Although Willys survived in one form or another through the '50s,
it's really the cars (and trucks) they built in the pre-war era
that really get enthusiast's attention. This 1941 Willys pickup,
while fiberglass, nails the look that put Willys onto so many fans'
must-have lists and with a 5.0 Mustang powertrain, it's as reliable
as it is good-looking.
Satin black is always a great look on vintage pickups, even if
they're brand-new. It recalls the days when old trucks would have
been parts-chasers at hot rod shops or push vehicles at Bonneville.
It has a no-nonsense vibe that was born out of one part economy and
one part low-maintenance, and it still works today. Of course, with
fresh fiberglass bodywork as your starting point, you're going to
get some pretty impressive results, and this cool pickup fits
together rather well. Without rapping your knuckles on its skin,
you'll never know what it's made of, and everyone knows it's a
Willys even without the neat little badge on the hood. The '41s are
iconic with their teardrop headlights and "electric shaver" grille,
both of which are accurately replicated here. The bed is still
functional and usable, so this is still a truck at heart, and
again, the low-maintenance surfaces ensure that you'll never worry
about using it as a real vehicle.
The interior is considerably more up-to-date than the bare-bones
original design, starting with a leather bench seat, custom
console, and custom door panels to make it feel far more upscale
than the original Willys designers envisioned. A three spoke wheels
and gauges that look a lot like vintage Stewart Warner dials help
with that vintage look, but you also get such niceties as cold A/C,
a tilt steering column, and power windows to make this an easy
place to spend your time. The center console houses a Hurst shifter
for the 5-speed manual transmission and while it's compact, it
isn't claustrophobic thanks to the light upholstery and big
windows. There's plenty of sound insulation, so it's comfortable
and cool inside, another hallmark of a quality build. This isn't a
generic kit car, this is a machine where someone was sweating the
Swing the long, pointed hood open and you're greeted by the
familiar Ford 5.0 liter Mustang intake manifold and accessories.
Bulletproof reliable, torquey as all get-out, and lots of fun, it's
a very neat fit in the Willys engine bay and will work well for
many years to come. It's also nice to see something that's not a
Chevy and with fuel injection, it feels far, far more modern. A few
polished bits along with yellow highlights make the engine bay look
dressed up, and there's a big Griffin aluminum radiator up front
that doesn't have any trouble keeping up with the injected 302.
There's also an upgraded alternator and R134a refrigerant in the
A/C system for reliability. The Mustang's 5-speed manual
transmission shifts beautifully and surprisingly, it all sits on a
1998 Chevrolet S10 pickup chassis, so the steering and rear end are
modern as well. 4-wheel disc brakes are a great addition to the
roster and the front end was totally rebuilt with new ball joints
and bushings. Fat sway bars front and rear give it appropriately
sporty handling and those 15-inch Rocket Gasser wheels are
period-perfect with 215/70/15 front and 295/50/15 rear Mickey
Thompson radials wrapped around them.
A neat truck with lots of features, lots of power, and a great
look, all for about half the cost of construction. Pretty hard to
beat that. Call today