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Willys Aero, who has one?

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

  1. pdq67
    Joined: Feb 12, 2007
    Posts: 787

    pdq67
    Member

    I had two, '52 A/E hard-tops back years ago. Both bodies were perfect except for being old!!

    The 1st one a Buddy and I installed a '52, 232" Stude V-8, 3-stick OD in. It was originally a flathead 6-banger, (that was in the trunk), and by no more than moving the cross member back to the 4-banger spot, the V-8 almost bolted right in! As for the tranny, we switched the front u-joint from the Willys MOPAR "can" style to the Stude regular u-joint style so that the driveshaft was a bolt-on. Go figure... They both used the same small B/W 3-speed OD tranny back then.

    The 2nd was stock with a "F"-head, 6-banger 3-stick OD in it.

    The engine with the intake valve in the head and the exhaust valve in the block like a flathead Ford.

    They both are long gone and I wished I would have kept both.

    Oh, and btw, I roughly patched on '49 Ford rear fender panels on my 1st A/E hard-top and did away with the Cad style tail-lights. Guys would look at it and ask me where I got my small "shoe-box" Ford?

    Anyway, Henry-J front 5-lug hubs fit on them so that you can install 5-bolt rims. I think Ford and MOPAR rims, but its been years??

    Great little cars by me!!

    pdq67
     
  2. 1929rats
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 595

    1929rats
    Member

    here is mine..chased this car for nearly 20 years before I bought it....
     

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  3. 56premiere
    Joined: Mar 8, 2011
    Posts: 1,438

    56premiere
    Member
    from oregon

    I don't have one , but here are the seats I just finished for a 52 Aero Lark. He wanted a 60s style
     

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  4. aerorocket
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 488

    aerorocket
    Member
    from N.E. P.A.

    How about more pictures and details of your car. thanks Bob
     
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  5. 1929rats
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 595

    1929rats
    Member

  6. 1929rats
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 595

    1929rats
    Member

    When I got out of college in 1995, I moved to Northern RI chasing a girl. I had always been into hot rods and cars. I had a Nomad wagon in College along with a 1970 Chevelle which was my daily driver....When I moved to RI a guy came up to me at a Lil General convenience store interested in my Chevelle, and we talked cars...I told him I was looking for a Henry J and he told me he knew where one was for sale in Central Falls, RI ---- Central falls is a rough place....but, I went to take a look. When I got there I could not believe my eyes....this wasn't a henry J but a Willys....and one rare one at that....I came to a number with the owner, but didn't have all the money (I was just out of college getting started, paying school loans, etc), so I went to my credit union looking for the balance (I remember I was trying to get 4,300.00), I finally got approved (unsecured personal loan) and drove out to buy the car only to learn that someone else bought it......for years I thought about this car, every time I drove down 95 in Rhode Island through the "S curves", I'd think of this Willys... It really was love at first sight...

    About 16 or so years past and I learned the guy that bought it was selling it, I contacted him, but buying the willy's really wasn't in the cards..... I already owned 4 cars and a boat was recently married and bought another house (big project)...so, I put the car out of my mind.....for about a year or so....then I sought out who bought the car, and actually found the previous owner here on the hamb...if you were to read my other posts, you'd see I talked with the man that bought this car for short period as well.....I found out he sold it to a dealer in NH....I contacted the dealer who told me he was talking to someone in Chicago that wanted to buy the car (could have been a "used car salesman's story" for all I know...).

    Well, I knew that if I didn't act fast, the car I've been thinking of (and lusting over) all these years would be out of my hands....I called the dealer, drove up with my brother, made a deal, drove up two days later (day after Thanksgiving 2014) and bought the car, and trailered it home....really a dream come true for me!!!! like I said, I chased this car for 20 years and now she is where she belongs....

    The car was built in 1968 by a fellow named Dale Johnson. He worked at a GM dealership and bought a 427 / 435 solid lifter Corvette "crate" motor and installed it in the car, He put in a 1957 Chevrolet rear end, TH400, Installed a drop axle (early 60's GM truck) and raced the car in CT on the streets and CT dragway. In 1971, he sold the car to a fellow in Central Falls. This was the guy I tried to buy the car from in 1995.....Well as illustrated above, he sold the car in 1995 to another guy that kept the car less than a year, and sold it to a special interest car dealer in NH whom I bought the car from.

    Really, the car is in incredible shape. I'd love to talk with the original builder, But, I have not been able to find him. Dale Johnson apparently lives in California now, but, searching him out reveals hundreds of "Dale Johnson's" in this world....

    One thing I'd like to note: When I first saw this car, I took a roll of film with a "disposable camera" - if you remember them. When I bought the car, It was EXACTLY the same as I saw it less the paint....I bet the original air was in the tires even...

    Since I've owned this Willys, I've spent Hours wet sanding, and compounding, buffing the paint to the best I can (opposed to stripping it down and re-painting)....some day I will re-paint it, but not now... I put new tires and wheels on it, changed the fluids, put some new glass in the car, put on new NOS tail light lenses, and a few other odds and ends, and drove it once to a cruise (last Thursday)....I wanted to see how "loose" the car is...

    My plans ---- This model Willys is a uni-body car, so I am stiffening up the car with frame connectors and putting in a roll cage in the backend of the car. I am changing over the drum brakes and single pot M/C to a dual Master Cylinder with disks, I need to re-do some front suspension work that has fatigued along with replacing the shocks. I will replace all the brake lines and change the fuel line, I will have the radiator rebuilt with an extra core and go through the motor. I will also go through the tranny and rear end and put in a Detroit locker and Moser axles (I run these in my other cars and really enjoy them).

