The links to posts below show jeeps grouped by models, condition, and other ways. Some of these jeeps are for sale and others have been sold. If you are unsure whether a vehicle is still for sale or not, email me at d [at] ewillys.com for more info.
Importantly, the allure of buying a project jeep can be romantic. The reality of restoring a jeep can be quite different, expensive and overwhelming without the right tools and resources. So, tread carefully when purchasing a "project". If you have any concerns about buying a vintage jeep, or run across a scam, feel free to contact me for help, comments or concerns .
A great example of how a “Tender” might have looked had Willys Motors built one, though the bumpers would have been chrome. As we’ve learned, these appear to have been modified wagons. The best way to tell would be to remove the material under the top and look for a welded seam.
“1954 Willys Jeep four wheel drive Super Hurricane straight 6 cylinder motor pick up .Very rare uniside bed sides probably one of very few left in existence. I was told this could be one of very first 1954 willys off assembly line due to 0001 vin number
Frame off restoration including all mechanics and body restored done about 15 years ago but still looks and drives great, some pitting on chrome and a few scratches and chips on paint not perfect but real nice.
At time of restoration 15 years ago
frame off restored
This truck is center of attention wherever it goes , most people have never seen another one”
(10/07/2015) Looks similar to one of the “Tenders”. Looks good for the price. Might need a little work?
“This thing was built by a dear friend and co-worker at Gilbert’s Jeeps. He passed away this past April. He worked on Rat Willie for a couple of years. Being fair, I would say it is not exactly finished, but then that would be up to the buyer. Lots of differing ideas about such things.
The Willys body, which is a chopped down panel wagon, sits on a Chevy S10 Blazer frame. It has a 350 Chevy V8 with a Turbo 400 Auto transmission.”
On Sunday Ann and I went to visit Rich and the “Tender” jeep wagon/truck he has for sale. The truck is in pretty rough shape, but the shell of it could be re used. However, there are lots of bees. The bees limited my ability to take pics, especially of the inside. Yet, it was the inside of the truck that demonstrated the vehicle was definitely not a factory jeep.
My theory is that someone saw one of these Tenders in Israel. Inspired, when they returned to the states they built a few of these, hence the reason several look the same. They must have had some skills, because the top looks great on the top. It’s only on the underside of the ceiling that you can see the seam near the back. Moreover, it looks like a flat fender hood channel is used along the underside of the ceiling to provide support.
On the outside of the back of the top, there’s a crack in what appears to be some bondo. The quality of the work is again good and matches the other side.
It looks like the top of the sides of the former wagon has been capped. There appears to be cracks forming along the metal (see pic above … note crack about an inch below the top of the rear of the bed).
Other pics and notes:
The tailgate was not finished. The lip on the top of the tailgate was left as it was. The area underneath the tailgate window at the back of the cab looks like it might have been blocked with wood. I did not look too closely. This “Tender” was modified with a spring over axle, but the original spring perches were left.
(01/27/2012) This has been altered in the back, so it might be worth a look.
“Sell or trade.
This will make a cool old ratrod
You dont see these old trucks anymore
It is pretty much all original except where the top has been shortened
Flat head 6 cylinder with a 4 speed
This is a 4 wheel drive
Does not run
Does have rust in the floors, they will need to be replaced
Would be real cool when done
Calls only 859-582-3710”
The seller refers to the wagon as a ‘panel’, so this is either not a panel wagon or it might be a Parkway Conversion Panel. Can anyone clarify that? Frank pointed out the truck might be a Tender.
“I have 2 Willy’s Jeeps for sale 1 is a 57 pick-up and the other is a 58 Panel, Both run but each has it’s own issue’s…They both have the flat head 6, the panel motor purrs like a kitten…The panel body is in excellent shape the floor is in great condition and it has the PTO ..The pick-up runs and is driveable ..But I was goin to use it for parts for the panel I can explain the reason’s for this ..I am selling them as a pair … will not split them up …I don’t have a shop to work on them and Would like to get them to somebody that has the means to do with what is needed ..for additional information give me a call 208-410-7676…Scott”
It was this Tender that came on the market by the previous owner that got me asking the question, what is this thing? So, it is with some irony that Bob forwarded this Ad to me and asked whether this isn’t a modified wagon rather than an actual Tender. The thing is, there is one other just like this that was for sale. You can view it here. So, I’m not as sure that it was a custom job.
“1951 Willys overland panel wagon that has been chopped into a pick up. Runs and drives, needs master cylinder, and front fenders bolted back on, needs new tires or tubes, 26,000 original miles, 4 wheel drive all fully functional and tight. Has currant registration and title in hand.”
Congrats to Or who spotted some information from a “Kaizer-Ilin Industrys Ltd” marketing document at the Israel Cars forum. He and I have both searched for any official piece of evidence that the vehicles we were seeing were really produced and this represents the first step in that process. We still don’t know how many were produced, nor how many years they were produced, nor in how many countries they were produced (though they have appeared in both Israel and the US).
The document below is from 1963. Or translates it the following way:
Moreover, Or spoke with some of the folks at the Israel Cars forum and discovered that the Compact Tender is built on the Panel/Wagon frame (104.5″ wheelbase) rather than the long pickup frame (118″ wheelbase).
Thanks to the guys at the Israel Cars forum for posting this Ad:
Or, a reader from Israel, has been trying to locate more information (especially the model number) about the Compact Willys Truck I have temporarily labeled a Tender. While doing that research, he spotted a brief clip of some Willys Wagons, Trucks and the Kaizer-Ilin plant in Israel (but no Compact Willys Trucks visible).
Or found this Tander for sale (thanks Or!). The exchange rate puts the price on this at about $10,000. I still a bit shocked I haven’t seen any original literature for these yet. That’s reminds me .. I need to build a special page for these ….
Doing some research on Warn hubs this morning, I ran across this image on Warn’s corporate website. This may very well be the original Warn Motor’s Service station in Seattle, Washington, where Arthur Warn developed his early ‘Summer Hubs’ as Mike refers to them. Note the signs atop the roof, “Jeeps” and “Warn Motors”.
If there were just one of these trucks, i would call it a custom one-off project. However, two of these suggest to me this was a kit of some kind? It kind of looks like the prototype for the Willys we have named a Tender.
Here’s the back end of another Tender spotted by the sharp-eyed Israeli bureau. I don’t know anything specifically about this Truck. The image was posted on the Jalopy Journal (entry #39) along with some Jeep Rod pics.
UPDATE 3: The eWillys Israel bureau is hot on the trail of the ‘Tender’. Another set of pics was accompanied by the following update.
Here’s what he Googled in Hebrew: “A man named Efraim Eilin had a vision of an Israeli car industry. In 1950 he made partnership with Kaizer Enterprises and in 1951 he opened the Kaizer-Eilin assembly plant. The plant[S] made more then 100,000 cars [Kaiser Frazer, Dofin Renolt, kontesa , Lark Studibaker…] and at some point the plant export was 28% of all the Israeli exports! I couldn’t find info on the Willys except that they made the panel, the wagon and the pick-up [we say: ‘Tender’]. All the body parts were made in Israel in another plant in Israel; so, I guess that the trucks used the low part of the panel/wagon + special design for the back as an original Kaiser-Eilin. The Willys had 2 engines: 2199 cc 4 cylinder and 3770 cc 6 c‘”
As I note in the comments to this post, a couple days ago I did a number of searches (and found some interesting truck sites that I will include in upcoming posts), but I found no references to the ‘Tender’ or ‘high back’ trucks. If anyone knows anything about them, please let me know.