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4-dr Willys Wagon Hi-rail

Don't believe Willys Wagons ever came with four doors? Then check this out! Judging by the five-bar grille, it is a 1950-1953. This one is a "Hy-rail" model made for the railroad and titled by Fairmont. However, no one seems to know how many wagons with more than two doors were built, but there are precious few still in existence.

Unlike I thought for years, not all US four door wagons were Hy-rails. There were three and four wagons built and even a suicide three door. There is also a stretch 4 door limo.

The four door wagons were built from 1949-1961 and came in both two and four wheel drive. Production numbers have proved impossible to verify so far.

I am amazed that more weren't built. It seems so practical I would have thought they would have been more popular. Mitsubishi made quite a few four door wagons and even the Brazil 4DR wagons apparently aren't as rare as the US models.

The limited US production has left me tracking down all of the examples I can find - and I am amazed at the slight variations one encounters. It is almost like one or two were made at a time on someone's whim. Makes for quite an interesting treasure hunt.

 

 


 

Personally Verified US Factory Four Door Wagons

There are a few US made Hy-rails and four door wagons in existence that I've personally been able to identify. These are wagons owned by people I've personally talked to or exchanged eMails with.

 

4 Door Wagon #1 & 2

Willys Wagon Hy-rail
Willys Wagon Hy-rail

As of the fall of 2008, these two Hy-rails were for sale and sitting in the woods in pretty bad shape, to put it mildly. But heck, they are dang rare and one even has the complete railroad running gear - possibly the only one in existence!

 

4 Door Wagon #3

Willys Wagon Hy-rail

This four door is not a Hy-rail and is a running 1960 model. It was owned by Kent and Theresa Forshee in Kansas when I first came across it. She says she had no idea how rare it was when she got it, just saw it and liked it. She since sold it on eBay to an unknown person.

More info on the WillysTech site

 

4 Door Wagon #4

Willys Wagon Hy-rail

Jim Marski in Colorado also has a 4DR wagon. He's very active in Jeep and Willys events. The picture was taken in Garfield, CO, in the Monarch Pass. Paul was negotiating with a guy to buy it, but as it turned out he didn't even own it. About that same time Marski showed up and struck the deal.

 

4 Door Wagon #5 & 6

Paul Barry of Willys America has two 1950 US made four door Hi-rail wagons (along with a Hy-rail truck) and one Mitsubishi two door. One wagon looks like a '49, the other a '51, because 1950 was actually a split production year. His truck came from D&H railroad in the New York area.

Thanks to Jeffrey Hummert for the pictures.

 

4 Door Wagon #7

This is a picture of the day Daniel Culmer of Utah towed his 1953 four-door Hy-rail home, rumored to be originally from the Great Lakes area. It no longer has Hy-rail gear but it has linkages and mounting points from where it used to be. It has a buick v-6 engine, original transmission, original seats.

Daniel's description of buying it:

I bought it on my lunch break on a summer day in 2002. I had seen the ad in the paper for a 53 willys 4-door, and didn't even bother to call. I figured it was some idiot that didn't know the difference between a jeep wagoneer and a willys wagon. Several weeks later I came home to visit with my pappy who shares my love of willys. On a lunch break and he told me it was indeed a 53 4-door willys. I drove straight there and bought it, and towed it home with my 55 willys wagon in the picture which was my sole transportation at the time."  

 

4 Door Wagon #8

Josh Mountford of Grove, Oklahoma eMailed me. He's got a white 1961 4DR without Hy-rail that's been in the family for many years. His grandfather bought it from a Denver, Colorado 4-wheel tour company when he lived in Grand Junction. Eventually Josh and his dad drove the wagon to his dad's home in Miami, Oklahoma.

Although it hasn't been touched much in the last five or six years, it is stock, including the Hurricane engine, and runs and drives great. Josh has had it about ten years.

Pics posted when Josh gets them to me...

 

4 Door Wagon #9

Joesph Smith had a four door in Idaho that he sold around 2009 or 2010. Don't know where it went after that. Has a V-8 and it runs ...kind of. Don't have pictures to post, but it doesn't appear to be any of the ones already listed.

 

 

4 Door Wagon #10

In 2010 Jeff Hummert pickedup this 1951 4 DR Hy-rail. He told me:

It was originally a Great Northern Railroad truck and is still in it’s original colors and the area where the emblem was is still visible on the door.

By 2012, this wagon had found itself in Oman, of all places. It is getting one professional frame-off restoration.
   

 

4 Door Wagon #11

Scott Michael's 4 Door

My name is Scott E. Michael and I am 53 years young!
I just found your website and thought I would share my story.
 
