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Willys Aero, who has one?

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

  1. T McG
    Joined: Feb 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,255

    T McG
    Member
    from Phoenix

    Here's one for you.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. PhilJohnson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 906

    PhilJohnson
    Member

    That is the ride height I want to shoot for. Roads are rough around here. I'll have to take some pictures of what they look like during spring thaw :eek:
     
  3. aerorocket
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 488

    aerorocket
    Member
    from N.E. P.A.


    Hot Rod magazine did an article in a 1956 issue where they installed a 265 Chevy and retained the stock column shifter. The Olds was to big to fit with the rear steer set up, so I had to move things around. As others have said, these are flimsy cars and will need strengthening, even non rusty ones.
     
  4. PhilJohnson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 906

    PhilJohnson
    Member

    Sounds neat wish you had some pics of that :)
     
  5. aerorocket
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 488

    aerorocket
    Member
    from N.E. P.A.


    I agree but mine is up in primer and I'm not turning back. These cars have a 108" wheelbase so shortening up the wheelbase wouldn't hurt a thing. Where the hell were you 2 years ago when mine was in pieces? Just kidding I do really like your idea.
     
  6. They all seem to be rusted that way; I picked up a '53 Aero hardtop as a flipper a couple years back and while it's the best that I've seen, it too has rot in the rockers and floors. The bottom of the cowl area needs to be patched over too. Years and years ago I looked at one for sale that all that held the body together was the trans tunnel, the rockers and floors were just about gone.

    I'd be surprised if yours doesn't have overdrive, seems like they all did, a chrome pull-handle on the dash engages it.

    If I was building one I'd think about either building a frame for it, or cutting up some late model car to replace the entire lower structure. Maybe a late 80s or 90s Thunderbird - the front suspension is somewhat similar. Although those rot too, my folks had one the rear control arm on one side came clean off one day...
     
  7. aerorocket
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 488

    aerorocket
    Member
    from N.E. P.A.


    Like you have said they are almost all rusted and rusted bad. The one I'm building has no rust thru and very little surface rust, it came from Colorado not P.A. where I live. My son posted some pictures awhile back at the start of the project in a thread started by brett4christ and titled "Any Willys Aeros out there?" if anyone is interested in seeing how we beefed up the chasis. After finishing the frame and suspension mods I had the whole car media blasted. Most of the stock floorpan was re-installed; however the firewall and tunnel had to be changed to fit in the Olds.
     
  8. roaddevilray
    Joined: Mar 21, 2008
    Posts: 71

    roaddevilray
    Member
    from LA

    Just found this post and thought I would share my Willys. Was trying to sell it for awhile but no bites so I am back to workin on it. It's got a 56' nailhead with a 700r4. Run good. Here are some pics.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 29, 2010
  9. had a '53 for my first car...car was a POS when I got it (for $5.00) 'cause that's all the wrecker would pay...car was stolen shortly after I got it and damn if the thief didn't bring it back! Put a 235 chevy in it with a few other goodies and drove the shit out of it for 2-3 years...brings back memories
     
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  10. Hey Phil,

    I have a thread going titled " Any other 1961 Fords out there"
    Scroll down to post #62 and look at the second photo in the background. There is an Aero and it looks pretty solid. The photos are taken in a junkyard, so the Aero is likely for sale....Good Luck.

    Murph:cool:

     
  11. dragrcr50
    Joined: Jul 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,865

    dragrcr50
    Member

    built a gaser out of mine made a great little car had near no rust and cut the floor out anyway. i have the overdrive left from it 50 dollars?
     
  12. PhilJohnson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 906

    PhilJohnson
    Member

    [​IMG]

    From what I can tell it doesn't look too bad. The chrome looks better than mine.

    I heard the whole transmission needs to be an OD trans, ie one can't swap the rear tail shaft with the OD trans onto a non OD trans one. Are you selling the whole trans or just the end piece for the transmission?
     
  13. Considering how these rot and that no one repops sheetmetal, you could probably cut the floor into four big pieces and sell them for $100 a pop and get it no problem. Maybe more if you ran them on eBay. Let me guess, you scrapped it, right?
     
  14. PhilJohnson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 906

    PhilJohnson
    Member

    Did someone say these things rot :D

    A few pictures of the severe rust on mine:

    [​IMG]

    That red piece that is the rocker panel is not metal but a wood 2x2. What is left of the rocker panel is nailed to it :eek:

    [​IMG]

    More awful rust. Somewhere along the line someone welded in a piece of angle steel underneath the car to bolt the transmission crossmember to. The angle steel is welded on the front rear spring hanger and was welded to the front frame rail. Well that frame rail gave up the ghost long ago and the whole works was hanging down about 3 inches off the ground until I chained it to a piece of steel inside the car as a temporary fix. Now I can at least move the car without having it jump out of gear.

    [​IMG]

    The terribleness continues. The back frame rail is completely shot. Once again another half hearted attempt at repair is present. This time the repair consisted of the rear spring mount bolted to a piece of scrap steel. What was left of the rear frame rail is now gone so the repair is of no structural integrity.

