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Hot Rods Attn willys experts, here's an odd one

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by JimSibley, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. I believe the ''99'' was only a 6 cyl concept and didn't go into production and the 39 Overland one is a bit curly, it may have something to do with the model 39 and model 61. The true 39 Willys is the model 48 which is the same as a 38 Model 38. The Overland was a one year only revival of the Overland name and this was the first to have hydraulic brakes. I had a 39 Overland and it was the model 39 and only had Overland on the hood. I may be wrong but I have seen photos of 39 Overlands with the extra tail lights on the rear part of the belt line and im sure that is the model I have noticed the Willys Overland badge on the hood.....We may have opened a can of worms on this one.;):rolleyes: JW
    loudbang likes this.
  2. rooman
    Joined: Sep 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,878


    Interesting. It looks like a Holden body with full upper door frames (rather than the original channel units) and with the bottom of the door reworked and a rocker panel added. The upper door opening contour has been messed with as well if it is a Holden body.

    Ferdyeight, Spoggie and 26 T Ford RPU like this.
  3. Its been messed with a lot! Thanks for the insight of what has been done. JW
    loudbang likes this.
  4. In 1933 Willys announced plans for a model 99 Custom Sedan and coupe. These were to be stretched versions of the familiar Model 77 with a 213cuin, 80hp, L-head 6-cylinder engine to join the 4-cylinder 77. Willys published a color brochure, but the 99 was never built, probably because the company went into receivership that depression year.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
    26 T Ford RPU and loudbang like this.
  5. I believe the ''99'' was only a 6 cyl concept and didn't go into production...I know that the Model 99 did not go into production, but there are pictures out there of a 99 prototype parked on a street...I am just curious... perhaps a factory prototype may actually exist, and if anyone has ever seen it . In regards to the Willys Overland question, here is the information I have after over 50 years as a Willys enthusiast, owner, racer and street rodder. The model 48 came out as a result of the hydraulic version, and new sharknose design not being ready for a fall release. When it did come out it was listed as a Model sequence with the model 37, and model 38, and the future model 440, 441, and 442.
    This was relayed to me by a (now deceased) mechanic some 35 years ago, who said that he had worked at a Willys dealership in the 40's and 50's. He said that Overland came out first on the model 39 hoods, but that the public had long since forgot about the OVERLAND history and success of the mid twenties, so Willys was added to mark it as part of the Willys brand, as the company was still listed as Willys-Overland, Inc, Toledo Ohio, USA well into the 40's and beyond. I can't verify it but it made sense. As far as the the extra tail light senario, I had a '39 overland body with beltline rear tail lights, and rear fenders with the holes for the fender tail lights covered with a patch (it looked factory done). We all know that Willys used most every part on the work bench just to used them up. The two British Columbia brothers with neat '39 sedans many years ago were an had the center section of a '38 dash, and the other had the 39-40 dash with the flat style rectangular guages. Lots of food for thought... g-willys sleepy '39.jpg (the picture show a '39 factory 2-door, just Overland on the hood & beltline tailights) sleepy '39.jpg sleepy '39.jpg
  6. Then there is the Willys Americar badge. The '37-'39 replacement for the aging model 77 were not very well received designs by Joseph Frazer who joined the company in 1938. He kept morphing the newer Overland platform to be more like the '40 Ford and designated it the Americar in 1941. Only made in 1941 and 1942 Americars were officially Models 441 & 442 respectively.
    26 T Ford RPU and loudbang like this.
  7. rooman
    Joined: Sep 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,878


    Neil 004.jpg
    This is what an original Holden built Willys body looks like. Note that there are quarter windows in the doors and that the upper frame is a thin channel section rather than part of the door skin stamping. Also the bottom of the door is rolled under and extends all the way to the bottom of the body with the rocker panel inset behind it rather than the exposed version of the US built cars.
    Incidentally this was my daily driver/shop truck in Oz in the mid 80's and is now in Wisconsin with a Willys collector.

    BradinNC, Jimmy B, Spoggie and 3 others like this.
  8. The 440, 441 and 442 was for 4 cylinder-1940 and so on, I have seen no mention of the 39 Overland being called a model 61 which stood for the new 61 hp motor. Over the years I have seen it in books an magazines, but no mention here. The 39 Overland is what got me into Willys back 75 but didn't buy it till Sept. 76, I was 17. JW
    kiwijeff likes this.
  9. Just been thinking a bit more and as for the model 61 I mentioned, would it be reasonable to say the model 48 was referring to its 48 hp motor? JW
    loudbang likes this.
  10. This is out of my American Car Spotters Guide. The dash on my 39 Overland had two round gauges in the centre like the 37-38 but with one glove box etc. It was the first year they were assembles here in New Zealand for our market. JW
  11. Roo...your Holden bodied Ute now sports a '40 front clip (he had to have more room for a radiator) I'vebeen in it and it's a neat car. I don't live too far from the owner, and we've been friends for 25 plus years. gwillys
  12. The true 39 Willys is the model 48 which is the same as a 38 Model 38.
    26T Ford...not sure I agree with your above statemen, so I dug out my Willys parts book, which you can see has been around for a while (so long that I don't remember where I got it. ) You can see that the Model 48 is listed with ther 37-38 years, and that the Model '39 (with the shark nose) was listed separately as a 1939, and just before the section for the 440 model View attachment 3635763 g-willys View attachment 3635764 View attachment 3635766 View attachment 3635766 View attachment 3635763

    Attached Files:

