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Rarest car ever made into a gasser? Steel Willys

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by oldebob, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. oldebob
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    oldebob Member

    Was reading the Homeyer's Willys thread. That reminded me of this.These pictures were taken in 1963 at Englishtown NJ. This A Gasser is one of three '41 Willys convertibles built by the factory. This particular car was bought new off the stand at the New York Auto Show. Pearl Harbor brought a stop to any plans to produce these. The engine is Chry Hemi, the unusual chain drive blower setup is a B52 bomber air starter motor running backwards. Car was run by Keck / DeCell. These days they do feel kind of bad making it a gasser but they couldn't find a coupe at the time. I wonder what ever happened to it?

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  2. DocWatson
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    DocWatson Member

    They only made three in the US! WOW! I know a guy that has a factory convertible here in Oz, he has been building it for close to twenty years now!
    But the gasser is cool and I love the blower!
    Doc.
  3. DualQuad55
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    DualQuad55 Member

    Three were built in the U.S.

    There were many more built in Oz.
    Years back I had most of a 33-36 Oz roadster body(Willys). It was in need of everything. I should have kept it, but a new house and bills said something had to go.
    The 40-41 style cars from Oz were actually roadsters as opposed to Convertables. I remember helping put the side curtains on one at NSRA nationals back in the late '80s in a suprise rain shower.
  4. oldebob
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    oldebob Member

    This ties in with the new Willys thread tonite. So thought I'd bump it up again. This one was a factory produced car.
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  5. Dirtynails
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    Dirtynails Member

    Most of the OZ cars ended up in the USA so if you see one look close at the steering position. I have an old mate who sent lots over there and in the 1980's Randall Hodgson bought every one he could find. My mate reckons they drive like a jeep with a party frock on.:D
  6. ol gasser
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    ol gasser Member

    Why feel bad. The car did what it was MADE TO DO. bETTER THAN BEING A GARAGE KING OR A TRAILER QUEEN . Cars were made to be driven,not to be investments
  7. GlenC
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    GlenC Member

    Doc, I think there's only about 5 left downunder these days too. I had a lead on one in the 80's, which went to someone else in Sydney. It had sat in a shed in Sydney since the 60's, right next to what became Ron Tabone's 40 coupe (the dusky pink one). The bloke who owned that roadster bought another one, and to make his 'more rare and valuable' he took everything he wanted off the second one then scrapped the main body. Miserable bastard.

    Cheers, Glen.
  8. alsancle
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    alsancle Member

    I disagree. When a car has history you shouldn't screw with it. All those Willy's coupes that got made into gassers had no history at the time so that was cool. Once they got raced they acquired their own history. The Convs are different as there was only 3. I feel the same way about vintage Willys gassers being turned into pro-street cars - lost history for a fad.
  9. Weasel
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    Weasel Member

    I absolutely agree with Alsancle, but back then these were just old cars - not collector cars and i doubt if anyone bothered to check to see if what they had was rare or not.

    Here's another rare Willys and luckily of the reputed five made in 1940 and five made in 1941, only one has been rodded. This one is stock as a rock.

    But somebody did race a 1947 Olds woodie gasser at Lions in '68/'69.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]
  10. Django
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    Django
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    Wow. A Willys cabriolet. I had no idea. The Willys woodie is cool too!
  11. alsancle
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    alsancle Member

  12. oldebob
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    oldebob Member

  13. GlenC
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    GlenC Member

    I'm sure I read somewhere that Willys woodie is an aftermarket body built on a factory chassis and cowl, not an actual 'factory' production item. Considering Willys place in the US car market, that would make sense.

    Cheers, Glen.
  14. alsancle
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    alsancle Member

    Is that the only picture you have of it? Any other history or story around it would be great.
  15. Carl La Fong
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    Carl La Fong Member

    That Olds woodie belonged to Jeff Courtie. I went to high school with him in SoCal SFV. He bought it in 64/65, drove it stock for a while and then went racin'. I saw it again at a show, maybe in the early 70s. He still owned it. Had a blown Hemi in it at that time. He managed to get that barndoor to go 150 in 10 seconds
    http://www.oldwoodies.com/gallery-weird.htm
  16. Sauli
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    Sauli Member

    Amen to THAT...:)
  17. ssaza25
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    ssaza25 Member

    I was going thru some of the older willys threads and came onto this one. Many years ago, there was a 41 conv. here in Phoenix,[Eddies used cars at 32nd street and Washington.]. The car was for sale in Hemming motor news prior to Phoenix. The car was from PA. It was an old gasser. Had a greasy 392 Hemi,[intake was missing], American magnesium rims. The top bows were on the car.The car was very rough. Looked like it had been setting out in the snow for years. You did not have to open the hood to see the ground.I checked the car over very closely. Almost all of the paint was gone on the car. The lead seams could be seen. Above the trunk there were 2 lead seams, not in the same location as a coupe. The drivers door did not have any patch work at the front and rear top as if the coupe door was used.The pass. side door did have repairs as if a coupe door was used. The guy who bought the car paid $9000 for the car. At that time, that was a lot of money. He did nothing with the car and sold it later.Do not know where it went to.
  18. oldebob
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    oldebob Member

    I missed this reply when posted. Keck/Decell were from Philipsburg NJ, right on the PA border. The guy they sold it to back then was going to restore it. Guess it never happened. Wonder what happened to the manifold and blower setup? Thanks for the info , I,ll pass it on.
  19. ssaza25
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    ssaza25 Member

    I found the add that was in the autotrader with a picture.

    Attached Files:

  20. nailhead29A
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    nailhead29A Member

    There was a 41 convertable for sale in an ad in the unique cars mag over here in Oz just recently, can't remember the price but from memory it was pretty bloody resonable.
  21. bauschracing
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    bauschracing Member

    There is a willys conv. at FDR's Little White House in Warm Springs, Georgia. My best friend said that if it were a coupe, he would steal it and make a gasser out of it. I guess he needs to read this and they need more guards at the museum.
    Mike
  22. ME.GASSER
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    ME.GASSER
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    I was also thinking of this car when i saw this thread. It's a beautiful car.
  23. Randy in Oklahoma
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    Randy in Oklahoma Member


    Ok, I will bite.

    What is the difference between a roadster and a convertible?
  24. mashed
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    mashed Member

    ^^^^^^^^^^^Roll down windows in the doors.
  25. 33HEMI
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    33HEMI Member

    Some Topless photos.

    42b.jpg

    42c.jpg

    1939OverlandModel39Tourer_HoldenBodied_Australia.jpg

    1940-willys-flood-sport-tourer.jpg

    AEarlyTimes%20057_jpg.jpg

    dc513a.jpg

    Wil_86a.jpg
  26. studebaker eric
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    studebaker eric Member

    If I remember correctly there was a cowl section with the windshield frame floating around the Nor-cal swap meets about 15 years ago. I thought it was for one of the woodies. It was grey.
  27. oldebob
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    oldebob Member

    Thats it for sure! I think last time it ran was '66. It looks pretty tough now. JP&Dee was John P Keck & Lloyd DeCell. That Aircraft starter turned into a blower ate up a few hemis but they were later very sucsessful building and running crossflow 300in Ford 6's in altered and gas classes. I got a PM tha the car is now back on the east coast again in Conn.
  28. ssaza25
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    ssaza25 Member

    Not a gasser but very rare 33 Willys Roadster

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  29. 3day
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    3day Member

    1940 WILLYS Ragtop Roadster 440 currently for sale in Australia if this advert is still current:

    http://bit.ly/QX5WYm
  30. 3day
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    3day Member

    picture didn't upload. try again

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