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Features 1940 Willys drag car sitting since 1980!

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Fordgasser1, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. Fordgasser1
    Joined: Jan 20, 2009
    Posts: 1,183

    from Jersey

    The Harris brothers built and raced this 40 Willys from 1967 until 1980 when it was parked in a garage never to be seen again. I am so very fortunate that the family has allowed me to be the current caretaker of this ol' girl. Powered by a SBC and 4 spd, I'm working on getting her up and running again..Enjoy!
    56739226_2639352762745656_4312449114269810688_o.jpg 56589741_2639352769412322_6963656216190910464_o.jpg 56723896_2639352726078993_825894285143441408_o.jpg 57274440_2639352746078991_8180752039802830848_o.jpg 1025468_10151706609915081_1158075519_o.jpg 1025705_10151706611195081_1725246368_o.jpg
  2. evintho
    Joined: May 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,239


    Incredible! Keep us posted on it's resurrection!
    31chevymike, jakespeed63 and Deuces like this.
  3. 41 coupe
    Joined: Nov 29, 2009
    Posts: 254

    41 coupe
    from bristol pa

    What a time capsule, I love it!!!
    31chevymike, jakespeed63 and Deuces like this.
  4. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 1,744

    ramblin dan

    How cool is that?
    loudbang, 31chevymike and Deuces like this.
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  5. Excellent score!
    31chevymike and Deuces like this.
  6. 1934coupe
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 3,474


    Very Nice!

    loudbang, 31chevymike and Deuces like this.
  7. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,239

    from Zoar, Ohio

    It’s 1965 all over again.
    Time capsule indeed.
    Great score. What cool car.
  8. Fordgasser1
    Joined: Jan 20, 2009
    Posts: 1,183

    from Jersey

    Bill Harris the owner/builder had passed away some time ago but his brother Richard( I. E. Dick) Harris got me in touch with the family.Due to weather and Dick's health I wasn't able to get a look at her for a few months. I was in agony knowing that a literally untouched Willys gasser from the 60's/70's was within a mile from my house waiting to be discovered! The pictures were from a few weeks ago when we first got her out of the garage. It was literally packed in there with 40 yrs of stuff all around it. The garage door springs had long since broke so the door wouldn't open. two weeks ago i was able to get her out into the daylight after 40 yrs of hibernation!It was literally packed in there with 40 yrs of household stuff all around it. The garage door springs had long since broke so the door wouldn't open but once open you couldn't even see what was lurking inside. Spent all day unburying it and dragging her out, still on its trailer,only to go home empty handed! Richards wife wasn't sure about selling the car which i could fully understand..I was devastated to say the least! Also, once outside, the car attracted attention from the neighbors and passersby which added to my fears that someone else will come along and buy it! Luckily I was able to make a deal for the car, trailer and all the spare parts which was extensive as Bill saved everything! Included in the sale were all of the trophies the car won, log book dating back to '71,and killer photos of the car dating back to '67. The car ran as a D/Gas,E/Gas and F/Gas,D/A and E/A,and in Pro ET 1040261_10151706610295081_622919998_o.jpg
    So I got her home about two weeks ago and here's what has gone on in that time: (I'll try not to be long winded, I promise!)
    First off, I checked to see if the motor was stuck, luckily I was able to rock the motor back and forth a bit. Excellent!..I pulled the plugs out to oil the cylinders and pulled the vertex mag to prime the oil pump..put some oil in her and primed her up, got 40 psi of pressure on the gauge..After she sat overnight,I checked the valve train and slowly turned the motor by hand..All valves opening and closing..I put a battery in her to see if the starter would turn her over..A big, fat, NO!..No power to starter..found the master On/Off switch was bad so I bypassed it temporarily..Starter was now spinning but the engine wasn't turning..Figured the bendix drive was stuck so I removed it to bench test it..Bendix working..So now what? I looked closely ad the flywheel and noticed the ring gear on the flywheel didn't look right..I stuck a screwdriver in the hole and the ring gear fell off the flywheel! A broken starter ring gear!. After removing the trans, bell housing,clutch and flywheel,I replaced the ring gear myself and put her all back together..Starter now spinning engine over! Yes!!.. I pulled the Eelco tank and was surprised to see it had been drained and was clean..Checked the filter and tried the fuel pump which actually came to life and after adding fuel, the carbs filled up and got 6 psi on the pressure gauge.. I'll call that lucky that the carbs aren't leaking fuel everywhere..I had to swap out the magneto from my '33 Willys and after some fussing SHE RUNS! Will post a video shortly.
    Here's some more vintage pics: 1039507_10151706610825081_1194367734_o.jpg
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
  9. OLSKOOL57
    Joined: Feb 14, 2019
    Posts: 358


