Henry Kaiser’s Stretched 1960 Willys Wagon

Sometime in the early 1990s I attended the International Car Show in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and witnessed the somewhat-revolutionary Chevrolet S10 Blazer four-door. That’s right:  a small four-wheel-drive truck with four-doors, just like a sedan or a wagon. Meanwhile Jeep had built its four-door Cherokee Sport since 1984, and four-door Wagoneers since 1962. While the Willys Station Wagon dates back to 1946, four-door versions were never sold to the general public. This 1960 Willys located in Dayton, Virginia is described as as special order for none other than Henry J. Kaiser himself, then-owner of Kaiser and Willys-Overland, which later became Jeep. Thanks goes to Peter R. who spotted this unique vehicle offered here on eBay where bidding is currently up to $5,100.

The seven-bar grille has graced Jeeps since soon after World War II, and this Willys wears it proudly. Visit willyscountry.com for a rich history of mostly railroad-ordered four-door Willys station wagons, none of which look quite like this one.

Kaiser used this Willys to explore Hawaii, where the green-tinted roof would have let in plenty of light while protecting occupants from sudden rain showers.

Long before Pink Jeep Tours, Henry Kaiser and his wife gave their own pink Jeep (Willys) tours. Yes; this Willys began life wearing the bright pink hue still visible here.

Like many working vehicles of the day, this Willys found motivation from a torquey and inherently balanced inline six cylinder engine, probably the 226 cid “Super Hurricane” making 105 HP and 190 lb-ft of torque (thanks to kaiserwillys.com for some details). I can easily picture myself exploring Hawaii in this vehicle after an accurate but not-too-perfect restoration. What do you think of this one-off Willys and its interesting story?

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Comments

  1. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    Not sure I could stand this much flat sheet metal finished in PINK. The interior is about all I can take, and I might have to down some Alka-Seltzer in order to keep looking. Cool Jeep, though.

    • Eric M.

      Or Pepto-Bismol… 😀

  2. XJSLord

    The Licensed Mitsubishi Jeep wagon did come from the factory in a 4 door configuration. It was this style and was made up until the early 90s.

  3. jw454

    This is only the second 4 door Willys station wagon I’ve ever seen. There’s a homemade one here in west central Ohio that is very well done. It uses two front doors per side and looks much like the early sixties Chevrolets that were seen in use by rail roads and other utility tasks where crew cabs were needed.
    While the local one is nice, the rear side doors on this one gives it a more factory designed look. I’d say this is a one of one.

    Like 1
  4. Madmatt

    There was just a 2door Willys wagon @
    Big Boys restaurant next to our store/shop this morning !,
    and I haven’t seen one in awhile.
    wasn’t as cool as this though,was surprised/saddened
    that the owner would take it out in the salt/snow.
    These are kinda scarce in our rustbelt.
    Most rotted to nothing years ago in Ohio.
    Kaiser may have owned steel mills,but
    really should have invested in “rust proofing”….
    His vehicles rusted at a furious rate….Lol….

    • Fred w.

      I would imagine the Jeeps tended to rust more due to the use they got. My ’51 Kaiser spent most of it’s life in Pennsylvania and best I could tell had previous rust in only one small spot over the rear wheel. I visited the orphan car maker museum in Michigan and looked at a stripped Kaiser unit body that was pulled off the line before finishing. It was thoroughly primed inside and out.

  5. Little_Cars Alexander Member

    The stamping on the roof of this vehicle must have cost a lot for fabrication– steel and glass/plexi.

  6. Steve R

    What are the odds something like this would survive, especially if it spent much time in Hawaii. If the story proves to be true it would be worth restoring. The seller would have been wise to include whatever documentation he has in his eBay listing since the cars stated history is what will drive the price. The link in eBay ad doesn’t ad much.

    Steve R

  7. Dusty Stalz

    That’s not a 7 slot grill. The 7 slot grills (on Jeeps, which is where the name originated) actually had 7 slots hence the name.

  8. leiniedude leiniedude Member
  9. jimkf

    I have a list of vehicles owned by the Henry J Kaiser company in the early 60s and this one isn’t on it. This wagon is a later unit given the one piece windshield and the only wagon on the list is a 1948. It is possible though that this vehicle was owned either by Henry or his wife Ale and not the company. Good story though!

  10. Alan (Michigan) Member

    Interesting, reading the comments in both forum listings about this vehicle. The photos appear to be the same, although three years apart. The post which speaks about the same car being on the mainland a decade earlier kind of shoots holes in the “Hawaii” assertion.

  11. Doug

    Actually, the GM 4 door prototype was going to be the Olds Bravada – it was revealed about 1984-5, several years before it was produced- GM may have been worried at the time about putting AMC out of business – the Cherokee was the only “compact ” 4 door SUV in the states at the time, and Jeep was all that was keeping AMC alive. One of the concerns was that the government would do what they did to AT&T and break GM into 2 or more smaller companies…. GM didn’t finally build the 4 door version of the S-10 Blazer until March of 1990.

  12. Chuck

    Strange place to put the radio

  13. Curtis

    There have been other 4-door Willys Wagons but not stretched like this one. There are a couple of articles about them on Off Road Action. http://offroadaction.ca/?s=willys+4+door

  14. Kent

    Henry Kaiser died in 1958 sooooo…….

  15. Kent

    Yikes he died in ’67 sorry. Bad source.

  16. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended: Jan 23, 2018 , 9:53PM
    Current bid:US $14,900.00
    Reserve not met
    [ 33 bids ]

  17. Ben

    the 4 door of these is rare cause all the 4 door Jeeps of this ear were sold to the railroads only!
    They were used as Hi-Rail vehicles usually

  18. microbuss

    Jeep did make these as a 4 door but most were sold to the railroads as a hi-railer vehicle!
    Thats why finding one is rare!
    Bachmann trains even made one in HO scale in blue & red!

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