Many years ago I stopped by a neighbor’s farm. We chatted awhile and then I asked about the old Willys and ’36 Ford in his woods. I have known Gene for some time, he had been farming there when I was a youngster staying at Granddad’s farm, where we are today. He laughed, said I could have them no problem. I came back later with a jack and 20 feet of chain, used my tractor to pull the Willys out of the dirt. The rear tires still had air, the fronts were flat and in the ground, both rims rusted away. This was a major problem years later when the restoration work began, those original wheels are not easy to find. I had the hubcaps and I wanted everything original form in all respects. After much hunting we did find three, the extra is now the inside spare.
I found a usable 134 Go Devil out in South Dakota, gave it new rings and bearings, and did a complete valve job in my farm shop. It runs like new. I re-wired everything including the overdrive system, welded in a new front floor and made new wood strips for the rear. I varnished them and then installed them with stainless screws. We found exact headliner material at a place in Minneapolis. My wife Bonnie did all the sewing including the nice brown Naugahyde seats, everything was repainted as when new, the wagon was finished. Gene is in his nineties now and is still able to drive for coffee in town. So I drove the Willys there, he came and saw it again after 40 years. He couldn’t believe his eyes! He has since seen his ’36 Ford completely restored also, it was worth all the work just to see the tears, his reminiscing, telling of days gone by.
We use the car almost every day, it’s great for hauling items, going for groceries or just a nice easy drive through the country. It turns heads everywhere we go, in a parking lot at Menard’s recently two gals came running, shouting “We want THAT CAR!” We have other cars also but the Willys is the most unique.
Kaiser Willys Jeep Blog Story – Warren Sjoberg
If you would like to share your Willys Jeep Story please send us a line. We ‘d love to meet your Jeep.
Like Us. Facebook