    As previous posters have already stated, A True Time Capsule. You are fortunate and I am happy for you. Maybe just a tad bit envious. Enjoy the resurrection and keep us posted.
    Stogy, 31chevymike, mgtstumpy and 4 others like this.
  10. i.rant
    Joined: Nov 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,623

    from Illinois
    1. 1940 Ford

    Looking forward to more! Nice score.
    31chevymike, Deuces and Fordgasser1 like this.
  11. RONTC
    Joined: Mar 15, 2006
    Posts: 7


    Very Cool and a great score dont restore just get it running !
    31chevymike, Deuces and Fordgasser1 like this.
  12. Pete Eastwood
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 816

    Pete Eastwood
    from california

    Great car !
    Only one comment, looks like it has a "Hydra Link" throttle linkage set up.
    If it does, do your self a favor & replace it with a Morse cable.
    You'll be a lot happier with the results . . .
    Again, really bitchen car !
  13. Killer find George! You always find the good stuff on the east coast!
  14. wheeldog57
    Joined: Dec 6, 2013
    Posts: 1,548


    George, great find and story! Good luck with it
  15. Killer find. Glad you’re redirecting it. And for those about to rock, we salute you.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  16. Sal Cardella
    Joined: Feb 5, 2018
    Posts: 32

    Sal Cardella
    from New Joisey

    That’s incredible would you want to trade it even for a 1930 model a with a 4 banger and a 392 hemi motor apart and to sweeten the deal your flathead 3 speed trans lol .. Best of luck with your 40 that’s so cool !!!
    31chevymike, Deuces and chryslerfan55 like this.
  17. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 3,917

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    Absolutely awesome.
    Why didn't you finalize the purchase before spending all day digging it out? You must have worried yourself sick sweating out the thought of someone else buying it out from under you!
    Really happy for you. You'll be a great caretaker.
  18. rd martin
    Joined: Nov 14, 2006
    Posts: 2,398

    rd martin
    from indiana

    kool stuff!!! with the history!
  19. pumpman
    Joined: Dec 6, 2010
    Posts: 2,548


    Absolutely blown away with the condition and history.
  20. Fordgasser1
    Joined: Jan 20, 2009
    Posts: 1,183

    from Jersey

    HRTH, I was letting Dick(Bills brother) handle the negotiations for me as it was a delicate matter. I was told the wife was ready to sell but evidently she had some misgivings. In retrospect, i probably should have asked her about selling the car before we spent hours digging it out. I was literally dying at the thought of someone else snagging the car out from under me. We put the car and trailer back in the garage and I went home completely dejected needless to say. A few days later I was able to secure a deal for the car but still had to wait several weeks before I could get it! Still nervous that someone would get it before me, I waited patiently and it all turned out great.
    catdad49, egads, loudbang and 6 others like this.
  21. Fordgasser1
    Joined: Jan 20, 2009
    Posts: 1,183

    from Jersey

  22. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 5,119


    Love it!
    Nobody will fault you for changing the valve covers. Just sayin'..
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
  23. You are so lucky! That is a beautiful find and a great piece of history. Please, please tell me that you are going to run it at the track! I’ve subscribed to your thread, please keep us up to date.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Fordgasser1 and 31chevymike like this.
  24. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,241


    WOW! What a great find, new fluids and tires and it is ready to go. Bob
    Fordgasser1 and 31chevymike like this.
  25. Bad ass find, can't believe it ran
    Fordgasser1 and 31chevymike like this.
  26. T&A Flathead
    Joined: Apr 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,669

    T&A Flathead

  27. Desmodromic
    Joined: Sep 25, 2010
    Posts: 378


    Fantastic find!
    Let me ask you -- I've heard conflicting stories on whether there were Willys 2-door sedans, or if Willys just welded the back doors shut of a 4-door. Can you enlighten me?
    Edit -- On further thought, I'm thinking the latest 4-doors had small side windows behind the back doors, but not the earlier models ('37, '38), which were slant-backs (without the "bustle")??
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
  28. TheSteamDoc
    Joined: Jul 14, 2018
    Posts: 66


    Awesome barn find!
    Fordgasser1 and 31chevymike like this.
  29. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 14,145


    Late to the Party...Congrats & Dayuuum thats a nasty machine...Have an incredible time with it.
    loudbang, Fordgasser1 and 31chevymike like this.

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