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Kansas Estate Find: 1948 Willys Jeep 4×4 Pickup

Willys-Overland sure made some desirable vehicles, my favorite of which would be their line of 4×4 pickups. They’re primitive by today’s standards, but I didn’t even have to say that, and that’s what is a big attraction for me. The seller has this 1948 Jeep Pickup, made by Willys-Overland, posted here on eBay in Great Bend, Kansas, the current bid is $1,217, and there is no reserve!

I don’t need my vehicle telling me when I’m moving across a line on the road to avoid someone parked on the shoulder. Or worse yet, moving the steering wheel for me. I don’t text and drive so I don’t need that stuff, I really don’t. There’s none of that nonsense on this Jeep 4×4 Pickup. These pickups were offered from 1947 through 1965 in a pickup as seen here, or also a stake bed truck and a chassis and cab version. Buyers could get either a two-wheel drive or a four-wheel drive. The gentleman selling this truck has included a great video here on YouTube showing this truck. It runs like a top!

“2- and 4-wheel drive “Jeep” Trucks are Willys-Overland’s answer to your need for lower hauling costs. Every feature is engineered to contribute to efficient operation, long life and pared-down expenses…” So says a brochure touting the Jeep Pickup for 1948. You can see some heavy-duty surface rust in the bed here, I’d want to get that coated or do something ASAP so rust holes don’t start popping up. Willys made over 200,000 of these trucks but we don’t see them too often here, and I can’t think of the last time I saw one on the road or at a car show.

The interior is as rugged as I expected, including a steering wheel that’s crying out for a replacement or a cover at the very least. With no power steering here, you’ll be wrenching on that wheel more often than not. The gauges look somewhat fancy for this rugged of a vehicle and they appear to be in nice condition. As does the seat, but I’m assuming that unless the planets lined up sometime between 1948 and now, that’s a replacement seat cover. There’s plenty of work to do inside but this will be a great truck once it’s on the road again. It’ll need the usual: brakes, hoses, belts, fluid changes, etc.

The engine is a Willys Go-Devil 134-cu.in. flathead inline-four, which would have had 63 horsepower, and hearing it run in the seller’s video almost makes me weep like a child. It sends power through a two-speed transfer case to a Borg-Warner three-speed manual. Hagerty is at $12,200 for a #4 fair-condition truck. How great would it be to own this Jeep pickup? Very, very great, that’s how great. Have any of you owned one?


  1. Avatar photo Kevin Griffith

    Never owned one, but worked for a farmer who had one when I was a teenager. I used it to feed cows in the winter. Would love to have one.

    Like 6
  2. Avatar photo Terrry

    As long as it got me there and back, I’d drive this every day and leave it just as it is. The rust that’s on it has a lot of work left to do to dissolve the body.These are basically one of a kind, and you certainly notice them!

    Like 6
  3. Avatar photo JustPassinThru

    I went to the video. The seller admits/knows that it’s a six-volt system but he put a 12-volt new battery in “because it makes it start easier.”

    The buyer better figure on replacing a lot of electrical hardware – gauge sensors, starter, any lights he turned on after his new battery. Maybe the coil.

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo Aussie Dave Member

      2 words,
      Oh crap.

      Like 2
    • Avatar photo Andrew

      12v battery would only harm the light bulbs and the coil, as long as he didn’t cran the starter for a.long time.

      Like 1
    • Avatar photo Ed Bowe

      If still available, an 8V battery would work!

      Like 2
  4. Avatar photo SirRaoulDuke

    It deserves to be restored…but would also make an awesome resto-modded off-roader. Hell, give me two of them so I can do both.

    Like 1
  5. Avatar photo Aussie Dave Member

    A real Jeep, love it.
    Restore to original and then enjoy.

    Like 10
  6. Avatar photo Todd Zuercher

    I spent the night in Great Bend a few summers ago in a cross-country trip. Neat town on the KS prairie and I can imagine seeing this neat old rig cruising around town.

