Parts Truck Included: 1947 Willys Wagon

Old Willys wagons are a wonderful design, with lots of glass and a two-piece rear gate that just oozes character. The one featured here is a total project, but potentially a worthy one considering a spare shell is included with the sale. Bidding is active but the reserve remains unmet, and currently, it’s at just over $200. If you win, you’ll get a solid 1947 body on a 4WD chassis, along with a spare but rusty shell on a 2WD chassis. Find it here on eBay and located in Michigan.

The Willys Wagon is effectively a precursor to the wildly popular Suburban and other first-gen SUVs, setting the stage for what would become one of America’s favorite types of vehicles. The pictures show two major projects, but at least the interior in the 4WD example seems largely complete. The body actually appears sound enough to make it possible to preserve the nicely aged exterior, which is how I’d approach any restoration attempts.

The floors are also surprisingly solid, and the rear seats are included. The eBay photos show a rear liftgate that still works as intended and a roof that wears a nice shade of bronze from being burnt by the sun. Wheel arches inside the cab also appear solid, and while some of the glass and front fenders are missing, the 2WD parts truck appears to have those components still in place.

This is the parts truck, which the seller describes as being rusty but also possessing many desirable and rare parts. He recommends calling him direct to get a full run-down on what those components include, but perhaps our Willys fans can pick them out from the photos. I have no idea what the reserve could be set at, and while these command a good price once restored, I believe they’re somewhat affordable in project form like this. If you’re looking for an excellent Willys pickup project for revival, check out this recent Barn Finds Exclusive listing. 

Have something to sell? List it here on Barn Finds!

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  1. Howard A Member

    I’ve kind of been following this all day on early access. Not too long ago, this would have been a great find,( and still is) and would have been snatched up right away, but only 5 bids( none recently) and top bid of $202.50 ( someone bid $2.50!)this tells me, people aren’t rebuilding these anymore. They seem to have $15,000 dollars for a nice one, but $202.50 for a great project? Sum ting wrong,,,

    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      LOL on the $2.50 bid, not my bid! I’d buy that front bumper for that bid of $202.50. Hard to see to much without the zoom in the ad. But a good start for someone. Agree on the sbc. Get an overdrive from Herm and you will go as fast as your white knuckles want. Mine is surprisingly rust free considering it came from your old neck of the woods. It has a parking sticker on the back of the inside mirror from the Beer City.

  2. Camaro Joe

    If it’s as solid as claimed and all the parts are there between the solid one and the parts truck, it’s not a bad project as long as it’s a hobby and your labor is good enough and is free.

    I have seen really nice restored/resto-moded ones with late model motors go for $25K. The circus at Barrett Jackson sold John Staluppi’s mid 50’s wagon for $53K + 10% at Palm Beach last April. It was a power coated frame, body off restored, everything. It had a SBC painted yellow so I assumed it was a 265. I had one in high school and want another one, but the barn is full. I’m sure a small SBC or 289 Ford is all you want in this thing with stock steering and suspension, I have a modified 283 in a 1943 MB Jeep, with a lift kit and 36″ tires, it’s a handful on a good day.

    The one at B-J started at $10K, bid to $18K and stalled. I was on the stage, saw it, was going to bid $20K, but I was late and somebody bid $20K, then it went to $50K at $5K increments. I didn’t want it anywhere near that bad.

    • Howard A Member

      Yeah, well, Mr. Staluppi may be a nice guy, but he’s Stalupping the prices away from most of us. I got started with the FF Willys with a wagon like this, with a SBC, I think it was a 307, 2 barrel. Frankly, it made an unstable vehicle even worse. The extra weight, made the crummy steering worse, less braking, and honestly, it was just too much for these old gals. The 5:13 gears didn’t do much for the V8 either. If the flathead doesn’t do it for you, the Tornado OHC 6 would be a much better route.

  3. Jay E.

    Had the identical truck, it was drivable but barely. I had to GIVE it away to see it leave. So I think you are right Howard. Anyone need a complete set of brake rebuild parts, found them after it was gone, they were worth more than the truck.

  4. lbpa18

    Just to offer another point of view, Ive been driving our family’s since the early sixties. It has a SBC, new springs, steel belted radial narrow/tall truck tires, and original brakes. Before the new springs and load range E tires, it was spongy and very top heavy. It wasnt like that when we were both young but it became that way, until recently. It is now freeway able and the brakes are fine for me. It has 4:27 gears though. I wouldnt hesitate to drive our’s cross country and except for when the roads are salted it is a dependable daily driver. All I’ve really owned besides this are trucks so I dont think the ride is offensive. Noisy? Yep, but part of the whole theme. Easy to work on, very simple in design, well made, parts are available, etc. The biggest issue I see is starting with a relatively rust-free example. The first place rust shows up on these is rear wheel wells and lower tailgate. Cant see the TG, but the wheel wells look OK. As Leinie said, the front bumper set is worth the $200. GLWTA.

  5. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Bid to $1,005. Now is relisted.

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