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1938 Willys Sedan


Restorer32
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Are there any "go to" suppliers of pre war Willys parts ?  Looking at restoring a '38 barn find.  Well, actually a chicken coupe find.  Driven by two ladies from when they bought it new until 1969. Stored in a chicken coupe since. Have to say I never saw a pre war Willys sedan before this one.

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congratulations on the find and your desire to restore it! great stuff. Another orphan will be saved and be cause for conversation by many , and will generate some thought ( hopefully) about what was produced at a period in time that few think about. Thanks for making the effort.

Walt

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Well, the praise should go to the owner who is willing to pay for a complete resto.  I find it interesting in its simplicity.  Supposed to be the cheapest 4 door Sedan available in the US when new.  Owner even has the original sales order and Owner's Manual.  Look for it at Hershey in about 3 years hopefully.

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2 hours ago, Restorer32 said:

Are there any "go to" suppliers of pre war Willys parts ?  Looking at restoring a '38 barn find.  Well, actually a chicken coupe find.  Driven by two ladies from when they bought it new until 1969. Stored in a chicken coupe since. Have to say I never saw a pre war Willys sedan before this one.

To connect with Willys people your best bet is to get on the HANB, not everyone is building a Gasser, some guys have stock stuff and an appreciation for it. There may be a separate Willys Groupe there if you look around. Some day I'd like to have a 1939 Willys, that nose is so odd it is one I really like. Bob 

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6 minutes ago, 1937hd45 said:

To connect with Willys people your best bet is to get on the HANB, not everyone is building a Gasser, some guys have stock stuff and an appreciation for it. There may be a separate Willys Groupe there if you look around. Some day I'd like to have a 1939 Willys, that nose is so odd it is one I really like. Bob 

Just to clarify, it's HAMB.

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Also WOKR! It is a Willys 77, right? Several mentions in the magazine recently. 

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What's amazing to me is that there's a Willys that 1) hasn't been turned into a gasser and 2) hasn't been stripped of parts to build a gasser.

 

And yes, I did build scale models of the Stone, Woods & Cook '41 and Ohio George Montgomery's Malco Gasser '33. 1960s were a good time to be a car crazy kid, and the models made me aware of and appreciate the prewar Willys.

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Glenn, I was at an auction up in Manassas about 6 years ago that had many tractors. But, there was an unmolested Anglia. Stock and running. I only hope the new owner did not make it a drag car....:o

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10 hours ago, Frank DuVal said:

Also WOKR! It is a Willys 77, right? Several mentions in the magazine recently. 

My spaces at Hershey are about 3 minutes west from the WOKR group /club booth. Amazing enthusiasm they have and it is great to see that as it is genuine. My father in law (Roy Powers) for years was an enthusiastic WOKR member. As was another friend Dave Bell of Ohio. It's all good. I enjoy all the orphan makes of cars , not just the big luxury cars with coach built bodies. Odd is amazing and Weird is wonderful when it comes to cars and trucks - not so much people,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,🙃  ( yes, I just heard a few friends thinking - It takes one to know one,,,,,,,,,,)

Walt

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21 hours ago, rocketraider said:

What's amazing to me is that there's a Willys that 1) hasn't been turned into a gasser and 2) hasn't been stripped of parts to build a gasser.

 

And yes, I did build scale models of the Stone, Woods & Cook '41 and Ohio George Montgomery's Malco Gasser '33. 1960s were a good time to be a car crazy kid, and the models made me aware of and appreciate the prewar Willys.

 

For whatever reason, the mid-30s Willys don't seem as popular with rodders and racers as earlier and later years.

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The primary reason 1930's-early 1940's Willys were popular with drag racers to build gassers and rods was their smaller size and light weight.  The 3-window coupes are only 2,000-2200 lbs.  Any of the other readily available lightest coupes were 200-400 lbs. heavier. 

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4 hours ago, 58L-Y8 said:

The primary reason 1930's-early 1940's Willys were popular with drag racers to build gassers and rods was their smaller size and light weight.  The 3-window coupes are only 2,000-2200 lbs.  Any of the other readily available lightest coupes were 200-400 lbs. heavier. 

 

I always thought it was due to mispronouncing "Willys" so they made "Gassers" out of them.  Gasser is easier to pronounce...

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3 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

And, as we've discussed before, the name is

pronounced "Willis" with a short "i."  It is never "Willees."

 

I am with you on this! I am serious. 

Language matters. The history behind everything is important.

Growing up in California, and for most of my life, 99 percent of the time I heard it pronounce with "ease". When my interest in history stumbled onto the proper enunciation, I changed, almost immediately!

If people do not care about saying things correctly? What should they care about?

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Just now, NewOldWood said:

I think if "Willis" is the way they wanted it pronounced, that's the way they should have spelled it.

Many surnames come from other heritages.

Could "Willys" possibly be Scottish or Welsh?

Look at many Welsh words, with not a single 

vowel to our recognition!

