Jim's Proto-SUV could be yours if you can get home from Nebraska

If you ever wanted a reason to visit Lincoln, Nebraska other than the SCCA Solo Nationals and their plethora of pylon puns, a nondescript used-car lot has a Chevy-powered Willys Overland 4×4 Sport Wagon for you. One of their long-time employees, Jim, apparently has quite a collection of cars and they’re helping him sell them off one by one. This not-quite-flat-black two-door Willys wagon caught our attention. It’s got metal everywhere and is purt’near guaranteed to make the 50 mile round-trip to Greenwood, Nebraska. Any further than that and all bets are off. Especially if it rains.

That 50-mile trip was apparently Jim’s most recent journey with Willy (which is what we’re calling the car, though the ad doesn’t specify a name), taken after recently installing a new clutch kit ahead of the four-speed manual. Apparently the 327-cube Chevy up front could use a tune-up and a set of plugs, but otherwise runs well.
You might want to get the wipers fixed before taking a long trip, and don’t expect to set any speed records on the way home. The speedometer only goes up to 9.
(That’s a joke, you keyboard warriors.)
It’s all utility inside and clearly Jim wasn’t in the high-end restoration business, so you don’t have to worry much about runing klassik. Just give it a good cleaning and start hauling parts, cars, parts cars, and… well, is there anything else you could do with a truck?
No, I can’t think of anything else either.
The body looks reasonably straight and looks light on rust, which is remarkable enough for a vehicle this old, nevermind one that lives in the Midwest. The red wheels are a nice accent on what is otherwise a mostly straightforward tractor-like four-by-four.
Get your Jeepy grins for a mere $3500 at Star City Auto Sales in Lincoln, Nebraska, via this Craigslist ad. If you’re heading West on the way home, stop by Murphy’s Wagon Wheel in Hastings (population: 25,000) for the most delicious burgers in the damn world.
[Photos courtesy Star City Auto Sales]

About Alan

I'm a giant nerd and lifelong iconoclast who happens to like cars, especially terrible ones. I've built many low-budget race cars, driven in many Lemons races, worked at a Real Deal Print Car Magazine, and gave up that lifestyle in the interest of life balance. I also wear khakis and ride bicycles, though rarely at the same time.


  1. My commute is short enough that I could DD this, and I have light truck- and truck-adjacent needs on a regular basis at work.
    The drive from there to here would be mighty unpleasant though, and I already took June off to do a road trip this year.

  2. The nice* thing about Lincoln, Nebraska is that it’s centrally located in the country. That also means it’s equally FAR from practically everyone.
    *not really a nice thing at all.

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