As a young boy growing up, I came from a hunting family. I can remember during deer season many of my relatives would come together for this special time of the year. From scouting, stalking, driving etc, I learned fast what these terms meant and what it took to overtake this elusive game. When "the gang", as it was called, took a buck there were certain things that happened next. All, I will fast forward, except the next part.
 
There were 3 willys in the camp available to carry the animal back to camp. There was one older, military style, like a CJ, now since destroyed. The second one was a 2-dr green willys station wagon that my Dad owned, which he later sold. The third one was a 4-dr red willys wagon that my uncle owned. (My uncle was a B/O employee many years and he got the special-ordered vehicle.)

It was originally yellow in color. When it ended up in the hunting camp, it turned red. Someone even spray painted the chrome bumpers silver. The silver paint is now chipping off, revealing the 58 year old chrome!

My Dad got it from my uncle and B/O stands for Baltimore and Ohio. The Willys was special ordered to haul workers around on the job for the railroad.
 
My, my, my how the years pass! Here are some pics of the ole hunting vehicle I road in as a kid. For you see, I ended up with it and a clear title to boot!

 

Scott sold this wagon in March of 2012 to a guy in Tennessee

 

 

4 Door Wagon #12??? ...Naw, probably #3 Again

...or at least I think it is number 12. It could be one of the first 11 that was fixed up. I've been unable to get history on it but odds are it is #3 above.

It a 1960 and sold for $44,000 at the 2013 Scottsdale Barrett-Jackson auction. It appears to be in perfect shape, definitely the best condition by far of any four door out there that I've encountered. Frame-off restoration to factory specs. No idea who bought it.

 

 

4 Door Wagon #12 ...maybe???

Christopher Busta-Peck, founding editor of Founding Editor, Cleveland Area History
(http://www.clevelandareahistory.com) saw a red-orange four door while on vacation on Kelley's Island, Ohio. It looked to be in very good (or at least shiny drivable) condition. It was in the driveway of a house on West Lakeshore Drive, toward the west end of the island. He didn't get pics, but this may well be another wagon that isn't in my list. 

 

Four Door Conversions

Willys S-T-R-E-T-C-H Limo

Willys stretch limo

LONG before there were stretch Hummers, there was, yep, a stretch Willys! Apparently used at an airport, complete with three sunroofs...

This was previously up for sale on eBay but unknown where it currently is.

VIN number is 54168-54239.

 

Four Door Stretch Wagon

This definitely isn't factory, but it is well on its way to being a four door. It is the only current four door conversion I've encountered.

Shane and Monique got into Willys Wagons the beginning of 2009, jumping feet first into a four door conversion project. It should look similar to the "stretch limo" above, but WAY better! And, no, Shane and Monique hadn't seen or heard of any stretched Willys Wagons before embarking on this project.

The doors they built them themselves, removing the top back frame from two very damaged and rusted doors. Then removed the wing windows from good doors and welded in the removed piece from the donor doors.

Here is Shane and Monique's April 2010 update:

We're happy to inform you of our close finish to our project.  Our extended Wagon is up and running, we only have a handful of things left to do, front and rear bumpers, side steps, 1/2 dozen pieces to be re-chromed, tires and wheels, interior (seats, panels, headliner).  It runs and drives great and we're getting a lot of thumbs up, picture takers, and a whole lot of attention.  We're sending you an updated picture, my dad came over from England and has helped for the past 2 months, we had a lot of fun as we've never done anything like this before and we think this has turned out really well."

It is looking good, indeed!

Check out Shane's CarDomain page.

Update: Last I knew this was for sale. If interested you can try to contact him through the above link.

   

 

Four Door Stretch Pickup

In 2007 David Johnson of Mesa, AZ put together this combination of a 62 pickup with damage to the rear, and a 57 wagon with damage to the front.

   

 

 

Israeli Manufactured

Or Shahar states a Israeli plant manufacturing Willys Wagons opened in 1951 as  partnership with Kaiser Enterprises and a man named Refrain Eilin. The plant made more then 100,000 cars (Kaiser Frazer, Dofin Renault, kontesa, Lark Studebaker…) and at some point the plant export was 28% of all the Israeli export! They made the Willys panel, the wagon, police/troops special wagon and the pick-up trucks that  used the low part of the panel/wagon + special design for the back.

I don't know quite what to think of this four door which Shmil Peleg sent me pics of. He's in Israel but thinks the wagon was manufactured in the US in 1958. To me, however, the single rear door isn't something that would have been made in the US and it looks newer than that. I'm thinking it was more likely made in Israel, but at this point in time I don't have a definitive answer and for all I know Shmil could be correct.

Original webpage with more pics: http://jeepolog.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14087

Israeli Police Willys Wagon, although not a four door.

Original webpage: http://www.police.gov.il/AboutPolice/asfnot/Pages/wolis.aspx

 

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