Special: I Need To Know What Y'all Think - 1958 Wagon

LaurelHighlands

Bigger Hammer
Jul 16, 2013
33
Davidsville, PA
First Name
Nick
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1958
Alright, so here it is. My dad and I bought a Wagon two summers ago and not much has gotten done. I've always wanted to see it done, and to see it make my family happy. Well, in two years, my dad turns 50. Thats a big milestone, and he is the last one from his family to do so. I want to make his birthday a special one. I want to have the Wagon restored for him to enjoy. I already know of shops that can do the job, so the only thing holding me back, is money. Its going to cost, I estimate, anywhere from 30-50k. I wanted to see if y'all had any ideas of how to raise that money. I have a year and a half to do it. I need your ideas. My dad is worth it, and so is the Wagon. I need your help.
 

The Doge

Well Oiled
Jun 15, 2011
1,075
Allen, TX
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1958
Nick, unfortunately there are very few things that are not illegal that will allow you to raise that much money in that time period. Plus a job of that scale would take a shop a minimum of a year to complete so you would really need the majority of the money in 1 year. I had turned 50 two years ago and what I would have appreciated even more than a fully restored vehicle that my son paid for would be a partially restored one that he had put his time and effort into. Now if you have a full time job and no expenses there is a chance you could raise that amount of money.
Dan
 

LaurelHighlands

Bigger Hammer
Jul 16, 2013
33
Davidsville, PA
First Name
Nick
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1958
Yeah, and that's the unfortunate truth. But I also know, I am moving out in less than a week. He is focused on other things. If I can't do this for him, it will definitely end up at the scrap heap. I have looked into crowd funding, family donations, etc. I want to have this done, and won't give up. Yes, Doge, what you said probably would make him very happy, but there is a difference between a running, rusty wagon and a nice, freshly painted, tuned up one. I want to give him something nice. He has given me everything. I have many nice things. He has given up many nice things in order to give me what I have. It is time I return the favor. I'm committed to whatever I need to do, the issue is, I don't know WHAT to do.
 

TinkerToyII

Well Oiled
Aug 16, 2010
1,334
Grand Junction, Colorado - Ivins ,Utah
First Name
Randy
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1956
Do you have other family members that might like to participate? Like the Dodge said a lot of money to raise in a short period of time, let alone if you are able to come up with funds it will take quite a while to do the work.
 

The Doge

Well Oiled
Jun 15, 2011
1,075
Allen, TX
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1958
Also the 30k to 40k you are budgeting for would be an very top notch restoration and you will never come close to getting anywhere near that amount of money for the vehicle should he ever need to sell it in the future. Are you looking to do a restomod or a restoration? I would think that either way you should be able to find a reputable shop to do a good job for under 20k. Again, you will probably never get even this money back out of a Willys unless you get one of these guys at an auction who have more money than brains. I personally would go for a lower level restoration or invest the money in another classic vehicle that will either maintain or increase in value.
 

LaurelHighlands

Bigger Hammer
Jul 16, 2013
33
Davidsville, PA
First Name
Nick
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1958
Its not something I want restored as a hotrod or super luxurious or modern or anything. Just a stock restoration. And I am doing this, for him, but also that sometime in the future I get the chance to carry it in and hand it down.

And tinker, yeah, I think that's where most of my money is going to have to come from. I mean I'm going to bust my ass to do my part, but family is where I expect most of this to come from.
 

dahreno

Well Oiled
Mar 21, 2012
1,924
Reno
First Name
Dave
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1961
That is a great thing to do for your Dad. A father will do anything for his son, or daughter and never expect any thing in return. What you need to do is to concentrate on getting it running really well first. Then if time permits, going on to do other things. There is nothing wrong with giving him a running wagon and let him take it from there. I know I would love to get something like that from my son then, have him come over on weekends and help finish it as a father and son project. As a matter of fact, for me, I would like that better, to be involved. Your dad is young, believe it or not (compared to some of us here )and if in good enough shape, should be able to accomplish this with your help. Good luck and let us know what you decide. BTW, what kind of condition is the wagon in, we need pictures inside and out, and then we can tell you what a good course of action may be.
 

lbpa18

Precision Fit
Nov 9, 2013
758
Alaska & Utah
First Name
Lew
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1959
I am some years beyond fifty. Believe it or not, that is still a long way from the end. Your dad has lots of natural years left. You dont need to break the bank to show him how you feel. I would feel pretty bad if my son spent that kind of money on an object, let alone to tell me how he felt. I already know how he feels. The amount of money you are talking about now would put someone thru medical school if it were allowed to grow twenty years or more. Im with dahreno. Make it run. Then tell him you want to work on it the rest of the way with him. It will mean more, it will be worth more than money, it will mean time together, and for it to happen you will both need to make a commitment to put your lives on hold every once in a while to spend time together. If he is worth his salt, and he sounds like he must be, he will appreciate the gesture far more than an expensive car his son spent his hard-earned savings or grandkid's college education to give him. My point is he would love the restored wagon if no strings were attached, but I suspect he may feel it bitterseet if the price were too steep. It's a great idea. But give him something you made for him instead, like you make it run so he can drive it. It will mean much more to him.
 

