Stakeside! 1948 Willys Truck


I find this old farm truck (and the auction description) absolutely charming! Located in Ivor, Virginia, and up for sale here on eBay where the opening bid is $3,990, this truck would be perfect for running errands around your classic car ranch. A large list of  mechanical work has been done since the third owner purchased the truck, which had been used by its two previous owners to haul wood. Rather than slathering on body filler, there are openly visible riveted on patches on the doors and cab, and the paintwork is driver quality at best. But just look at the presence it has! Those patches are like badges commemorating the work this vehicle has done.  The current owner is 74 and is selling it due to their age, but has accumulated a bunch of extra parts, reupholstered the seats and interior panels and made it very presentable. The little truck runs well with its original engine and with a little assembly would be ready to go. I wish I could take this one home; what about you, Barn Finds readers?


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  1. Howard A Member

    These “flat-fendered ” Willys are getting hard to find. Used to be, they were as common as wash machines, now, good examples are bringing big money. I’ve never seen a Willys truck with that chrome piece on the grill. I believe that is off a Jeepster. I had 2 of these, a ’50 Wagon with a SBC, and a ’51 pickup, that I put the SBC from the wagon in. Truth be known, they are noisy, rattle, ride rough, usually have bad steering, poor brakes, cold in the winter, hot in the summer. I’m not sure if this is a stock Willys stake bed or it was added later, but either way, I say, if you are looking for one, grab this now. Supplies are limited.

  2. Ed P

    Nice looking truck. It looks like the big work is done. Most of what is left is little stuff. As long as the price does not go sky high it is a buy.

  3. JW

    From someone who has never owned a jeep this looks to be a nice little project. If I still lived in the country I would like to have it since I cut and split wood to sell, as long as price stays reasonable.

  4. SoCal Car Guy

    Too bad they didn’t take the time to at least attempt to mask off the not-to-be-red parts. That kind of sloppiness, inattention or laziness make me wonder just how well the rest of the work was done on this thing. Could’ve been a cool little truck; I would’ve preferred it before it go the $39.95 Earl Scheib treatment.

  5. Jamie's Wife

    Want! Husband, buy!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Hi, darling :-) Careful, “your wish is my command” fits well here…

      • jim s

        it is no reserve and the seller might take an offer so i think you should have already bought this. there are no strings attached, like you must sell one if you buy this, in the instruction from your wife so your vehicle count would be 12 plus the race cars. this is an all win, execpt for the bank account. very nice find.

      • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

        @JimS — It would have to stay low…Jim, hadn’t really thought about calling and making an offer; I have always let my auctions go to the end just on principle. I’ll talk it over with Cristina…

  6. bob

    I agree with Howard that that chrome piece on the grille does’t look like a ’48 pickup. Likely from a Jeepster. Also agree that they rattle,ride rough etc.,seats are like a cheap lawnchair. Wonder if the front axle shafts have been upgraded from the original bendix type (4 ball) to rzeppa ( 6 ball ). Easy upgrade and not real expensive.

  7. DENIS

    I think it’s cool and I wish it was closer..I’d use it in the woods…as to the paint work and non-correct chrome on the grille-WHO THE HELL CARES? It’s also priced as a beater not a freakin’ restoration. Some days it seems as though we are just on here to pick everyone else’s stuff apart. It appears that he’s an older gent and is representing it as it is. Aren’t we all car enthusiasts-that’s why we are here, I think…jeez

    • Ed P

      Jeeps were built for work. A little mud and dirt here and there makes it look like a real jeep. Have fun.

    • TBall

      Denis/Ed P – Could not agree with you more! It’s not a fricken museum piece – it’s a Jeep for crying out loud! Older gent that did a very nice job keeping this worthwhile vehicle viable. Extremely concise as to current condition, work done and yet to be done. Very nice truck at an unbelievable price. He’s near-by, however with the current two trucks and pony car project I have, wife not looking to add to my collection (current house/garage situation has much to do with that!). Hat’s off to this gentlemen for preserving our past, wish I had room for it in my garage…

  8. RickyM

    Fantastic truck – just love its utilitarian look. Great find.

  9. TBall

    The Bud overflow “tank” is a nice touch. Riveted door patched very fitting for this type of vehicle. Half temped to drive down the road and visit him today, just to say thanks and good luck on the sale if nothing else.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      @TBall, if you do, let us know how it looks in person!

  10. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    I have been instructed (see post by my wife above) to follow bidding closely… :-)

  11. 1969Deuce

    Now my wife has told me not to, so I won’t be a competitor. Told me to get working on the M37 if I wanted a vintage pickup on the road.

    I really like it. Being in the military vehicle hobby for the past 4 – 5 years has given me a real appreciation for the work that has been done on this truck. It’s far above ‘motor pool ready.’ It looks like a well-taken-care-of worker with just a touch of customization. I’d complete the ideas in progress, then spend lots of weekends at agri/tractor shows with it. Google images shows that grill piece on a couple of trucks but they’re customs to various degrees; no stake bodies.

    Yesterday a.m. I was hot on a military 5 ton wrecker, last evening the Singer, now this. I’ve gotta get off the vehicle sites before I get in bigger trouble.

    Thumbs up.

  12. David

    They are indeed rare. Here’s a Willys 4X4 pickup listed on craigslist for $3000

    Can it be saved? Perhaps the wife will like this one if Jamie doesn’t win the one on eBay?

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      She really liked the versatility of the stakeside pickup. She’s a Jeep enthusiast; when I met her she had a Wrangler as a daily driver.

  13. Dan B

    Not bad for an early flat-nosed Willys truck. Flatbeds were a factory option. Yeah, that fancy chrome grill piece only came on the Jeepster and 2wd “Station Sedan” version of the wagon, but the buyer can take that off and sell it if so desired. Willys trucks and wagons are easy to work on and fun to tool around them. Just don’t expect to commute in them.

    • jim s

      i commuted 60 miles every other day for a year in a utility wagon, back in the day. the round trip was 2 hrs. the OHC 6 ran good.

      • Dan

        True that Jim. The 230 OHC is a great engine much more suitable for modern traffic. You’re right; one could commute in a Willys. Depends on traffic speed/patience/etc. as well as axle gearing etc. A Warn overdrive helps too. And then there is the matter of stopping.

      • jim s

        yes the brakes, even when new, were a weak point on these. and i thought they were very hard to service. required a wheel puller, breaker bar, and a long piece of pipe. snow and ice buildup under the car where the brake and clutch pedals pivot was an issue on mine.

  14. jim s

    still no bids!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Still internally debating :-)

  15. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    We have been going back and forth on this one all weekend. Right now the answer’s no, not because it’s not worth it but because we’re currently looking for land to build a house. But who knows, it may change again by Wednesday…

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