on the automotive landscape. From 1912 to 1918, Willys stood as the United States' second-largest automobile producer, trailing only the Ford Motor Company. With an appetite for expansion, Willys embarked on an acquisition spree, forming the Willys Corporation as a holding entity, and assimilating various automotive brands, which included the Duesenberg Motor Company plant in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

However, the exuberance of acquisitions was soon overshadowed by financial challenges exacerbated by the Great Depression, forcing Willys Corporation to sell most of its holdings. Emerging from the depths of the economic hardship, the company rebranded itself as Willys-Overland Motors, Inc. Seizing an opportunity, they secured a contract to mass-produce a nimble reconnaissance vehicle based on American Bantam's design, a venture facilitated by collaborations with Ford and American Bantam. The result was the iconic Willys MB, best known as the Jeep, which rolled off the assembly lines in 1941. After the war, Willys-Overland was eager to resume production of vehicles for the civilian market, and the new 1948 Willys Jeepster was introduced to the public in July 1948.

A lovely and fun example from 1949, this Willys-Overland Jeepster is the recipient of a no-expense-spared restoration by Jeepster Jim of Florida. If you couldn't guess by the name, Jeepster Jim and his crew are the go-to place to have a Jeepster restored, having done over 250 examples for clients and museums around the world. The entire vehicle was stripped to bare metal, and the body was given three coats of primer, two coats of Dupont base coat, and finished out with three coats of Dupont clear coat. The result is this eye-catching and attractive mint color that pairs nicely with the new interior, new convertible top, and new chrome. Nothing was overlooked during the restoration, as this Jeepster features all-new glass, rubber, wiring, and all the mechanical components were rebuilt or replaced. The 62-horsepower, L-134 straight-four engine and three-speed manual transmission with overdrive run smoothly, allowing for its next lucky caretaker to enjoy this Jeepster with a swift turn of the key.

With a reported wait time of almost two years to have Jeepster Jim restore a Jeepster, this is a perfect opportunity to acquire one now with no wait and one that has already been meticulously restored. Ready to win shows, be enjoyed on the road, or be admired in a collection, this classic '49 Jeepster is a blast from the past that will provide its next owner with numerous fond memories in the future.

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