1939 Willys Overland


  • Iconic shark nose styling
  • Thoroughly restored, inside and out
  • Piece of American motoring history

The Appeal

Although the American motoring industry is best known for its thumping V8s, it originally had more modest beginnings with the 2.2-litre four-cylinder engine that powers this 1939 Willys Overland.

Couple the so-called ‘Americar engine’ with dashing 1930’s shark nose styling and the Willys Overland is an amazing piece of americana. 

This particular model may have just left the showroom having been restored from top to bottom including a total interior retrim.

It starts easily and has no trouble running, making it a great example of pre-war motoring.

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History and Paperwork

  • Has never failed a government test
  • Originally assembled for the South African market
  • Exempt from any government test
  • Part service history from independent garages

The Interior

  • Recently retrimmed by professionals
  • Gorgeous grey leather and wood specification
  • Excellent condition carpets

Having recently been retrimmed, this 1939 Willys Overland has a near-perfect interior. 

Not only is the entire cabin made up of brand-new seats, carpets and trim, but the specification is to die for. 

Grey leather upholstery can be found throughout the door cards and seats, the blue exterior paint creeps its way to the interior metalwork, which is perfectly complemented by the seemingly untouched blue carpets. T

he whole thing is tied together by splashes of wood trim lining the windows and dashboard.

With over 80 years of service, the steering wheel is showing signs of wear where the paint is peeling off. 

You won’t find any modern creature comforts like air-con in this particular car, but old-school manual window cranks are all you need to ensure the breeze keeps you cool.

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The Exterior

  • Recently restored bodywork and paint
  • Alluring deep blue paintwork
  • Iconic 1930’s American styling

Coated in a deep blue colour, the classic styling of this late-thirties Willys Overland is accentuated in a beautiful way. In fact, the bulging wheel covers and attractive shark nose front end are at their best in the sun.

The chrome badges are all on the car as they should be - as shiny as they would have been when the car left the factory. 

On a more functional note, all the lights seem to be perfectly clear with no apparent fogging-up. Though the owner does suggest that the windscreen wipers could do with some attention. 

The car does show signs of minor damage with the odd scratch in the paintwork, notably on the right-hand C-pillar where the paint has started to peel off on the fold in the bodywork.

Underneath also has a blemish or two with surface corrosion being an apparent theme, notably along the exhaust pipe and on the leaf springs.

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The Mechanics

  • Beautifully clean engine bay
  • Electric fuel pump fitted
  • “Healthy and throaty” engine note
  • Tyres with a good amount of tread

Just like the rest of this 1939 Willys Overland, the engine and mechanicals have been carefully looked after and rejuvenated. An electric fuel pump ensures the car should run slightly more easily than one of its untouched brethren.

Look inside the engine bay and you’ll notice a well-kept example of pre-war machinery. The engine itself starts and runs with ease all while putting out what the owner says is a “healthy and throaty” noise. 

The odometer states the car has only covered 26,000 miles, though the owner believes it may have turned over, beginning its cycle again.

The tyres fitted are still in great condition so, along with its smooth engine and three-speed transmission this particular Willys Overland should be a dream to drive.

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The Willys Overland is a piece of motoring Americana that any collector would be looking to add to their collection.

But with the elegant specification and added restoration work that’s gone into this particular model, this is a rare opportunity.

Notice to bidders

All items in this listing are sold on an “As Is - Where Is” basis. Photos and listing descriptions should be used as a guide only.  Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information in this listing and Car & Classic performs a level of due diligence prior to the auction, we do not warrant the accuracy of the listings. The seller assumes all responsibility for this listing. Inspection is highly recommended prior to bidding. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion.

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Auction FAQs
Auction Details
  • Year 1939
  • Make Willys
  • Model Overland
  • Colour Blue
  • Mileage 26,000 Miles
  • Engine size 2200
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Cape Town
  • Country South Africa
  • Auction ends
Bidding history
18 Bids
  • Wo•••• £7,100 05/09/22
  • 13•••• £6,800 05/09/22
  • Wo•••• £6,600 05/09/22
  • 13•••• £6,100 05/09/22
  • Wo•••• £5,900 05/09/22
  • 13•••• £5,800 05/09/22
  • Wo•••• £5,600 05/09/22
  • 13•••• £5,500 05/09/22
  • Wo•••• £5,300 05/09/22
  • 13•••• £5,200 05/09/22

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