    From what I have been hearing it seems that my car is by no means unique in it's rustiness. The entire car is built very light, the sheetmetal for the frame rails is about the same thickness as the door skins on my AMC Eagle :eek:
     
  15. dragrcr50
    Joined: Jul 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,865

    dragrcr50
    Member

    the whole thing
     
  16. dragrcr50
    Joined: Jul 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,865

    dragrcr50
    Member

    here is my gasser i made out of mine, sold it and sent it to havasu city az. doing a henry j now ..
     

    Attached Files:

  17. bigroy
    Joined: Nov 25, 2009
    Posts: 160

    bigroy
    Member

    [​IMG]
    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.[/QUOTE]


    haha yeah that's done exactly right, at least they tried to give it strength. I have seen an old tee shirt and news papers stuffed into places like that.
     
  18. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,094

    d2_willys
    Member
    from Kansas

    I have a nice 53 Aero Eagle, completely original with F-head six and 3 speed OD transmission. When the engine wears out, it will get the Continental flathead six from a 55 Bermuda, along with hydramatic.

    I will post a pic when I can get my pics off my other computer.
     
  19. PhilJohnson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 906

    PhilJohnson
    Member

    [​IMG]
    Found this picture while looking for random stuff on the interwebz. Picture was taken in Chicago around 1959. I think it is a 54 but I am not quite sure.
     
  20. plodge55aqua
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,710

    plodge55aqua
    Member
    from Alberta

    I need the Willys hardtop.. to make a Wagon..
     
  21. plodge55aqua
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,710

    plodge55aqua
    Member
    from Alberta

    Hi Phil.. its a 53.. an old picture too. looks cool..
     
  22. PhilJohnson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 906

    PhilJohnson
    Member

    [​IMG]

    Today I drove my car back from my parent's place. This seemed like a good place to snap a photo so I did :) The Willys had been sittin at their place all winter.
     
  23. My Dad had a '53 Aero Ace in the 1950s and 60s. When I was 15, he let me overhaul the 161 F-head. Ran like a top when I was done. It even had the overdrive. I had hoped to have it for my high school years, but Mom refused since it didn't have seatbelts.

    Loved that car and hated to see Dad sell it.
     
  24. bobw
    Joined: Mar 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,358

    bobw
    Member

    [​IMG]
    Russ Baraboo and Tom Ostner's blown Olds powered Willys. Early to mid-60's
     
  25. Bigcheese327
    Joined: Sep 16, 2001
    Posts: 6,644

    Bigcheese327
    Member

    I can’t believe I missed this.

    The Aero is probably the best looking of the first wave of post-war American compacts (see also Nash Rambler, Henry J, Hudson Jet). I would love to own one, and would have probably bought one if I’d stumbled across it while searching for the car that ultimately was my Falcon.

    I like the Oldsmobile floorpan idea for one as badly rusted as you describe yours. Although I’ve always wanted a mildly hopped up Continental flathead 226, too.

    Mine would probably end up being built a lot like the direction I’m headed with my Falcon - a cleaned up, mildly lowered, stock-looking street machine. Wide whites, Willys hubcaps, and a 5-speed would all be definite musts.

    -Dave
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  26. PhilJohnson
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 906

    PhilJohnson
    Member

    Well if I could find a super cheap G-body I'd do it but alas the cash is pretty low these days :(
     
  27. petersont10
    Joined: Jun 8, 2008
    Posts: 7

    petersont10
    Member

    I have a 54 Aero Ace Deluxe, and I have to say it's nice to hear someone who is trying to fix as big a rust bucket as i am (although i think you are worse off with rust through). It has the original 226 F-Head Super Hurricaine, which just looks cool in there so I plan to hang on to it.

    I have spent the last two years messing with it on and off, refurbishing the gas tank, running new fuel lines and replacing the whole brake system and lots and lots of grinding and wire wheeling. Just started on the major structural repairs, and the more i cut into it the more steel comes off that i didnt plan on.

    I love these cars, I plan to drop mine as low as i can without putting a frame under it for now, and just driving the hell out of it as is. I dont have real good pictures with me right now, but is one on the trailer coming home, one of a future hot rodder, plus a pretty sweet car i came across on the net.
    Willys Background.jpg IMG_2531.jpg Drags.jpg
     
  28. a bloke
    Joined: Jul 6, 2007
    Posts: 229

    a bloke
    Member

    For what it's worth, There was one (and probably still is) in the Vintage Car and Machinery Museum, in Geraldine, New Zealand. It was a 4 door, green and white 55, I think. I knew the family that owned it before it went to the museum, they said it was one of 6 in NZ. RHD as well. I saw one other one in someone's front yard about 350 miles away, in the early 80s but I doubt there's any others left.
     
  29. atomickustom
    Joined: Aug 30, 2005
    Posts: 3,202

    atomickustom
    Member

    Two-door or four-door? What kind of shape is it in? I'm interested but not sure how to get one from Jeff City to Joplin.
     
  30. There were a handful imported new into NZ. I did a road test on one in the mid-1990s for NZ Classic Car Magazine and was blown away by its F-head engine which was amazingly smooth. It's still going, as far as I know - the guy who owns it lives pretty close to me. Even with too many projects on the go, I'd pick it up if it were available at the right price.
     

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