24. 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, mainly 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.
But 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. That’s how the Willys Jeep Pickup Truck came to be in 1947.
The Willys Jeep pickup truck had four-wheel drive and 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 a 4×4 drivetrain as standard. But back then, it was revolutionary.
Although those early Willys Jeep trucks had smaller, 2.3-liter four-cylinder engines only producing 63 HP, they were tough. They came with a lot of pulling power and durability. Willys also produced a couple of variations. Over the years Willys introduced some bigger six-cylinder engines. Sadly, they ceased production of their original model in 1965.