The vehicle featured in this article is a 1950 Willys Station Wagon. The vehicle was rated as a 1/2 ton Wagon and was available in two and four wheel drives.
The First Willys Wagon in 1946
Considering that most station wagons at that time had some authentic wood in their bodies, the prospect of building an all steel station wagon in 1946 made a lot of business sense.
By building an all steel wagon as a passenger vehicle, Willys-Overland was able to mass produce the station wagon very efficiently. Not working with wood on the body saved considerable production time. The first Willys Station Wagon in 1946 was a 463 model and it was powered with a flathead four engine.
The vehicle's designer was Brooks Stevens. In 1944 Stevens and other formed the Industrial Designers Society of America. Brooks Stevens not only designed automobiles but also kitchen appliances, architecture and even the Miller Brewing logo.
The Willys Station Wagon was called "The Peoples Car" and could carry seven people. Other claimed attributes for the Willys Wagon included easy maintenance and superior safety. Some refer to the Willys Station Wagon as a Jeep of another name.
By the time 1950 rolled around the Willys Station Wagon had many changes. These changes included some new body designing as well as a new engine. The grille was changed to a V shaped design with five horizontal bars in front. One our photos in this article gives you a good look of it.
The 463, 473 and the 673 Willys
For the 1950 model year, Willys offered three versions of it's station wagon. These were the 463, 473 and 673 models.The 463 and 473 versions came with a 134 cubic inch (Go Devil) engine. The 673 model was built with a 144 cubic inch engine. The 673 overdrive version came with a 148 cubic inch power plant. The 134 and 144 and 148 cubic inch engines were flathead four cylinder. As an option, a Willys F4-134 Hurricane inline-4 was available for the 473's and a Lightning Six was available for the 673's.
These engines were somewhat under powered for their size.
In 1950 Willys also produced a Sedan Delivery version of the Wagon.
1950 Willys Station Wagon Specifications
As mentioned above there were a variety of engines available for the 1950 Willys Station Wagons. Some engines had more power than others but as a whole the Willys Station Wagon was probably underpowered considering the vehicles size and weight.
Engines available were a 134 cubic inch, a 144 cubic inch, and a 148 cubic inch. All were straight fours. As an option, a Willys F4-134 Hurricane inline-4 was available for the 473's and a Lightning Six was available for the 673's. Top speeds for these 1950 vehicles were between 105 to 110 MPH depending on engine.
Transmissions included both three and four speeds.
Suspension for the vehicle were front independent coil springs and rear longitudinal leaf springs.
Brakes were Bendix Hydraulic drums.
The dimensions of the 1950 Willys Station Wagon included an overall length of 175.8 inches, a wheelbase of 104.5 inches, a height of 75.2 inches and a width of 72.0 inches. Curb weight was estimated at 3,350 lbs.
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You may also be interested in the Jeep Collector's Library by author Jim Allen from MotorBooks International.
1950 Willys Station Wagons as Collector Automobiles
Willys have been popular collector cars and trucks for a long time. The Willys Jeep can be seen at almost every automobile show you happen to attend. As a side note, the first Jeep MB (Willys MB) was produced in 1941 making it the oldest American off road vehicle. The Jeep is certainly a part of American history. One attribute in addition to the vehicles utility is the ruggedness of it's construction.
The Willys Station Wagon, like the beauty featured in this article, overshadowed other Willys models during it's 1946 to 1964 run. Today they are fine collectible vehicles and they are gaining in popularity. The Station Wagons built by both Willys-Overland and then by Kaiser-Willys have kept that Jeep ruggedness look and therefore are quite unique where Wagons are concerned.
The Willys Station Wagons have good restorability and parts are relatively easy to find. As of this writing, some of the suppliers for Jeep parts including parts for the 1950 Willys Station Wagon include Midwest Jeep Willys, Rockauto.com and The Jeepster Man, Inc.
Willys-Overland built the Willys Wagons (Jeep Wagons) until 1953 when they were acquired by Kaiser.
Asking prices for early 1950's Willys Station Wagons are reasonable. You'll likely see asking prices in the low to high $20,000 range for examples in excellent condition. As of this writing we have seen Willys Wagons offered below and above those figures. Mileage, condition, exact model and originality will determine the asking prices.
(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)