The Willy’s Americar had a short lifespan and was only in production between 1933 and 1942. There were a number of body styles to choose from including a sedan, coupe, station wagon or pickup truck. Today we’re going to look at the 1941 Willy’s Coupe.
The pictures featured with this article show a perfectly restored 1941 Willy’s Coupe – also known as the Americar. It was the last car to be made by the American manufacturer Willy’s-Overland Motors as the outbreak of World War II saw all US motor companies forced to abandon production in order to help with military production. With Roosevelt’s restrictions in place, and Willy’s unable to manufacturer civilian cars, the Americar never returned. A few models were released after the war but none of them successful, condemning the Americar to a pre-war era.
The origin of the 1941 Willy’s Coupe
Produced under the presidency of Joseph W Frazer, the 1941 Willy’s Coupe was engineered by Barney Roos – an American automotive engineer that revolutionized car engines whilst working for Studebaker between 1926 and 1936. The 1941 Willy’s Coupe contained an L-head 4-cylinder engine capable of approximately 66bhp and a very conventional ladder chassis, but the Americar was the last of a generation. After the release of the Willy’s Whippet in 1926 and Willy’s ’77 in 1933,the Americar appeared as an economical and alternative option to the cheaper Ford. The original car sold around 22,000 units in 1941 and a further 7,000 units in 1942 before the war but a stop to the production.
During the 1950s and 60s, many pre-war Americars were converted for drag racing and became so popular that they were eventually reproduced in fiberglass. Even today, the Americar is a very popular choice for modern day hotrodders.
Unfortunately, due to its post-war popularity, this car is almost impossible to find in its traditional stock form.
This particular 1941 Willy’s Coupe
The car featured is owned and has been custom built by Tom Parry. He’s replaced the 134 cubic inch engine with a blown small block Chevy with forged internals. And the custom green paint – mixed by Tom himself – is a definite show stopper.