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History !!FOUND!! Grist Bros. chopped 41 Willys Build updates, History & Pics?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ether, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. Heres one I am working on in the shop. Its the 41 chopped Willys the Grist Bros. ran in the 60's, unknown where abouts till recently. Any pics would be appreciated as well as any history or info on this one. Chad

    Heres what is known so far.....


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  2. n.z.rodder
    Joined: Nov 18, 2008
    Posts: 1,016


    You'd think someone should know something about a car like that. I'm currently rebuilding a Funny car body for a customer, it's the ex- Don Susuka's Mr Magoo Plymouth Arrow from the late 70's and I'm damned if I can find any pics anywhere.
  3. alsancle
    Joined: Nov 30, 2005
    Posts: 1,562


    I love Willys Coupes and that chop looks pretty cool. Maybe you could post some of the history as you know it (recent maybe?) and that would get the ball rolling.
  4. Sorry I have no clue what magazine this is from. It was cut out and put in a scrap book many years ago.


    kidcampbell71 likes this.

  5. This ad is from Hot Rod mag, Nov 1960.
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  6. Kev, That is impressive stuff!!! We'd love to get a copy of that stuff. The Willys is a big undertaking but will be well worth it.
    Im not totally sure on some of the info but here is what I got.

    The Willys was chopped in the Bay area of Southern Calif some time In the 50s. To be said to have been chopped by a couple Japanese guys.
    The Grist Bros got it from a gentelman who was running a Flatty in it but didnt get the mill in the purchase. They campaigned it in the late 50s early 60s? Holding some records and such.
    The coupe was sold to a gentelman in the late 60s and it ended up in Mississippi area where the owner died in a drag racing incident in 69 running and Anglia? The family took the Willys to "the farm" where it sat till about '83.
    A gentelman from around Alabama bought it minus the chassis, which was in his mind quite molested for what he wanted to do with the car. It went through a couple hands, one seling the 2 piece frontend and replacing it with the current 1 piece. Where he got it about to the stage it is in right now.
    I think the car went through a few hands before it wound up in the previous owners buddys hands in 93' and he got it in Nov. 08, not knowing what the car was till they abut stumbled on it in the Gasser Wars book.
    Kinda broken history. Anyone add to it or correct what I got. Some of the info has come from one of the Grist Bros. Chad
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  7. Ron Mayes
    Joined: Mar 24, 2006
    Posts: 707

    Ron Mayes

    Just me but I would put it back the way it was many have went the other direction . :rolleyes:
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  8. Ron, man Im trying my best to lean the owner that way!!!!
  9. Ron Mayes
    Joined: Mar 24, 2006
    Posts: 707

    Ron Mayes

  10. 296ardun
    Joined: Feb 11, 2009
    Posts: 4,401


    I can't help with the history, but saw the car run a number of times...really agree that it would be great if it could be restored back to its original form.
  11. brandon
    Joined: Jul 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,334


    its just another willys until its returned to its previous state....i tried to persaude the owner of the rod shop anglia , but it didn't work:rolleyes::D now its just another tubbed anglia trying to relive its previous history
  12. hershambob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,316


  13. EdGrist
    Joined: Sep 27, 2009
    Posts: 44


    First of all, thanks Chad for starting this thread and letting me know about it. For 45 years the Willys dad and Ralph raced has been lost to our family. Dad passed away back in 1974 and all of the racing I grew up with in Southern California seemed to be just a faded memory. I have a few pictures, an aluminum connecting rod with Mickey Thompson stamped on it and a few other odds and ends. The recent discovery and restoration work being done is really exciting. I have started working on building a tribute website and you all are invited to check it out. It is nothing spectacular yet, but it is a start. I'm in the process of learning html and it is going a little slow. But, I promise it will grow. You can find it at

    Kiwi Kev, the magazine pages you posted yesterday came from Hot Rod Parts Illustrated (October 1963), which I have. You posted three pics and a Dempsey Wilson ad that I do not have. Do you have and can you send me these in high-res for use on the website?

    Thanks to all of you for all of your help.
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  14. A few updates of the progress on this one. Long weekend figuring out what is Willys, what was Shiftmaster Spl. mods., and whats RUST....

    They dont just repop crap for these things!?!?!?!

    Welcome aboard Ed.

    Attached Files:

    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  15. so did someone try to rape that thing into a useless street rod or what??? Call me ignorant but are you restoring it to 60s gasser or modifying it(thatd be a shame)????
  16. In my mind its just one straight axle away from going in the right direction!!!!!!

    That actually sounded good!

    The cool thing about it is when they chopped it, instead of lengthening the roofline as the top went forward with the A-pillers, they just added a set of sedan doors.(which are shorter than coupes). Less weight and drag with a chopped top as well as lighter doors.
  17. Does it still have the stock willys axle????
  18. lockwoodkustoms
    Joined: Dec 22, 2005
    Posts: 3,910


    That is very cool and I hope you can tlk him into the right thing. Oh yeah check out my Merc post I will be bugging you when I start working on
  19. No, the guy who bought it (the Willys) "off the farm" left the original stuff on purchase. Its said he couldnt get it all in his S-10???? The new owner is trying to locate it, if it isnt Campbell soup cans by now.
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  20. codeblu
    Joined: May 11, 2006
    Posts: 606


  21. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,977

    from DFW USA

    A chopped Willys setting unblown A/G records with a 501ci stroked injected MEL. My GOD that is cool!!!!!!!!

    No offense intended, but someone REALLY needs to trade the owner a glass body for the steel one. A car with that kind of history should be put back together. IMO.
  22. Right now I am trying to get the body in one piece and then we are going to see which direction the chassis goes.
  23. Not restoring that car is a fucking crime.
  24. So is it shorter in the wheelbase now? I can´t see any indication that they lengthened the rear quarters. Strange that in a few of the old pictures the nose and front fenders have a definite "uphill" slant to them.
  25. ShakeyPuddin55
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,902


    I cant imagine a mid 60's Willys gasser with a cowl.
  26. Royalshifter
    Joined: May 29, 2005
    Posts: 15,544

    from California

    Please tell me that it will be 100% Drag Car that it use to be.
  27. Very cool car... I hope it returns to it's former as raced glory and it get's a family reunion at some point down the road. Love the chop too... and I typically feel chopping a Willy's coupe is a mortal sin... those crazy Japanese!!!

    [subscription added]
  28. Doing the chop the way they did, its amazing how easy it was for them. Ill take some pics from inside to show if anyone is interested.

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