View Full Version : Restoring Ham's '48 Willys - The more we look, the more we find

01-27-2016, 09:02 AM
I obviously have too much time on my hands, but I keep looking at things about other '48 Jeep vehicles. I have to believe that the Willys Overland folks were scrambling to put vehicles together back then. Consider the times. By 1948 people had been through the Great Depression, a brief period of prosperity when many folks were waiting for the Depression to return - then a war.

By 1948 people wanted vehicles! They wanted a vehicle NOW! And, Willys Overland was willing to get them their vehicle. It is well documented that Willys Overland had to scramble to meet demand and out of this scrambling comes much of our "what you see is what you have" model year configuration differences.

One of the minor things is variation in instrument clusters in the '48 model year vehicles. The standard description is a four gauge cluster with speedometer in an engine turned faceplate. In the three pictures below, you can see variations in instrument clusters that kind of meet this description. From what descriptions I can find, all three of these clusters are from '48 vehicles; one Jeepster and two 2WD trucks. There are variations in faceplates, speedometer faceplate color and gauge background color. (The cluster on the left is mine - I know the speedometer pointer isn't the correct one for that instrument; it's probably a Chevy pointer).

What you see is what you have!

March 3 Update:

I just received the 2016 KWAS catalog and as I looked at the pretty pictures, I found a couple of places where the different instrument cluster configurations are shown in their Jeep Hunters Field Guide section. The picture of the instrument cluster of the Jeepster is the configuration shown in the photo on the right; engine turned plate with black gauge faces. In the Truck section, there are two views showing the cluster on the 2WD (column shift) trucks.

The photo captioned "Willys Truck Column Shifter" shows the engine turned plate, but gauges and speedometer have white faces, as in the middle photo. In the catalog photo "Bench Seat:, the cluster probably has the engine turned plate, but all gauges as well as the speedometer have black faces, the same as the Jeepster configuration.

I have yet to find another example of the cluster with the "five stripe" configuration in my truck.