When most people think of the Willys name, the first thing that comes to mind is a military-grade Jeep. But some of the most impressive collector cars for the street and strip are also known under the Willys name.
This pickup showcases a brilliant red metallic finish with custom features like shaved door handles and windshield wipers. The smooth-looking body is accentuated by a chrome grille, a tonneau cover, a well-integrated set of dual exhaust outlets, and polished aluminum Cragar wheels with knock-off center caps. Moving to the inside, we find a set of leather-upholstered bucket seats, a custom center console, a remote-controlled CD player, air conditioning, and a full set of gauges.
The Willys name (or formally, Willys-Overland Motors, Inc.) first originated in 1908 in Toledo, Ohio and became best known for production of military Jeeps. In fact, after World War II, Willys concentrated its focus exclusively on Jeeps and Jeep-based vehicles instead of resuming any production of passenger vehicles. That makes this 1941 pickup a bit of a rarity since it was produced at a time when the war effort was ramping up.
Under the hood of this modernized pickup lives a 350cid Chevrolet V8 paired with a floor-shifted 700R four-speed automatic transmission. Engineering upgrades include a three-inch stainless-steel exhaust system and a 10-bolt rear end. A donor Chevrolet S-10 compact pickup chassis provides the fundamental framework for this custom build.
What became of Willys, anyway? The name became defunct in 1953 when the company was merged into Kaiser Jeep. Later, in 1970, Kaiser-Jeep was sold to American Motors Corporation, and in 1987, Chrysler Corporation purchased AMC. The Overland name was resurrected in 2002 on a trim package or the Jeep Grand Cherokee, so Chrysler has recognized the heritage and nostalgia over the years.
As for this ’41 pickup, the seller says it “runs and drives excellent, and sounds great.”
The asking price is $42,000, or best offer, for this clean street-machine.