The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by elgringo71, Jul 2, 2016.
Isn't that the wheel from a modern spacesaver spare on the front (w/ whitewall)?
These were somewhat popular back then, just because they looked different(expensive.) But, were only for pre-1949 Ford bolt patterns. Made and distributed by a Seattle, Washington company called California Equipment Co.
$142 in 1960 equals $1,166.10 in 2017.
Those on the Willys were $62: $62 in 1960 equals $509.14 in 2017.
View attachment 3770575
Intrigued by this car - it has a really early look to it, but pics ive seen of it all look to be from past few decades. I thought i had an old pic of it but can't now find anything. Is it an original build thats survived? Does anyone have more info?
Three Day & SR100
This is a Minnesota car...more of the Minnesota tin. I know a lot about this car, but with all my time at the track in the 60's I don't think I ever saw it run. Where to start...the owner was a person, (now deceased) named Gary Gilgosch. (Gillys Willys). I first knew him when I was an instructor, at a local summer hockey school that he had enrolled his son in...but I was done with my racing at that time (the early 70's)...however I did not know that he had a Willys or was into gassers. When I got back into (Willys) cars in the late 70's, I found my old coupe, but it was not for sale. It later sold without my knowledge, and the new owner put a 426 Hemi in it. Now out of my price range, Gary bought it to become its 3rd owner (Un-beknown to me)...he didn't know of my willys background, and I didn't know of his. I got to meet him again when he joined Mid-America Willys Club, and began coming to my local (Annual) Willys Picnic. He owned a body shop, and I was glad that my old car would finally get finished. In the mean time he told me of his Willys history, and said he had another old race car (his '40 coupe) at home in a shed. I meant to stop by, and did get get to his body shop and saw my old coupe, but never did get to his house to see the red coupe in his shed. I first saw it at the 1999 Gasser Reunion get together in St Louis (actually East St Louis). It was an absolute throwback "period" piece from the 60's. By this time I had found a coupe (my white '39), and kept asking him about my old gasser that he had bought (now with the 426 in it). In all the years Gary had my old car, he and his son (who now owns the body shop) never got my (old) car finished. There is a lot more to the story, but this is enough for now, and I will add more later.
The red car however is still here in the metro area with a new owner, as Gary's son decided to part with it. g-willys
Here's a story regarding Gillys Willys that was told to me by Gary himself. Gary was in a Willys dealership somewhere in St Paul, or the surrounding area, and asked the parts department person if there were any Willys parts anywhere in the dealership for a 1940 Willys, on the chance that they might have something that got stashed away and forgotten. The parts man told him that he thought there was an old fender somewhere upstairs in there storage area. Remember now this was perhaps back in the early 60's when a 1940 coupe was only a 20 year old car. Sure enough, as Gary told to me, the fender was for a 40-41-42, and still wraped in the brown paper from the factory. Gary said that he paid something like 5-10 dollars for it and carried it out to his vehicle...the parts guy was just glad to get rid of it. We were by the coupe at the Gateway drag strip in east St Louis, and Gary said, its the passenger side front fender, rub your hand under the wheel well, which I did. It was super smooth and kind of shinny black...it actually felt nicer than the top side of the fender, which had the red paint on it. Ron Ladley told me once, that he did similiar things by asking for any old left over parts a dealership might have in the attic, or in storage...he got lots of stuff that way.
I like hearing these stories of parts finds and wild goose chases that turned out to be a Willys Coupe. Sometimes you get lucky.
The near Final Chapter...My 1940 coupe changed hands one more time. The owner of Gillys Willys, perhaps because he knew he was ill, I don't know for sure, but he decided to sell my old '40, now with the 426 in it, to another local guy.
That guy wanted to finish it, and so he did. He put a lot of time and $$ into it and it was finally done. It was stunning, and it ended up in one of our local car show. You will see by the picture how fantastic it turned out after going through the 3 previous owners after I sold it in 1969...I had my fun, but it was nice to know that it brought lots of fun and satisfaction to the 4 who owned it after me. The car is still around the twin cities, and once again for sale...g willys
Hey Bill, it's me Chuck. I went with you and Al Lindgren to the Vintiques show a couple years ago (just refreshing your memory - which seems quite solid after reading your stories). I should have bought that Willys sedan we spoke of, but I tend to be the guy that misses out on good deals. Either way, I now own a fiberglass '40 body and am collecting parts in an attempt to replicate an early dedicated drag coupe. My question is for you, and anybody else "in the know" is...did the guys 'back in the day' narrow the rear axles when they used an 8 lug (3/4 ton truck?) axle? I see a lot of 8 lug axles, but it seems to me they would have had to narrow them. Or was/is their a specific year, make, model of a rear 8 lug axle?
Not Indy,was at Orange Mass. Drags.Those pics. are from my collection.Coupe was owned by Maury Brodin back then.I owned it a while back but sold it to a friend of mine
Another pic. from a slide collection I had transferred to disc a few years ago,probably taken at Orange Mass.airport drags.Buddy of mine sold it in mid-late 60's and has never been seen since
Dickie Doyle from Ct.
from Terryville Ct.
RIP. Jack Merkel's 39
Speedway Custom & Speed
Hi Chuck...I know there will be someone who can give you a more accurate answer, but from my memory we did not narrow the rear end on my original '40 coupe...I CAN tell you that it was a 6 bolt chevy pickup rear end. My best recollection from at the track back in the early 60's, was that there were many of the old drag cars with wheels sticking way out of the wheel well, which tells me that they were not narrowed...but certainlythere were some where the wheels fit under the body too...I guess I never gave it much thought. I have a picture of the chasis on the '40 somewhere, maybe I can find it...if I have it you will see an olds hydro mounted, but it didn't run well with that trans...ran better with a 4-speed. I saw a lot of 8-lug set ups, but never looked into one...don't know much about them.
P.S. Al is sure having fun with his coupe...by the way, come to my Willys picnic this summer.
Thanks for the correction, it's important to get the facts right. Do you have any more pictures, stories or history that you can share about that coupe or any other early Willys race cars?
Here is some more information about the Truhitte willys pickup that Loudbang posted a picture of. It was built and raced by Red Truhitte and Joe Airoso of the Airoso Brothers and later it was raced by Red after Joe got a Willys Coupe.
Regarding some of the recent post about wide rear ends (truck), I'm not sure about those cars but I remember (faintly, I'm almost 73) that although it wasn't a truck rear end one of the earliest narrow looking cars was Jim Oddy's Willys, it had the wheels and tires inside of unradiased fenders. Looked very clean and almost unusual without tires hanging outside the body. Around the mid sixties era.
All these were at Pomona 63-64
EDIT: from nhranut That Willys P/U is Finders/Casper/Watson.
Brown Bros next to Duncan Shores
Looking above, I think we've all forgotten how popular flat-towing was. We registered our 23 T as a trailer (how, I don't remember).
That Willys P/U is Finders/Casper/Watson.
Fixed it again
I was reading an old Drag News and came across this photo ad from Scott Fuel Injection. This was right during our escapades at Lions with our 671 SBC 40 Willys build and race days. We were so wrapped up in our Willys runs and the excitement around the races that we overlooked this Hirshfield Willys in the Altered class. ( our races/runs were getting close to the national record in C/Gas and we were trying to push it a little harder with each run.) Besides, we knew of the Studebaker sedan from the Hirshfield race group, but this one just slipped by us.
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