1953 Willys Army JeepSOLD
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Estimate: $40,000-$50,000 US

Offered Without Reserve

$42,900 Sold

75hp, 134 cu. in. inline four-cylinder, four-speed manual transmission, front and rear semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 81"

The name Willys-Overland first appeared in 1909, when the struggling Overland Company was renamed by its shrewd leader, John North Willys, who subsequently acquired the rights to the Knight sleeve valve engine. By 1941, Willys had won a bidding war against Bantam and Ford and secured a government contract to mass- produce the Jeep for military use. The Jeep ĺ s tremendous importance to the war effort was proven later that year as the United States was thrust into worldwide conflict by an attack on Pearl Harbor. Almost immediately, the Jeep became an integral part of the Allied war effort in every theater and endeared itself to thousands of soldiers who recognized its reliability and performance in combat. Even after the Second World War, it continued its service in numerous world conflicts, largely unchanged in design and construction.

The Willys Jeep offered here was built in 1953 and features the more rounded front-end design required to clear the taller and more powerful Willys Hurricane engine. Its previous owner, Randy Harnish, purchased the Jeep in 1995 before passing it through Michael Leith and on to the Wiseman Collection in 1999. It appears to have benefited from an excellent and detailed restoration and has seen very little road use. It is refinished in proper Army green from the exterior to the engine bay and undercarriage. Every element appears to be clean and professionally restored, particularly on the interior, where the green canvas upholstery and, dash, and steering wheel are completely free of imperfections. The Jeep is fitted with a wide array of accessories in addition to its period-correct decals and markings - rifles, helmets, goggles, gas masks, radios, communication devices, a rear- mounted spare, as well as a hand grenade, fender-mounted night lights, and .30 and .50 caliber machine guns.

The Willys name ultimately disappeared by the early 1960s under Kaiser ownership. Nevertheless, countless tales of heroism and survival are inextricably linked to the little Willys Jeep. While many examples have an inherent personal value, few have been as expertly and painstakingly restored to their former glory as this particular example from 1953.

Reference Number 15029

as of 11/4/2007

Car 1953 Willys Army Jeep
VIN 39496