    Like 6
  7. Avatar photo 19Tiger65

    Just love these Jeep pickups. You can offer me a pristine Ford, Chevy or Dodge but I would pick the Jeep. Just a simple no fuss pickup and thats what I like about it. Following this one closely.

    Like 6
  8. Avatar photo Big C

    These old things aren’t everyday drivers, with that flattie four. Unless you’re using it to drive around your property, or running down the drive to get the mail. I’d be a player at $3,000.

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo Nevada1/2rack Member

      Already jumped to $4K+. Looks like a few others like it as much as Scotty and the rest of us Jeepers do!

      Like 6
      • Avatar photo Big C


        Like 0
  9. Avatar photo John C.

    That extra 6 volts is gonna be too much for some of the wires/electrical parts to hold. Cool project though

    Like 2
  10. Avatar photo Todd J. Member

    I had a later model with the Hurricane 6 engine, it was a great truck that never left me stranded during a Vermont winter – until both frame rails broke from rust just behind the back of the cab. The driveshaft was the only thing holding the truck together.

    Like 6
  11. Avatar photo Troy

    I am not surprised the bidding has already climbed over $4k I bet it will hit between $7-8 k before the hammer falls that is a nice find

    Like 4
  12. Avatar photo jwaltb

    Lived outside Stowe, Vermont in 1969 and had a friend with one of these. We took it up a mountain until we couldn’t go any farther, winched ourselves out of a jam, and drove back down. Such fun!

    Like 5
  13. Avatar photo Timothy Hanson

    I love these trucks. But it’s over $4000 now with a bunch of days to go. It’s going to go well more than I would pay. Still a nice find.👍

    Like 2
  14. Avatar photo Larry

    Install a ballist reducer. I have put 12 volt batteries in many of the old chevies with no problem.

    Like 3
  15. Avatar photo Gene

    My uncle had one and would take 4 kids to school on snow days. I think the brakes did not work on his. Really took a driver. His was the same color.Gene

    Like 2
  16. Avatar photo Elmo

    Man those are some good looking rigs. I can understand why Jeep went retro with their new pickups.

    Pops had one of these as his daily before he bought his new 1970 F150 Ranger. “Herbie”, he called it. There was no key so he used a breaker switch to crank it. I distinctly remember going through the state inspection with him and everything worked fine. The inspector told Pop to turn on the wipers and dad told him to “Throw a little water on them and they’ll work.” Dude goes over to the water cooler and gets a little paper cup full of water and flings it onto the wipers and by God, they worked. I’m guessing the wiper motor was pretty weak and the water was just enough lubrication to coax them out of the parked position.

    Last time I saw what was left of it was rotting into the ground at his buddies house in the ’80’s.

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo jwaltb

      New ones are grotesquely ugly. Old ones are awesome.

      Like 1
  17. Avatar photo johnmloghry

    Sometime in the late 70’s I rode with a bother in law in a large truck hauling fence posts from Everett, Washington up into Canada and back down into Montana where the delivery was made. The only reason I went was to drive a 57 Jeep pickup my bil bought and drive it back to Everett. The town is called Missoula (spelling mistake) It was January and the weather was extremely cold, way below zero. Well he bought the old pickup and I set out driving west across Montana through Idaho and over the mountains in Washington to get home. It was a long tedious drive that took many hours only stopping for gas and check fluid levels. That old Jeep made it without a single problem. Of course when bil returned he just sold it for a nice profit.

    God Bless America

    Like 4
  18. Avatar photo Scrapdaddy

    Mu uncle sold jeeps out of his gas station back in the 50’s and 60’s, so we all grew up with them. All models, station wagons, pickups even the FC 150 and FC170 for a tow truck. He had tons of parts and all the different manuals for them. Somewhere along the line it all got thrown away.

    Like 1
  19. Avatar photo Denny N. Member

    Missing tailgate? They are available but good luck trying to find one with the correct W-O logo. They were discontinued in ’53.

