Take a look at this. Before we had high-riding 'crossovers' and lifestyle vehicles, there was the super-cool Willys Overland Station Wagon.
A beautiful 1951 model was recently offered at the Shannons Sydney Winter Classic Auction, but it was passed in. For the life of us we can’t work out why it didn't sell – just look at it.
More than 28,000 units were produced worldwide before 1964, but it's a rare model in Australia, with only six imported by three dealers in the 1950s. This particular car has undergone a right-hand drive conversion at some point.
Willys Overland was based in Ohio, and was best known for building affordable passenger cars before World War Two. After the war ended, the company focused on more user-friendly versions of the Jeep.
Brook Stevens designed this Willys Overland variant, which was the first factory-produced all-steel station wagon in North America.
The Station Wagon was very practical, with space for five adults and their suitcases (or trunks, if we're being period correct) in the boot. The passenger seat base folds completely forward for easier access for rear seat passengers.
Speaking of rear-seat passengers, even they were treated with an armrest and ashtray. All seats except for the driver's, can be completely removed. Think of its as a 20th century take on Skoda's fancy VarioFlex seating and you're on the money... probably.
Its four-cylinder engine made 53kW of power, and offered a top speed of 106km/h – it took over 30 seconds to get to 100km/h. This model has a three-speed transmission with overdrive. Unlike ‘normal’ wagons, it also has decent ground clearance for off-roading.
We're surprised a car with so much presence didn’t go to a new home considering, at the time of publish, only one other Station Wagon is for sale in Australia.
Willy (Ha and indeed freaking ha - Ed) sell it before this one goes under the hammer? That remains to be seen.