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Original Prewar Willys - my everyday drivers

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by studeq, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. studeq
    Joined: May 14, 2010
    Posts: 34

    studeq
    Member
    from Mokena, IL

    Probably not too many on this forum ever drove an original Pre WWII Willys for everyday transportation. Back in the ‘60s I owned several and drove them extensively. I had all years from 1938-39-40-41 in various body styles and conditions. Enjoyed all of them but the ’38 coupe always seemed to get the most attention. I never did any restorations as all of mine were original. Peppy little 4 cyl cars but cheaply built and not much on the top end. Mostly around town cars that got great mileage!



    I started attending the drag races in 1959 (Nationals in Detroit) and made all the Indy Nationals for the next 20-25 years. I shot photos of most all the Willys cars I watched race in that era. While I enjoyed the action and some of the cars were exceptionally well done I don’t think from a styling stand point any of the racing cars could match the beauty of the original design (I am speaking here of the coupe bodied cars in 1940-42). All of the three windowed cars from 1937 on were beautifully executed (notwithstanding the “unusual” front ends on the ‘37-39 models). Personally I liked the ’40 Deluxe model and the ’41 and ’42 (without the split grille) the best.



    I note that a completely restored ’40 Deluxe coupe sold in a Russo & Steele auction in AZ in Jan 2013 for $135,000 plus a buyers premium! Kinda makes one wonder if it would not have been wiser to keep all those cars original!? How many all-out racing versions will bring that kind of money? A few perhaps but not many.


    I have lots of old Willys photos to post and will do so later as I dig them out. My old ’38 coupe below.

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  2. bubba67
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 1,792

    bubba67
    Member
    from NJ

    Willys are really cool stock, as well as Gassers.


    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
     
  3. ME.GASSER
    Joined: Sep 18, 2007
    Posts: 3,617

    ME.GASSER
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I`m not opposed to the detuned versions either!!!!:):):)
     
  4. ironandsteele
    Joined: Apr 25, 2006
    Posts: 5,301

    ironandsteele
    Member


  5. Smokey2
    Joined: Jan 11, 2011
    Posts: 920

    Smokey2
    Member

    Thanks for Posting............Good Story/ History,
    It gave Me "The Will-ies " :)
     
  6. Bought my '40 coupe in 1960, and drove it home. Kept it stock for 2 years before making a gasser out of it. Great fun as a stocker! It had a rubber bladed fan for a defroster addition to clear the windschield. 1940 was also the 1st year of the column shift in a Willys.
    Sold it (engine-less) in 1969. Car is still around today with the chrome window mouldings that I had done in the 60's, but now it sports a 426 Hemi. This was one of 6 coupes I owned over the years, but this one and the '39 I have now are the only two I ever built. Sold the others and they are all on the road now. Hate to tell you how little I got for them, with the exception of the last one I sold about 5 years ago. They were cheap cars...I bought them cheap, and sold them cheap!
    g-willys
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
  7. BlownMerc
    Joined: Mar 23, 2010
    Posts: 146

    BlownMerc
    Member
    from Jerome

    Personally I think it is hard to go wrong with a Willys in any form.
     
  8. My dad and uncle took me to sprint car and drag races at a very young age.
    I remember 66 or 67 I collected soda bottles for the deposit to get my first subscription to hot rod and never looked back.I wore the pages out until the next issue. Heros like M/T Roth, Nicholson Sox Jenkins and on, loved the stories. But that is when the sickness set in. Of all the cars it was the willys that I loved.
    In 1967 the US 30 nationals at York I came face to face with the nemesis. But the bad part was shortly after that I would see a man driving a 40 coupe around town.I wanted that car.I daydreamed in school about it in the driveway and what I was going to do with it. I watched it for a couple of years then it disappeared. I found out later in life it belonged to an old guy in a neighboring state and know one knows exactly were it went.


    Studeq: didn't mean to hi jack the thread you made me think of that guy driving the dirty ole 40 as his daily transportation.,... more pictures please:)
     
  9. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,694

    Weasel
    Member

    The original post strikes a chord here - as a long time Willys aficionado, my hot rodded 1940 De Luxe coupe is undergoing a total rebuild which includes removing all of the street rod and race car accoutrements to appear very close to stock including slightly widened stock wheels and caps, all the stock trim, stock steering wheel cut down to 16" diameter on a straight stock style steering column, original gauge cluster with upgraded internals, accessory wind wings and a single stage paint job. A stock Willys coupe is indeed a thing of beauty and I am bored with the gasser/racecar/pro street iterations.

    I bumped into this 1937 coupe a couple of years ago and spoke at length with the owner who told me it was his dad's car from new and that he restored it in his dad's honor. He drives it around town regularly but says the brakes are less than stellar in today's traffic....


    [​IMG]

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  10. Hdonlybob
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 3,912

    Hdonlybob
    Member

    Your picture is a classic all it's own..
    Those were beautiful flowing cars...never to be duplicated IMO..
    Cheers...
     
  11. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,320

    Barn Find
    Member
    from Missouri

  12. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,436

    2935ford
    Member

    My first encounter with Willy's coupes were at the drags. It was until many years later I saw a stock one and flipped!
    They are really so rare stock and yes, they are cool!
     
