The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 38 2 DR Sedan, Nov 27, 2015.
And my streetrod Willys
frt in garage by vegasparky posted Apr 9, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Be in the paint shop soon. by vegasparky posted Mar 24, 2013 at 12:05 PM[/GALLERY}
Have a 42 metal pick up project also.
There is a new Willys thread going
To all Willys owners here on this thread, whether it is for the street or strip, or both, Your cars are outstanding. Your own photos show a wide variety of cars. Whether it is finished, or partially completed. I am impressed. My brother and I used to own a 1940 Willys Coupe. It was a running model we found in a backyard near Lions Dragstrip in early 1960. We towed it home and began our short lived ownership. I wish the photos/movies of our car were still around.
They somehow got lost over the years of different home ownership. To make things short, when we completed the build, it was a red or black primer, black wheels, Traction Master bars, 671 on an SBC with 6 Strombergs on top. I believe this movie clip taken by rruss here on the HAMB back in the early years, 1959-60 is the closest I have found on the internet.
Much has been said about who, what, identifying tags, etc. But, it sure looks like our old 40 Willys at Lions. The movie clip shows a B/Gas label in the window, but that was before we added steel plates to shore up the trunk and qualify (weight/motor, etc.) for the final C/Gas Class back in those days.
If we had not had the accident, all of the equipment that I see on your cars is what our next step would have been, injectors, M&H Slicks, Halibrand Mags, paint, full upholstery, even a B&M Hydro or C&O hydro like the one we had installed on our 58 Chevy Impala tow car. So, I commend all of you that are building or have finished your own cars.
Here is our story:
My brother and I built a 1940 Willys Coupe in the early 1960. After racing our 1958 black Chevy Impala in the A/Stock class almost every week at Lions, we thought it would be fun to build something faster. The 40 Willys was set up to run 6 Strombergs on the 283 SBC motor, Howard Cams flywheel, and LaSalle/Chevy adapter, (LaSalle trans, 4:11 Chevy rear) first and ran well at Lions.
The Willys then had a full rebuild to 292 c.i. small block Chevy, Howard cam plus full kit, Jahns pistons, ported & polished heads, Joe Hunt Mag, with a 671 supercharger and 6 Strombergs on top. It was one of the first 671 kits available for SBC motors. The car was red primer, no insignias, Traction Master bars, and black rims with Bruce slicks. It ran in the C/Gas class with times in the 12:60’s et all day on August 13, 1960.
We were in the finals at 9:00 pm against the class champion and my brother had a two car lead just past the tower. He was at least 3 cars ahead by the traps, when the clutch blew and exploded the Moon Tank in the cab. Later, my brother told me he tried putting out the fire with the on board extinguisher, it did not work as the fire was too strong.
The car was on fire going through the traps and my brother jumped out going about 60 mph ( as told to us by the racers on the return road) The car immediately turned right and crashed into the chain link fence. We tried over 10 bottles of fire extinguishers to no avail. My brother was put into an ambulance and taken to the local hospital. He had 3 degree burns over 30% of his body and face. The car burned to a crisp, wedged into the chain link fence. (the next day, Atts Ono and I found shards of metal wedged into the dash, door, glove box, etc, The scattershield was nowhere to be found.
There was a huge hole in the floor of the cab where the explosion had ripped open an escape route of flying pieces, the moon tank was melted away, the bolts were the only thing left, the glove box door was slightly melted from the heat.) We took the burned out car back to Atts Ono’s house for disassembly. Then after an all-day de-construction, we trailered the burned out car to a salvage yard near Lions dragstrip.
I am trying to get together anything I can about my brother for his two sons. (He sadly passed away in 1992) He was a very quiet guy and his sons never knew of his car building, drag racing days. That was a silent period of his history that I want to show his two sons. If there are any photos or videos that you have or know of floating around your friends from back in those days, that would be extremely helpful. Digitizing our old movies made me start this search and fill in that silent period of his racing history. Sadly, we lost all photos of our 40 Willys in the zillion house moves since then.
In that last race, I thought it was Tom Sturm’s C/Gas modified Chevy. But no one can remember. I have talked to Eddy Grist of the Grist Family. He was on the return road with his family after his dad had just made a run in A/Gas. He saw the whole explosion, resulting fire and crash. It was something he will never forget as quoted to me recently. There were other families and racers on this return road, but they remain a mystery.
