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Willys Sales and Service Signs on eBay

• CATEGORIES: Advertising & Brochures, Features

UPDATE III: This green sign is a terribly fake sign with ‘vintage’ rust on eBay to demonstrate that the other signs could easily be fake-aged. Note that the size of this sign 11 3/4″ is  the same as the two at bottom. There are other fake Willys-related signs of this size as well (like this pre-war one) (example of an honest seller of this type of sign):


UPDATE II: Maury emailed me about a second red/white/blue service sign that has appeared on eBay (see UPDATE: I). After a closer look at both signs, below are the reasons why I believe these are fake.

First, when Keith indicates these are fake, you best sit up and take notice.

Second, both of these signs have “MADE IN U.S.A. 1951” .. show me another Willys-Overland sign from 1946-1953 that is dated like that or marked “MADE IN U.S.A”.

Third, aside from the existence of that date, the problem with that date is that by 1951 Willys was removing “Jeep” from its literature to shift the over-arching brand to Willys, so I am unsure the company would have produced a sign like this.

Fourth, nearly all the literature I’ve found suggests that during late 1950/1951 WILLYS was printed at an angle in literature (signs could have been different, but it is hard to date signs to a specific year, because they are so often undated).

Fifth, and perhaps the biggest flaw, look at the single quotes. A review of this page demonstrates that through 1953 the single quotes were solid lines of about the same width; this sign has more triangularish single quotes not seen until the mid 1950s.

I’m happy to be proved wrong about the signs, as I’d hate to know that the first buyer was taken. Plus, I’m no exhaustive expert on Willys-Overland physical signage, But, I see no reason to believe these signs are real.


UPDATE I: The first sign (at bottom) of this sign-type went for $212.50. A second sign of the same type has emerged on eBay from a different seller. It is at $48 with 10 hours to go. 

View all the information on eBay

willys-sales-and-serviice-sign1a willys-sales-and-serviice-sign2a


Originally posted October 27, 2020 — Caveat Emptor: This 11.75″ Willys Sales and Service Sign is one neither Maury and I have seen.

“Willys Jeep porcelain dealership sign in great condition. This noteworthy sign is revered by collectors of all types, when it comes to gas, oil, and automotive advertising. This sign measures 11.75” in diameter. This is truly an amazing sign to add to your collection, the sign displays really well, and adds a lot of charm to any environment it’s used in!

I’m parting with my vast collection of signs right now, including “pump plates”, “service station signs”, “lubester signs”, “automotive dealer signs”, and “aviation sign” so check out some of my other auctions for more great deals. ”




12 Comments on “Willys Sales and Service Signs on eBay

  1. Matt

    Looks like another repop from India. The market is flooded with them now. They try to mimic designs of the original signs as much as possible but make them small enough for an easy sale. They are very smart about how they go about selling them and making sure it is the only one available at the time and word the description so it doesn’t sound new.

  2. Barney Goodwin

    Yes, we saw, and commented on that recently here. An ebay post, with a lady from the Chicago area holding a repro sign and advertising it at auction as original and people were running up the price. A quick check of her “See other items” showed what a production it was. It’s India. And she even looked the part. What we all need to do is hit the Report This Item button as total misrepresentation.

  3. Barney Goodwin

    There are actually at least 2 ebay accounts selling this stuff; the one from Bloomington IL and the above with no specific location given. But appears to be the same person’s fingers holding up the signs (see Other Items). I understand there’s nothing wrong with reproduction “man cave” signs, etc. The problem is when they are listed as original to artificially elevate the prices. To me, no difference than people who list Crown or Omix stuff as NOS. This discussion is good to keep people alert to this kind of stuff and unethical trade practices.

  4. David Eilers Post author

    To me it seemed to small to be a real sign and that’s what I mentioned to Maury. So, I’m glad to see the additional insights.

  5. David Eilers Post author

    UPDATE: Denny — I never saw a final price. I wonder if this was pulled down before the auction ended? The sign would have sold by the time this post posted, which is why I added the ‘sold’ reference, but I can’t say for sure if it sold or not (so I deleted the reference).

  6. Mark Wahlster

    Of course they are modern copies or made up signs. I would have never assumed they were real. None of these signs are real there are more then a couple hundred signs all the same size for sale everywhere from Hobby Lobby to eBay. Why would anyone think any of them were real.

  7. Barney Goodwin

    Mark, I understand what you are saying, Why can’t people see the obvious. However, it’s not always so obvious. The real complaint here is not people selling or buying repro signs, but marketing them with false or misleading advertising. Using words and phrases like “NOS”, “Original” and “I’m parting with my vast collection…”. For those suffering from Scare Crow Syndrome (“If I only had a brain”), it’s not as difficult for them to go into Hobby Lobby and see the bar code and Made In China branding on a repro. But those discussed here, and sold by at least 2 (maybe the same) sellers on ebay are using deceptive practices to take a $20 sign and sell it for over $300 through auction. They flood the market, use the JEEP brand on the product without paying licensing fees, violate eBay’s listing rules, and have customer service that mirrors their selling practice. Just look at their Feedback scores and comments. It is also a valuable service to have this forum to help expose them as well as the scams on Facebook market and Craigslist, etc.

  8. David Eilers Post author


    That’s a fair point. However, some folks just don’t have the breadth of experience to know for sure, especially when the seller claims the signs are ‘vintage’. In this case, it’s a good example of the finer points to demonstrate what to look for in a fake sign. But, real signs still do pop up occasionally.

    – Dave

    – Dave

  9. Mike Knoy

    eBAY needs to step up to the plate and stop the misleading sellers. oh but wait, eBAY is profiting from this fraud as well.
    I have been collecting signs for over 50 years and can say 99.8% of all 11 3/4″ signs are fake. It’s a shame to see these sellers scam young people getting into the hobby.

  10. David Eilers Post author

    These “used” signs can be found on Facebook, eBay, and Craigslist, to name a few. Folks are listing them as pre-owned on FB.

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