  13. Fullraceflathead
    Joined: Apr 27, 2012
    Posts: 23

    Fullraceflathead
    Member

    I have a 1941 Willys Pick up, all steel. It's set up for a Small Block Chevy on a custom frame. Mustang II Front end and Lincoln 9" rear. Disc brakes all around. Four link rear suspension. I hope to finish it one day. Love the Coupes and Pick ups.
     
  14. Way cool tread. I have had stock Willys since i was 17 in '76 when i got a '39 Overland sedan and my '37 'Sedan in ''77. The '37 ended up being my daily driver untill i retired her in early '87 after 70,000 miles and i stiil have her in the garage along with my stock '35 sedan that i got in '81. Both are due for some attention very soon and back on the road where they belong.JW.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Damn shades of my youth. Had 37 coupe in 1950 for my daily. Back then i thought it was about as igly as could be, however that was all i could afford. Sure wish I had kept it along with all the other jewels I had. Cheap transportation was key then not so much looks. Thanks for the pics. I never took any.
     
  16. And my '35 that saw lots of use in the '80s.JW.
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  17. studeq
    Joined: May 14, 2010
    Posts: 34

    studeq
    Member
    from Mokena, IL

    Thanks everyone for the responses!! Love the photos. Below some of my other original Willys cars. This photo taken in the mid 1960s. They were all drivers. Have no idea what ever happened to all of them. They got sold off one at a time. I am guessing they all ended up on the drag strip.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. ev88f
    Joined: Jan 29, 2010
    Posts: 371

    ev88f
    Member

    You don't see the gasser delete option too often :)
     
  19. you don't see many 59 ranchero's any more. You had quite a collection of cars
     
  20. cool....know of a stock 4 door two brothers have ownership over and with no intress in....but you know how that stuff goes...one has to give...keep taking trade bait over to make a deal....
     
  21. Bugsy
    Joined: Dec 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,281

    Bugsy
    Member
    from Kansas

    Very nice!!! That '38 is SWEET!!!!! They sure had great lines.
     
  22. studeq
    Joined: May 14, 2010
    Posts: 34

    studeq
    Member
    from Mokena, IL

    Here's the only one I owned that was not running. Taken about 1964. It had some rust out in the trunk well. Traded it to some guys in Chicago for a '33 Ford coupe set up for racing. I am sure the Willys ended up on the strip and has survived in some form.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,758

    tommy
    Member Emeritus

    When I was in high school (early 60s) we took a field trip to Harpers Ferry WVA. There was a pristine looking primer gray 40 Willys coupe parked on the street. I walked over and checked it out. Stock as a rock. On the bus leaving town the Willys passed us with an old white haired lady driving it. The only unrestored driver I've ever seen. It was not primer ...just weathered original gray paint.
     
  24. DD COOPMAN
    Joined: Jul 25, 2009
    Posts: 1,121

    DD COOPMAN
    Member

    Saved this pic from somewhere a while back. DD
     

    Attached Files:

  25. Hdonlybob
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 3,912

    Hdonlybob
    Member

    Love that car JW.....!!
    You can ship it over to me anytime you want !!! :eek::D:)
    Cheers...

     
  26. teejay99
    Joined: Sep 26, 2009
    Posts: 356

    teejay99
    Member

    Thanks for the thread . First Willys I ever saw , live in Technicolor , was at highschool in 1964....guy had a 40 Willys , 265 sbc powered . It had THE LOOK and was way cool I was "smitten" !

    T
     
  27. Hey Bob,the best i could do there is if you come here you can take her for a cruize and you are very welcome to Bob. JW :)
     
  28. KustomCars
    Joined: Jul 31, 2011
    Posts: 3,457

    KustomCars
    Member
    from Minnesota

    I have seen this coupe! To cool!
     
  29. studeq
    Joined: May 14, 2010
    Posts: 34

    studeq
    Member
    from Mokena, IL

    This photo is from c1963. This car belonged to an elderly gentleman who lived on a farm just outside Melvin, Illinois. It had several layers of paint on it (to keep it from rusting) and I was never able to get the old gent to sell it. It was his everyday driver. One day I drove my pristine original '38 down to see him (the car shown in the first post in this thread) and parked it next to his. I had a Super 8 movie camera at the time but unfortunately never got a good "stills." Not sure what ever happened to his car....but I can guess!

    [​IMG]
     
  30. studeq
    Joined: May 14, 2010
    Posts: 34

    studeq
    Member
    from Mokena, IL

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    Being a fan of the original prewar Willys cars I was especially interested in a photo feature in the current issue of Collectible Automobile of a 1941 “woodie” wagon that I just received this week. There is a brief 3 page article with nine color pictures. According to the story it is one of two survivors and belongs to Al Maynard of Clinton Township, MI. Just thought I would pass it along for anyone who may have an interest. Incidentally the same magazine (Collectible Automobile) had a twenty-page article covering all 1933-42 Willys cars in their June 1988 issue. You can sometimes find them on Ebay. It has 48 photos of mostly original vehicles.



    Below a snapshot of a "woodie" taken when it was new or near new. Note the sedan in the garage. Obviously a Willys family!



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