Should I purchase a Willy's Wagon???

rhatland

Knuckle Buster
Dec 14, 2010
1
Willys Model
Willys Year:
My name is Ralph and I have an interest in willy's wagons. I am looking for something that a desk jockey could enjoy. I am looking for a wagon that looks cool, fun to drive and would make a good bug out vehicle if need be. I drive a KIA Soul for everyday use. I am looking for what one could call my bat mobile. My alter ego car.

I am looking on craigslist for a wagon in Indiana that the auction closes in four days. I am looking for others opinion of the value. I would fly to Indiana if need be.

I am basically looking for a weekend driver not a garage shrinker or hood ornament. I want a driver. I do not want a money pit or it will just sit around.

The basic question is can I reasonably achieve my goal without going broke or caught on side of road.

Thank you all for your input.

Ralph in California, land of fruits and nuts. :lol:
 
That would depend on your budgit. Most wagons up for sale are in need of some serious TLC, as they are at least 45 years old. There are known rust issues in the Willys trucks and wagons that needs repaired on most vehicles, and tired engines, transmissions, and brakes. But there are some out there that have had the needed work done that can be purchased for a decent price compared to other cars from the era. If the wagon you are looking at has had the work done (and done properly) or if you have the time and interest to make the repairs a classic wagon is hard to beat.
 
Ralph...you sound like a fisherman...you don't have to go to another lake...there are plenty of Willys closer. I have seen many reasonably priced Wagons on the west coast. Your budget and your mechanical abilities should be considered. Based on my experiences, the seller doesn't always represent the vehicle honestly and it's cheaper to by someone elses project or driver. Even after going over the Wagon and purchaesing it, you will find "things" you need to change or fix...we "Willy Nuts" do that to make them safer to drive, make them more reliable and most of all....the new Wagon likes to be touched.
Hunting for the Wagon can be fun, don't let "auctions" preasure you into making the purchase. And after taking the plunge...don't look back...open the check book and enjoy. I compare the money spent on my wagon like buying tickets at the carnival, when I finally get to drive mine...I get to ride and ride and ride. Check out ewillys.com and searchtempest.com plus ebay for leads and what people are expecting for their Wagons. Lot's of wagons where sold in the west because oif their 4 wheel drive, I got mine out of Colorado.
Welcome to the forum! :cheers:
 
Ralph, I have one SIMPLE answer for you:
If you don't enjoy wrenching occasionally, don't buy one. Owning a Willys is like owning a dog. They require attention. That's not a bad thing. It's just the way it is. Even if you pay huge $$ on a restored vehicle, it still requires regular maintenance. If you love the Willys vehicles and realize you'll not be buying off the show room floor and can handle some grease under the fingernails, once in a while, then by all means; jump in. It's an all or nothing attitude that's required.
Steve
 
aquawilly54 said:
Ralph, I have one SIMPLE answer for you:
If you don't enjoy wrenching occasionally, don't buy one. Owning a Willys is like owning a dog. They require attention. That's not a bad thing. It's just the way it is. Even if you pay huge $$ on a restored vehicle, it still requires regular maintenance. If you love the Willys vehicles and realize you'll not be buying off the show room floor and can handle some grease under the fingernails, once in a while, then by all means; jump in. It's an all or nothing attitude that's required.
Steve

Steve....Oh my Gosh...I second all that you said...Now onto Ralph.....these new cars we drive today dont need hardly any maintenance...Willys vehicles are very humblying to say the least...be prepared to bust a knuckle or two....Diffinently look closer to home also...they are old and smelly trucks..they arent new....I learn something everytime I work on mine....
just my 2 cents
MikeC
 
Ralph: do not buy a Willys wagon unless you have lots of money to spend and are very patient. For a reliable weekend vehicle that will start and run flawlessly, buy a Toyota. It won't be as cool as the old Willys but it will be safer and much easier to drive. You might find an updated Willys wagon that would do what you seem to want but it will probably have a different engine, (auto)trans, brakes, steering and axles (maybe complete chassis).

All the best.
 
Hi Ralph-

I bought my wagon sight unseen, from several phone conversations and about 75 e-mailed photos. I asked all the right questions, and got all the right answers...

I decided to pull the trigger and hope for the best. The wagon was in Arkansas, and I'm in Idaho.

The first step after sending the money wire and getting the title back, was getting the wagon shipped. This turned out to be a huge pain in the a$$. The seller happened to live waaaay off the beaten path, and the shippers are reluctant to take anything that isn't already on the route to where they are already going. After several months of haggling and waiting, I happened to find someone with an empty trailer going through Arkansas and Idaho. I had it here three days later.

Once it got here, I discovered that after all the phone conversations and photos, it was not the wagon that I expected it to be. The seller didn't take photos of anything that he didn't want me to see, and lied about the rest. Here's a thread on the good, the bad, and the ugly.

It took me a while to get over it but now I'm happy to have my wagon. I definitely paid way too much, and with the shipping on top, I could have bought a much nicer wagon close to home for the same cash. Live and learn, and I'll never buy sight unseen again. Until the next time... :D I have spent many hours fixing, replacing, and rebuilding various parts of my wagon to get it, for the most part, road worthy. And I use the term 'road worthy' loosely. If I had to pay a shop to do this work, I would have gotten rid of it because it wouldn't be worth the cash outlay.

So, long story short, if it is something you really want, in my judgment it is worth a plane ticket to make sure you are getting what you bargained for. Look into the shipping before you own it. There are lots of great wagons for sale, and I'd say the majority of them seem to be closer to the west coast. I'd bet if you are patient you can find just the right one closer to home.

Pete
 
Somthing that VW and Divco people I know will find somone in a club near the car they want and have them check it out. They are userly famular with the problems to look for. I just got my wagen in Colorado. There are still good buys in Colorado and Wyoming the cars here don't rust as bad as other places. I have sold a few old cars and transported them as family fun trips people who don't ship cars don't know how costly it is.

Ed
 
Hey Ralph, you're from the west coast wanting to buy something east of the Mississippi? That's a first!! Out west, guys are painting their hotrods for that PATINA look. Here, we got the REAL STUFF!! And lots of it. I searched my state of Connecticut for a decent wagon and almost leaped on a '48 that didn't have a panel without rust and thought I would be getting a good deal, But then, better judgement (the wife) took control and stopped me, and I'm SO glad that happened! I ended up buying my '48 Wagon from your state and had it shipped here. Even though the cost of shipping was 1/3 the purchase price, the rust is almost non-existent and my attention (and bank account) can be put to other things than sheet metal repair. Yep, it's a driver, and yep it needs a few things to make it mine, but you know what? I have my dream car sitting in the garage, and come spring, me and the wife will be ridin' in style in 'Ol Nelson. As others have said, look closer to home for a decent Willys. You'll be better off

Later...

Lee
 
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