Possible future owner of 54-59? Willys 2 Door Wagon

Newby

Gear Grinder
Feb 22, 2021
11
Peoria, IL
First Name
Chuck
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1954
I'm a newbie with Willys/Jeep but started getting interested when using the CJ5 board to deal with Buick 225 in a Porsche 914 I bought. The guys over there pointed me here for Wagon questions, though they had good advice.

I came across what I think is a 54-59? Willys 2 Door Wagon in Texas, just rusting in a mowed grassy area next to my BIL's friend's house. I got bit by the Jeep bug. Never saw anything like this. The friend is starting to be reasonable about a price, so now I want to check this thing out a little more before negotiating in earnest.

I added two pictures. The frame didn't look terrible, but the interior is rough. I was drawn to it because there is no through body rust I saw except at the bottom of the door I looked at, and the front pan under the grill.

I have a couple of questions.

If I can jack up an axle and rotate the tires with the trans in neutral (front and rear), and I can turn the crank with a breaker bar, and shift levers can be moved to gear positions, would this be worth $1800? I'm thinking $1000-1500 max due to the extent of surface rust and general condition. I still will have to pay to get it shipped to Central Illinois ($700?).

What are the key areas I should check before plunking down my money? Title for sure. What else?

Thanks for any advice.IMG_1270.jpgIMG_1271.jpg
 

Stakebed

Well Oiled
All-Star
Mar 4, 2020
3,771
Northern California
First Name
Joe
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
That looks to have the fresh air vent next to the grille and with the two piece windshield would make that a '57-late '60 if the front grille panel is original.

Take interior pics of gauge(s) and header panel above windshield to help narrow it down.

Seems ALL the wagons rot where tailgate hinge attaches to gate and body. Floors are often rotted. Look for all the window garnish moldings, hard to come by.

If it has been inactive for years, the hydraulics in the brakes will be toast. Don't even hold out hope you can salvage the hydraulic portions. New master and wheel cyls for sure. Maybe brake lines and other items.
Gas tank will likely be very rusty inside.

If multi-passenger is important to you, check that it has all the seats. Upholstery can be bought new but frames are used only I think.

BTW, it's missing the grille bars and of course you know the bumpers are gone.

Oh, even far worse wagons sell for more than the numbers you are mentioning. Look around here and online for wagon pics. Evaluate the wagon specific parts you are missing. Add up those costs. Be honest about what metal work you can accomplish and what you have to pay for.

You will become very familiar with Walcks 4wd, Jeepsterman, Midwest Willys, Willys America, etc.
 

scramboleer

Super Moderator
Staff member
All-Star
Aug 16, 2011
7,885
San Francisco, California
First Name
Dan
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1964
Hmm. A buddy in high school shoe-horned a Buick V8 into a 914, but I digress.

You’ve come to the right place. Welcome! @Stakebed is spot-on with his assessment. Looks like a late 1950s. If you really want to check, the serial number is stamped atop the frame behind the front passenger wheel.
 

Newby

Gear Grinder
Feb 22, 2021
11
Peoria, IL
First Name
Chuck
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1954
That looks to have the fresh air vent next to the grille and with the two piece windshield would make that a '57-late '60 if the front grille panel is original.

Take interior pics of gauge(s) and header panel above windshield to help narrow it down.

Seems ALL the wagons rot where tailgate hinge attaches to gate and body. Floors are often rotted. Look for all the window garnish moldings, hard to come by.

If it has been inactive for years, the hydraulics in the brakes will be toast. Don't even hold out hope you can salvage the hydraulic portions. New master and wheel cyls for sure. Maybe brake lines and other items.
Gas tank will likely be very rusty inside.

If multi-passenger is important to you, check that it has all the seats. Upholstery can be bought new but frames are used only I think.

BTW, it's missing the grille bars and of course you know the bumpers are gone.

Oh, even far worse wagons sell for more than the numbers you are mentioning. Look around here and online for wagon pics. Evaluate the wagon specific parts you are missing. Add up those costs. Be honest about what metal work you can accomplish and what you have to pay for.

You will become very familiar with Walcks 4wd, Jeepsterman, Midwest Willys, Willys America, etc.
Good stuff! Thank you, sir.

