1962 Willys Jeep Overland
All those baby boomers had to go someplace. As a generation of Americans settled down to raise families after World War II, they came to define the American Dream as a tract house a few exits from downtown, equipped with a white picket fence, a dog, and 2.5 kids. When vacation time came, they couldn't just squash those kids into the back of a convertible or even a sedan–only the endless back reaches of a station wagon would do.
Gracing our halls here at Classic Auto Mall, we have a modified (improved?) example with upgrades in power and chassis. Eliminating that old creaky frame this truck utilizes a 1991 S-10 chassis and has a 350ci crate motor installed with a mere 7,000 miles on it. Not your average mild mannered '62 Willys.
Its squared front fenders, reminiscent of an Autocar truck, and pressed-in body lines, presumably meant to evoke the paneling on woodies from the past, were already seriously dated even when the Willys wagon first trundled into existence. However, a balanced assessment also requires the recognition that it constituted a real landmark when it first appeared as a 1946½ entry, as the domestic industry's first all-steel station wagon. And this one is no exception, draped in Gray paint, with a Dark Gray top, the paint shows very nicely. Panels are straight, gaps are good, and one cannot help but think of the upcoming Jeep Commando when viewing this wagon. Chrome is in fine shape, with a few areas of pitting and dimpling. 4 Cragar 17 incher wheels and throw on some key areas of red and black pinstripe flourishes and we have a great looking, go anywhere wagon...road trip!
Swinging the simple doors open the interior has been updated with leather seating, courtesy of a 2009 GMC, the buckets in front covered in leather and just clean black carpet in the rear for plenty of gear. Center mounted dash has been upgraded with various toggles, knobs and a woodgrain covering. Interesting placement of the radio directly above the steering column. (Who'da thought...Or what were they thinking?) Vintage trio hangs below the dash, and also provides heat when you climb the Tetons. A note to the rear gate, nice oak furring strips provide a runway to slip stuff into the rear compartment without messing up the carpet. A tight headliner hovers above all this menagerie. Pack the gear Ma, were going campin'.
Long gone is the paltry underpowered original 4-cylinder sleeper, now has 350 cubes of crate motor, a 700 R-4 Overdrive Lockup automatic tranny, all hooked to a 3.90 posi rear driven by a balanced drive shaft. The Painless wiring harness keeps things electrically sound. Crank er up!
Black rust free straight sturdy steel underneath, with a cooling fan, power steering and power brakes round out this nicely restored S-10 Chassis and undercarriage. “Let's git a little mud on the tires.”
Nearly a Willys resto-mod if you will, plenty of great upgrades, but retaining the original stamped steel body and all its silver charm, original badging, and grille. Now you've got some power in your corner, structural steel in your pocket, and comfy leather under your butt…now that's vintage 4 wheelin'.
58167-L6 226 4X2 Station Wagon/Utility Wagon
11492-Sequential Unit Number