It's always fun to see custom street rods come through our showroom here at RK Motors Charlotte. Unlike beefy muscle cars or slick sports cars which are designed with varying degrees of built in homogeny that appeals to a wide variety of buyers, custom cars are built around the two main cornerstones of every car enthusiast's psyche: GO FAST and LOOK GOOD. When you build a car around those two principles, you either go big or go home; and with a big engine, big tires, big brakes and a big blower this killer 1941 Willys coupe LIVES that motto. Not a car for the shy or timid among us, it's a hairy-chested beast that will hurt you if you're not ready for it. But if you're the kind of buyer who is ready to go big and drop jaws, this slick street rod is just the car you've been looking for.
Titled as an actual 1941 Willys, this breathtaking '41 coupe began life as a straight and smooth fiberglass body from Clayton Custom Cars in Raleigh, North Carolina. Known throughout the hobby for their magazine featured Willys builds, this small shop (now branded as Eastern Rod and Customs) has created a stellar reputation for a focused attention to detail and a high level of skill. Once the body arrived for its full shakedown, the slick panels were prepped to a completely ripple-free surface, covered in House of Kolor Cinnamon Pearl, sealed in FIVE coats of UFC 35 clear and rubbed to the fantastic shine you see today. The result is one bad ass street rod with absolutely no sign of orange peel, gaps that are exceptionally narrow and moving parts which close with a solid seal that is more akin to a modern Corvette. Donning striking paint which mixes amazing lines with an absolutely lethal powertrain this Willys, rightfully named “Copperhead” has been sliding around the show circuit and sinking its teeth into big time trophies for a little over two years now.
Sure, any '41 Willys coupe will turn heads, but not all are created equal. Copperhead combines a perfect stance, a high quality body and just the right amount of detail work to walk that ever-so-fine line between show car sophistication and drag strip insanity. At the front of the car, a new chrome grille is centered between original style chrome trimmed halogen headlights. At the top of the car, a contoured hood, which fits around the big engines shotgun hood scoop like a well-tailored glove, leads the eye to smoked glass that is sealed in fresh black weatherstripping. At the sides of the car, body-matched mirrors hang above stainless framed side exit exhaust pipes. And at the back of the car, an integrated LED center high mount stop lamp rides above chrome trimmed cats eye tail lights. There's no mistaking a Willys coupe, but as you can tell, this one has an identity all its own thanks to careful workmanship and attention to detail.
Though it manages to present a relatively simple and attractive appearance on the outside, everything about this super cool Willys is big; big time, big budget, big labor, and big appeal! Nowhere is that theme more evident than under the fiberglass hood where you'll find a completely detailed GM Performance Parts ZZ502 big block V8 that makes a dyno-proven 751 horsepower. At the top of the motor, a pair of boost-referenced Mighty Demon carburetors mix air from the polished shotgun intake with a steady stream of fuel which travels through a frame mounted Holley HP 125 fuel pump, a chrome Holley fuel regulator, a pressurized fuel gauge and polished stainless fuel lines. At the base of those carburetors, a polished 8-71 billet blower, supplied by The Blower Shop, sits between polished aluminum Edelbrock RPM heads and an MSD billet distributor. At the top of those heads, you'll find chrome “Willys” branded valve covers, at the sides of those heads you'll notice polished wire looms which hold Taylor performance wires; and under those heads, you'll see polished long tube headers which look great next to the big silver block. At the front of the motor, a polished serpentine system with polished pulleys spins a chrome alternator and polished AC compressor, which is complete with polished stainless lines, above a polished Meziere water pump. That water pump receives water from a polished brass radiator which is equipped with two chrome electric fans, chrome flex hoses and polished overflow tanks. Aesthetically, the cars tight engine bay is a virtually flawless piece of street rod art which features a complete set of braided hoses and literally contains no unfinished or un-plated pieces. The workmanship under here is first-rate and, like most show goers, you'll find yourself noticing and appreciating its level of detail even more after multiple looks.
The car's big engine is backed by a proven GM Turbo-Hydramatic 400 3-speed automatic transmission which is equipped with both a 2,700 RPM stall converter and a durable, finned pan. Power from that tried and true transmission flows through a 1350 U-joint to a Strange nine inch rear end that turns tall 3.70 billet aluminum gears and Moser axles. The cars chassis is a sturdy boxed frame that has been powdercoated satin gray for durability. At the front of that chassis, polished tubular control arms combine with aluminum coil over shocks, a polished Heidts manual steering rack and polished tie rod ends mix the best of form with function; and at the back of the chassis, a show-detailed four link suspension combines with aluminum coil over shocks and a heavy duty rear sway bar to provide drag strip worthy launches. Naturally, a first rate drivetrain like this needs excellent braking, and this Willys Baer four wheel disc manual system, which utilizes polished calipers to clamp large diameter drilled and slotted rotors is definitely to the task. Exhaust is handled by neatly packaged 3.5 inch polished stainless side pipes which growl through high quality Moroso mufflers. Keeping all this muscle rolling down the road is a slick set of 17 inch polished aluminum Budnik Ozone wheels which wear 205/40 Sumitomo radials up front and 31x18.5 Hoosier Pro Street radials in the rear. With a beefy drivetrain that has been reliably built to be both tough and fun to drive, this '41 Willys is the real deal. And from its powder coated oil pan and finned fuel filter to its rear mounted remote air conditioning condenser and braided brake lines, it's a super impressive piece that will fare well at any show you chose to attend.
Prop the doors on this awesome street rod and you'll find a Copperhead themed interior which was designed and executed by award winning designer Lucas Sanchez. Built around custom black leather buckets seats with actual snake skin inserts, this stunning cockpit wraps its occupants in a very well integrated six point roll cage and modern three point seat belts. At the front of the car, a body-matched dash centers billet aluminum vents around a full assortment of slick Classic Instruments All American Series gauges and a cool chrome Willys emblem. Below that dash a body-matched “Willys” branded and custom covered console flows from a Dual MP3 compatible CD player and Vintage Air climate control system past a B&M shifter and power window switches to an ignition killing 'suicide' switch and polished emergency brake handle. At the bottom of the seats, Copperhead themed leather floors are protected by like-new black carpeted floor mats; and at the sides of the seats, custom Copperhead themed panels hang trick billet door handles next to small pulls. In front of the driver, a polished tilt steering column hangs a leather wrapped aluminum steering wheel above chrome pedals and a billet hood latch. And at the back of the car, a professionally finished trunk features: “Copperhead” branded custom upholstery which includes a custom leather decklid.
The sale of this car includes a thick folder full of receipts and paperwork for every single component that went into the construction, so you'll know what you have and how to operate it. There's also a professional appraisal pegging the value of this incredible street machine at $128,000 and an official dyno sheet.
Few cars can truly back up their looks with astounding performance, but this Willys definitely has what it takes. Now is your chance to benefit from someone else's hard work and put a killer street rod in your garage for a fraction of its construction cost. No need to wait two years for it to be finished, this Willys is a powerful and fun bruiser that's ready to rock and roll the second it rolls out of our showroom. If you're a fan horsepower, Willys or just going fast and looking good, your car awaits!
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What Customers Are Saying
First I would like to say that the staff at RK Motors were very professional and courteous. I was very impressed with the write-up and the details that were presented on this car. The photo shoot was amazing and the video was outstanding. Tony Klein, the consignment manager was amazing to work with. Tony always answered all of my questions within a timely manner. I was impressed with the time frame in which my vehicle was sold. I would and have recommended RK Motors to all of my car enthusiasts. Thank You RK Motors for a great job!