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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been pondering another project when I get my Camaro sold and have space and funds to build with. I've always thought a Willys pickup would be cool, but also way too rare to afford.
After doing some searching, I've found that a one piece Willys tilt frontend is not too spendy at under $1,000. I've also found that on our local Craigslist a '48-'52 Ford pickup is usually less than the Willys frontend! So after looking at the two vehicles I began to wonder.
Take a look at the two pictures and tell me I'm not crazy to think a guy could put together a close clone with a Willys frontend, Ford cab and box, and a good pair of large trailer fenders!





I think if the wing windows were removed and full side glass was used, and the body reworked to accept the Willys frontend, it could pass for a Willys to the average car guy, and maybe even a few others! Drop in a BBC, 4 speed, 9" Ford, shorten the box, and get rid of the Ford tailgate, and it might just be pretty cool! Plus not too spendy!
 

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It just might work. Purests would know right away. Body lines on the door, physical size, etc. might be the give-aways. Have you tried to find the cab measurements for both? Probably have to shorten the truck wheelbase. That would be a cool phantom gasser. Why not?
 

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A few years ago I actually saw a Ford pickup truck on Craigs List that was built with a Willys front end.

I am NOT sure of the year of the pickup but it WAS an older FORD p/u and it did have a fiberglass tilt front end from a Willys on it.

The owner had it for sale OR TRADE..... I wrote to him about trading for a custom chopper project I also had for sale or trade .... but he did not want to trade.

What I remember is it looked good from 15 foot or so. Close up though the way the Willys front end and the Ford matched up could have been done much better. Plus his choice of the bed & rear fenders could been much better.

As I recall ..... where the back of the Willys' front fenders met with the door panel did not fit quite right.

I do remember that the doors could not open fully the way with the grafting of the two was done. Sitting still the p/u looked OK but after checking out the pictures & video a LOT of improvement could have been made/

I just spent a 1/2 hour looking on You Tube for the video but did not find anything. Possibly it was just a video he posted from his photoshop or ..... and not one posted on You Tube.

Good luck with your "head-scratching" & "pipe dreaming". :cool:

Vall...... It does sound like a good (and less expensive) way to come up with a Willys-looking gasser.
 

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Hi Vall , I can supply most of , if not all the measurements you will need. There are many differences but that should not stop you from your plans to do a clone. The 40's Chevy is a good one to pick on also, and will set you back about the same amount give or take.
I've built better then two dozen Willys coupe and a half dozen trucks. I wish I had enough parts let over for ya but they get ( stupid ) money for about any parts. I can copy template shapes to help make your transition easier.
You may want to consider a sedan for a cowl and a set of doors. I have a customer I'm doing a 41 coupe who has some parts but immnot sure what he has left or would want for them but could put you in touch with him directly when your ready.
Done right you could pull it of, but some of the differences like door opening has to be changed just to get the doors to open.
So if y'all want to start collecting notes I'm the guy and glad to help. :D I could get real excited about this build :D :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah Steve, that would be great! I need to get hands on a Ford pickup to see how it measures up with the Willys frontend. I know the Willys has no gap between the door and the hood/fenders, where the Ford has a cowl area that spans what looks like 3"-4" between them.
As far as measurements I have a friend who has several Willys coupes and a pickup, so I can get measurements off his vehicles. I just need to find someone with an Old Ford to measure before I take a leap and purchase one. I figured the frame will need shortening to get the wheelbase right, and the box will need to be shortened in front and back of the axle to get a nice small bed.
I also saw a picture of a Ford PU with Willys frontend years ago, but never saw good pics that would see how it was put together. I think it had a full sized box, and rear fenders that didn't work. Might have been Cadillac power if I remember correctly.
I know the front fenders are longer on a Willys, and the doors will need to have the fender clearance cut in the leading edge to allow them to clear when they open. If I couldn't make that shape on the leading edge, then I wouldn't do it. It would look weird with a straight front edge, or the front fender cut shorter to clear the door.
If I'm not sure it will look close, I wont even start the project. No sense in building some kind of troll that everyone snickers about when you can't hear them.
 

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Well Vall it's not that hard and templates do wounders and I'm confident you can build a believable clone. The cowl on the ford is wider but some Nip & Tuck and the hood would drop over. I did my 41 Chevy and had the opportunity to try a Willys hood on and it was dam near spot on. Now spot on meaning it still needs mods but will work. Ya put it in your head and it all comes together. :D I didn't do so much of a clone but an inspired Willys 37-38 front end and this was done back I think in the late 80's so please don't giggle, I did my best what I wanted to see. :) :)

That's my 41 truck and my 39 Willys and my son Tom which puts this in the early 90's not late 80's.






I sold the truck and built this



Sold this in mid 90's to build on the shop ...... And still kicking my butt every time I look at that picture. :(
 

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Getting excited reading about this...... as I have said many time before I have wanted a Willys coupe since I was a kid.

Also mentioned before I almost had a deal on a '42 sedan close to 2 years ago ...... just a few months before we got the Opel.



As you can probably figure out.... this Willys went through a "STOCK" restoration 10 years or so ago. Then a hot rodder got a hold of the car..... SOLD-OFF all of the steel fenders & hood to recoup his money & then decided move on to something else and sold the car to the guy I was trying to buy it from.