I expect to replace all brakes, deal with rusty tank, replace axle, trans, and transfer case seals, maybe bearings and synchros, etc. That's the part that interests me. I need to look more closely at the hinge support structure, for sure. I think the wagon has been picked, I noticed today no windshield wiper mechanism. I doubt window and grill pieces are with the vehicle, guessing picked too. I'm not opposed to finding rough pieces and filling and painting black. Or just make my own and paint - good enough? No back seats, front seats are rough. I'm not going to be a purist, so can find seats that work from something at the pick 'n pull. I looked at parts costs for the flathead and was put off. I think I'll pull the 225 Buick out of my 914 and put that in the Willys, if I buy it. I have a Chevy 4.3 V6 waiting to go into the 914, so it works. I read that the tranny in the Willys is tough enough for the 225. Any argument about that??

I won't see the vehicle again until we visit Texas in a couple of weeks. Thanks for helping me ramp up my 4 hour window to look over the thing in more detail.
 

Hoffy1039

Bigger Hammer
Jan 31, 2020
113
Roseburg, Oregon
First Name
Doug
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1959
I'm a newbie with Willys/Jeep but started getting interested when using the CJ5 board to deal with Buick 225 in a Porsche 914 I bought. The guys over there pointed me here for Wagon questions, though they had good advice.

I came across what I think is a 54-59? Willys 2 Door Wagon in Texas, just rusting in a mowed grassy area next to my BIL's friend's house. I got bit by the Jeep bug. Never saw anything like this. The friend is starting to be reasonable about a price, so now I want to check this thing out a little more before negotiating in earnest.

I added two pictures. The frame didn't look terrible, but the interior is rough. I was drawn to it because there is no through body rust I saw except at the bottom of the door I looked at, and the front pan under the grill.

I have a couple of questions.

If I can jack up an axle and rotate the tires with the trans in neutral (front and rear), and I can turn the crank with a breaker bar, and shift levers can be moved to gear positions, would this be worth $1800? I'm thinking $1000-1500 max due to the extent of surface rust and general condition. I still will have to pay to get it shipped to Central Illinois ($700?).

What are the key areas I should check before plunking down my money? Title for sure. What else?

Thanks for any advice.
Welcome aboard and buckle up! My first ever vehicle restoration started last Jan with a 59 wagon. As it had all the original parts on it ( motor, tranny, grill chrome, bumpers, etc. Floor-pan and fender wells were rusted. The window channels, door bottoms, cowls, front fenders all good. One broken door window. Motor was free spinning, and it had been running when put away about 8-10 years earlier. I paid over twice what you have stated because " everything was there ". BUT...its a 60 year old vehicle, and I was quickly introduced to the finer details. You can see what I have accomplished over the last year ( and I'm not done yet ) by going to the sub-forum ( under the pick-up and wagon link ) and reading my " Building Confidence " build entry. I have had a great time with this project and still looking forward to making it drive-able - don't think I will ever be " finished " with it!
 

Stakebed

Well Oiled
All-Star
Mar 4, 2020
3,771
Northern California
First Name
Joe
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
frame behind the front passenger wheel.
behind Dan?

Good stuff! Thank you, sir.

I expect to replace all brakes, deal with rusty tank, replace axle, trans, and transfer case seals, maybe bearings and synchros, etc. That's the part that interests me. I need to look more closely at the hinge support structure, for sure. I think the wagon has been picked, I noticed today no windshield wiper mechanism. I doubt window and grill pieces are with the vehicle, guessing picked too. I'm not opposed to finding rough pieces and filling and painting black. Or just make my own and paint - good enough? No back seats, front seats are rough. I'm not going to be a purist, so can find seats that work from something at the pick 'n pull. I looked at parts costs for the flathead and was put off. I think I'll pull the 225 Buick out of my 914 and put that in the Willys, if I buy it. I have a Chevy 4.3 V6 waiting to go into the 914, so it works. I read that the tranny in the Willys is tough enough for the 225. Any argument about that??

I won't see the vehicle again until we visit Texas in a couple of weeks. Thanks for helping me ramp up my 4 hour window to look over the thing in more detail.
225 V6 should be fine with the T90/D18 combo as long as both are healthy.
Oh, if rear axle is correct type D44, the hubs are held onto tapered and keyed axle shafts. If the axle nut was tightened properly, the hubs can be OMFG hard to remove. Do yourself a solid, buy the best looking, strongest Willys hub puller you can. You'll thank yourself later.
 

Newby

Gear Grinder
Feb 22, 2021
11
Peoria, IL
First Name
Chuck
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1954
behind Dan?


