Restored Willys

I just visited Willys America last week. I was working out in Pittsburg CA for a couple of weeks and ended up having a free day, so decided to take the 3 hour drive and check it out. It was well worth it for me. I've been itchin' to get out there for about the 10 years. Paul took about an hour out of his day to chat with me and gave me the guided tour. Very cool. Also, found out that while it is a spendy venture; all one has to do to start a restoration is to drop off the vehicle with a 5K starting fund, and yer off to the races. Anyhow, I got a lot of cool pics, but promised him they wouldn't end up on the internet.
I visited Willys America in 08, took a little ( ?) trip up from LA.
Found a former UPS truck i fell in love with....


  • UPS van.JPG
    UPS van.JPG
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Ha! Yup, that one is still there. Pretty cool stuff ain't it. Now if I could just come up with an extra 50k... ;)
Ok so I guess the guy gets a good chunk of change to redo a piece of history. I was at the Ford dealership last Thursday to see my son in law. I poked my head into a 2010 4wd Ford Club cab. I think the sticker said $42,000.00; the scarey part is you drive that thing off the lot and you lost $3,000.00, I think our old Willys are the real deal for sure. Not everyone can own one let alone drive one. So you spend what a new Ford truck costs to redo some history. I couldnt afford it but I am glad some people can. Saving a little history for sure. Kids these days dont get it yet.
Yeh, I think you're correct on that one; although, my son (22yrs now) has let me know several times that when I kick off, he's taking the Willys. I think i'll stick around for a while just to make him work for it. :)
That's a beautiful wagon to be sure - probably a real bargain for $20,000, but there are other considerations about that vehicle and the future... We 've got our '65 wagon out on a 2 day permit right now and had a bit of a family get-together yesterday. Both my daughter and son are in their mid to late 20s, both have excellent, good paying jobs but are very careful with their money. Neither have cars but both are happy to play with the family Willys and other vehicles. The discussion about the future of the western world often comes up and I can say categorically that the love affair with the automobile is over for the upcoming generations they tell me about. They all want super convenience and very few are willing to spend much time tinkering with old vehicles.
There was a wonderful Model A convention in town for a week and of course I went twice - the son wasn't interested and the daughter and other family members went once only to please me.
We have a large number of Hong Kong/Taiwan and now mainland Chinese immigrants here in Vancouver who are embarrassed if their BMW or Benz is more than 2 years old. One of them asked me recently why I would drive such an old car - he was truly puzzled that I enjoy the old designs and will put time into making them work. To many people that come from the part of the world where the auto is a status symbol, driving a '65 Willys is a sign of poverty. Interesting... When I mentioned the depreciation he was absorbing on his new Porsche, his comment was: "German car better".