51 Willies, is it worth it?

XJ Eric

New member
A guy is trying to trade me a 51 Willies 4x4. 4 cylinder, its been a farm rig forever and the body is rough. The owner thinks the points are bad but otherwise should run. I don't really want a project, so I'd probly flip it. Would it be worth it?

Matthew Currie

NAXJA Member #760
Not much information here, but as a general idea, it is going to depend on what exactly you have there. Is it a CJ or a wagon or truck? The CJ's of that age are always worth something, I think, to someone, even if they're very rough. The wagons and pickups less so, but it will really depend on how rough it is and how much else is wrong. To begin with "should run" is a pretty long distance from "will run," and even so you may find it needs a total overhaul, since it's pretty typical of those old Jeep engines to gobble valves and burn oil.

So....First thing I'd do is decide whether it's something I'd want to own, because flipping is always a risk unless it's so cheap you can afford to keep it. If it's not something you want, and especially if it needs work to be runnable, consider skipping the middleman and just tell whoever might be the "flippee" where to find it.

Second, get a battery and some tools and a point file and a test light, or someone who remembers how to talk to an engine with points, and get the thing started before you evaluate anything else. My experience of these old engines is somewhat limited, but my recollection is that they aren't that hard to get going, but they'll keep running even if they are running on three cylinders, knocking on spun bearings, and blowing out a quart of oil a day. You need to hear and see it running before "should run" has any meaning.


Member# 2368
NAXJA Member
My grandpa has a 46 sitting in the garage. It's not running but the body is in awesome shape. Had a guy offer him 8 grand for it a while back...
I'm not saying this one is worth that by no means but if it's desirable... someone would want it...

This one on ebay... Guy is asking 4 grand... Rough body, but it runs.


I figure without seeing it... Not running, with a rough body. No more than 1k... ?

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New member
I have a 46, a 47, and a 50 at home, all with rough bodies. The most I payed for one was $900, and it was a runner