Shy of a ’32 Ford, few cars can claim the hot-rodding history of the 1941-1942 Willys. It’s a car so popular that, even today, the competition to create the World’s Wildest Willys continues. Visually, this 1941 coupe is a contender for that title. Its radiant color, ground-pounding stance, and utterly massive wheels give it the proportions of a Hot Wheels car while the powertrain, lead by a blown 502ci V8, makes sure performance is every bit as impressive. Factor in the amenity-filled leather interior and it becomes clear that this coupe is the total package. Completed in 2012 and driven only 190 miles since, this is a trophy case waiting to happen - all it needs is someone to show it. If this sounds like a job you’d like to fill, take a minute to get the details on this sharp 1941 Willys.
For over 25 years, Outlaw Performance in Avonmore, Pennsylvania has been a leading supplier of custom fiberglass bodies and this spectacular coupe is a testament to just how well they’ve honed their craft. Purchased as one of their full body and chassis packages, the car benefits from a hand-laminated, one piece construction technique which combines an embedded Poplar floor pan with a sturdy, unitized steel structure. The outermost layer has been shot with a radiant coat of Candy Blue Metallic from the House of Kolors line. In a world of red, yellow, and orange Willys, blue is a strong choice and one that, when placed in direct sunlight, will make a lasting impression on anyone lucky enough to see the car. The impressive paintwork is accented by hand-painted black, gray, and white pinstripes that form a grid pattern just behind the doors.
When the subject is a bright-blue ground-hugging Willys, it doesn’t take much ornamentation to make the car pop; so what you’ll find are just enough high-quality pieces to finish the car without weighing down the classic design. The front view consists of a bright stainless grille that sits between a pair of round headlights in bright chrome bezels. The greenhouse offers new tinted glass and weather-stripping while sleek painted mirrors cap off the A-pillars. Thanks to shaved door handles, a distinct lack of brightwork or badges, the side profile presents as an ultra-clean look that works perfectly with the paintwork. The rear view begins with the classic split rear widow mounted above a smoothed decklid with no visible hardware. A pair of small round taillights in chrome bezels provide all the lighting needed while, below, a hideaway license plate frame keeps things legal.
It just wouldn’t be a modern Willys build without a big block bulging through the hood. This coupe delivers on that front with a blown 502ci V8 fully dressed for show. The foundation is a GM Performance crate engine dressed in orange and topped with a small mountain of go-fast goodies. Cast iron heads sit to the sides of a polished Weiand 6-71 supercharger topped with dual Edelbrock four-barrel carburetors and a chrome shotgun intake. Real estate is limited at the front of the engine, but the accessory drive still manages to turn an aluminum water pump and chrome alternator via polished pulleys. The big block keeps its cool thanks to a four-core aluminum radiator that’s aided by dual electric cooling fans. Turn the key and a Summit Hi-Fire HEI ignition transmits spark through bright Accel wires. Spent gases exit through ceramic coated shorty headers that flow into a stainless dual exhaust system rounded out by Borla mufflers. Other notable items include the mini-starter, aluminum fuel cell, and electric fuel pump. Sure, it’s a great looking bay but don’t mistake it for a show piece. This is the real deal.
Take a look under this Willys to find a chassis fully prepared to utilize big block power. Things get started with an Outlaw 2x4 box tube chassis which has been outfitted with a Heidts Mustang II front clip. Suspension consists of tubular A-arms, a Competition Engineering adjustable 4-link, and adjustable coilovers all around. In the center of that modern hardware, a tried and true TH400 3-speed automatic transmission handles shifting duties. A finned chrome transmission pan and converter cover have been added for looks while an electric cooling fan keeps temperatures in spec. Power meets the ground through a cast aluminum Currie 9-inch center section stocked with posi and 4.10 gears. A manual rack and pinion keeps steering direct while the power-assisted brakes utilize slotted and drilled rotors, four-piston Wilwood calipers, and steel braided lines all around. A huge part of the car’s visual appeal comes from the unique wheel and tire package which consists of 18 and 20-inch Mickey Thompson HR-1 wheels wrapped in 26x8.00R18LT tires up front and massive 33x22.00R20LT rears. If the numbers aren’t clear, those back wheels are 16 inches wide. Wow.
At first glace, the interior presents itself as a fairly straightforward affair but that first impression is deceiving. Work starts at the ground level where polished door sill plates anchor fresh black carpet. Seating is provided by a pair of Procar bucket seats wrapped in black Ultraleather while the door panels are finished to match with tasteful stainless steel inserts in the center. A custom center console makes room for the pistol-gripped Procomp Street Bandit shifter as well as controls for the fuel pump and electric fans. There’s no lack of entertainment here either. A Pioneer AM/FM/CD/DVD head unit with a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth connectivity, and integrated navigation has also been fitted into the console. Hop into the driver seat to admire the gauge layout filled with crisp black, blue, and aluminum Stewart Warner gauges that monitor all the usual engine vitals. Control over the front wheels comes courtesy of a leather-wrapped, three-spoke billet steering wheel that tops a polished tilt column while chrome-trimmed pedals make sure all the details are in place. The trunk is finished in matching black carpet that does a good job of concealing the fuel tank and wheel tubs below.
As mentioned, the car was completed in 2012 so everything you see is fresh. If there are questions about any of the components used, the stack of build receipts and component manuals included in the sale offers all of the answers at a glance.
With its Candy Blue Metallic paint, ultra-low ride height, massive wheels, and polished shotgun intake on display, this car is a visual one-two punch sure to gain fans at any event it enters. Best of all, it backs those looks up with a serious powertrain ready to rumble at the turn of a key. If you’ve been entertaining the idea of building a Willys, save yourself a calendar year and take home this killer coupe today!