    Like 2
  20. Avatar photo Cort

    Have probably started 200 plus old 6 volt trucks with 12 volt battery. Never ruined a coil(lol) or gauges. It will burn out lights, and you can’t use long term without a voltage reducer for lights gauges and points. Starter will handle it forever. You can start, test drive, etc. With no problems. If you have done this more than I have, with different results, I will bow down to your infinite wisdom.

    Like 1
  21. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    In case some may have noticed( crickets), I’m experiencing “comment anxiety”. For some reason, my comments need to be “approved”, even though the staff denies it. I suspect this comment will be no different. However, throwing caution to the wind, some of Scottys posts are so darn interesting, I’ll make an exception.
    Dr. Joel Fleischman,( Rob Morrow) in one of my favorite shows, Northern Exposure, drove an alleged 1947 Jeep pickup but images show it had a 5 bar horizontal grill, 1950-1953. It’s okay, Hollywood doesn’t need to be too accurate.
    These were called the “473” or “673” for the 6 cylinder. When I bought my house in 1986, a FFW Jeep like this was in the barn, although I don’t recall what happened to it. I bought a ’54 Wagon with a SBC cobbled in, using an adapter plate and kept the Willys trans. I didn’t care for the wagon, and “found” a 1951 pickup like this, with a 6 cylinder and an non-stock hole in the block, it had 19,000 miles. All the guy did was plow his long driveway, for like 40 YEARS, until the motor blew. $500 in early 90s, not a speck of rust. I put everything from the wagon into the pickup, and was my dd for a couple years. The V8 was too much, but moderation made it a fun ride. Gearing was my snafu. Originally these have 5:88 gears. While I got a 3:90 rear off a Cherokee, the front wouldn’t work for some reason, and I just drove it as a 2wd. I think it’s a bit humorous, the motor, all that was needed was that new hose! Life should be so simple again. This truck has an entirely different future than what was intended in 1947.
    Thanks for listening, part of my anxiety, besides the “approval” thing, is I’m pretty bummed at what has happened to the hobby. As I write this, it’s up to an alleged $5,500, and that’s uncalled for. It’s not $5500 worth of vehicle, none of this stuff is. But as far as I’m concerned, the hobby for the rest of us tanked 20 years ago, so I suppose ( and I know the author is a Bob Dylan fan), “I’m gonna sit on this bank of sand and watch the river flow”.
    BTW, I’ve decided to retain the member thing, as I know it helps pay the writers for such great articles. Otherwise, I’m 10-10, on the side,,,

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Howard, we have the commenting error you were experiencing fixed!

      Like 2
    • Avatar photo Todd Zuercher

      Glad to see your comment posted, Howard! I got the notice a few days ago that you had posted but it never showed up.

      Like 0
  22. Avatar photo bobk

    A note to whomever is going to be going to Great Bend to pick this up to take home. Make darn sure that there isn’t and hasn’t been any precip when making the trip.

    To the person(s) that thought it was a good idea to run the main streets through a depression, not so much. On a trip back to Kansas City from Albuquerque in a major rain event, we ended up driving for a couple of miles through 6 inch deep water on main street. Crazy.

    Like 0
  23. Avatar photo Mike

    Wasn’t the jeep positive ground? My 49 international Kb5 was.i owned in ks.I had no problem with 6 volt in winter just start once in awhile.

    Like 0
  24. Avatar photo Dan

    I sold my 48 a few years ago. Original paint/interior. Went through it mechanically. One of the slowest vehicles I have ever owned. 45 miles an hour tops. Come to a hill, down to 35, floored. It would go anywhere in 4 wheel drive. I still have a nos adapter and kit to install a sbf to the original driveline. The kit came with a new transmission input shaft to run a Ford clutch/flywheel. Sold it to a local who wanted it a whole lot more than I did. But, I did enjoy the time I had with it, kinda like my ex wife.

    Like 2
  25. Avatar photo Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this one sold for $7,000!

    Like 1

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