225 V6 should be fine with the T90/D18 combo as long as both are healthy.
Oh, if rear axle is correct type D44, the hubs are held onto tapered and keyed axle shafts. If the axle nut was tightened properly, the hubs can be OMFG hard to remove. Do yourself a solid, buy the best looking, strongest Willys hub puller you can. You'll thank yourself later.
Great advice/warning. Guessing a strong air impact is needed for the puller.
 

Newby

Gear Grinder
Feb 22, 2021
11
Peoria, IL
First Name
Chuck
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1954
Welcome aboard and buckle up! My first ever vehicle restoration started last Jan with a 59 wagon. As it had all the original parts on it ( motor, tranny, grill chrome, bumpers, etc. Floor-pan and fender wells were rusted. The window channels, door bottoms, cowls, front fenders all good. One broken door window. Motor was free spinning, and it had been running when put away about 8-10 years earlier. I paid over twice what you have stated because " everything was there ". BUT...its a 60 year old vehicle, and I was quickly introduced to the finer details. You can see what I have accomplished over the last year ( and I'm not done yet ) by going to the sub-forum ( under the pick-up and wagon link ) and reading my " Building Confidence " build entry. I have had a great time with this project and still looking forward to making it drive-able - don't think I will ever be " finished " with it!
Thanks for pointing me to your blog. It's really well done and gives me a feel for what I'm facing.
 

Newby

Gear Grinder
Feb 22, 2021
11
Peoria, IL
First Name
Chuck
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1954
That looks to have the fresh air vent next to the grille and with the two piece windshield would make that a '57-late '60 if the front grille panel is original.

Take interior pics of gauge(s) and header panel above windshield to help narrow it down.

Seems ALL the wagons rot where tailgate hinge attaches to gate and body. Floors are often rotted. Look for all the window garnish moldings, hard to come by.

If it has been inactive for years, the hydraulics in the brakes will be toast. Don't even hold out hope you can salvage the hydraulic portions. New master and wheel cyls for sure. Maybe brake lines and other items.
Gas tank will likely be very rusty inside.

If multi-passenger is important to you, check that it has all the seats. Upholstery can be bought new but frames are used only I think.

BTW, it's missing the grille bars and of course you know the bumpers are gone.

Oh, even far worse wagons sell for more than the numbers you are mentioning. Look around here and online for wagon pics. Evaluate the wagon specific parts you are missing. Add up those costs. Be honest about what metal work you can accomplish and what you have to pay for.

You will become very familiar with Walcks 4wd, Jeepsterman, Midwest Willys, Willys America, etc.
I saw the grill bars in Hoffy1039's blog. Those are nice, would miss having those if they aren't available or really costly.
 

Newby

Gear Grinder
Feb 22, 2021
11
Peoria, IL
First Name
Chuck
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1954
FYI - This is my inspiration. This look hooked me. I would basically copy this guy. It's just beautiful. And the blackout treatment on trim, I'm guessing, removes a lot of $ or looking around or refinishing/rechroming for all the trim that is missing. This was on "Bring a Trailer".
 

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Stakebed

Well Oiled
All-Star
Mar 4, 2020
3,771
Northern California
First Name
Joe
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
FYI - This is my inspiration. This look hooked me. I would basically copy this guy. It's just beautiful. And the blackout treatment on trim, I'm guessing, removes a lot of $ or looking around or refinishing/rechroming for all the trim that is missing. This was on "Bring a Trailer".
Yeah that's basically the stock suspension, tall tire look.
 

cactuspete2u

Sharpest Tool
All-Star
Nov 4, 2010
231
colo
First Name
scott
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1954
FYI - This is my inspiration. This look hooked me. I would basically copy this guy. It's just beautiful. And the blackout treatment on trim, I'm guessing, removes a lot of $ or looking around or refinishing/rechroming for all the trim that is missing. This was on "Bring a Trailer".
That does look nice.
 

scramboleer

Super Moderator
Staff member
All-Star
Aug 16, 2011
7,885
San Francisco, California
First Name
Dan
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1964
behind Dan?
Yikes. Long week already. How about "on top of the frame inboard of the front passenger wheel." Been a long week already. in any case, check the top of the frame by the passenger shock mount. Here are some pics from @ninehers:

 

Newby

Gear Grinder
Feb 22, 2021
11
Peoria, IL
First Name
Chuck
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1954
Well, I just got a shipping quote. $950, probably because is does not run. Which means it will really be $1100 based on past experience, for a $1200-1500 vehicle. Not making sense. I thought 900 miles would be more like $500-$600. I have no way to get it home another way for less than $1100, so this may be it unless some miracle happens. I do appreciate all your help.
 
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