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Willys Aero, who has one?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by PhilJohnson, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. PhilJohnson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 906


    Just curious how many HAMB'ers own one. I got one myself. It is an extremely rusted 53 Lark with the split windshield. Runs good with the original 161 flathead six cylinder. One of these days I need to get motivated and start welding it up with my new TIG welder I bought.

    A few pics below :)






    volvobrynk likes this.
  2. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 5,623

    scrap metal 48

    Cool car.....make a neat little custom, gasser, street machine, etc.............
  3. Zerk
    Joined: May 26, 2005
    Posts: 1,419


    That thing would be a cool daily, especially with an overdrive trans.
  4. PhilJohnson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 906


    I know there are at least a couple of Aero owners on this site. Don't be shy :)

    That is the plan minus the overdrive trans (low on cash). I rescued it from becoming sheetmetal patches for other cars. Guy I got it from had a bunch of rods he was working on and didn't have much interest in the Willys. It was for sale for a long time before I got it. At the time I took a chance on the motor, had no idea if it ran. Luckily my blind bet paid off.

    There is a bit of rust on this poor puppy. The trans crossmember is held up by a chain on the passenger side. There are two holes drilled in the floor with a dog chain wrapped around a piece of retangular tubing inside the car. The driver's side is held in by the bracket for the master brake cylinder. The rocker panels consisted of wood being nailed to the car.

    Loads of bondo and chicken wire everywhere. Apparently some guy (not the one who I bought it from) never heard of using metal as patch panels. Even pop riveted metal would have been more structural that the bondo mess I have been pulling off the car.

    When I hopped in it for a spin the car flexed enough to the point where the driveshaft was hitting the trans tunnel a little bit. I shoved a piece of wood over the trans. When I sit in the seat it acts as a lever pressing down on the transmission :cool:

    I have fixed some pretty badly rusted cars but this one takes the rust cake. Being a unibody only makes it that much more challenging. It'll take some doing but I think I can handle it :D I plan on coating the underside in drain oil once I am done to protect my hard work. It'll be driven in place of the deisel guzzling hog of a pickup I am driving now.
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  5. jmh
    Joined: Jun 30, 2008
    Posts: 446


    Mild custom?? John
  6. DirtyWoody28
    Joined: Feb 26, 2008
    Posts: 595


    I know where one is sitting in OHIO if you need parts!!
  7. 32Auburn
    Joined: Nov 23, 2008
    Posts: 295

    from Oregon

    I used to have one. I'm sure you know this but your W in the grille was originally gold anodized to celebrate the golden anniversary of the Willys Overland company.
  8. Those cars make me smile every time I see one. Brings back a lot of memories from High School. My buddy had one and we had tons of fun with that little car. Good to see them finally getting some respect.

    No, I don't have one but I'd grab one in a minute if the opportunity arose.
  9. J Man
    Joined: Dec 11, 2003
    Posts: 4,111

    J Man

    I would like to have one one day
  10. bob3757
    Joined: Sep 26, 2008
    Posts: 158

    from Tigard, Or

    Attached are some pictures of my 1952 Willys Aero. I bought it in 2003, did some minor body work, lowered the crap out of it, had some fun with it, then sold it in 2005 to someone in Minnesota. One picture shows the modified front end pieces, control arms shortened 2", spindles moved up on the uprights about 4".

    Attached Files:

  11. plodge55aqua
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,710

    from Alberta

    Hello Phil.. Thats cool..
  12. PhilJohnson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 906


    Awesome, does it have a split windshield?

    A picture of the skillfully done repair job :eek: I think the guy must have used wood from an old deck because it is painted red as you can see in this picture.
  13. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,362


    I know of a hardtop, sitting, waiting for someone to save is complete minus the rear window...

    IN PLAINER WORDS - it's FOR SALE...!!!

    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  14. 55courier
    Joined: Nov 22, 2008
    Posts: 56


    There is one here in the Jefferson City, mo area. complete $300.00 I looked it over but could not bring myself to buy it.
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  15. Theo Douglas
    Joined: Nov 20, 2002
    Posts: 807

    Theo Douglas

    Phil, cool car. I like Aeros; they're really neat cars. Didn't know all that front suspension work was possible, though. If I had one, I'd definitely try to slam it.

    What state are you in? Just curious, 'cause I like the view through your windshield. Some days, the city bugs me.

    Happy Holidays!
  16. aerorocket
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 488

    from N.E. P.A.

    I have a 52 with a 394 Olds, Olds rear, stick etc. Hope to have it on the road this summer, but we all know how time flys. I don't know how to post pictures; my son does so I'll try and get him to post some when he is in the area.
  17. gary mundy
    Joined: Nov 26, 2009
    Posts: 45

    gary mundy
    from Kansas

    I have a 1952 willy ace. Put it on a 1982 olds floorpan fit perfect has a v6 oddfire nailhead buick in it. Hope i don,t get to much flagg over the nailhead part but thats what buick called them in 1966 look on my site for willy
  18. Rolleiflex
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 881


    I let one slip through my fingers many years ago and have regretted the decision ever since. It was offered to me for free and probably ended up at the crusher.
  19. KIRK!
    Joined: Feb 20, 2002
    Posts: 12,032


    I have seen only a couple of these in person and I LOVE them!!
  20. Spity
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 438


    Love these cars, I plan on owning one in the next couple years.
  21. wow, thats a cool ride. id never seen one before.
    thanks for educating me!
  22. 59ab
    Joined: Feb 19, 2009
    Posts: 221


    Had a '52 Aero Lark. Sold it to a neigbor. He still has it.
  23. possom dodger
    Joined: Nov 24, 2009
    Posts: 1

    possom dodger
    from 47024

    heres mine

    Attached Files:

  24. PhilJohnson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 906



    Sweet another Aero owner :) I think I might have seen your car on another board.
  25. PhilJohnson....I do not own a Willys Aero but Royalshifter posted this Simca coupe in another thread and it caught my eye in relation to your original post. Now the Willys is not quite as elegant as the Simca, but A: their shapes are kind of similar and B: that hot little Simca's quarter-mile mojo might be a good direction to head towards.
    I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'...

    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  26. dmackustom
    Joined: May 30, 2005
    Posts: 157

    from wichita ks

    I had one for a bit and let it go. I would like to find one again. I have some good ideas for a mini sled
  27. plym_46
    Joined: Sep 8, 2005
    Posts: 3,781

    from central NY

  28. PhilJohnson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 906


    I definitely see some similarities between the two. The Aero looks like a much stodgier version of the Simca. But I have always had a thing for stodgy looking sedans, especially the el-cheapo versions with no options.

    I am still entertaining the idea of plopping a 302 V-8 into it backed up by a 3 speed. I like the idea of trying to retain the stock column shifter. A while back (six months ago) I had some young fellas stop by to look at an old truck I had for sale. They never seen a three on the tree before. At the time I had three column shifted vehicles. I am not a big fan of autos and somehow a floor shifter just wouldn't fit the bill for me in this thing.
  29. PhilJohnson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 906


    Wisconsin. Rural central Wisconsin. I could get away with taking a couple hour nap in the middle of my road if I wanted to. Not much traffic around here.
  30. If you have the tools and time....Design-wise I might suggest you move the rear axle and wheel-well forward a few inches (4? 5?). The stock location of the rear wheels on the Willys Aero is too equal-distant between the rear edge of the door opening and the rear of the car; moving it forward would give it a more sportier proportion....Just a thought!



    Viva la Difference !! It's a small change but it makes it just a little more sporty...
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009

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