Viper Red
Tan
454 V8
3 Speed Automatic
  • 454 cubic inch Chevrolet V8
  • GM Turbo-Hydramatic 400 3-speed transmission
  • Dana 60 posi-traction rear end
  • Manual rack and pinion steering
  • Four wheel disc brake system
  • 15 inch Billet Specialties wheels
  • Viper Red and Ivory paint
  • Ron Mangus leather interior
  • All-steel body

It's time to think outside the Ford box! This 1933 Willys 77 Hi-Boy is for the gearhead who loves the style of a modern street rod, but thinks red, yellow and black Ford 3-windows are just too ordinary. As it sits, this Willys, with its big block V8, all-steel body and Ron Mangus interior, is built to cruise and show. And thanks to the popularity of the car's proven drivetrain, it's possible to have a completely unique custom with solid reliability and modern day aesthetics. If you're looking for a cool old hot rod to parade up and down Main Street this summer, you've found your next car!

The creator of this stunning roadster, an avid Willys collector who enjoyed the car for almost 18 years, claims to be only its second owner. And, judging by the looks of its smooth all-steel body, I can't help but believe him. Based on appearance alone, this street rod was definitely a super clean classic before its transformation ever started. That transformation, which included a chopped windscreen, deleted fenders, shaved doors and a re-imagined roof, resulted in a simplistic profile that's been layered in a spectacular combination of Viper Red and Ivory two-stage. One look down the car's fuselage reveals high quality workmanship that's top notch in virtually every way. A close investigation of its classy panels reveals even surfaces that are free of ripples and major imperfections. And today, in its freshly restored state, this Willys is a banner showpiece that celebrates the fusion of America's greatest pre-war design work and some of the best mechanical components money can buy.

It seems Willys street rods are the ultimate kings of clean. Finding a well-done Willys that has tons of trim is almost as hard as finding a modern pop singer that actually plays an instrument. The only difference is: stripped down Willys are actually cool. At the front of this custom roadster, a pointed chrome grille is centered between chrome-trimmed halogen headlights, square turn signal indicators and a detailed “WILLYS 77” emblem. At the top of the car, a simple clamshell hood leads the eye to smoked windscreen glass, small billet mirrors and a tan canvas top. At the sides of the car, gnarly exhaust baffles, which pop below louvered side panels, look almost as good as they sound. And at the back of the car, billet tail lights ride between a subtle “NO BAD DAYS” script and a chrome-trimmed tag bracket. That's it; simple, classy and to the point!

Given their storied history, it comes as no surprise that Chevrolet V8s can be vain pieces of automobilia. But I guess if I looked as good, and performed as well, as this car's 454 cubic inch big block bowtie, I'd deserve a mirrored firewall as well! All cheesy jokes aside, this roadster's fresh GM crate engine is both a blast to drive and pleasing to look at. At the top of the fully sorted mill, an intricately detailed air cleaner funnels wind into a coated Edelbrock carburetor that's bolted to a big, ceramic coated intake. At the sides of that intake, factory heads prop great looking polished valve covers above gorgeous chrome headers. At the back of that intake, a Mallory points distributor sequences fire from a Mallory Promaster coil to high quality Taylor plug wires. Cooling is provided by a large brass radiator that pushes water past two quick spinning electric pusher fans and a stainless MRE catch can. And charging comes courtesy of a slick chrome alternator that's bolted behind a full set of polished pulleys. As with its professionally finished body, the engine bay of this sharp 77 is very well-done and very impressive to look at. And everything from the car's Earl's fuel pressure gauge to its jet black block is fully sorted and ready to hit the road!

Take a look under this cool classic and you'll find a custom chassis that prefers to divide its time between cruising down Main Street and posing on the show floor. Behind Chevy's legendary big block, GM's proven Turbo-Hydramatic 400 3-speed sends power to a chrome-faced version of Dana's tough posi-traction 60 rear end that's equipped with stout 3.73 gears. That excellent drivetrain hardware is bolted to a solid frame which is sandwiched between stainless hardware, clean floorpans and a body-matched belly pan. Bumps get absorbed by a simplistic suspension that's fitted with chrome control arms and modern coil over shocks. Turns come courtesy of a modern rack and pinion steering system. Quick stops are provided by familiar four wheel disc brakes. Power transfers via polished Billet Specialties wheels that spin 145SR15 Kleber C1s and 29x15.50 Mickey Thompson Sportsmans around trick spinner caps. And everything from this hot rod Willys' chrome oil pan and braided fuel lines to its chrome horns and high quality transmission cooler is clean and ready to hit the road.

Hop inside this roadster and you'll find an inviting leather interior that was designed and installed by legendary stitcher Ron Mangus. Pleated leather seats, which have been lined with Ostrich skin inserts, are firm, provide good support and position the car's occupants surprisingly low. Between those seats, a leather-wrapped console sits at the perfect height to rest a couple of arms. Below that console, like-new carpet anchors mirrored pedals next to a polished tilt steering column. At the sides of that carpet, custom door panels hang billet door handles between sculpted toppers and more Ostrich skin inserts. In front of the driver, a body-matched dash props a full set of Classic Instruments gauges behind shiny gold bezels and a half-wrapped, banjo-style steering wheel. And behind the passengers, a completely upholstered trunk opens wide to reveal a polished stainless fuel tank.

This custom 77 combines top notch craftsmanship with a whole roster of fully sorted performance hardware that's ready to hit the road tomorrow. If you're the kind of gearhead who likes to buck fashion trends, especially at a traditional, brand dominated gathering, this unique little roadster is just the piece to spice up your next outing!

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