1950 Willys 4X473SW

The 1950 and 51' 4X473SW series was available with 2-doors with a 4-cyclinder engine and 3-speed transmission. After demand from customers Willys opted to make an all-wheel drive model still in the station wagon models. This was Willys version of a family vehicle, with still the traditional boxy shape and large V-shaped front fender. The 4X473SW came equipped standard with the Go-Devil engine but could be upgraded to the hurricane to give the consumer more power. Willys wanted to give the consumer the opportunity to have not only family vehicle but a vehicle that could do more and go more places. Now with the all-wheel drives nothing could hold drivers of the 473 back, becoming more like a true all-terrain vehicle.

In 1908, John North Willys purchased a portion of the Standard Wheel Company in Toledo, Ohio. In 1912, Willys renamed the company Willys-Overland Motor Company. The company struggled during its first two decades in business, including going bankrupt during the Great Depression. In 1936, the company, now known as Willys-Overland Motors, Inc., emerged from bankruptcy on a sound financial footing. During World War II, Willys-Overland Motors, Inc. became famous for its jeeps. In 1940, the United States Army asked more than 130 automobile companies to submit designs for a lightweight vehicle that was capable of traversing most types of terrain. Only two companies, Willys-Overland Motors, Inc. and the Bantam Car Company submitted designs. Bantam Car Company submitted its design first, and the U.S. Army chose this design.

Fortunately for Willys-Overland, the Bantam Car Company faced difficult financial times, and its production facilities were too small to meet the Army's demand. The federal government supplied both the Willys-Overland and the Ford Motor Company with blueprints of Bantam's design. Both Ford and Willys-Overland modified the design but Willy's proved to be superior. Ultimately the U.S. Army awarded the government contract to the company. Willys-Overland manufactured roughly 330,000 of the 700,000 jeeps used by the U.S. military between 1941 and 1945.

Willys-Overland remained in operation following World War II. The company produced a jeep, similar to the one used by the armed forces during World War II, for the civilian population. The firm also manufactured other vehicles — the Willys Jeep Wagon in 1946, the Willys Jeep Truck in 1947, and the Willys Jeepster in 1948, all of which were based on the company's original jeep. Due to Willys-Overland Motors, Inc.'s large number of sales, Kaiser purchased the company in 1953, renaming the firm Willys Motor Company. The company eventually had production facilities in Brazil, Japan, India, Argentina, and Israel. In 1963, Willys Motor Company became known as Kaiser-Jeep Corporation. In 1965, this new firm ceased production of the various Willys vehicles.

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