All Original Rust-Free 1949 Willys Jeepster

Certain buzzwords or phrases catch our eye, and by “our” I mean all car guys and gals, not just us here at Barn Finds. The phrase that catches my eye the most is rust-free. The seller of this 1949 Jeepster uses that phrase along with several others in the description here on craigslist. It’s located in Lakewood, Colorado and they’re asking $8,500. Thanks to Ikey H. for sending in this tip!

We’ve all had rusty vehicles, or most of us have. Almost anything else can be dealt with much easier, in my opinion, than having extensive rust to repair on a vehicle. If this Willys Jeepster is all-original and rust-free as the owner says, that’s pretty unusual for such an old vehicle. There is no mention of the condition of the convertible top and no photos showing it in the closed position so that’s a wild card.

Being priced at under $10,000 is another eye-catcher for me. I know, TEN-THOUSAND DOLLARS?! Ok, Rockefeller. But, think about it, there aren’t any really good vehicles for $2,500 anymore, those days are over. The price of almost everything is going up. Super 8 doesn’t charge $8 for a room anymore and people are paying $5.95 for a sugary, foamy, coffee-like drink that doesn’t even taste like coffee. You most likely aren’t going to find another rust-free, all-original 1949 Jeepster that runs excellent, according to the seller, for under $10,000 anymore. (clickity-click – the sound of 2,790,000 keyboards feverishly searching for another ’49 Jeepster in this condition for $8,500 or less)

This Jeepster is now 70 years old. That it has survived really at all is somewhat amazing and to see it in this condition, supposedly all original and rust-free is even more amazing. They were made from 1948 to 1950, but leftover 1950 Jeepsters were sold as 1951 models until the summer of 1951. It’s really an interesting vehicle, being rear-wheel-drive only and almost a stop-gap between the company’s utility wagon and a passenger car. Returning GIs weren’t too hot on them as they wanted to put the war behind them and sales lagged. The interior in this example looks really good, with a bit of cracking in the vinyl but overall it looks great in the photos.

A nice detailing job would have worked wonders under the hood but they say that it runs excellent and the engine should be a Willys Go-Devil 134 cubic-inch inline-four with 63 hp. Speaking of detailing, I can see a vehicle buyer-and-reseller (i.e: flipper) buying this one, cleaning and polishing it up, and then immediately reselling it for a handsome profit. Hagerty lists a #3 good condition 1949 Willys Jeepster as being valued at $17,800. If this one checks out, their asking price is an absolute steal. Good buy or good-bye?


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  1. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Very nice find Scotty and Ikey!
    I wonder if they would have sold better if they offered four wheel drive? Looks like a CJ parked next to it also. Maybe a body swap onto the CJ? Kind of fond of four wheel drive, but I sure like this Jeepster.

    Like 5
    • Tom Bell

      I don’t think the CJ has enough chassis length to support the Jeepster body.

      Like 4
  2. 71FXSuperGlide

    At 63HP, I’d say the ‘Go-Devil’ name is a bit optimistic. LOL

    Neat car.

    Like 8
    • chuck

      The devil is in the go! 😂

  3. b-rad jeepster

    very nice jeepster. It looks original from the photos. I have a 1949 as well. I thought I would have trouble finding parts but they are availabl both used and aftermarket. Good luck to the new owner and hope they have as much fun with it as I have had.

    Like 4
  4. Howard A. Member

    The Jeepster was a novel idea from a then young Brooks Stevens. I believe they were trying to cash in on the emerging sports car scene many found out about from overseas. To keep it simple, I think, aside from a few body panels, it was all off the shelf Willys stuff. A 4×4 was never considered and was based off the 2wd station wagon, limiting it’s sales. Plus it was pricey, one could buy a new Ford with a V8 for the same money. This one is pretty sharp, it may have O/D. It was a knob under the dash left of the steering wheel. With 4:88 gears, it was a needed option. Be a bit tense on todays roads, but back road touring would be a blast.

    Like 6
  5. chrlsful

    wonder Y the ‘steps’ up the side? I believe the narrow frnt seat flips forward for passenger entry to rear seat. Not to put up the top?

    Like 1
  6. John Member

    Had a 50′ Jeepster, yellow/blk, W/6 cyl. and OD, was a great car and an attention getter. Mostly restored it myself except paint. Lots of parts were available from
    “The Jeepster Man”, some NOS but mostly repros. that fit well. Those steps were for people, younger, who wanted to get in the back seat W/O bothering the front seat passenger. No power but steered easy(moving) and the brakes for old ones worked OK. It was a 50’s vehicle..nice toy,,sorry I sold it.

    Like 4
  7. Dan B.

    Nice Jeepster. There’s a great Willys community over at The Jeepsters – although 2wd – share much in common with the Willys Wagons, Trucks, and CJs.

    Like 3
  8. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Nice and nicely priced….shouldn’t last long. Wasn’t the guy flipping the yellow one wanting about $15,000 back for one needed some work ?

  9. Bob McK Member

    I just clicked on the ad to really consider buying it, but the ad has been deleted. Someone got a really good deal. Sorry I missed this one.

    Like 3
  10. robert kirk

    Last American Phaeton. I must agree a real steal. All Willys Era Jeepsters had OD as part of the factory design. I own 2 of the 1950 model year with chisel nose rather than flat.

    Like 1
  11. 36Morris

    If this had been in my part of the country I would have been all over it. Transport costs kill a lot of good stuff.

    Like 1
  12. Beel

    Wow, seems too good to be true. We bought a 50 back in the seventies. Major rust, frozen motor, cracked and yellowed side curtains. But yes, a phaeton. Got it running and drove it cautiously. Dangerously under-powered, inoperative overdrive unit (gee, more rust), windshield wipers useless uphill or on acceleration.

    Starting it, real men step up. In a symphony of coordination: choke out, left foot clutch in, right heel on gas, right toe on starter. Engage starter, choke in and then out a hair, jimmy the gas and choke with subtly and sensitivity. Engine sputters to life before the six-volt battery gives out. Usually. Otherwise, easily push started.

    And a previous owner install a wolf whistle on the intake vacuum line. Fun, but yet another drain on its minimal vacuum???

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