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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.