The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ether, Sep 22, 2009.
Turned out great
Great job Chad on the metalwork! Shame to hide it under the guise of an "Outlaw" body looking street rod IMHO.
Very nice job. Wish current owner would have resored it to as raced look but to each his own.
Color photo of Grist Bros gasser at Winternationals can be seen at
Photo shoot teaser.....and with some luck, maybe the Grist family will post some pics of their reunion with the Willys a few months ago!
Honestly if i had a shop and that came in, well lets just say it'd turn up missing just on principal, atleast it's street rod trendy enough that it'll be uncool and forgoten in 10 years and hopefully then the future owner will appreciate history and want to fix it
Btw nothing personal at you Ether, i know you have to pay the bills, and when a customer says jump....
Ether, you did a great job on this!! Fantastic craftsmanship for sure!
I just wish the owner respected its history and wasn't into '80s style street rods.
Chad, this is a little late in posting ... I've been speechless and words just couldn't come. But, you and everyone that touched it did a most excellent job with the Willys! I appreciate so much all of the preservation of sheet metal etc. I don't care that it's a "street rod", as so many have complained about. It will always be the car that Dad (Floyd Grist) drove and the one I remember from when I was a kid in the '60s. So many memories associated with that car! It is truly one of a kind. There is absolutely no other Willys with "that particular chop" period.
The "Roll Out" this past June was a huge event, and a real treat, we even got to ride in it! Although Dad and Mom are both gone, there were four generations of Grist's that we're able to make the trip including my Uncle Ralph, my oldest son, Jason, my youngest son, Jeremy, his daughter, Maddy, and me. It was hosted by two of the best folks I've met (the owners), and was attended by all of the folks that had a hand in the build. It was an event I'll never forget. Thanks to all of you that had a hand in the restoration of such a beautiful Willys ... I look forward to seeing it and you all again!
I have a little trouble posting pics on here, but feel free to post any pics you have from the event, assuming you have permission from the owners.
My best to you all and your families! Merry CHRISTmas everyone!
Yes, that is Ben Ryan, Sr., Dad (Floyd Grist), and myself at about 12 years old. I believe the pic was shot in the pits at San Gabriel circa 1963.
Thanks Ed!!! Here are a few from the reunion....
An awesome reminder of an awesome time Chad! Thanks for posting! That is such an awesome Willys ... and it always will be!
I bought this car about 8 months ago. All I was told was it had 60's racing history. Body was found in Texas. It's a 41, chopped w/ coupe doors. Doing research- they told me it was chopped by an asian guy, that all the info I had. One guy told me it might be the Grist Bros coupe but obviously not.
Original frame is a 41 w/ straight axle w/ Olds rear. I have that frame in storage. Car has a different frame now as it was being built into a nostalgia more modern a/gas car.
Body & frame was found in 2003 along w/ a pile of rusty fenders & front end. I won't post the current pics as it's not HAMB friendly. If I ever got the real story on this car- I would return it to it's former glory. If not, I'll leave it as-is.
As found in 2003
@ Steves32 ... that is definitely a unique chop, but, as you said, not the Grist Bros former coupe. There is something that looks somewhat familiar about it though. If I see anything that may be a clue about its' history, I will give you a shout. It appears the rear windows may be an identifying factor. Thanks for posting the pics. You may consider starting a unique thread and post pics as you progress with the build. Just a thought.
I've thought of starting a thread on it but it doesn't get a very friendly response here.
Car was running when bought 8 months ago. It's what everyone hates here. Big tire car w/ unique frame, race car interior, a blower motor & it's chopped.
I only mentioned it because of the asian guy I was told chopped it originally.
You said the Grist bros coupe was also chopped by an asian.
Do you have any other details of who chopped the coupe?
If anyone knows anything, I'd like to hear it.
While surfing youtube for old car vids I found this clip of the Grist Bros. coupe in action. As well as an early version of the S-W-C coupe and what looks to be Eddie Hills twin engine digger!
Glad you were able to find this Speed Gems! It just went up today (2/17/15). Yes, that was SWC a couple of times. Not sure about Eddie Hill's twin engine. Was he running SoCal in '60-'63? There were several twins at that time. There are some other notables too ... like Ansen Bros, Gene Ciambella (the yellow Willys & in the Grist Bros pit), Gayland Hill (red gasser), Ben Ryan with his '59 Chevy ShiftMASTER Special, I'm pretty sure that is Chuck Finders in the dark Willys pickup at San Gabriel, and the beautiful yellow dragster of Greer, Black & Prudhomme at Pomona. A bunch of others whom I can't remember off-hand. The yellow Willys at Pomona was Dick Bourgeois of Bourgeois & Wade. Grist Bros lost a bearing in that run that was plagued with red-flag starts. The Grist Bros were my Dad (Floyd-driver) and my Uncle Ralph.
Posted also on the threat you started on this video, THANKS!...the twin-Chev side-by-side is the early version of the Howard Cams Special that Jack Chrisman drove, when they ran 4-71 blowers on it
Thanks 296ardun. Jack Chrisman is a name I was trying to remember. My son, Jeremy is actually the one who posted the video to YouTube earlier today. Thanks for your comments.
Steve32, sorry for the slow response, just seeing this. I'm sorry, but no other information is available regarding the two asians that chopped the top other than I believe they were from Northern California, maybe the Bay Area.
Thanks, Eddy, I just double-checked Drag News, I might have been wrong about the driver, I forgot that Glen Ward also drove the Howard Cam Special...here is a picture I cut from an April 1960 issue:
296ardun, April 1960 is very close to the time frame for the video clips at San Fernando. So, most likely it was Glen Ward. Thanks for the clarification. I'm sure there are many other cars/drivers of fame in the video that was posted. I was 9-years-old in 1960. I remember lots of cars, and lots of names, but sometimes it is hard to put them together. Thanks for your comments!
Saw the Grist Willys run at Madera in the early 60's as I recall-it was way fast and I think the announcer for the Clutchers (TomClark-worked for Hartwig Pontiac) said it was powered by an Edsel motor--was very fast and will never forget it--a SWC coupe was rhere too. I'm sure there are others here that were there that day too-maybe Casper from Fresno. Willy's Pie Wagon (Thames panel) was there too I think
Yes, olscrounger, we did go to Madera once. It was April 16, 1961. It was an official NHRA record meet (I have the document). The GB set the record running 12.24 @ 118.89, which was a record back then, with no track prep and 10" tires. The naturally aspirated motor in the GB coupe was actually a 501 cubic inch MEL (Mercury/Edsel/Lincoln) engine based on the 430 block, don't know what year. Although it was a Ford product, it never actually appeared in a Ford car.
Nice to hear from you--ran there a lot when Madera was a Natl record strip-I was there-remember it well--as said, announcer (Tom Clark) said it was Edsel powered--it was a bad ass Willys--have mentioned to many folks over the past years but no one remembered it--- I was running B/SA that day with a 57 Tri Power Pontiac as was Lou Toschi with a similar car and a Pontiac powered rail as I recall. I'm sure there are still some Clutchers out there who remember it as well. Richard Brown was the official flagger for Madera for many years--this may have been after flag start don't recall now.
Yes, it was flag start. I don't think the Christmas Tree appeared until the '64 Winternationals. I don't remember the cars you mentioned, but that's not saying much for me. I was 10 then. I just remember going in the middle of the night and being really tired I do have the certificate issued for that record run ... along with some others. I also have an old M/T aluminum rod from their last engine.
If it was still flag start then Im sure Richard Brown was still the flagman--others here will know-I was 18 at the time and ran there a lot.
Grassroots racing, a great time for drag racing.
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