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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

1941 Willys Custom Coupe 540 V8


Sure, a '41 Willys coupe is gonna turn heads. You’ll feel better knowing professionals built the car. You’ll feel good about the plush interior, the excellent paint and the detailing. You’re going to feel REALLY good about the nitrous-huffing, 696 horsepower big block Chevy under the hood. Who said car guys are tough to please?

Open the hood and check out the Francis Engineering-built 540ci Chevy four bolt main engine, well dressed and featuring a Barry Grant carb and port fuel injection for the nitrous. Forged pistons swing on reconditioned factory rods and a factory steel crank while a Comp Cams Xtreme Energy bumpstick operates the valves. Ported and polished aluminum heads wear fabricated valve covers while billet pulleys and polished brackets add sparkle. Cooling duties are handled by the large aluminum radiator with an integrated thermostat controller for the electric fan and a high flow water pump up front.
Taylor wires in billet brackets grab electrons from the Mallory distributor and MSD 6AL box. A modified TH400 transmission with a high stall converter handle motive forces while wild fenderwell headers and 3" pipes take care of the exhaust. We can tell you the car moves out well with the bottle disconnected…hook it up at your own risk!

After some serious searching the car’s creator settled on an Active Power body and stage 2 frame kit. The body, glass kit, power windows, aluminum grille, wiring kit and wipers came with the body at a cost of more than $9600, while the chassis brought the total to nearly 21 grand—this is no cheap kit! House of Kolor Cinnamon Pearl with Cosmic Clear was applied skillfully by J.V. Auto Body in
Chardon, OH, and they did an excellent job. Miles deep and arrow straight this car looks like it needs a speeding ticket while standing still! The grille and headlights are reproduction pieces up front and compliment reproduction taillights out back. Billet Specialties wheels wear BFGoodrich Comp T/A tires all around, 195/60/15 up front and massive 275/60/17 out back. There’s a custom hood scoop on the full forward tilting front end, no badges or excess trim—this is a tight car!

Underneath, the high quality Active Power frame hosts plenty of top shelf components. An Air Ride-equipped, chromed IFS front setup with QA1 shocks and Wilwood discs join a Mustang II rack and pinion setup in the front. Power flows down a custom driveshaft to the narrowed, Currie-built and 4 link suspended Ford 9" with 3.50 gears and 31 spline axles out back. Another pair of QA1 shocks are here, this time in coil over form. More Wilwood billet calipers and brake discs provide all the stopping power needed. The floor pans and frame were treated the same as the topside with smooth copper paint everywhere. Side exit exhaust pipes will go unnoticed by anyone...but on a car like this, isn't that the point?

Interiors by Dave in
Willoughby, OH conjured up the high class saddle leather interior from headliner to carpet. Reproduction Willys seats look awesome with the custom leather trim, Auto Meter gauges in the dash give you information on everything from fuel level to RPM’s while custom molded door panels match the headliner. High quality leather covers the seats, the door panels with integrated armrests, the lower dash and the rest of the passenger compartment. An Ididit tilt column holds a Lecarra polished aluminum and matching leather; Lokar pedals and shifter do what they do on the floor. Comfortable seats, plush carpeting, all the information you can process and the nitrous bottle over your shoulder, ready at a moment’s notice? Yeah, we like it, too!

The trunk's just as nice with matching carpeting and a leather accent covering the 15 gallon fuel cell between the tubs mimicking the headliner. The nitrous bottle up front is the center of attention, for obvious reasons! It’s nice enough in here you just might feel bad about putting your show supplies down without floor mats!

The classic Willys shape is recognizable to anyone with a pulse, as is craftsmanship of this level. Well-done hot rods bring good money all day long—don’t let anyone tell you differently! With big power, awesome looks and top-shelf components this is a keeper of a Willys!

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