1951 Willys Overland 4x2 Station Wagon (RHD)
Result: PASSED IN
|In-line 4-cylinder, 134.2-cid
|Blue with white roof
Based in Toledo, Ohio the Willys-Overland company built a succession of smaller, well-priced passenger cars in the years leading up to the Second World War but focused instead on civilian versions of the immortal Jeep when production resumed in 1945. The Station Wagon’s 104-inch wheelbase chassis offered plenty of room on board for five adults with sufficient room in the rear compartment for luggage, while folding seats aided access for rear passengers. In addition to the Station Wagon, Willys offered an open version known as the Jeepster from 1948, adding four-wheel drive as an option the following year. Under the bonnet, the Willys was powered by the sturdy ‘Go Devil’ four-cylinder unit displacing 134.2 cubic inches; developing 72 horsepower at 4,000rpm, the engine was fed via a Carter single-barrel carburettor and drove the wheels through a three-speed transmission with overdrive, while a larger six was offered from 1948 onwards. Optional equipment included exterior and interior mirrors, special paint, radio, a cigar lighter and dress wheel rims, while the styling was updated on 1950 models with five horizontal chrome bars on the grille. Willys kept the model range unchanged in 1951, with total production for the calendar year reaching 28,226 vehicles, the majority of them Station Wagons. Arguably the first modern SUV, the same basic design remained in production until 1964, switching to a one-piece windscreen in 1960 along with mechanical improvements like 12-volt electrics in 1957. Local importers Dominion Motors in Brisbane, Stokoe Motors in Melbourne and M S Brooking Pty Ltd in Perth brought limited numbers of CJ-series Jeeps to Australia in the 1950s, including six 4x2 Stations Wagons, plus a handful of later imports, making the Willys Station Wagon a rare sight in this country.