Willys Jeep Pickup Truck
Willys was an economy car manufacturer before World War II. They produced Jeeps for the U.S. Army from 1941 to 1946. When the war ended, Willys found it hard to transfer to passenger car production. They had a surplus of Jeep engines, chassis and components. So, they made the logical decision to produce Jeeps for civilian use, mostly as farm and utility vehicles.
Willys thought that ex-military personnel would buy Jeeps as everyday cars after they got to know them on the battlefield. It turned out that Willys was right and civilian Jeeps did, in fact, have a market in post-war America. The company wanted to go further, so they introduced a line of pickup trucks using Jeep mechanics, engines and the design, but with a twist. So, they presented the Willys Jeep pickup in 1947.
The Willys Jeep pickup truck had four-wheel drive, so it was much more capable than any regular pickup truck available at the time. Today, four-wheel drive trucks are nothing special. Most new models come with 4×4 drivetrain as standard. But then, it was revolutionary.
Although those early Willys Jeep trucks had smaller, 2.3-liter four-cylinder engines with 63 HP. However, they were tough and capable trucks with great traction, pulling power and durability. Willys produced a couple of variations, including a barebones chassis for custom bodywork. Over the years, Willys introduced some bigger six-cylinder engines. Sadly, they ceased production of their original model in 1965 after building more than 200,000.