1950 or 1951?


Knuckle Buster
Oct 6, 2023
New Hampshire
First Name
Willys Model
  1. Jeepster
Willys Year:
  1. 1951
Hello fellow forum members! I’m new to the group and wanted to reach out to see if anyone has a little bit more knowledge than I do on my 1950 (or 51?) Willy’s.

My paperwork showed 1951 but I assumed it was just a leftover 1950 that sold in 51 since very few were made that year.

I recently took off the VIN plate to clean the paint off of it that the previous owner covered it with. I’m going to be listing it for sale and needed to confirm the Vin number matched the title (surprise, it doesn’t)

Upon cleaning the plate, I think this may actually be a ‘51?? Does anyone know if that’s how I would read this??


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Welcome to OWF Chris!
This Willys serial number table is from https://www.public.asu.edu/~grover/willys/serial.html


Your data plate, which you likely found up under the dash above the glove box, shows a prefix that indicates that it was from the serial number series set up for 1951, but the table above shows that no Jeepsters of that "651BA1" series were fabricated for 1951.

The plate type and stamping style on your data plate looks authentic!

This is from Jeepsterjim's web site:


My personal "best guess" (and consider this only an extremely moderately-informed conclusion) is that Willys affixed that later series data plate on your "built for 1950" Jeepster to make it more saleable during 1951.

"Leftovers" never seem as appealing...

Maybe an email to jim@jeepsterjim.com is in order?

Some states back when this car was built were titling vehicles using engine numbers.
New Guy Chris,

What does your title say that is wrong. Is the VIN correct (match)? Don't worry about the year. I can tell it is a 1950.

This unit was likely was a factory leftover(never delivered to a Dealer) during the vehicles model year. The reason it does not show up in the 1951 production run totals is that it was already counted in the 1950 production totals. The VIN plate that you have gives us a clue as to how many leftovers from 1950 there was. We now know there was at least 81 unsold Jeepster units.

Next, please don't offer to clean VIN plates for anyone. You did a lot of damage to that rare VIN plate.