1941 Willys Americar - Tim's Dream

1941 Willys - side view

Everyone has a dream. Sometimes that dream is a 1941 Willys Americar 441. But what if you like the 4-door sedan styling, but not the four doors. If you can't find one of those (and you won't because Willys didn't make them), get yourself a four-door sedan and eliminate two of the factory supplied entrances. That's what Tim Hines did to create this one of a kind Willys Street Rod. And who would know by looking at it that Willy's Overland never made a 2-door sedan? One look at this bronzed beauty and you'll have to agree that they should have.

1941 Willys - front quarter view

Tim, a native of Southern California's Redondo beach, found this particular specimen in Pennsylvania in 2002 with a little help from a copy of Streetscene magazine. The car was then shipped cross country to California where plans were made to transform it. Tim was born in Redondo's South Bay area in 1941, hence his desire for a '41 Willys. A desire he had only partially satisfied with the previous purchase of a '41 Willys pickup truck.

1941 Willys - rear quarter view

Initially Tim took the car to a local fabricator by the name of Brian Smith. Brian was responsible for cutting the body to turn the 4-door into a 2-door. Once that was complete, Tim tranferred the car to man named Jack Fields. Jack handled details like the rain gutters, a rear roll pan, a 3-inch extension of the rear fenders and the addition of a hood scoop. Both Brian and Jack did some real outstanding metal/fabrication work on this body. While all this was happening tim purchased a 350 small block crate motor, added some Dart heads, a pair of 600 cfm Edelbrocks and 671 BDS Blower to boost compression to 9:1.

1941 Willys - front view

After getting most of the car done and into driving condition, Tim left Redondo and moved South to Temecula, just north of the San Diego county line. This meant that he needed to find new help for his project that was closer to his new home. On a Friday in late 2005 he stopped by our shop, looked around, liked what he saw, and discussed having us do some additional work on his "dream" car. A week later Tim passed away and went to that great "Gasser Gathering" in the sky.

It had been Tim's plan to take the car, while still under construction, to the 2005 "Run To The Sun" show at Lake Havasu, AZ. He never got the chance. As a tribute to Tim, his wife Peggy decided to finish the car for him. Knowing that Tim had been considering our shop, they gave us the honor of finishing it for him. In October 2006, Peggy, Tim's wife, took the Willys to the "Run To The Sun" show in Tim's place. The car took a Top Ten award and will soon be featured in print.

1941 Willys - rear view.

Primarily we finished the bodywork on the car, painted it, and did the interior and wiring. We also fabricated the grille piece for the hood scoop, had the trim and chrome redone and added a few amenities like a Vintage Air system.

1941 Willys - fender and wheel 1941 Willys - hood scoop

PPG "Amber" paint from Meza Paint Supplies was used to create this beautiful paint job with ghost flames. Shop painter Troy Mangone applied the base color, while "Hot Dog" Pete Finlan applied his talents to the flames.

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Willys-Overland History

Dad's Dream

Read the magazine article.


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Hot Rods & Custom Stuff, 2324 Auto Park Way, Escondido, CA., 1-800-HOT-ROD-5.
(Note: "Vineyard Ave." has been changed to "Auto Park Way." Our address has changed, but not our physical location.)

Hot Rods & Custom Stuff - builds, restores, paints, services and sells parts for classic autos, cars, trucks and street rods.