Leigh Tedford (pictured in photos) is the very proud owner of this 1951 Willys Wagon. The Willys lived in her grandfather’s barn until the “off the frame, total restoration” began in 2010. The restoration was a labor of love between her grandfather, father and herself that took over 5 years to complete. Completely disassembling of the vehicle, the parts were cataloged and packed away for later retrieval. The body was removed from the frame and every inch of the chassis and body received an eco-blasting using the dustless blasting technique. Hours of body work were spent welding up all cracks and holes in firewall, the rusted-out floorboards, the right rear quarter and wheelhouse were replaced. Many hours using the old-fashioned labor intensive “pick and file” method to make sure that the metal was perfectly straight before a high build primer was applied inside and out.
After a magma flux and media blast, the motor was completely rebuilt. The transmission, transfer and steering box received the same attention. A new mater cylinder, new steel brake lines and a balanced drive shaft with u-joints completed the rolling chassis. An undercoating was applied to the under body before the body and body parts were sent out for a final sand, paint, clear, color sand and buff.
Dynamat was attached to the inside of the roof, side and door panels as the sound deadening material. Everything in the engine compartment that needed to be replaced was done and the factory correct wiring harness was used. Inside, the interior was totally disassembled, detailed and restored. All seats, side and door panels were reupholstered. All new glass, weather stripping and window felt strips, carpet, headliner, wind lace and new oak floor strips were installed. Everything that needed replating was sent to off was sent out for straightening and chromed. Coker Firestone Military NDT tires were mounted to the original rims.
It is a fully restored driver and can be seen at times driving around Manassas, VA. While all the work wasn’t done by herself, it took a significant amount of time. Traditions are important to Leigh. It's not about the Wagon itself, but the family time together. For Leigh her ‘51 Willys Wagon is very much the physical element of a Grandfather, father and daughter tradition of the love of antique automobiles.