|1953 Willys Jeep|
Jeep, of course, had its origins in World War II and an general purpose vehicle that was both famous and popular. After the war Willys sold out to Kaiser, which eventually became part of American Motors (as in Nash and Rambler) which ultimately became part of Chrysler Motors.
After the war as a part of the conversion to the civilian economy, Willys not only produced civilian models of its famous wartime jeep, but also produced pickups and station wagons as we called them then though now they would be called SUV's, except in some parts of the world they would be called a UTE.
In any event they shared a lot of the same parts with the jeeps. As was typical of the military jeeps the transmission and transfer case was a single unit---the same unit used in the jeeps. The main transmission was a 3 speed transmission, and the transfer case in low range provided a 2.5:1 gear reduction. With 5.35 rearends the vehicle had a top speed of around 60 mph and would go 24 mph in high in low range.
The engine in this model was the traditional Jeep 4 cylinder, with about 135 CU In. if I recall correctly. By 1953, the engine had evolved however from the earlier ones. The classic jeep engine was a flat head engine. By the era of this pickup, the jeep engine had evolved into what they called an F head engine. Instead of being fully an overhead valve engine, one set of valves was overhead and the other in the block. IT was suppose to provide some more power I guess. Never mind the pickup was gutless. In 1953 it was virtually the only 4 wheel drive vehicle you could buy other than a dodge power wagon, but it was so gutless that it was not a big seller. A few years later, Jeep recognized this and offered a 6 cylinder engine. Unfortunately, the chose a flathead Continental engine which was a lemon.