1948 Willys Models Described In Detail

The Jeepster Phaeton was an all-new car offered by Willys. Using the standard Jeep chassis and a new body aft of the firewall gave Willys an exciting new vehicle. 10,326 were produced, adding to the Company’s viability

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The new Jeep Station Sedan was larger than the common Station Wagon and more car-like in appearance – especially the side trim.

The 1948 Jeep Station Wagon was unchanged from 1947 but still was sought after, enabling Willys to sell 22,309 Station Wagons and Station Sedans, combined.

General Year Information

In 1948, Willys-Overland added two new models to the car line –  the four-cylinder Jeepster Phaeton and the six-cylinder Station Sedan. All 1948 Willys models Except for the Station Wagon used a grille with a vertical center divider and four vertical slots on either side of the center bar. A circular Willys “W” medallion was placed above the grille and a chrome molding graced the front center portion of the hood. The Station Wagon continued to use the standard Jeep grille. 

The 1948 Willys models were introduced in January 1948. Calendar year production of 32,635 cars was recorded. W.M. Canaday was the chief executive officer of the company this year. The most important event of the year was the introduction of the Jeepster phaeton. The company was ranked as America’s 18th largest automaker.

Chassis Information

  • Wheelbase:(All models) 104 inches.
  • Overall length: (Station Wagon) 174 inches; (Station Sedan) 175.8 inches; (Jeepster) 174.8 inches.
  • Front tread:(All models) 55 inches.
  • Rear tread: (All models) 57 inches.
  • Tires: (Station Wagon and Sedan) 6.00 x 15; (Jeepster phaeton) 5.90 x 15

Models Offered

The six-cylinder version of the station wagon was labeled “Station Sedan”. It was a luxury version of the four-cylinder station wagon, with a six-cylinder L-Head engine, a larger body, and wider seats. The Station Sedan had horizontal, rectangular contrast panels on the front door and rear body, just under the lower window frames that appeared to stretch the body.

The station wagon came with a two-tone finish that gave the look of a true “Woody”, It was equipped and powered just like a 2-wheel drive Jeep CJ-2A.

The Jeepster was an open touring car designed during World War II by Brooks Stevens. Its lines were borrowed from the Jeep. It had an open compartment behind the cowl and a mechanically operated soft top.


Serial Numbers on all models were located on a plate at the left of the driver’s seat on the floor riser.

  • Station WagonSeries 463 – Numbers began at 44046 to 79715.
  • Station SedanSeries 663 – Numbers began at 10001 to 13118.
  • Jeepster Series VJ2Numbers began at 65199 to 79715.

 Inline L-head four-cylinder. Cast iron block. Displacement: 134.2 CID. Bore and stroke: 3.13 x 4.38 inches. Compression ratio: 6.48:1. Horsepower: 63 @ 4000 RPM. Torque: 105 ft. lbs. @ 2000 RPM. Solid valve lifters. Three main bearings. Carburetion: Carter WA1-613S single-barrel.

Inline L-head six-cylinder. Cast iron block. Displacement: 148.5 CID. Bore and stroke: 3.00 x 3.50 inches. Compression ratio: 6.42:1. Horsepower: 70 @ 4000 RPM. Torque: 125 ft. lbs. @ 1800 RPM. Solid valve lifters. Four main bearings. Carburetion: Carter WA1-645S single-barrel

Power Train Options

    • Three-speed manual transmission with overdrive was standard.
    • High-compression 7.0:1 cylinder head.
    • Heavy-duty air cleaner.

Willy 1948 Production Numbers

Model No. Body Type & Seating Price Weight Production
Willys Station Wagon Model 463
463 2-dr Station Wagon-5P $1,645 2898
663 2-dr Station Sedan-5P $1,890 2845
Total Production 22,309
VJ2 2-dr Jeepster-4P $1,765 2394 10,326
Total Production 32,635

Body Paint Color Codes

Click the Paint Name for Paint Mix Codes

Other Significant Options

  • Front bumper guards.
  • Front grille guard.
  • Full wheel discs.
  • License plate frames.
  • Radio and antenna.
  • Rear bumper guards.
  • Wheel trim rings.
  • White sidewall tires.

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