Simply Stunning: 1950 Willys-Overland VJ-3 Jeepster – Sold!
Long-time readers may recall our Side of The Road 22: 1950 Jeepster we featured this past March in need of complete restoration offered by a private seller determined to get $4,500 for it. While that running example was an extremely well-documented survivor, our argument is why would you buy that when for not that much more money you can purchase this even more beautiful green over tan fully restored, refreshed, and nicely detailed example originally listed in August 2020 on Craigslist in Mars, Pennsylvania with an asking price of $23,900. Checking the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has his Jeepster priced between the #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $26,400 and the #3 “Good” estimate of $17,400.
Willys-Overland Motors ambitiously produced the Jeepster from 1948 to 1950 in hopes of filling a gap in the company’s product line. Specifically, their hope was a softened Jeep-based vehicle offering a high level of standard features could cannibalize sales from traditional convertible cars. A total of almost 20,000 were manufactured.
The 1950 model year saw the VJ-3 Jeepster’s first styling revisions, which included a new instrument panel and redesigned front end featuring a V-shaped grille with horizontal chrome trim. 1950 also saw the introduction of inline four-cylinder F4-134 Hurricane engine replacing the earlier “Go Devil.” To get more power from the engine, Willys engineers changed the induction system from the Go-Devil’s side-valve configuration to an inlet-over-exhaust configuration, or “F-head”. This allowed the valves to be larger and the combustion chamber to be smaller, improving flow and increasing the compression ratio. The compression ratio rose from 6.5:1 in the Go-Devil engine to 7.5:1 in the Hurricane engine.
Here’s a commercial (there is no sound) from 1950 featuring a couple driving their Jeepster after working hard with their other Willys-Overland equipment on their farm:
With this Jeepster completely refreshed and ready to enjoy now, all we can do is wish you good luck with the purchase!
Here’s the seller’s description:
“1950 Willys Overland Jeepster – asking 23,900 OBO
I acquired this vehicle last year and it was an older frame-off restoration. I have invested over $6,000 to repair and freshen up this vehicle and consider it to be a very high-quality driver. It really runs and drives great. It has a four-cylinder F-head engine. The work done includes:
1. Fuel – restored and painted fuel tank; new fuel sending unit; professionally rebuilt carb
2. Transmission – I had to have this and the overdrive completely rebuilt; all new parts and seals, and it shifts just as it should; I installed a new clutch (complete) as well including new TO bearing and spring
3. Engine – this had been rebuilt about 7K miles ago by the previous owner and is in excellent condition (compression tests above 100 psi); I cleaned and painted it, replaced all the major gaskets and seals (copper FelPro head gasket) and installed all new hoses and belts; new and correct decals for engine and oil filter; valves adjusted and runs very well
4. Starter and generator were rebuilt. new Bendix drive in starter and new armature in generator
5. Kings pins replaced and all new front end rubber bushings
6. Rear spring shackles
7. Brakes – all new wheel and master cylinder, new rear axle brake line; drums painted and front backplates redone
8. New carpet set and seats cleaned; new glovebox
9. Heater installed with new hoses and defroster connected
10. Professionally detailed. Roof cleaned and paint buffed out; chrome polished
11. Some repair on doors and they were then repainted; all nicks touched up.
Do you have a Jeepster story you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!