$2,500 Working Wagon: 1959 Willys Wagon


Here’s another one from Montana. This 1959 Willys Wagon is in Park City, Montana, about 25 miles west of Billings on I-90. It’s here on craigslist for $2,500.


There’s that classic grille! This Willys looks like it’s in overall decent condition but you can see that it looks like it went through some sort of ball-peen-hammer initiation in order to join a fraternity or something. Every chunk of metal on this wagon has some sort of dent or ding on it. But, I guess when you’re basically a rough-and-tumble work truck those things happen. Some people scoff at these things when they’re trailer queens, they were tough trucks meant to be used.


It’s obviously been repainted and it’s impossible to tell what’s lurking under that black paint, or the white, for that matter. But, the creases and “character lines” look pretty straight and complete. The seller says that it runs and that the body is in great shape. There has been a lot of work done but there is no mention what that work was. And, as is often the case with Craigslist ads, there are no engine or interior photos! Arrrrg. The interior should look similar to this, and the engine should look similar to this.


That missing engine photo should show a Continental Red Seal “Super Hurricane” 226 cubic-inch, 115-hp inline-six. This work wagon also has a Warner T-90 3-speed manual transmission and a Spicer 18 transfer case. The gearing was not freeway-friendly with a 4.88 gear ratio. This is another vehicle on my master wish list, if I had more time in Billings I would pop by and check this one out. Are there any fans of these Willys Wagons out there? Would you totally restore this one or just get things working perfectly and drive it?


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  1. JacKson

    Had a ’51, 327/350 hp, SM420 granny 4 spd, Warn full-range overdrive with its own shift lever, brought the 4.88’s to 3.70. 16 forward gears & 4 reverses.

  2. motoring mo

    The market is STRONG for these.
    Cult following, investment would be rewarded

  3. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Hi Scotty, I love your bizarre finds. I hate to repeat myself as I have posted on these Willys before here. I bought mine a year ago needing brakes for the same ching. She ran perfect and the body was OK. Nice headliner and interior. I really think I got a deal. I do believe this Girl would have the 226 L head flattie. I do agree with Mo on the following for these rigs. I joined Old Willys Forum after I bought her. Over six thousand members for wagons and the pickups. I drive mine all year long, she just laughs at a snow bank. 50 MPH tops. My Stingray and Harleys sit for the most part, as I age I just have so much fun driving her. No hurry to get to the Village anymore. Take care and keep up the unusual posts, Mike.

    Like 1
    • Scotty G

      You are too kind, Mike, thanks much. I have a pretty diverse list of vehicles that I’m interested in – anything and everything! Now I’m regretting not stopping to look at this one on my way west.

  4. Dan

    Looks like a good deal. The stenciled logo on the tailgate is likely original which would mean that at least the dark paint (if not the white too) is original.

    There is an outstanding online forum for all things Willys: http://www.OldWillysForum.com. Nice folks there.

  5. Ikey Heyman

    Price seems good for a running example, although saying “it runs” doesn’t tell us a lot. I had two of these which were east coast vehicles – they both fell victim to the tin worm.

  6. Rustytech Member

    That strong following usually mean $$$$$ this one’s cheap! Provided it’s not a rust bucked underneath. Bodies were built by refrigerator manufacturer so panels are easy to fix ( no compound curves ). I like these, but boy what a long drive it would be from Montana to Pennsylvania at 50 mph in this. Makes me tired just thinking about it!

  7. kenneth murray

    Straight down I 90 from Washington for me. I’ll see if i can snag this one.

    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Best of luck Kenneth! Mike.

  8. geomechs geomechs Member

    There’s a guy in my home town has the identical twin to this. I actually did a double take because it’s so close–even the scratches line up. Only thing: it’s still sitting in the guy’s garage as of yesterday. I’d like one of these and would entertain the idea of getting and restoring one but my garage is full already and I’ve got to keep those blinders on….

  9. Ck

    There is one of these running around Swansea Ma.The body is sitting on a Nissan Pathfinder chassis,outside its a Willy’s,but the drivetrain and the
    inside is literally a Pathfinder .


    There has been a bright orange 2- wheel drive around my area for years . It’s got a 60’s style rake and sometimes has surfboards out back. Always thought they were great beach cruisers!

  11. Keith

    I know this was an old post, but it’s highly likely that this Willys was the Willys we had up at our cabin in the 70’s and early 80’s. It was all green at the time (the white on this one was obviously done at some point over the original green). We had that thing up at our cabin for years, used to play in it all the time with my two younger brothers and cousins….pretend we were driving it…we were all under 8 years old at the time. Eventually my grandparents (who owned the Willys) decided we had no real need for it up there anymore, and we towed it back to Billings where my grandma sold it to the janitor at the YWCA where she worked for $150. This was probably about 1985 or so. If I had to put money down, I’d be this is our old Willys…..

    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Great story Keith, thanks, Mike. P.S. I wonder if Kenneth scored on this one?

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