New MN Willys Truck Guy


Gear Grinder
May 18, 2010
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Hi All,

A new member from MN getting started on my 1st Willys truck build. I got bit by the 'Old Truck Bug' in high school 20 yrs ago helping a friend rebuild a 64 Chev. I later discovered Willys trucks when a friend bought a 53 and I fell in love with it. I have a 48 and 50 from what I can tell, and they've both been abused a bit over the years. Good thing I've only got $100 into the pair! I'm looking to bring some life back to them, though I'm pretty much a newbie and never done body work or major mechanical stuff before. I'm willing to learn, though!

I'm deciding which one to start with: the 48 is a 2wd and the Go Devil I4 is pulled (came that way). Needs a box, but the rest of her is fair. I'm 95% sure this is NOT the original hood.


The 50 is a 4wd and had a different powerplant in the 80s. The PO pulled the motor and it's been sitting for 10yrs now, so I have lots of options to work with here. Lots of work to do, but I love this baby. ;)


Anyway, very happy to find this site and love the build threads. I will be asking lots of question along the way, I'm sure.

Brad, aka Blaze
Hey Blaze

Welcome to the wonderful world of Willys trucks and wagons too. This group here has everything from Diesel powered trucks to old field finds that still run. These guys and gals really seem very helpful and they seem to know what they are talking about too. Welcome from the greater upstate NY area (where rust is still king). :D
Welcome to the forum Blaze....

Look forward to the build up of the trucks.
The hood is the right shape for that year truck as they all looked like that from 47-50.
I suppose it's a possibility that the hood was swapped from a 4WD truck or wagon, since it has the badge holes on the side. I don't know if the 2WD trucks had badging on the hoods or not.
Thanks for the warm welcome, guys. I look forward to meeting some of you in person sometime, esp the local MN guys. BTW, mike - Upstate NY may be high on the 'salt king list', but I believe MN will give you a run for your money. Thankfully, both my Willys are ND trucks (read SAND, not SALT on roads) and don't have the usual rust-through body rot.

As for the hood - so many pics of other 194x trucks I've seen have a flatter front edge without the V that this one seems to have. That, plus, it seems to overhang a bit - not fit quite right.

So which one would you guys start with as a first project? The 48 2wd with the Go Devil or the 50 4wd with powerplant TBD? For the sake of simplicity, I should prob start with the 2 wheeler, but I really want to get that 50 going. One of them is coming home with me from the storage yard in 2 weeks.
Welcome to the world of crazies......

hope you found a new home.

We got jokes and answers when you need em too.
Blaze, These other guys know that I always let the purist in me come out on these topics on "which way should I go" questions. I always like to see a nice clean "unmolested" wagon or truck. With that said, if I had a 2WD truck at my disposal; I guarantee I would rod it out, leaving the body as it should be. No cutting.
A strong small block w/ auto tranny
Fat pipes (gotta have the noise)
Fat white wall tires on 50's style rims (moons, tork thrust's, etc...) none of this 22" tire and wheel Bling crap.

An old 50' s Rod. So my vote is the 2WD truck to start with.

Steve - thanks for the laugh and the suggestion! I like your train of thought on the purist note and roddin' out the '48. I spent a good amount of time with my mechanic friend this weekend and he gave me all kinds of great suggestions - I learned alot! Can't wait to go pick up the truck this weekend (whichever one) and get a good idea of where I stand on getting one road-worthy. Build thread will certainly follow.
With the MN weather only giving you 3 months to work on your project :lol: ...either Willys will take you awhile..
Glad to have you here....