White-Jacket Jeep: America’s First Fiberglass Sportscar Had Willys Roots

The White-Jacket was indeed a fiberglass-bodied sports car that had Willys roots, not Chevrolet. It was built in the early 1950s by Bill Tritt, who was also responsible for building fiberglass bodies for other sports cars of the era.

The White-Jacket Jeep was a short-lived fiberglass bodied vehicle produced by Willys-Overland in the early 1950s.


The White-Jacket Jeep was actually not produced by Willys-Overland, but rather by the White Motor Company, a truck and bus manufacturer. The vehicle was also not a sportscar, but rather a utility vehicle that was marketed as a “Jeep” due to its styling similarities to the Willys CJ-3B. The White-Jacket Jeep was produced for only one year in 1951 and was powered by a Willys “Go-Devil” 4-cylinder engine. Its fiberglass body was produced by the Reinforced Plastics Company of Detroit, Michigan, making it one of the first fiberglass-bodied vehicles produced in the United States.

The Jeep was originally developed as a military vehicle during World War II.


The Jeep was originally developed as a military vehicle during World War II by Willys-Overland, along with Ford Motor Company. The U.S. military needed a lightweight, four-wheel drive vehicle that could be used for reconnaissance, transport, and other tasks in various types of terrain. The resulting vehicle, the Willys MB, became the iconic Jeep and was widely used by American forces during the war. After the war, Jeeps were sold as civilian vehicles and quickly became popular due to their ruggedness and off-road capabilities.

After the war, Willys saw the potential for the Jeep as a civilian vehicle and began production of the CJ (Civilian Jeep)


After the war, Willys-Overland recognized the potential for the Jeep as a civilian vehicle and began producing the CJ (Civilian Jeep) for the public. The CJ was based on the military Jeep and was first introduced in 1945. It was designed to be a versatile vehicle that could be used for work and recreation, and it quickly gained a following among farmers, ranchers, and outdoor enthusiasts.

Over the years, the CJ underwent various upgrades and redesigns, eventually leading to the development of the popular Jeep Wrangler, which is still in production today.

The CJ-2A was the first mass-produced civilian Jeep and laid the foundation for the modern SUV.


The CJ-2A was introduced in 1945 as the first mass-produced civilian Jeep model. It was designed for agricultural and industrial use, as well as recreational purposes. The CJ-2A shared many components with the military Jeeps that were produced during World War II, but it was modified for civilian use with features like a tailgate, side-mounted spare tire, and a simplified electrical system.

The success of the CJ-2A helped establish the Jeep brand as a versatile and capable vehicle for both work and play, laying the foundation for the modern SUV.

In 1950, Willys introduced the White-Jacket Jeep, a fiberglass bodied vehicle aimed at the growing recreational market.

The White-Jacket Jeep was Willys’ attempt to enter the sports car market, which was gaining popularity in the post-war era. The car featured a fiberglass body designed by Brooks Stevens, who was known for his work on industrial design and automobiles. The White-Jacket Jeep was based on the Willys Jeepster, but with a sleeker, more modern body.

The fiberglass body made the car lighter and more agile than the Jeepster, but also made it more expensive to produce. Despite its innovative design, the White-Jacket Jeep was not a commercial success and only a few hundred were produced before production was halted.

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