Cars & Coffee – 1949 Willys Overland Jeepster and 1994 YJ Wrangler Safari LWB 4-Door

Only 3,000 Jeepsters were built by Willys-Overland in 1949, with the car a lightly-equipped Phaeton four-seat cabrio with little power and even fewer features.

Refinished and restored to better-than-new condition, we estimate this Jeepster to be one of only 400 surviving examples worldwide. In concours condition like this Jeepster?

One of perhaps 50. The Jeepster’s biggest threat to achieving big sales was in fact the ubiquitity of the original WWII Jeeps, which were still around in huge numbers after both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of the war drew to a close by the 1950s.

During wartime, Willys made 363,000 Jeeps and Ford produced 280,000 of them – meaning 650,000 in circulation somewhere on Earth right when the Jeepster was launched.

This VJ-code model was Jeep’s foray into post-war sales using the same robust and off-roadable design, lightly massaged and updated. Still well before the first Civilian Jeep, or CJ – the Jeepster always had one foot in the past and another foot in the future.

Even today, it is an odd duck among classic cars. Which are almost all car cars – not SUVs or crossovers or trucks as we know them today.

This unique presence makes the Jeepster at Kiawah Island Cars & Coffee all the more special.

A very cool Jeepster, and one whose nod to families as well as mud farm roads might make this a true Crossover innovator.

Oh, what the Jeep would become from these humble origins!

The 1994 YJ wheelbase-stretch shows the possibilities…

1994 YJ  Wrangler Safari LWB 4-Door



1949 Willys Overland Jeepster

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.

He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.

Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)

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