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Only 17k miles! 1959 Willys Jeep

It’s always great to see original cars, and workhorses, still on the road in great condition and being loved by their various owners. Our 1959 Willys Jeep comes with a somewhat unbelievable 17,110 miles! Which means it has covered a measly 271 miles a year in 63 years. Whilst this would seem impossible, its when you learn that this was a summer car, parked at a cabin on Lake Tahoe to use when they visited until the late 1990s. If you are interested in this moving museum piece located in Dolores, Colorado, then head over to eBay here where there are 6 days left on the auction and bidding at just over $7,000. Thanks to T.J. for this tip!

This Jeep remained in the family from 1960 until 2013 so this provenance seems reasonable. Whilst it’s not in show car condition, this can be a reliable driver for your own summer house – should you have one. This has had an easy life, but even after 63 years, it needs some work. The original paint is patinated, but there is no rust. The only serious body problem is the 2-inch crack in the floor which will need to be looked at. The 4-cylinder motor has been reconditioned and the current owner has receipts totalling over $9,000 from the work done over the last few years.

The Jeep also comes with a new top in white, worth $1,400 and looks resplendent in white against the green of the body. The only other cosmetic mod is the new 16-inch wheels and tyres, but the original 15-inch wheels are included. It has also benefitted from a new windscreen too. My only suggestion for the new owner would be to protect the underside of the car, as it looks on the cusp of rot if left in any poor climate for a particularly bad winter.

I would really love one of these – if I had the money – to buzz around somewhere warm in the summer, just as the original owners had intended. I don’t think it should be upgraded to be an off-road weapon or even restored to being in showroom condition – it would be a real shame to lose that patina. Unfortunately, as I will not be bidding on it, that really leaves it up to the next owner to decide, so what direction would you take this 1959 Willys in?


  1. HoA Howard A Member

    Welcome to another,,,Crusty Ramblings, almost plotzed when I saw’r this one. Before my YJ, I looked at a ’65 CJ, green, looked exactly like this, only no top. She wanted $6grand, which, naturally, I thought was a bit much. She also claimed thousands in engine work,( by some guy down the road) AND IT HAD A DEAD CYLINDER!! It was rust free, but in very poor shape. I didn’t even get to the test drive, but it had a unique 4th shift lever I had never seen before, and I saw’r a lot of Jeeps,( you can see the access hole on the right side of the tunnel), and it also had a tow bar, I asked what the 4th lever was for, she said a driveline disconnect for towing, which, I suppose is partially true. I suspected something odd when she said, oh sure, we had it going 60 no problem,,,hmm, these generally had a top speed of 50, tops, and THAT was white knuckle. Naturally, I declined, but research showed, it had the VERY rare overdrive unit, with shift pattern “D-N-OD” and she had it in overdrive, no question, and the “N” was the towing disconnect she was talking about. I always get a kick out of peoples explanations of things they have no idea about. Had I known about the O/D, I might have offered her half, but the O/D was clearly the going feature, she knew nothing about. The Jeep was a POS. None of the gauges worked, including the speedo, which makes me leery here, the charge light was on, and the aftermarket oil pressure gauge read 0.
    This is a really neat find, naturally, I think the bids are fabricated, the alleged low miles are no plus to me, this thing will have you knowing the Autoplace person by their 1st name, and visa versa. Once in a while out here, we have mostly 2 lanes, or the dreaded 3 lane, you’ll come up on slow traffic, leading the pack, is one of these, struggling to get back to the hills. One must plan their travels carefully.
    My BIGGEST gripe here? Lose the grill covering, or put it on the inside? Why? My YJ had one of those, it was the 1st thing to go. It covers the famous 7 slot grill, a Jeep trademark to this day. While some get all bent out of shape on what kind of headlights they should have( I happen to like my square ones) that grill, to me, represents freedom, and you shan’t cover that up.

    Like 5
    • RexFox Member

      White knuckles aside, 60 with an overdrive seems quite plausible.

      Like 1
  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Fun comments Howard.

    My dad had a 1962, which I assume would be very similar to this one. He used it as his oil field vehicle. He didn’t particularly like it: things broke, it didn’t have much space to haul anything, and (his number one complaint) was that with the soft top, it never really got warm inside on a cold winter day. So he was happy when, during a time when the ma-and-pa company was having a good year, he asked for and received a company pickup.

    One thing I remember was his top speed: 35 mph. Fortunately most of his driving was on lightly travelled back roads.

    Like 3
  3. angliagt angliagt Member

    I remember when a friend of our family’s came over with one
    of these & plowed the lot we owned next door.Also remember the
    AM radio Country station sticker he had on it.It was also the same

    Like 2
  4. John L.

    I’m not buying the 17,000 mile claim on this Jeep. Lots of wear for that few claimed miles.

    Like 2
  5. pwtiger

    I’m not sure why an engine with 17,000 miles needed a $9,000 rebuild, maybe they left it sit all winter without antifreeze. What’s with 2 license plates? The “treasured”‘ black Ca. plates don’t mean squat unless it was never tagged in Co. and the original “pink” is still available… It’s sitting at $7,100 with the reserve not met, in today’s crazy world it might go sky high. My old Cj2 has an extra lever for shifting the PTO, not sure if something this new would have the farm option.

    Like 2
    • Neil

      Add doesn’t claim 9 K rebuild, rather 9 K invested. He put on new canvas, tires/ rims, probably fluids, tune,belts etc. Doesn’t take much to run up 9K at Jeep dealerships.

      Like 2
    • HoA Howard A Member

      Couple things, 1st, there is some infatuation with Colorado being a “rust-free” state, as if to say, “oh, well, Colorado AND California, must be rust free”. I admit, coming from Rustville, Wisconsin, I thought the same too. T’aint so and it says it was titled in Colorado. 2nd, I do believe the PTO was available for all CJs. I’m no expert ( but play one on BFs), I read, the PTO was an option with the Dana 18 transfer case up to 1971. Price,,,well, I had an offer of $5grand for my ’91 YJ( that I bought for $3500), it’s why I went with a Jeep of this type, you simply can’t lose. In the future, I think there will be 2 types of vehicles, some electric proton car, and Jeeps.

      Like 0
  6. Denny N. Member

    Seller says his Jeep originally came with 15 inch wheels. This is incorrect. The Standard Catalog of American Light Duty Trucks says the 1959 CJs came with 16″ wheels and 6.00-16 tires.

    When I bought my ’63 CJ-5 it was wearing those crappy white-painted 15″ trailer wheels. I put on a correct set of stock 16s. Looks so much better – IMHO.

    Like 4
  7. FordFixer Member

    Had one of these. Bought in Gunnison, Colo. was great to do the mountain roads. Took it to north east Arizona, did a lot of off highway. Didn’t driver on Highway, used the towbar. I have a 57 CJ3B now, with the added overdrive. Works great. These are fun off road, not on a 4-6 lane.

    Like 0

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