 

For fun, try pronouncing this Welsh sentence,

and note the letters "y":

"Mae Cymdeithas yr Iaith yn gwahodd pobl Cymru ‘i ymuno â’r frwydr dros yr iaith’ yn ei fideo newydd. Mae’r fideo, a gyhoeddir fel neges blwyddyn newydd, yn cyd-fynd â'r weledigaeth a grisialwyd yn Mwy na Miliwn." 

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I don't wish to drift very far. However, linguistics is a fascinating subject! So many facets, so much intrigue. Why is the bottom of a "U" round? While the bottom of the "W" is sharp? What about the "V"?

Why are there more than a dozen ways to spell the name "Callihan"? "Calaghan"? Calihan"? 

The answer to "Willys" is in there!

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Bob, and John,

I love it!

I do sometimes follow someone else's lead and pronounce things their way, even when I know it may be technically wrong.

 

John, I haven't spent much time with Welsh (yet?). However, all the pre Roman Empire British languages are incredibly fascinating! It is a wonder that we can speak modern English at all!

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11 minutes ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

Many surnames come from other heritages.

Could "Willys" possibly be Scottish or Welsh?

Look at many Welsh words, with not a single 

vowel to our recognition!

 

For fun, try pronouncing this Welsh sentence,

and note the letters "y":

"Mae Cymdeithas yr Iaith yn gwahodd pobl Cymru ‘i ymuno â’r frwydr dros yr iaith’ yn ei fideo newydd. Mae’r fideo, a gyhoeddir fel neges blwyddyn newydd, yn cyd-fynd â'r weledigaeth a grisialwyd yn Mwy na Miliwn." 

Is that the town that rarely fits on a map? 

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54 minutes ago, NewOldWood said:

I think if "Willis" is the way they wanted it pronounced, that's the way they should have spelled it.

It is. Like many vowels, it can be pronounced short or long version. Willys is pronounced like the y  in system.

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7 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

And, as we've discussed before, the name is

pronounced "Willis" with a short "i."  It is never "Willees."

To-may-to, to-mah-to.  I know it's incorrect but I've always pronounced it Willees and likely will continue to do so.  But then I also say koop instead of koo-pay. 😁

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9 hours ago, 58L-Y8 said:

The primary reason 1930's-early 1940's Willys were popular with drag racers to build gassers and rods was their smaller size and light weight.  The 3-window coupes are only 2,000-2200 lbs.  Any of the other readily available lightest coupes were 200-400 lbs. heavier. 

True.  But from casual observation, it seems the 39-42, followed by the 33, are more popular than other years.  Wonder why?

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The old Greek restauranteurs here always said "yeerow". The locals still call 'em "jie-row".

 

We have a Mediterranean place here. If you order a yeerow the servers will smile. But if someone orders a jie-row, they'll repeat the order exactly as said!

 

When we go to Gettysburg, the locals there seem to appreciate folks who say "Gettis-burg", even if we do say it with a Southern accent!

 

The "ys" is probably Welsh. Complicated language, but can also be simple. "Jones" is Welsh, as is "Evans". "Lewallen" is a common surname here derived from Welsh "Llewellyn". In my own genealogical research I've found that census takers often spelled a name like it sounded.

 

Willis or Willees. True old car people will know what kind of car is being discussed.

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37 minutes ago, 28 Chrysler said:

Chicken coupes can be hard on sheet metal. I would give the car a good look at the bottom side.

If it was all cleaned out and the dirt well aged and not so acidic when the car was put in it would not be much worse than a dirt floor.

Thank for being on topic.  I forgot what it was…🙁.  Grammar cop distracted me.  
 

Later today I am going to stop by a good friend’s towing business to see if his older deceased brother left any original parts from his Willys gasser build.  

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17 hours ago, wayne sheldon said:

I don't wish to drift very far. However, linguistics is a fascinating subject! So many facets, so much intrigue. Why is the bottom of a "U" round? While the bottom of the "W" is sharp? What about the "V"?

Why are there more than a dozen ways to spell the name "Callihan"? "Calaghan"? Calihan"? 

The answer to "Willys" is in there!

Speaking of variant spelling in my home town there are two Bain Construction Companies. One spells the name Behan (Irish) the other Baayen (Dutch)

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3 hours ago, Restorer32 said:

This Willys has some serious rust issues. Engine is locked up. Rear fenders need major work but all in all nothing that time and $ won't fix. Happily we have a lot of experience in metal fab and welding. We do not scare easily.

 

I never have the time or money to do things I want to do, the way I would really like to do them. However, I have over the years restored nearly a dozen of my own cars, most from very poor condition to start with.  Given a choice, I would use as much original sheet metal as I reasonably could. I make my own patch panels, minimizing the amount of original metal I have to remove. I weld or braze panels into place, then shrink or shape as needed. Lack of time usually calling "good enough" before I would like to, but the final result is usually not too bad. I take pride in the fact that I restore fenders and body panels that most people would throw away. I get a great deal of satisfaction driving my cars once they are done, and knowing that MOST of the metal is original era, and not reproduction.

 

I am pleased I am not alone in that attitude.

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