Vintage gasser 1933 Willys drag racer in ‘concours restored’ condition

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The Willys gasser drag car has undergone a showpiece restoration

The most-memorable period of drag racing history took place in the 1950s and ’60s when the so-called “gasser wars” blasted down quarter-mile strips all around the country.

The weapons of choice were custom racers made to resemble road cars, with lightweight bodies perched over specialized suspensions and drivetrains, and with enormous V8 engines, often with superchargers jutting out of their hoods. 

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The Pick of the Day is a classic gasser form, a 1933 Willys coupe that is “a significant drag car from the ’60s” that has had a complete “concours restoration,” according to the Springfield, Ohio, dealer advertising the race car on ClassicCars.com.

Pre-war Willys bodies, and in particular 1933 models, were favorites among the car-building racers to transform into competition cars.  One of the most-esteemed champions of the era, “Ohio George” Montgomery, raced with 1933 Willys bodies.

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This car has been finished in Ohio George light blue “and built with the best of everything,” the seller says.

“This Bad Boy is well-sorted, starts easily, has muffler inserts, electric fan, doesn’t overheat, sounds unbelievable and will scare you to death,” the seller says in the ad. “Built with a sense of purpose to the vintage era, this 1933 Willys was part of what made the gasser wars so beloved by many fans.”

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The Willys is fitted with a pro-built 472 Hemi V8 with Hilborn fuel injection and automatic transmission.

“Features include a tilt front clip, Simpson parachute, race-style raised straight front axle, chrome wheelie bars, custom-fabricated stainless and aluminum interior, Hurst Quarterstick shifter, competition-type bucket seats, and custom dash-bezel with instrumentation,” according to the ad.

The car is” appropriately finished with the ultimate gasser wheel and tire package,” the seller notes.  “Ultra-rare magnesium kidney-bean Halibrand 15×4.5’s up front and the real-deal magnesium 16×13 Halibrands out back with new slicks.”

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This Willys would be the hot setup for impressing the crowd at vintage-racing events. While it might seem strange to complete a show-car restoration on a vintage drag racer, this one seems like a very special Willys and a worthwhile collector car for dressing up your garage space. 

The asking price is $109,900.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Back in the day, 1960s, I stopped in to see Ohio George after work one day, i had seen his Willies and that special Hillabrand rear end. i also had one on my "t" street bucket but i had stripped mine out I thank George because he told me how to rebuild mine. Never had a problem after that.

  2. Unusual to refurbish a historic drag car to a show car/ street status. Very nicely done,but the original had a Ford SOHC 427 which added an ultra cool status.

  3. Nice, but not a true recreation. It needs a era correct shifter, like a B&M and no one had header coatings like that in this cars day. Motor and trans are probably not true to original but then all that would make it a quarter million instead of $109,000.

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