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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-21-2007 11:57 AM

Willys-Overland History
The name that's meant JEEP for decades.

1908 John North Willys buys the Overland Automotive Division of Standard Wheel Company.
1912 John North Willys renames the Willys Overland Division to Willys-Overland Motor Company.
1936 Coming out of bankruptcy following the Great Depression, the company is reorganized as Willys-Overland Motors, Inc.
1940 Working from a Bantam Car Company design, Willys contracts to build military Jeeps for the war and produces about 360,000 vehicles by 1945.
1945 Willys-Overland begins producing the Civilian Jeep (CJ) line, with the introduction of the CJ2A model.
1946 Production begins on the Willys Jeep Wagon. Over 300,000 are manufactured between 1946 and 1965. Initially the all-steel wagons are only available in a burgundy and cream color scheme, the appearance of which suggested the "Woodie" wagon look typically found on wagons of this era.
1946 CJ3A is introduced, and more than 132,000 are made before the production ends in 1953.
1947 Production begins on the Willys Jeep Truck. From 1947 to 1965, more than 200,000 are manufactured.
1948 Production begins on the Willys Jeepster. Only 19,000 vehicles are manufactured from 1948 to 1950.
1949 Willys Wagons become available with 72 horsepower six cylinder motor, and four wheel drive - thus creating the first "sport utility vehicle".
1952 Willys CJ3B Jeeps go into production, with a raised hood to accomodate a taller "F" head engine with 25% more horsepower. By 1968, over 155,000 are sold.
1953 Kaiser buys Willys-Overland and changes name to Willys Motor Company.
1954 CJ5 debuts at the start of its three-decade run.
1954 Four wheel drive versions of the Willys Wagons and Trucks are now available with the "Super Hurricane" 115 HP 6 cylinder motor.
1956 Kaiser-Jeep announces the FC-150, a "cab-forward" style pickup truck based on the CJ5 chassis.
1956 Kaiser-Jeep announces the CJ6. Based on the CJ5, the CJ6 has a 20-inch longer wheelbase, adding to the passenger and cargo room. Roughly 50,000 units are produced between 1956 and 1983. The CJ6 proved more popular overseas than in the US, and to this day remains the "forgotten model" between the CJ5 and CJ7.
1957 Kaiser-Jeep announces the FC-170, smiliar to the FC-150 but with a 103.5" wheelbase and L-head 6 cylinder engine.
1963 Company changes name to Kaiser-Jeep corporation.
1965 Kaiser-Jeep discontinues production of Willys wagons and trucks, retiring the Willys name with the line.
1970 American Motors Corporation takes over Kaiser-Jeep.
1972 CJ5 wheelbase is lengthened to accomodate the AMC straight six engine.
1975 Willys-Overland resurrected as a wholesale/retail parts business.
1983 By the time the last CJ5 rolls off the line in 1983, more than 610,000 of the vehicles have hit the highways in the U.S. and around the world.
1987 American Motors is purchased by the Chrysler Corporation.
1998 Daimler-Benz merges with Chrysler Corporation to form DaimlerChrysler, the fifth largest auto maker in the world.
12-27-2005 11:26 AM
What's a Willy's?

Yikes!!!! Don't know what a Willys is? Next thing you know someone will say "anyone ever heard of a Henry J".
12-27-2005 09:23 AM
farna You guys need an AMC history lesson!
1. Formed in 1954 (May) by merger of Nash-Kelvinator Corporation and Hudson Motor Company. Well, N-K actually bought Hudson out, and for a real good deal since Hudson was drowning...

2. AMC bought Kaiser-Jeep Corporation in 1970. Kaiser bought out Willys in the late 40s or early 50s, I'm not sure on that.

3. Renault purchased a small percentage of AMC in 1979 -- as late as you could get in the 70s poncho, but you're right! I forget the exact percentage, but it was under 25% of AMC at that time, with the option to buy up to 40 some odd percent over the next five years. The bottom fell out of the 4WD market around 1979-80 (which was keeping AMCs head above water until then!), so Renault owned 46% of AMC before the end of 1980 in exchange for keeping them from going under. 46% was controlling interest, so the French started taking over. The XJ Cherokee really saved AMC/Renault's butt in 84, and the Premier would have sold better if Renault hadn't bailed. It ended up being the car that saved Chrysler -- the Chrysler LH series was based on the Premeir, which of course they got with the purchase of AMC.

AMC execs couldn't convince the French that they knew anything about the US market -- they were going under, right? AMC tried to get Renault to offer the 1.7L four in the Alliance from the start. It took three years for the French to realize they were right, and by then the underpowered reputation (especially with typical American auto trans, air, and power steering) was well established.

AMC was just to small and underfunded to compete with the bigger makers across the board, but tried to in the late 60s. They made money hand over fist in the late 60s, to lose it all trying to compete across the board. The auto market is a vicious expand or die market, even more so now than then, as GM is finding out! the days that you can sell whatever you make are long over -- to many choices and all vehicles made today are pretty darned good, even the cheap ones. Yeah, there are still a few poorly built ones, but you can't build junk and stay in business long -- think Yugo!

I have to say, if Charles Nash had his choice of who would buy AMC, I think he'd have been pleased that his old buddy Walter Chrysler's company got it. Walter Chrysler got started in the auto industry working FOR Charley Nash! When Nash wanted to retire, he asked Walt for advice on a successor, and took that advice (George Mason, CEO of Kelvinator at the time), even bought the company the guy worked for to get him! Could you see the CEO of Ford wanting to retire and asking the CEO of GM for advice?? How the world has changed...
12-21-2005 06:03 AM
Ron Francis

As you can see I own a '59 Willys Overland station Wagon. They were built from 1947 until 1961. These were 2 wheel drive to start then 4 wheel after 1950.

