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1949 Willys Jeepster Has Ford V8 Engine Swap and Stunning Ferrari-Like Paint

It was during the hard years of the Second World War that a company by the name of Willys-Overland became famous. Born in 1908, the company would end up making the rugged Willys MB for the American military, a machine that would soon become known as Jeep, and open the civilians’ appetite for owning off-road-capable machines.
1949 Willys Jeepster 21 photos
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Following the end of the war and success on the battlefield of the MB, the company started making civilian versions. They were called CJ, from Civilian Jeep, and they would soon change the automotive world.

In 1948, Willys tried to target other segments with the launch of a phaeton – convertible of sorts called Jeepster. It was supposed to make the crossing from the company’s rugged machines to a more passenger-car-oriented business, but for a number of reasons the moniker was discontinued just a couple of years later.

With just about 20,000 of them made, Jeepsters are rare enough to be collectibles, and alluring enough for custom shops to try their hand on.
We’ve seen a bunch of customized Jeepsters popping up on the market in the past, but the one we have here is one of the best-looking of the bunch. It was listed for sale on Bring a Trailer earlier this month, but failed to sell despite the bid to $37,501, so we might get to see it resurface soon enough.

Sporting the signature look of its breed, the Jeepster was significantly updated, inside and out, to make it a bit more relevant on today’s market.

Sporting a “Ferrari shade of Fly Yellow” over an all-black interior, it no longer rocks the original 148ci (2.4-liter) inline-six engine, but a Ford V8 instead. We’re talking about a 302ci (4.9-liter) unit tied to a four-speed automatic transmission, a dual exhaust system, and cruise control.

The odometer in the Stewart Warner gauge cluster shows 15,000 miles (24,000 km), but that, of course, is not the total mileage of the Jeepster.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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