Welcome to Little Car in the Big City, where I highlight fascinating cars I found walking around a town that is known for being bigger than everything else, but where every car is fighting to stand out: New York, New York.
Before anyone starts their lamenting, wondering why there are no more Willys pickup trucks being manufactured today, that's for two main reasons. The first that Willys doesn't make pickup trucks anymore, or anything, really, as it's all part of Chrysler, which is part of Fiat, which is not bringing you a Willys Punto so fast.
The other is that Chrysler seems to see no need to create a Jeep pickup, despite all of our pleas, mostly because it would compete with all the trucks that Ram is putting out.
Plus Willys Promaster isn't nearly as much fun to say as Ram Van Promaster Man.
So clearly there's some logic behind this decision.
But when you see a 1953 Willys truck like this one, it's not just a source of lament for a bygone era of Willys and Jeep pickups and why can't that still be a Thing. It's a source of lament for little styling elements that won't be seen anymore, for a variety of reasons.
Just look at that interior.
It's green. Really green. And sure, that's a result of this pickup being so cheap and work-oriented that it's basically a Mobius Strip of truck, with the inside undifferentiated from the outside, to the point where the dashboard is really just made up of the same exact stuff that the bed in the back is made up of, but who cares?
When was the last time you saw a pickup truck with a green interior? Yeah, you can get a Ford F-150 these days with saddle brown leather, but it ain't green.
The way the metal is stamped, too, just couldn't exist nowadays. The texturing in the door, and in the tailgate, are the result of a giant metal machine going KA-CHUNK and spitting out a beautifully embossed surface. Nowadays doors have to have silly things like "airbags" and "safety," precluding their manufacture out of just a simple piece of steel, probably a cast-off from a discarded World War II tank, which is just sooooo overrated.
But in seriousness, there are reasons we won't see trucks like this ever again. So we should appreciate every old car we've got.