They make a vey confortable hot rod when you drop them, use independent front, 9 inch Ford , 350 Chevy with TPI, 700R4, PS, PB, PW, AC and a lot of sound proofing to deaden the large box that they are.

Since I'm 6'4", this is the first street rod I could walk up and sit down in. Mine is only 5-6 off the street. The 17 and 18 inch wheels make it handle great.

Willys Americar started it with the coupes and sedans. then off to war. Your question of less than $600.00 will probably result in a lot of rust that they were all know to have.

You can sit the body on newer CJ Chassis and even some Chevy truck frames. Better look before you buy.
Merry Christmas,
04-03-2005 08:32 PM
Originally Posted by poncho62
Actually, it was the late 70s......I was working in the Jeep plant then.

i would have loved to have been there when they were turning out all of those cj-5's, -7's and the fullsized trucks. man those jeeps are good stuff.

04-03-2005 08:12 PM
Originally Posted by gsxtacy
willys, are you slippin' on me

you forgot about the little french-renault deal that the boys at AMC did to keep their heads afloat in the 60's. on another note, how about those J-10 pickups. pretty hot stuff.

Actually, it was the late 70s......I was working in the Jeep plant then.
04-03-2005 08:01 PM
Originally Posted by
Tell me it's not true - you have never heard of a WILLYS JEEP?!?!?!? My goodness, that is about all Willys is known for! It has only been a few years since Chrysler acquired the American Motors Corp. which absorbed Willys in the 50's. The Jeep and Willys have been synonymous for most of a century. As you evidently don't know (how can that be!?!?), Willys motor Co. was going bankrupt in the late 30s-early 40s. When the war came, they took the body off their passenger cars (42 Willys) and plopped on a Jeep body and sold a slew of them to the military for WWII. Claim is that the Jeep won the war. Willys couldn’t keep up with demand so several companies (Ford for sure, not sure who else) produced the vehicle using Willys plans.

Here is a more detailed history from a Jeep owner's club web site

"Although Jeep vehicles are now a Chrysler trademark, the word "Jeep" has slipped into our everyday vocabulary. When spoken, it creates an image that everyone understands.

The first coinage of the word "JEEP", as applied to a motor vehicle, occurred during WWI. According to Major E.P. Hogan, who wrote a history of the development of the Jeep for the Army's Quartermaster review in 1941. The word "Jeep", he wrote. "is an old Army grease monkey term that dates back to WWI and was used by shop mechanics in referring to any new motor vehicle received for a test." Jeep was still used in Army motor pools well into the 1930's as general purpose or "GP" for short. Though in a 1941 Army manual it refers "GP" as Government 80" wheel base car (Jeep). Before then in 1936, the term 'Jeep' was it introduced to the world by a Popeye comic strip character, "Eugene the Jeep". The only words Eugene could say were "Jeep, Jeep", and "GP" then became "Jeep". Then the "Willys Quarter-Ton Jeep was 1st used by the U.S. military in WWII. When the WWII Jeep was issued during wartime, the term "Jeep" was here to stay."

The "CJ" moniker refers to 'Citizen Jeep", sold to the general public, as opposed to "Military Jeep". They were the Humm Vs of the 50s.

Wow, I must be getting way too old! Guess I better start looking at 'homes'.

willys, are you slippin' on me

you forgot about the little french-renault deal that the boys at AMC did to keep their heads afloat in the 60's. on another note, how about those J-10 pickups. pretty hot stuff.

03-26-2005 11:11 AM
onebadmerc My grandfather bought a Willys Jeep brand new back in 1952 and he still has it. It still runs but it is one of those vehicles that you check the gas and fill the oil. That old Jeep must have a million miles on it, it is like the energizer bunny it just keeps on going going and going.
03-25-2005 11:10 PM
comet boy I have a 75 cj5 with a 304 amc in it. i love that motor. all forged internals, balanced, custom flowed heads, comp cam, edelbrock rpm manifold, 650 edelbrock carb ( was my dad's decision to use that carb i personally hate edelbrock carbs especially off road.) dynotech headers. 4:27 rear and front gears, Detroit lockers front and back. it goes down the road side ways most of the time. too short of wheelbase it can get pretty scary
05-17-2003 10:58 AM
38 special I use to have a 46 Willy's CJ2. Bought it for 800 needed engine rebuilt. Mostly all stock. Was fun but couldn't get up to freeway speeds with it. Even the little 'ole lady down the street blew my doors in.
05-17-2003 09:48 AM Go to Got this page from the photo session @ the Events album, Willys Reunion in New York. @ that page, you can enlarge any of the photos there.
05-16-2003 03:40 PM
Halloweenking Willy's, were was that page from? You have any bigger shots of that flamejob on the bottom? Its a real sweety and I'm not a big fan of purple!

05-16-2003 02:55 PM
Chucks,57 I like the black one with the wight strip it gives me the (willys) just thinking about it!
05-15-2003 07:36 PM OK! Ok! ok.... I think I am calm now. Please let loose of my arms.... Thank you.

05-15-2003 06:02 PM
4 Jaw Chuck Thats good BBB you distract him...
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