  13. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 1,535


    Interesting reading. I have long had a question so here it goes: I know everyone and their dog pronounces it "Willies" but does anyone know if the original surname would be pronounced"Willis" with the long y sound being a short I sound? Normally that's what happens such as in "vinyl". And please, no "Whay choo talkin about Willis" replies.... LOL.
  14. I have heard that about the pronunciation and it may be the potato, potarto thing. I have often wondered how one could know for sure. JW
  15. g-willys,I'm not sure what you disagree on as I agree on what you just said.:) JW
  16. I have been saying and hearing ""ies" for 60 years.
    modelkitbasher likes this.
  17. 1933_willys_77
    Joined: Feb 6, 2008
    Posts: 382

    from ILLINOIS

    I also belong to the Willys-Overland Knight old timers club and up until the 1990's some of the members still alive at the time worked at the company all the way back to the 1930's and knew John Willys. They stated in the club magazine more than once he pronounced his name Willis. I also showed an older Polish man in my neighborhood one of my hubcaps and asked how he would pronounce the name. He also said Willis. When not running the corp. John North Willys was the American Ambassador in Poland. By the way Willys-Overland was in bankruptcy twice, first time in the twenties.
    26 T Ford RPU and elgringo71 like this.
  18. 26Ford T...I thought I read in your post from Thursday that you said the true '39 Willys is the model 48...I apologize if I didn't read it correctly. g-willys
  19. On Willis versus Willys...somewhere on the internet a few years back I ran across a radio ad for a 1950 Willys Wagon.
    In the recorded ad the pronunciation was definitely Willis. ,said a number of times. I am old enough to also remember most people did say Willis back then...don't know when it mostly became Willys...but my personal preference is the
    willys pronunciation, however I am not offended by either pronunciation. g-willys...willis ????
  20. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 1,535


    Well the Willis pronunciation is what I suspected. Perhaps people just unconsciously inserted a ' and read Willy's and it was accepted?
  21. Hasn't this thread got exciting, all very interesting stuff. On a side note in the famous movie Hot Rot, the old guy referred to the coupe as a pre-war Willis coupe. JW
    elgringo71 likes this.
  22. rfraze
    Joined: May 23, 2012
    Posts: 1,907


    John North's name was pronounced Willis, but the car name was mispronounced so often, they decided as long as you were a customer what did they care how you pronounced it.
    elgringo71 and 26 T Ford RPU like this.
  23. At my age and my advanced Partzheimer's, it will always be "ies". If John North wanted to be called 'Willis' he should have gone to court and changed his name to that. That's like guys named Fuchs getting mad when you don't call them "Fox". Or Brett Favre getting mad when you don't call him "Farve".
    26 T Ford RPU likes this.
  24. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 1,535


    Not debating what the common practise is just find it interesting how pronunciation morphs and become accepted; and that Favre issue kind of bugs me as it is so obvious on the correct pronunciation. Meanwhile back at the garage we all agree that the Willys is a pretty cool little car in all of it's shapes and forms.
    26 T Ford RPU likes this.
  25. This doesn't quite come under the heading of 'ODD ONE' when it comes to Willys, but I have not found reliable facts and figures on what percentage of coupes and pickups were produced, versus the sedan body style. A ballpark figure from scattered data over the many years for me is: (very roughly) 50-60% SEDANS, 20-30% Coupes, and
    10-20% Pickups. I am counting on finding some reall data, as our experts out there must have seen some data on this somewhere. I have the production data from years 33-42, but not the breakdown on types of bodies. You go to a drag strip and it seems like they made all coupes and pickups, and a sedan here and there, but we know that isn't true. Come on...whose got those facts and figures. g-willys
    IMG_20170624_164220975_HDR (1).jpg dragrace-wheels up (2).jpg
    *Pictures are from Back to the 50"s 2017, and Minnesota Dragways (circa 1964 ?)
    For our Aussie and New Zealand buddies...any idea on production numbers that made it to your country, and breakdown on % of sedans, coupes, pickups???
    elgringo71 likes this.
  26. I seem to remember that data has been published several times over the years. I think for sure @, and most likely here somewhere in the archives. I have a book at home that might have those numbers. Will look it up when I get home.
    elgringo71 likes this.
  27. I thought I would add these pics for discussion, Holden Body '40 Willys that was at the 2008 Wintersun. I have included two pics of a Holden body '37 Chev ute as the uppers doors are very similar. The Holden Willys boot lid (Trunk) is very close to late 30s Chev roadsters, even the bodyline fades into the quarters like a Chev DSCF6035.JPG DSCF6036.JPG DSCF6037.JPG DSCF6040.JPG DSCF6041.JPG DSCF0078.JPG
    37coupeute likes this.
  28. andydodge
    Joined: Sep 28, 2008
    Posts: 638


    From the Norm Darwin book, The History Of Holden Since 1917, published by Eddie Ford, 1983..............
    Willys, Holden built bodies
    1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 143
    Sedan 899 58 1253 1473 562 197 67 6
    Tourer 216 12
    S/Coupe 86 6 67 1
    B/Coupe 41 2
    Roadster 136 4
    Utility 375 241 4

    ..........I can personally vouch for at least 2 of the 1937 Tourers as I saw 2 sitting side by side in a wrecking yard in Bentley, near Lismore Northern NSW around 1992/93 both were basket cases tho' restorable but had the top irons and body panels intact, both had full height front doors also the yard was sold soon after and the whereabouts of both 1937 tourers is unknown.
    I have also seen a couple of the 1938-1940 Willys Tourers over the years which had a cut down British or European style front door, tho' from memory now I can't recall whether these did have rear doors.......I have seen mention that these cut door cars were assembled/made by either T J Richards or Flood Body Builders
    The Ute figures are for 1938/39 & 40, the Business Coupe figures are for 1938/39......Andy Douglas
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
  29. Its willys not willis.if it were willis the cars wouldnt be called willys now would they.all my emblems on my cars says willys not willis.
  30. Just like Smith or Smyth !! JW
    modelkitbasher likes this.

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