Looking for Professor Calculus, Tintin and Captain Haddock reached Nyon after an eventful ride in a Simca Aronde and a Rover 60. While looking for Professor, they chanced upon Professor Topolino who had been assaulted and thrown into the cellar of his own house. While the trio discussed Professor Calculus going missing, a bomb, which the villains had planted a bomb in Topolino’s house went off. There was a huge explosion and fire and the fire brigade rushed to the spot in a Jeep Station wagon.
The Jeep Station wagon had an all steel modern SUVesque body style. It was produced in the USA from 1946 to 1965 and in Argentina till 1981 as the IKA Estanciera. This vehicle was one of the most successful post war models of Willys.It was manufactured in a number of countries like USA, Brazil and Argentina by Willys, Ford Brazil and IKA respectively.
This car was designed by Brooke Stevens taking into consideration that Willys did not make car bodies and did not have enough finance to venture into such a project. He designed a body which could be easily fabricated by not so large fabricators to meet the ever increasing demand for car bodies.
The Willys Station Wagon was offered to public in a number of configurations like:-
- 2-door station wagon.
- 4-door station wagon.
- Panel van.
- Pickup truck.
It was also offered as a Willys Jeep Truck and Willys Overland Jeepster, which was a low slung 2-door roadster built for a short period from 1948 to 1950.
This car was probably the first SUV. It offered large space, better safety because of its steel body as compared to the wooden bodied wagons on offer at that time and easy maintenance. Though initially launched as a 2-wheel drive vehicle, 4-wheel drive was offered from 1949 onward. Of the seven seats offered, six, excluding the driver’s could be removed for increasing space for carrying load. This was a boon for more and more public who shifted to sub-urban areas post war. Though extremely popular with civilian population the 4-wheel drive version was used by the military also, christened as the 1/2 ton 4×4. The vehicle claimed that it could negotiate gradients up to 57 Degrees.
This was a large car measuring 4,476 mm (176-1/4″) in length, 1,822 mm (71-3/4″) in width and 1,867 mm (71″) in height. The 4X2 wagons had a planar suspension comprising a seven-leaf transverse spring rather than conventional coil springs spring in the front, while the 4X4 had Dana 25 and later Dana 27 axles in the front. The rear axles were Dana 44 in 4X4 and Dana 23 in 4X2 models.
A number of engines were offered on these vehicles over the period of their production. The first was a 2,199.53 cc (134.22 Cubic-inch) inline four cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine which produced 60 BHP at 4,000 rpm and 142 N-m (105 ft-lb) of torque at 2,000 rpm. These engines had an L-head. The same engine with an F-head produced 72 BHP at 4,000 rpm and 157 N-m (114 lb-ft) of torque.
Then there were 2.4 litre (148 cu-inch) L-Head and 2.6 litre (161 cu-inch) F-head inline six cylinder naturally aspirated engines. The largest engine on offer was 3,706.73 cc (226.2 Cu-inch) inline six cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine which produced 105 BHP at 3,200 rpm and 263 N-m (190 lb-ft) of torque.
All this power and torque was transmitted to either the rear wheels or to all four wheels though a four speed gear box. The different engines could push these cars weighing 1.47 tons to max speeds varying between 112 km/h (70 mph) to 129 km/h (80 mph). Stopping power was provided by hydraulically operated drum brakes on all four wheels.