Featured is a fine looking 1951 Willys Jeepster, the first generation Jeepsters from Willys-Overland. .

willys jeepster specs
1951 Willys Jeepster

Willys found itself after the war with a different yet very interesting vehicle in it;s Jeep. The plan was to turn this model, it’s main product, into a civilian vehicle that would really offer something different to the public. The result of that effort would give us a Jeep pickup, station wagon, and the open two door Jeepster as shown here.

The 1948-51 Willys Jeepster represents an interesting off road past history of this auto maker.The 1948 to 1951 Willys Jeepster-was a two-wheel-drive convertible. It’s designer, Brooks Stevens, created what he saw as a sports car for returning World War II GIs.

The 1951 Jeepster Styling

The standard interior featured full rubber mat, metal doors with a partial door panel and a split-bench seat with a fold-down front passenger seat.

Sales Were Not Spectacular

50 willys jeepster photosWillys Jeepster sales were not what the company had hoped for. Some of this was attributed to not enough advertising and the effectiveness of the ads themselves. In general, the marketing was considered poor.

Another negative was the price of the Jeepster. It sold for about $1,750 which was comparable to a Ford Super deluxe Convertible with better styling and actual roll down side windows. The automaker expected young couples and families to be attracted to the Jeepster, but its soft top and plastic side curtains (in place of windows) made it too drafty for buyers in colder climates.

Although today the first generation Willys Jeepsters that you might come across at an auto show look very good, the poor sales could simply be a vehicle targeted to the wrong consumer at that point in time.

1951 Jeepster Specifications

For 1951 there were four engines offered. These included, two four cylinders and two six cylinders. The four cylinders both were 134 cubic inches with one delivering 60 HP and the other 73 HP.

The sixes were 148 cubic inch and a 161 cubic inch. Horsepower on these were 73 and 75 respectively. All engines had solid lifters and Carter carburetors along with a vacuum booster fuel pump.

The Jeepster had a standard, floor shifted Borg-Warner synchromesh three-speed manual transmission.

Brakes were hydraulic four-wheel drums

The Willys Jeepster dimensions included an overall length of 174.8 inches, height 62 inches, width 69 inches, wheelbase 104 inches..

The factory price in 1951 was $1,425 for the four-cylinder model. Only 5,488 Jeepsters were sold for this final year. It is said that the 1951 Jeepsters sold were those left over from the 1950 model year plus a few built with extra parts from 1950. Total Jeepsters produced over the entire run was 19,125.

willys jeepster 1951After the final year for the Willys Jeepster the history of the Willys Overland Company took a major turn.

In 1953, Willys Overland was purchased by the  Kaiser Frazer Corporation and it’s name was changed  to Willys Motor Company. Ten years later in 1963 the company changed the name again, this time to Kaiser-Jeep Corporation. The Willys name was retired along with production of the Willys wagons and trucks in 1965.

Related Auto Museum Online articles ate found on the links below..

1950 Willys Station Wagon

1951 Willys Station Wagon

Reference material for this article includes..Jeep: The History of America’s Greatest Vehicle by author Patrick R. Foster..Jeep: Eight Decades from Willys to Wrangler by Patrick R. Foster..THE CIVILIAN JEEP – A Guide To Its Features And Evolution, Years 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 by Willys Jeepster.

 The 1951 Jeepster Classic Collector Vehicle

1950 willys jeepster specifications

Aside from the first generation Jeepster’s less than stellar sales numbers, the vehicle is a classic and also rare. Fully restored models from the period 1948 through 1951 command respectable prices.

The range of restored models in excellent condition can range from about $25,000 to $45,000. The top price would represent a top show condition vehicle with all original equipment.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)