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’41 Willys Coupe

by Dave on January 17, 2011

Rick Kimes’ ’41 Willys is a bad-assed, Hemi-powered, fire-breathing, street machine — and a showcase for Gary’s fabrication work. Check out the gel coat on the Outlaw body. It’s as glossy and flawless as most paint jobs. There’s a lot more to see underneath…

The chassis, supposedly designed for these bodies, was an inch off in the wheelbase and two inches too wide up front. Gary rebuilt the front-end with shortened A-arms and adapted the spindles to run spindle-mount Americans. The chassis also got motor, body, and roll cage mounts.

Rather than sandwiching the glass floorboards, the roll cage bolts to chassis-mounted risers inside the cab.

More of Gary’s wheel work. The full aluminum interior is fitted with Dzus fasteners and can be removed from the car in under half an hour.

The center console and controls for the RideTech airbag suspension.

The firewall kick panels hide the car’s wiring and electronics.

The Funny Car-inspired instrument pod was all handmade.

The mount for the RideTech compressor and battery…

… is hidden beneath an aluminum cover.

Gary fabricated mounts and a Dzus-fastened shroud for the Griffin aluminum radiator.

Rick’s original plan was to run the Willys sans hood. Gary suggested a partial hood that would highlight the engine and intake stacks, but hide the radiator and related mechanicals.

Gary built the grille surround…

… that frames the Moon tank (which now serves as the radiator overflow).

Tail light bezels and housings — first welded, then turned on the lathe.

Handmade headers and collectors.

Gary converted the Crower fuel injection from mechanical to electronic, then bent up all new plumbing.

To ensure good manners on the street, a progressive-style bell crank throttle had to be designed and built.

Adapting spindle-mount wheels to the Mustang II spindles and brakes required fabbing custom rotor mounts.

The rear disc brakes also required custom mounts.

Rick’s Willys has gone off for paint and final sorting, check back for more photos.

From → Past Projects

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