Looking strikingly like something...
Looking strikingly like something from the past, this Antique and Collectible Autos 41 Willys is up to date in technology.
Howard Brown built this car...
Howard Brown built this car in two years. He made the 104-inch wheelbased frame himself, with one-and-five-eighths-inch tube.
If this car is smiling, perhaps...
If this car is smiling, perhaps its because it has a power-to-weight ratio of 935 horses-to-2390 pounds.
This Willys sits on a 9-inch...
This Willys sits on a 9-inch Ford rearend with a Forest and Forest 4-link set-up. The battery has been relocated to the rear.
The sight most racers see...
The sight most racers see of Howards racing Willys. He made the wheelie bars himself, and he has reached a top speed of 160.62mpha quick 8.56 seconds down the dragstrip.
The no-nonsense interior includes...
The no-nonsense interior includes dash control panel and wiring done by Howard Brown, a Grant steering wheel Simpson seat belts and very little else. This is a racer, not a luxury car.
The 1940-41 Willys is a street rod classic. Willys, once second only to Ford, in American auto sales, took on the assignment of making Jeeps for Uncle Sam during world War II, but they still found time to produce a family car that went largely unnoticed before the war, but which became a sought-after hot rod after our boys returned from Germany and Japan.
Such hot rod and drag strip kings as "Big" John Mazmanian, Stone Woods and K.S. Pittman all turned 40-41 Willys into winners, by adding lots of Chevy power and fearless driving skills, and the Willys ran a close second in popularity to the "Deuce" for several years as a hot rod project.
Now that original 41 Willys are nearly impossible to come by, Willys fans turn to such companies as Antique and Collectible Autos, in Buffalo, New York, to supply the car to satisfy nostalgic dreams.
Howard Brown, of Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, had built a 40 Willys in the 60s and raced it around tracks of North Americamost often, his local track in Grand Bend, Ontario. He is a farmer by trade, but a racer at heart and wanted to bring in the new millennium with a fast and nostalgic blast from the past.
He spent two years building the car and in August 2000, completed it. He bought the body from Antique and Collectibles, made the 104-inch wheelbased frame himself, with one-and-five-eighths-inch tube, added a 9-inch Ford rearend with a Forest and Forest 4-link set-up, relocated the battery in the rear, and added Afco coilovers, Morrison struts and front shocks and Wilwood brakes. He set the ring and pinion ratio at 4.11:1 and constructed the wheelie bars and antiroll bar himself, as well as the steering column and pedal assembly. He popped on 15-inch Weld wheels and put in Mustang II steering and was ready to set up the power to make him a challenger on the dragstrip.
Howard installed a small-block Chevy 350 engine that he deburred and bored out to 355 cid, with the help of Atchisons of London, Ontario. He set up the power plant with an Edelbrock manifold, GM 671 supercharger with 25 pounds of boost, Enderle bird-catcher fuel injection system, Comp cams, Wiseco 9.5 pistons, Speedpro rings, Clevite bearings, TCI flywheel, Dart Sportsman heads, Moroso valve covers and 2.30 titanium valves. Howard made the breathers himself, and built 2 1/8-inch headers. The system clicks for a whopping 935 hp at 6800 rpm, and has propelled him down the quarter-mile in a blazing 8.56 seconds, racing a top speed of 160.62mphat the same Grand bend track he raced at 40 years ago. Not bad for a man who also drives tractors.
Howard rounded out the set-up with GM Powerglide transmission, TCI 9-inch torque converter, Hurst shifter, and he built the molybdenum driveshaft himself. The car tops out at a light 2390 pounds, giving him a better power-to-weight ratio (935 hp-to-2390 pounds) than anything he races againstand hed be the envy of anyone driving NASCAR today as well. The interior is finished off with a Grant steering wheel, aluminum custom seats, and as this is a racer, he did without any headliner in cockpit comforts.
Howard said, "This Willys is wonderful, and better than anything I had in the 60s. I just wish I had this car then, when I was young, but I appreciate it more now than I would have then.
We appreciate it to, and agree
its a wonderful Willys.