1949 Willys Overland Jeepster VJ-3 Phaeton RESTORED
- Make: Willys
- Model: Bermuda
- SubModel: Jeepster
- Type: Convertible
- Trim: VJ-3 Phaeton 2 door
- Year: 1949
- Mileage: 74045
- VIN: U86226
- Color: Red
- Engine size: 134 CI L Head 4 Cyl Flathead Go Devil
- Number of cylinders: 4
- Fuel: Gasoline
- Transmission: 3 speed manual T-96 with Overdrive
- Drive type: RWD
- Interior color: Gold
- Drive side: Left-hand drive
- Vehicle Title: Clear Want to buy? Contact seller!
1949 Willys Bermuda VJ-3 Phaeton 2 door
This one is a jewel! Purchased by prior owner in 1981 and the very complete, extremely straight original was fully restored in 1985. Past owner owned it from 1981-2019 (38 years) and is now 82. Estimated he drove it under 3,000 in parades and to car shows during ownership.
It starts and runs excellent, it drives wells, shifts excellent and is an attention getter. Hydraulic brakes work well. Surprisingly easy and very fun to drive.
Painted in original Tunisian Red (Lacquer). Stored indoors and paint is in excellent shape. Interior is all original factory paint. Fuel, oil pressure, temp and amp gauge all work perfect and look great. Has Altimeter gauge that works. Needle is broken on speedometer and odometer does not work. Odometer showing 74,045 miles. Not much use in the 70 years since new!
Original Philco radio was restored in 85, but now not working. May be a fuse or power issue.
Interior upholstery may be original, but not certain. One hole in corner of seat where spring broke and caused damage, but it is about 1.5" diameter and not noticeable. Door panels are excellent. Carpet is good, but not sure it is correct style for this vintage.
Still has original 6-volt system. Engine is 134 CI "Go Devil" and produces a whopping 72HP at 4,000 RPM. The engine was fully rebuilt in 1985 to original factory specs and is in excellent condition. The 3 speed manual T-96 transmission on the tree has overdrive. Engine is spotless and does not leak. Runs cool even in summer. Clutch work well and transmission shifts very smoothly. Synchromesh 2nd and 3rd. Very good power and acceleration.
This car only weighs 2,400 and is surprisingly nimble and fun to drive. It will drive at 55-60 miles an hour, but would not be good at freeway speeds. Have all the specs for it, if you want them.
This had slide in plastic windows (shown in pics). These are the original windows and have not been installed for at least 38 years or longer. New ones are available, but this has not been driven in rain or winter. It's a blue-sky car.
It has a few minor rock chips. No dents or dings. All chrome was triple plated and is in superb condition. Has original Willys-Overland hubcaps, bumper, emblems, etc.
The Phaeton top is in good condition, no rips or tears, although one frayed area.
Overall this car is in very good to excellent restored condition. It an older high-quality restoration. Original style tires replace with modern radials for better ride quality. Spare is still biased and has spare hubcap.
This would be a perfect vehicle for a cabin or lake house weekend driver. You cannot drive it anywhere without thumbs up and people asking to take pictures. It does have the factory heater. These only came as a 2WD rear drive vehicle 1948-1952.
Best way to describe it is FUN, FUN, FUN!
NADA Guides shows current high retail value at $44,000 for a #1 showcar. It shows average retail at $29,500 and Hagerty Valuation is almost identical. Have a reserve set well below average retail and motivated to sell. Make sure other Jeepsters you are comparing are as original and as well restored and maintained as this one.
What collectors like are the classic Split V windshield, "T" bar grille trim, flat front bumpers and front end reminiscent of the military jeeps and the Phaeton 2 door convertible design with seating for up to 6. Instrument cluster is similar to aircraft ones of the era. Lots of chrome and stainless on interior and exterior.