    I want the car to be safe and fun. I want to race it at area tracks during nostalgia events, but enjoy the car with my wife on the street. I don't want to change the car drastically, but rather, be the care-taker and preserve the vision that Dale had when he built this Willys in the late 60's.

    I cant say enough of how happy I am that I own this car....It really was a dream come true for me....Thanks for asking about the story Aero-rocket! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
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  7. 1929rats
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 595

    1929rats
    Member

    Here is what the Willys looked like in 1983.....exactly the same as I saw it in 1995 and pretty much exactly the same as I bought it.... willys in 1983.JPG
     
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  8. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    So this thing still has the solid lifter BB in it?? Hass it got three holleys on it?Man is this thing COOL! I can see why you fell hard! Man, awesome car, awesome story. I really love shit like this. How about a underhood shot?
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
  9. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    I used to watch Herm Peterson on a pretty regular basis at Mission. Remember his "indy" bodied car around 1974?
     
  10. 1929rats
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 595

    1929rats
    Member

    The motor has a Weiand Intake. That's what I remember the car having when I first saw it in 95 as well....it may have never had the trips on it...The motor was the "factory replacement" for 427's that were blown or broken. This is the only picture I have with me this morning....
     

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  11. Bigcheese327
    Joined: Sep 16, 2001
    Posts: 6,644

    Bigcheese327
    Member

  12. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    A "say Weiand" dual plane is just as good. man, what a cool little car. It looks like the BBC fits in there with relative ease, theres a lot more factory sheet metal there than I expected to see. Is the lower part of the firewall redone?
     
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  13. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,537

    Gman0046
    Member

    Back in high school a friend had a 2 door stock bodied Aero with a 283 SBC in it. What a neat little fun car that was.
     
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  14. 53 Willys Carl S.jpg This one was build in the 60's at a speed shop in Rapid City South Dakota, the Name of the shop was Drag City. It belonged to a good friend who passed away and his family sold off his collection of car, it went to Minnesota I believe and the last time I see it on the internet it was being sold again to someone in Kansas from what I understand. It is a very nicely done 60 Gasser, would have made a great street freak car. There was also a Thames Pie Wagon and a 60 Ford Ranchero, they were all fuel injected small block cars. Here a couple of pic's. 53 Willys Carl S 2 .jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
    1929rats likes this.
  15. Neat little cars, unfortunately rust got most of them.
     
  16. aerorocket
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 488

    aerorocket
    Member
    from N.E. P.A.

     
  17. aerorocket
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 488

    aerorocket
    Member
    from N.E. P.A.

    Thanks for the reply I really like your car. One of these days when my son comes in I'll have him post pictures of mine. It's a 52 Aero wing sedan with an Olds rocket with 3 deuces and a stick.
     
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  18. 1929rats
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 595

    1929rats
    Member

    Id love to see it Aero Rocket! Thanks for getting my But in gear and writing about my Aero!
     
  19. aerorocket
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 488

    aerorocket
    Member
    from N.E. P.A.

  20. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

  21. 1929rats
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 595

    1929rats
    Member

    WOW BOB! I love it!
     
  22. Tony777
    Joined: Jul 14, 2015
    Posts: 4

    Tony777

    So, work has continued on my 55, busy with the fitment of the drivetrain at the moment. Unfortunately I only get every second weekend or so to work on her properly so going is slow but hey.. It's getting there..
     

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  23. Peanut 1959
    Joined: Oct 11, 2008
    Posts: 1,553

    Peanut 1959
    Member

    I don't have one, but I'm interested in your build!
     
  24. xhotrodder
    Joined: Jul 2, 2009
    Posts: 1,525

    xhotrodder
    Member

    I've got pictures of one I saw in the motel parking lot during the NSRA Nationals one year and fell in love with it. If I can find it in my files I'll post it. These little cars can make a good looking ride without doing much to them.
     
  25. xhotrodder
    Joined: Jul 2, 2009
    Posts: 1,525

    xhotrodder
    Member

    Found them. Took these in 2010
     

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  26. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,689

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Good grief... I used to work on a couple of them for customers...One guy was bound and determined to slide a SBC in his, no frills, just a mild 327 with a P/G.
    The examples here would make a believer outa the harshest skeptic!
    Kudos.... Youse guys give me the willys...
     
  27. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 5,537

    Gman0046
    Member

    There's a 53 on the HAMB Classifieds for sale right now for 13K.
     
  28. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 12,021

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Got that right George.
    Such a subtle example of that 60's vibe that we all remember.
    Often duplicated, but rarely hitting the mark.
    I am not of the "who has one" group, but boy what a memory jogger.
    This actually would fit right in with the "growing up I remember" thread.
    As a "gearhead in the making" in the early 60's in small town Oregon (Willamette Valley), there were few opportunities to actually witness the cars we saw in magazines.
    Having a friend with two older brothers that had fast cars and always had a Hot Rod magazine laying around kind of sets the hook for a kid that's a little car crazy already.
    Where was I, oh yea, well anyway, I had a paper route and there was this little Willys Aero that sat in a driveway on my route, not real flashy, just a small hood scoop and a pair of those black steel wheels and (IIRC) a pair of M&H's on it, can't really remember much else about it, but this tan car sure clicked with me.
    Thanks for the trip down memory lane George.



     
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  29. D_Lazaris
    Joined: Apr 19, 2010
    Posts: 848

    D_Lazaris
    Member
    from So. Cal

    Just finished our 1952 Willys Aero Ace with a Chevy conversion.

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1449643795.045260.jpg
     
  30. Bigcheese327
    Joined: Sep 16, 2001
    Posts: 6,644

    Bigcheese327
    Member

    Looks gorgeous. What did your Chevy conversion entail?
     

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