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History Earliest Willys Racecars

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by elgringo71, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 7,897

    loudbang
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  2. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 1,702

    jnaki

    upload_2017-4-27_3-44-14.png upload_2017-4-27_3-44-30.png
    1959 Lions: Altered Class race Ford vs Willys

    Hey EG,

    Hopefully, this will showcase that Willys coupes and sedans were not just for the Gas Coupe/Sedan classes. But, it is an early Willys coupe in an “Altered” coupe class.

    Up to this point, we only saw Fords and Fiats in the Altered classes. The motors included everything from Flatheads to HEMIs. But, they were always in a Fiat or some Ford coupe or sedan, with a Crossley thrown in the mix. This light purple Willys was…”Doing his own thing.” In 1959, there were a handful of Willys cars racing in the Gas Coupes and Sedans Class in So Cal.

    We never saw a Willys coupe in an Altered Class until one day at Lions in 1959. Not only did it have red wheels in the back, but a mean stance when it rolled up to the start line.(on a light purple paint job)

    Jnaki

    One of the earliest Willys Altered coupes, if not the only one…fits right in to this thread!

    History lesson for a Willys Altered? Owner/driver/motor? Anyone? It was 1959 at the Lions Dragstrip in Long Beach.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
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  3. Junji, remember the Fantasia full bodied Willys that ran A fuel altered? Talk about a show!
     
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  4. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 1,944

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    @elgringo71 and @loudbang Heres the original article on Ollie Olsens car from Hot Rod May of '62 i found in my pile.
    Scan0081.jpg Scan0082.jpg Scan0083.jpg
     
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  5. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 1,944

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    Porky Zartmans Filthy Fourty HRM March '64
    Scan0086.jpg Scan0087.jpg
     
  6. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
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  7. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,338

    elgringo71
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    @jnaki, that early footage is the closest that some of us will ever get to the golden age of dragracing. I like to study the details and see how things were.

    @Dean Lowe, I love to hear stories from those that were there. I have seen pictures of the Fantasia and have heard that it was one of only a few Willys to run nitromethane. Do you know what years that it ran and do you remember anything that we would like to know about it?

    @Speed Gems those early magazines articles give the true specifications on how the cars were built and get into the technical part way more than magazines do today (my dad was a big fan of the Filthy Fourty)

    There have been times that I left this thread alone because I couldn't find anything new that hadn't already been posted but people keep finding great stuff to keep it alive and interesting. Thanks to everyone that has participated
     
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  8. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 7,897

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    Not sure but the cars in the background look to be very early.

    1.JPG

    2.JPG

    3.JPG
     
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  9. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,338

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  10. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
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    Pomona 1963-64 I have now idea who this belonged to but it definitely has the early stance. Thanks Junji,

    IMG_3904.PNG
     
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  11. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 7,897

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    Atts Ono

    Atts Ono early.jpg

    M&H Engineering

    M H Engineering EARLY.jpg

    57pushingwillys-vi EARLY.jpg

    Early.jpg
     
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  12. SR100
    Joined: Nov 26, 2013
    Posts: 269

    SR100

    Which sanctioning body/era used MG classes(I'm assuming it stands for Modified Gas)?
     
  13. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,338

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    I believe that it was AHRA
     
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  14. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
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    elgringo71
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  15. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
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    loudbang
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    Harley Estes

    altered.jpg
     
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  16. 35willyspickup
    Joined: Feb 16, 2010
    Posts: 90

    35willyspickup
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    from Hawaii

  17. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
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    Heres a high resolution scan of the Gallopin Gasser article from Hot Rod Apr. '62.
    Scan0108.jpg Scan0109.jpg Scan0110.jpg Scan0111.jpg
     
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  18. 3day
    Joined: Apr 15, 2009
    Posts: 348

    3day
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    from UK

    h
    how come this looks like it has a smaller windshield, almost as if its been chopped? Maybe just a painted window rubber perhaps?
     
  19. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,338

    elgringo71
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    That's a good question, it looks like the sheetmetal piece under the Windshield is taller but on the second to last picture it the Windshield looks very short too

    Here are pictures of several coupes at a similar angle for comparison

    IMG_4382.JPG IMG_0086.JPG IMG_1215.JPG IMG_1660.JPG IMG_0109.JPG IMG_2333.JPG IMG_6861.JPG IMG_7964.JPG
     
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  20. suptclark
    Joined: Sep 19, 2009
    Posts: 4

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    last hornet at dead man's curve.jpg 64-65 Aurora  E-town.jpg 2016 entering roxbury.jpg last hornet at dead man's curve.jpg /ATTACH] 2016 entering roxbury.jpg 64-65 Aurora  E-town.jpg July 2012 at Englishtown. Joe Black brought his new Green Hornet and I brought my Aurora 7 Willys. We were reunited after 42 years. Sadly he passed the following year.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
  21. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 7,897