Best parts..... in addition the car being previously restored car it ran (with stock drivetrain) was that the price was RIGHT!!!!!

So Good LUCK with searching out your "idea" Vall.

It's stirrin' up that "Willys-Thing" that is ALWAYS in my blood....... BIG TIME!!!!!

Steve..... your pics aren't helping me much.....ha!!!! Stirring up those "old Willys feelings again"
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I used to really want a Willys coupe, but the fiberglass clones are so common locally that I've lost interest in them. I like cars that I don't see all the time, so once a car becomes too common I get bored with them unless someone does something really different with it.
Since I never see Willys PU's I figured it might make a unique vehicle. Especially if I can pull it off on a old Ford or Chevy PU. The late 40's Chevs aren't as common, but might make as good or better choice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A freind in Mobile has this one and just bought a pickup also. He is in proccess on the pick up
A Willys sedan would be a excellent start to a PU project! Sure would make things way easier to just cut the back of the sedan off behind the doors and graft the back of a PU to the sedan, and add a bed! You'd even get a Willys title, even though it wouldn't read as a PU truck! Plus have the lighter weight Willys frame!
 

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Kiwi Kev's Willys Pickup Truck Build Thread

I KNOW you gonna like this one...... It belongs to a friend who lives near New Orleans.


Hey Vall..... I would bet Kiwi Kev knows about hybrid builds like you are considering. He is a master of building "something" from "nothing".

A couple of months ago Gina & I had the chance to visit with Kevin at his home in Ventura, CA when we were in LA area for Gina's son's wedding. Was like stepping into "hot rod heaven".

Kevin has pieced together a lot of his projects from bits & pieces, coupes, sedans, other makes/models etc..... HE IS one of the best TRUE backyard hot rod fabricators of our time. The HAMB's WEST COAST version of our GHR;s East Coast ProStreetSteve.

Sit down for this build thread..... It's a Willys PICKUP that was built from a Willys sedan.

Everyone ENJOY ....... lots of pictures & tips.... like I said "just like Steve's threads".
http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=691791&highlight=kiwi+kev

BTW..... if you haven't seen the Rod & Kulture magazine that is now available features Kevin's "Nasty Habit" Willys.... and yes, it was also put together with pieces of other cars


In addition to showing his award winning Willys the cover story has lots of pics of his nostalgic looking backyard garage/workshop..... it's like stepping back into the '60's...... standing in the "hot rod capital of the world".
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have been watching Kev's truck build, but it seems to have come to a halt since his surgery. He's got more parts and more talent than me, so I probably wont be able to go that route.
 

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I know it's not a Willys but it's of a gasser and it's cool and they don't make them anymore. :)
Looks like it is from a '40 Chevy ......... ??????

I have mentioned that I had it when everyone else was messing with muscle cars (thus the "Milner" nickname)

I planned to restore it & drag race it locally. Then the drag strip closed.... Federal government killed-off factory made muscle cars...... and you guys no the rest of the story.

I do have a few pictures of it but need to find a way to get them scanned so I can down load them into my computer & then to GHR.
 

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I think he is Gasser poor as they say. He just traded a strait axle 57 Chevy sedan delivery for a injected 55 Chevy then sold it all the time building a nice strait axle 56 2dr post then got the Willys 4 dr in a trade and found the truck he allways dreamed about. Now the Bowtie 421 stroker and aluminium Moser 9" and race preped Powerglide are destin for the pickup and the 56 will get sold.



A Willys sedan would be a excellent start to a PU project! Sure would make things way easier to just cut the back of the sedan off behind the doors and graft the back of a PU to the sedan, and add a bed! You'd even get a Willys title, even though it wouldn't read as a PU truck! Plus have the lighter weight Willys frame!
 

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I have been watching Kev's truck build, but it seems to have come to a halt since his surgery. He's got more parts and more talent than me, so I probably wont be able to go that route.
That's the way I felt when we visited with him.

Kevin was still on the mend when we were there. Having gone thru the same surgeries (and other hand & arm ones as well) it does take time to get "better".... I didn't say healed. I still have "issues" where the surgery did not fix-up everything. Still getting injections in the index finger of my left hand. The CURE???? Doc sez keep getting the injections every few months or get a "knuckle transplant"...... What??? Didn't even know there was such a thing..... :(

So for now I am getting the injections and just hope they keep helping.

My way around it is to not do things repetitively for too long or day after day..... if I start having trouble with my hand use the other one & visa versa..... same with my back, etc, etc.

I have gotten so used to doing this over the past few years I just do it automatically.

Of course sometimes nothing helps which forces me out of the workshop completely for extended periods of time or I find less demanding work to do (detail painting - engine turning - parts cleaning - measuring & drawings, computer stuff, etc)

Many of you know it doesn't get easier does it????? :( :confused:
 

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There's a '40 Chevy sedan delivery that I have seen from time to time that looks good..... but never a pickup with the car front end.

Ever stop to think how many cars around 1940 (Chevy - Ford - Willys - Studebaker - etc) have such great front end styling????
 
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