If there are any contacts you may know, photographers that were there in 1960 (April to August), racers, families, drag strip staff, etc. someone may have taken some photos or movies. Please let me know. By the way, after our clutch explosion and resulting fire, the Lions safety committee made it a rule that no aluminum, Moon gas tank(s) would be allowed inside of the cab of any vehicle. Everyone had to move it in front or to the rear of the car.
Our friend, Atts Ono, (who was instrumental in helping us get our car ready, was in our pit crew, and helped in the immediate tear down after the explosion) moved his Moon tank in front of the motor, out of the cab, in his own 40 Willys build, later.
(I used to be a contributing editor for Street Rodder/Chopper Magazines from inception to 1975 when I drifted away from cars until recently. I have used up all of my old contacts from back in those days, so any help is appreciated.)
Very cool story, I hope you can find out some information to pass on to your nephews. Good Luck.
Recent build here in Brisbane Australia. Used a 62 Jeep rear section with a 38 front clip.Won Top 5 at this event last weekend.
Thank You, for posting your story and history of you and your brothers Willys, I did this post because I wanted to just see how many of these wonderful cars were still around,. My Sedan was a gift from my former wife and ever since High School I wanted one, It has taking me some time to build mine but it has been fun the car is not yet totally done but that has been the fun of it, the collecting and fabricating is a enjoyable part of my life so when that day come that I get to turn the key and take it on it's first ride will make it all worth it. Again I thank all of you great guys for posting and showing your talents.
Rothenberg's 33. My fav!
heres my willys
IMG 9896 by jays41willys posted Mar 25, 2013 at 6:47 PM
Mine too. Such a badass ride.
lorenlini yours willys is cool looking
Fired up my 37 today, been sitting for a while, yip that's dust on there. JW
its took some time to get back to work on it, but got front wheels on at last
Glad to see Bob Rothenberg's Willy's on here. He went through a lot of trouble to get that one built, delays, frustrations, etc. but he stayed with it and he's got a heck of a car to show for it.
Its a 40 model for sure. 440. Rare is 4 lug as well. I thought the 40 models were 4 lug and 41, 42 were 5 lug? 40 dash and serial number.
The four lug wheels ended in 39 with the model 48, same as 38 model. The 39 model 39 or 61 was the first with hydraulic brakes and that's where and when the five lug wheels started. JW
This truck is a 440 for sure and was never modified. It was left in a barn in 1950 like the photo in my avatar. It has a 40 dash as well. Typical willys mix and match. I don't remember is it had hydraulic brakes but I still have the original chassis so I will check and see. I have a 37 and 38 sedan and the trucks frame is the same and i have a 41 truck and sedan and they are quite different.
here is some photos of it coming out of the barn in 96 after 46 years sitting there.
If it has the same chassis as the 37-8 then the chassis was changed at some point. The wheelbase on the 40's were 102" and the 37-8's were 100". They look the same except the shackle is on the front of the front leaf spring for 39-42, and is on the rear of the spring in 37-8. Judging by the front bumper, it has been played with, even if it was back then.
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That I will have to check. It has the same style springs and shackles as the 37-39 as compared to the 41 which are completely different. And the braces from the frame to the firewall.
The 41-2 are different, the rear frame is wider and is horizontal at the rear, as well as having a 104" wheelbase. In the end it doesn't actually matter, my 40' pickup has a 37 frame under it and my 37 sedan has a 40 frame under it. Don't ask, it just happened that way.
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The 37,38,39 and 40 all have the same rail stamping. All those i mentioned have the provision for the mechanical brake cables, front and back. JW
I looked today and the 40 truck had 4 lug wheels, mechanical brakes and the shackle at the rear of the front leaf spring. Like they used a 38 chassis for a 40 body.
40 was the second year for hydraulics, it's been swapped over at some stage. JW
I agree with JW. 39 and 40 had the juice brakes and shackle at the front, this was to accommodate the 102" wheelbase. In 1939 Willys partnered back with Overland, and advancements were made. In 39 they weren't called Willys but Overlands, the company name was Willys overland. This brought on new changes such as the juice brakes etc. however the 39 trucks had the 37-8 nose on them( not the shark nose) however the headlight pods were removeable instead of stamped in.
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My latest willys project. The remains of the Marchant Speed and Machine BB/GS 41 Willys truck I got the body and cage. No chassis.
I love it the information is always showing up on here. It is great to have a place like this to learn about the different things. I'm just glad that all the guys share the information. I want to thank you all that post and share, great job guys. Tony/38 2 DR Sedan
Cheers, Tony, we are a special breed. JW
I found a picture of it
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