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Selling on Saturday Evening

1954 Willys Utility Wagon

  • A big year for the Utility Wagon, with a bigger engine and four-wheel drive
  • New interior with versatile seating for six
  • Beautifully finished with fresh trim and chrome
  • Considered the first all-steel passenger SUV

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The Willys Jeep Two-Door Wagon, also known as the Utility Wagon, was produced by Willys and Kaiser Jeep from 1946 to 1964, and today, is generally acknowledged as the first all-steel station wagon used as a passenger vehicle. One of the most successful post-war vehicles with over 300,000 produced, the Brooks Stevens design in 4WD was marketed as the Utility Wagon, with the 2WD variants sold as a Station Wagon. 1954 represented the first year of production by Kaiser, now with the 6-266 Super Hurricane flathead six-cylinder engine as the exciting new powerplant. Now more comfortable and versatile than ever, Willys’ sales continued to grow strongly through the whole decade.

Starting with an 80,000-mile highly original vehicle, our consignor began the restoration about 10 years ago and completed the body-off-the-frame process that left no stone unturned. The cosmetic portion of the job was relatively easy, given the minimal bodywork required. Everyone notices the lovely custom two-tone paint scheme that looks so good on these wagons - after all, those panel scallops certainly make great paint lines as well, and the finely detailed result is stunning. All the original trim was re-plated and reused with solid results, and the truck presents as clean, square, and correct from bumper to bumper. After all, it was built as a personal project, and our consignor was leaving nothing to chance on the truck of his dreams. Look underneath, and it’s just as sharp, with new springs, shocks, brakes, and exhaust mounted on the clean original frame. They even re-cored the original radiator to keep things authentic. Clean and correct from end to end, it has obviously been lightly used since completion, and the quality of the workmanship is definitely top-shelf.

The engine compartment contains all original factory components with the numbers-matching 6-266 six-cylinder L-head engine - first introduced in 1954 - pulling 115 horsepower for the first time. The three-speed manual transmission - Borg Warner T-86E - is floor shifted, with traditional manual hubs to engage the four-wheel drive. The truck starts readily, idles quietly, and will crawl up the steepest slopes in 4WD Low. Durable and incredibly nimble, it’s easy to see why these groundbreaking wagons remain so popular to this day. Big on the inside, yet incredibly easy to drive and park, it’s a vehicle that will go just about anywhere and is especially at home on the rural backroads of our great country.

There’s nothing left to do inside, with a clean and correct dash, floor mats, and wonderful new seat upholstery in vibrant white panels with red trim, a theme that carries into the door panels as well. Two tall buckets up front, a single fold-up seat in the middle, and a comfy bench for two or three give you lots of possibilities for fun with the family. The new headliner and careful repaint make for a clean and versatile truck.

This Willys Utility Wagon can literally do it all - from hauling the family to hauling the toys, from the country club to the campground, or from the steepest trails to the rural highways. This fine example is fully ready for all of it. With a tasteful new interior, lovely paint surfaces, and a clean numbers matching engine, the next owner will certainly enjoy being a hit at any car show or Jeep rally they choose to attend.

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