The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Hot Rod Willys, Jan 15, 2011.
Sorry about the front wheels but here is a sequence that I shot at the 2017 Meltdown drags
Nice one !
In the photo above, were two stages of our history with 40-41 Willys coupes. It could have been the “way back, time machine” doing its best to confuse the brain memory cells. How can one photo show what my brother and I had as the beginning and end? When we started the build, the choice was a finished coupe, including paint and upholstery or get it running to be competitive, then finish it.
We got as far as getting it running so well, that we were close to setting records for the class we were racing at Lions Dragstrip. It would have been fun watching it to its final stage, but in reality, the final stage was a red primer Willys Coupe sitting in the front entrance way of the local scrapyard in August 1960. ( with all motor driveline and removable parts taken out.) It was the end.
In 2017, I went to the newly constructed Lions Dragstrip museum warehouse to see how they were progressing prior to the summer grand opening. I was amazed at the amount of Willys coupes, sedans, trucks, panel vans and even a station wagon sitting in the rows of the Price Transfer Automobilia showcase area prior to walking into the museum.
Needless to say, the unfinished red primer Willys threw me for a loop, but recovered when I noticed the grille was different. The insides, the parts, the seating, and even a 671 supercharged SBC motor sitting behind the Willys Coupe brought back memories. As nice as it was, I walked by several times contemplating each time as to “what if…” Parts for it were still surrounding the Willys Coupe display, like a 671 supercharged SBC motor with a Joe hunt magneto, a custom black tow bar and other items.
our 40 Willys Coupe in 1960
It is eerie that many years later, another red primer Willys Coupe with similar build ideas would be sitting in a drag racing, old hot rod museum, partially built with similar parts that we once had in our 40 Willys build. The last time we saw our partially crushed, burned out 40 Willys Coupe was it sitting in a driveway of a scrap yard in Wilmington , near the Lions Dragstrip in 1960.
For now, this red primer Willys sits on display. The Candy Apple or Tahitian Red Willys Coupe can be seen at various charity events or rod runs around So Cal, as well as its place on the floor of the Price Transfer Automobilia display areas. So, one sits, while the other gets to go places in So Cal. It would be fun to have access to any car to drive to a hot rod weekly function, when they were allowed to happen in our lifetime.
Since we are now “locked in place,” the photo threads from the Lions Dragstrip Museum and the others across the USA will have to do it for us.
I too had a red/brown primered '40 coupe in 1960. I guess most of us couldn't afford the paint And running gear all at once. We raced for a while and I learned alot (never really beat anybody though)...we had hillborn on ours and knew little about how to make it run well. That car is still around, and was done as a show car...along the way it was too expensive for me to buy it back...I since have a coupe so I am not complaining, but it would have been nice to have it back. Its final owner around here, past away a few years back, and his wife got some decent money for it...I don't know where it is now, but a do have a picture of it with its current motor (a blown 426) below is what it looked like in the 60's...g-willys
NICE PAINT COLOR... Red primer was a basic color at our local Standard Brands paint. Yes, we did not want to spend money on a complete paint and upholstery until we had something worth finishing. With the 6 Strombergs on the 283 SBC, it was respectable, but not top competition for the usual class winners. When we decided to rebuild and go bigger to 292 SBC with all blower prep parts, we got an Isky-Gilmer Blower drive system and a 671 for an added boost.
Now, it was competitive and the times dropped into the National Record category with few steel plates welded into the trunk area to qualify for C/Gas. The times were about .25 off and we were happy with the extra power. But, then as all good things have difficulties, a clutch blew the crap out of our Willys and the rest is history.
The first thing to go was the complete running 292 SBC 671 supercharged motor to a young guy from the Midwest. It was back in January 1961 and he had it shipped out of So Ccal . We never knew where it went or what it went into back there.
So, for the old Midwest hot rod/drag race guys, did an uncle, grandfather, father or relative you know buy one of the only Isky Gilmer 671 motors from out West and had it shipped home in the month of January 1961?
The only other 671 Stromberg powered SBC running at Lions Dragstrip in 1960. B. Balogh in his 49 Chevy Sedan.
1960 40 willys primer 671 sbc
There seems to be a question as to whether or not our 1940 Willys Coupe was red primer or black primer. The only photos are shown as black primer. They are copies from magazines. The video is very old and shows black in some portions and possible fade to red in the other. thanks, Rruss... Sorry, I do not have the films I took of our 40 Willys Coupe. They got lost after my brother passed on to the next level. The 16mm film reels and even the VHS tape I made 20 years ago.
My friend that once owned the black 1934 Ford 5 window coupe that ran in the A/Gas class, recently said he remembers the Willys being a red primer, though.
Thanks for your interest...
WOW...we certainly followed a close path...ours was also a 283, out 30 thousands...done by a local renound engine builder (Jack Wheeler) when he worked out of his house somewhere in North Minneapolis. My race partner was much more involved, and I have not seen him in decades, but I remember the those memories, and it was what got me back into Willys cars in the 70's after raising my family. I have found many, many Willys over the years since, and currently have 2 left (my '39 coupe, and '36 sedan. Done building...just maintaining!! My race partner kept the motor, for a '38 chevy, and he sold my coupe for me ($ 695). I didn't find out where it went for 20 years, but it only change hands 4 times.The car show picture shows it with a blown 426, and after the owner passed, his wife sold it, and I don't know where it went since. I bought the car for $250 and drove it home in 1960. ..
That show Willy's is cool but I would still have preferred driving/owning the primered nose high, wheel tucking "Hot Rod"
Metal I'm not trying to be an ass (sometimes I don't need help) but I think those are street tires for towing. Not too many people put narrowed rears in their cars in the 60's. Only a few axle Mfg's Henry's being one of them and the 57-64 Olds/Pont. rears fit pretty good in those cars. G-Willys could probably answer that much better than I can. I also don't see a motor in it maybe it was being built or worked on.
We took the small block out, and my race partner put it in a (I think) '37 Chevy...I stored the coupe for about 2-3 years, and asked my race partner to sell it for me. We had a Chevy rear end in it, I think it was a 6-bolt chev rear...been a long time ago...I think 1969
. When the car sold I got $695 for it...after buying it for $ 250, I thought I made a very good deal. Who knew then I should have kept it...the Gas classes were starting to fade...Anglias were the cars everyone was looking for. Lighter, and slightly shorter wheel base. Also had no trailer...flat towed the car to the track all the time. Don't remember what tires those were...but we ran Atlas Bucrons, when we raced.
Does anyone have anymore info on the pink car? I seem to remember a pink truck in a magazine from the 80’s.
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32 I'm really down to "seeds and stems" here, I seem to recall a post that someone posted knowing something about the car. One said he thinks he saw it in Rhode Island at a show but I think there was more.
Been going through some threads, posts, martini's and discovered this one that I can't believe I did not comment on. Well it's Phil Coward and I believe it is at Westhampton drag strip. It was a nice car that ran okay but in the same class as Jack Merkel and at the same track, so it was tough.
That was me. I saw it at a small car show at the Rhode Island school for the deaf in Providence when I was in my early teens. 1981 or 1982. Never saw it again until Swade posted that pic.
Jay maybe these posts will jog some memories.
I’ll ask the older guys I know when I see them
Big john next to SWC
1934 coupe, Pat, Ex Jim Horvatis Coupe is in this Photo. The orange one you talk about.
posted by swi66 in the vintage thread
Hassel & Vogelsong
EDIT: Studebaker photo removed.
No it's a Studebaker. They are cool cars I believe the "Boss" is a Stude (gasser)
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