1950 WILLYS OVERLAND JEEPSTER PHAETON
In American automotive history, this Willys Overland Jeepster Phaeton is listed “as the last true Phaeton by a major automaker”
A Series 673, it has a 104” wheelbase, 6-cylinder engine, 161 c.i.d., 75 hp, 4-wheel hydraulic brakes, 3 speeds with overdrive, and weighs 2485 pounds – its color is Nassau Creme. A total of 1,778 Phaetons were produced that year
In 1950 standard equipment included: overdrive transmission, luxurious pipe-trim upholstery, spare-tire lock, front bumper guards, deluxe steering wheel and horn ring, dual windshield wipers, dual sun visors, locking glove box, wheel trim rings, dual horns, and inside rear view mirror..
After the war, Willys decided to resume civilian production – many returning servicemen were eager to purchase a Wlllys because they knew first-hand about the vehicle’s capabilities. A two-door Jeepster, designed by Brooke Stevens, was introduced in 1948, shared a chassis with the station wagon, and it was produced from 1948 to 1951.
For 1950, there were minimal improvements such as to the front end, a new center gauge dashboard design and a wrap-around rear bumper. It was offered with either a four or six cylinder engine, and optional overdrive.
This year there were four engines offered, two fours and two sixes. Both four-cylinder engines displaced 134.2 cu. in. but one produced 60 hp and the other 73 hp due to a unique F-head design that featured the intake vave in the cylinder head and the exhaust valve in the in the block. The smaller, 148.5 cu. in. six-cylinder made 73 hp, while the larger six displaced 161 cu. in yet developed only two more horsepower. All engines had solid lifters and Carter carburetors, and featured a vacuum-booster-type fuel pump.
Even with the most powerful six-cylinder engine, the Jeepster’s best 0-60 mph time was about 25 seconds, which was slow even by 1950 standards. But what it lacked in power it made up In reliability.
These engines lasted a very long time. A gentleman in Pennsylvania who bought his 1950 Jeepster new and still owns it, and has worked on numerous others, recently volunteered that he had spoken with engineers who told him that the F-head Willys design could be used today and be very efficient.