Real steel Willys cab and bed. SBC power, leather interior, loaded, fresh build
- Make: Willys
- SubModel: Pickup
- Type: Pickup Truck
- Year: 1941
- Mileage: 1
- VIN: 77090
- Color: Black
- Number of cylinders: 8
- Power options: Air Conditioning
- Fuel: Gasoline
- Transmission: Automatic
- Interior color: Red
- Options: Leather Seats
- Vehicle Title: Clear Want to buy? Contact seller!
When you hear the name “Willys,” you probably imagine an upright Jeep-looking thing (the Willys Jeepster was the original consumer SUV) or a thundering drag strip terror from the 1960s, such as the Stone, Woods & Cooke “Swindler” gasser. What you never expected, however, was something like this low, sleek, totally high-tech looking 1941 Willys pickup. And before we go too far into this, yes, it’s a real Willys pickup with a steel cab and bed, not an ersatz fabrication, making it an incredibly rare find that lends itself extremely well to the street rod look.
This particular Willys has an interesting story, purchased as a project by a gentleman who had always wanted exactly this: a 1941 Willys pickup truck. He got about ¾ of the way into the build before he was hit with some of the worst news any of us can hear: cancer. In his honor, his brother worked to finish the truck, both to allow his brother to finally see his dream come to fruition as well as to help raise money for his treatment. When it was finished, it was purchased by an experienced collector with a stable full of unusual vehicles like the Willys, and with a few final tweaks, it was ready to drive and show. The nose is a 1-piece fiberglass piece installed purely for the wow factor of tilting the whole thing forward to reveal a detailed small block Chevy, and the rear fenders are 'glass as well, offering a sleeker look than the standard Willys pickup truck fenders. Of course, there are myriad other body mods, ranging from the doors that have been reversed to open suicide-style, shaved trim and door handles, to the smoothed and finished running boards that only enhance the slick overall look. It was all covered in high-gloss black paint—no graphics, no flames, nothing else to distract you from the killer shape, and we have to admit that's the right choice, because this Willys stops traffic when we park it outside the shop. The original steel bed is finished with a layer of ostrich skin under Lexan, which gives it a very trick look that's considerably different than the usual wooden planks. Taillights were subtly integrated into the custom rear pan, the tailgate latches are clever little pins that are almost invisible, and the front parking lights are neatly integrated into the headlight housings.
There are remotes to open the doors, and both of them swing open on well-oiled hinges. You can see how the door has been re-shaped to accommodate the slick front end, but sliding behind the wheel isn't difficult at all. Inside you'll find beautiful diamond-tufted red leather, a bright contrast to the black paint and pretty much the only smart choice for a high-visibility rod like this. Workmanship is impressive and it looks almost artistic the way the diamond pattern extends around the cabin and is repeated on the small center console. The dash was smoothed and re-shaped, with a full set of Dakota Digital gauges in a center housing, with the AM/FM/CD stereo head unit and Vintage Air A/C controls underneath. It's easy to get comfortable behind the wheel with a polished tilt column and leather-wrapped wheel, and pretty much everything works the way you'd expect. The windows power up and down easily, the A/C is ice cold, and the gauges prove that the small block is a reliable travelling partner. It's sorted and ready to go!
Tilt the nose forward and you're rewarded with a fully dressed 350 cubic inch Chevrolet V8. Designed with reliability in mind, it's nicely detailed with a lot of polished aluminum and chrome, so you'll probably want to show it off a bit as well. Up top there's a big Edelbrock 4-barrel carburetor and matching intake manifold, an HEI distributor to light it up, and block-hugging ceramic-coated headers to handle the exhaust. The accessories are tucked in tight to the block so that everything is easy to access, and they, too, were polished and/or chromed to look their best. The firewall was smoothed and painted to match the bodywork, as was the frame, so all the exposed components look their best. Up front there's a giant aluminum radiator with a matching electric fan that works in conjunction with a mechanical fan on the water pump, so you know this sucker never gets fussy in the heat. We're more than pleased with how it runs, because it always starts quickly, idles smoothly, and just goes about its business with a minimum of fuss, which is what most guys want from their hot rods. It's what we call "fully sorted" and we like that aspect of this truck very much.
Underneath, it appears to be carrying a very heavily modified version of the original Willys frame. The side rails are heavy C-section units that use custom cross-members for things like the A-arm front suspension and transmission mount. Out back, there's a traditional set of leaf springs that work in conjunction with trick traction bars and coil-over shocks, as well as a Ford 9-inch housing with 3.50 gears inside, so it's an easy highway cruiser. Rack-and-pinion steering, some nice SSBC disc brakes up front, and a custom exhaust system make this Willys very easy to live with on the road, too, because it was clearly built to drive. The TH350 3-speed automatic transmission shifts well and has a custom pan with cooling tubes built right in, which is kind of a cool trick. Rolling stock are killer Torque Thrust-style wheels with spinners and wearing gigantic 245/35/20 front and 265/30/22 rear performance radials. Talk about a stance!
Obviously everything is brand new with just test and tune miles on it, so this gorgeous Willys is ready to cruise, whether it's the local show night or a cross-country jaunt like the Power Tour. And you can rest assured that nobody else will show up with a steel '41 Willys pickup like this. Unique, well-built, and ready to enjoy, you couldn't duplicate this truck for the asking price, and that makes it something of a bargain as well. Call today!