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    Masters & Richter AGS 1941 Willys, built and driven by Don Jensen. Courtesy of Don Jensen

    Masters & Richter AGS 1941 Willys, built and driven by Don Jensen. Courtesy of Don Jensen.JPG

    again

    Masters & Richter AGS 1941.JPG

    Charger II

    Charger II.JPG
    Mystery Willys at San Gabriel

    Mysterey Willys at San Gabriel.JPG


    Speed Specialists at 6 flags Dragway Texas

    Speed Specialists  at 6 flags dragway texas and oldest.JPG
     
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  22. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,338

    elgringo71
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    @loudbang , you found some cool ones. The Charger ll pictures was taken at Double Eagle Dragstrip in San Antonio Texas. The best find was the Masters and Richter Willys. It's definitely an early car and I hadn't seen that one before. I did some digging around and and found this information about it.

    IMG_4677.JPG IMG_4678.JPG

    "Vaca Valley in 1958 had new pavement, but sometimes there was lots of wind! It ran north to south. The shutoff was in a 20-foot cut. Windy? Just run the other way. They did not even move the clocks. I only brought my twin-engined dragster once because the wind was so bad, They called it off. Later that year, I went to watch. A friend from high school and former Hayward Head Hunter, Eugene "Red" Case, was driving Clark Cagle's slingshot. He did not shut off! He hit a hay rake. Red was not killed,
    but passed a week later from pneumonia. In the summer of 1959, I ran the M&R Willys A Gas Supercharged coupe at 129mph. There were no dragsters, so I made Top Eliminator. On the first run, I beat a 150mph Hot Roadster. Next I faced a 120mph competition coupe. But my engine did not run under 3000 rpm. I was ahead halfway when my engine quit! It was our only chance to win Top Eliminator with a street coupe. I let out the clutch on the return road. No fuel pressure! Sid Masters, who loved to tinker, fessed up. He changed the pressure adjuster on the Hilborn pump, something Hilborn says NEVER touch!!!! "

    Don Jensen

    Don was The President of The Hayward Headhunters Club. I don't know what year the pictures were taken but the story adds a little history.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  23. This is Junior Thompson's brother, Eddie. This SBC 4 speed Willys would literally stand on the rear bumper.
    [​IMG]
     
  24. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,338

    elgringo71
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    @Dean Lowe , Thanks for identifying it. I hadn't been able to ever find anything on that one. Do you have any idea what year he started racing it?
     
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  25. 1963 The car was not run very long. Don't know who it was sold to.
     
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  26. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,338

    elgringo71
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  27. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 1,702

    jnaki


    Hello HS,
    Here is the movie that I took from 1960 at Lions Dragstrip in So Cal. The movie is real, I took the actual footage on my 16mm movie camera in 1959-60. But before I put on the name of the "Mr. Gasket" car on my original movie clip, something does not add up. (besides, there are no maroon fenders...)There were no Willys coupes painted black with maroon fenders during this time period...it was the basics back then...

    In 1959-60 there was no Mr. Gasket.... that started in 1964. Progressive photos from 1959 to the present would help clear up the discrepancies. No one in So Cal has stepped up to ID that Willys or know who owned that Willys. Even the remaining Grist Bros family members cannot ID that car.

    So verified proof of ownership, with photos would clear up any ID problems. It would help if there was a publicly produced photo or listing in a magazine or drag racing newspaper.

    Jnaki
    I do not want a label on my original films to be shown publicly (museums in various USA states) with the wrong information on them. So far, there are a lot of race cars on my films that go unnamed because no one can show proof. If it is in an old Drag News from 58-61, that is proof. I am still going through every So Cal archive and interviews with those old time racers to see if I can ID those missing names and information.
     
  28. Stan Back
    Joined: Mar 9, 2007
    Posts: 287

    Stan Back
    Member
    from California

    "The thing i don't get is why does Doug Hartlet's "E" Coupe have a (3)52 inch motor and the Benham and Wooden Willys run "C" Coupe with only a 300 inch motor. Typo?"

    No -- at the time the SCTA classes were "backwards". . . E was bigger than C. And the blower brought the probable D Hemi "up" to E.
     
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  29. elgringo71
    Joined: Oct 2, 2010
    Posts: 2,338

    elgringo71
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    Safeway Sandblasting Ardun Flathead Ford. I believe that this one was driven by Bones Balough after he stopped driving the Willys for Big John Mazmanian. I don't know who drove it early on.

    IMG_4876.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
  30. Bones drove the Safeway ARDUN Willys while he was driving Maz's Corvette. He stopped when Maz built the Willys. The Blown SBC in the Vette belonged to Bones, and was the first engine they ran in the Willys.
     
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