Auggie

Well Oiled
All-Star
Jul 3, 2012
2,363
Gardner Kansas
First Name
Bryce
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1958
i would think you could find a wagon that was recently restored for a lot less then the 30-50. something already done that you can buy and give to him.
 

Oliver Hevvy

Precision Fit
Jun 21, 2013
628
San Francisco Bay Area, California
First Name
Oliver
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1951
YBut I also know, I am moving out in less than a week. He is focused on other things. If I can't do this for him, it will definitely end up at the scrap heap./QUOTE]

So, some hard questions: if he is focussed on other things, maybe the wagon isn't that big a deal to him. As another poster said, 50 ain't that old. Wish I was 50 again....

You say you are moving out. Off to college then? That's good, but there are options. If you join the military, they will feed, clothe, and house you, and you can bank 90% of your pay if you choose to, plus have GI Bill pay for college. Two years won't get you $50K, but it will get you half that, anyway, which would be a good start.

Does the wagon run at all? Perhaps you should consider working with him on doing the rest. I'm not a Dad, but I expect some of the ones on here will agree with me when I say that time spent with their son is FAR more valuable than any vehicle.

Give him your love, your affection, and most of all your time together. Take a trip somewhere with just him - camping, fishing, whatever. Just the two of you.
 

Ken P

Sharpest Tool
Dec 10, 2012
381
Canton, Ga.
First Name
Ken
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1955
Last edited:

BrokeJeepNut

Well Oiled
Mar 8, 2012
1,063
Woodland, WA
First Name
Eric
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1962
Here are my thoughts. If you intend to pay someone to do all the work it doesn't mean near as much as doing it yourself. I bought my 62 P/U and am restoring it for me and my dad because he grew up driving his dad's as a teenager. I have posted old home movies of of it here on the forum in the videos section. I started the restoration 8 years ago and progress slowed after my kids were born. A couple years ago I focused my energy on getting it back on the road. I worked hard on it for months rebuilding the motor, rebuilding, stripping and painting the entire drive train and frame. My dad didn't even know I had been working on it. I surprised him with it during the local small town festival that included a car show. It took him a minute to recognize the truck. When he realized it was ours and heard the old 226 purring there were tears in his eyes, which is not very common for my dad. I still need to finish the body and upholstery but it's back on the road and I continue to make progress. He doesn't want to take ownership of the Jeep but I am still doing it 'for him' and his brother to see completed. When I started the project I had worked on cars a lot never rebuilt a motor or some of the other things I have tackled along the way but I learn as I go. I say you should start ordering parts for it as you can afford it and find family members, friends, or people in the community that would work with you. I have enlisted help from all of the above along the way. I currently have about $7k into it and expect to have around $10k into the all original restoration by the time I am totally done. That includes the $1,700 purchase price.
I have two sons and hope they some day feel the same way as you do about what I have provided them. Good luck with your project. You will always find help here to guide you on your adventure. I sure have.

BrokeJeepNut
 

dlj

Sharpest Tool
Nov 16, 2009
309
Wis
Willys Model
Willys Year:
As a father way past fifty,I have to agree with the guys telling you to get it running your self for him. Time spent with my son ,whatever we are doing, is much better than any thing that can be bought.
 

1952willys

Bigger Hammer
Jun 20, 2014
62
Grand Rapids, MI
First Name
Josh
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1952
I agree with the other guys on here- if possible, work on it with your dad. I would get it running, diving, and registered/insured and do the rest together as a driving project. I think you could rebuild the engine/transmission/transfer case, do bodywork/paint, and interior work together is possible. I think most people would appreciate that more than their son spending all of his money on it.
 

willys55

Bigger Hammer
Oct 24, 2013
159
Littleton, CO
First Name
Norris
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1955
I would agree with the others that working on restoring the wagon with your dad is much more rewarding than having a shop do it; about 10 yrs ago, my son and I purchased a '65 CJ5, and over a 2 yr period did a frame off restoration, the pride in that jeep is undescribable; I've just turned 70, and am now retoring a 55 Wagon, and my son helps when he can - he now has a family, kids, etc. - so doesn't have a lot of extra time, but we still get to have some father/son time. Hope you come up with a reasonable solution to what you want to do.
 

jfcroni

Well Oiled
Mar 3, 2013
1,162
Midwest
First Name
Jim
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
Then there's Chip Foose and Overhauling! Probably not a snowballs chance in hell... but if you write a heartrending essay... well who knows...
 

dahreno

Well Oiled
Mar 21, 2012
1,924
Reno
First Name
Dave
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1961
Alright, get back to us and lets see what you are going to do. We really need to know the condition of the wagon to know what to do. I bought my wagon with a new drivetrain and almost no rust with power steering and brakes, new tires for 7 grand. You may want to consider that, depending on the condition of the one you have.
 

LaurelHighlands

Bigger Hammer
Jul 16, 2013
33
Davidsville, PA
First Name
Nick
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1958
Believe it or not, the first one, I've tried. The second was what popped into my head when I got this idea to begin with. However, based on rethinking everything, and sticking to reality, I have decided to go with what many here have already said. I do have a few friends that can do the machine work on the engine that neither he or I could do. After thats done, the fuel system gets tackled, and finally the brakes. It should be under 6k at most, and over 2 years, thats much more accomplish-able than the 60k resto by a shop. What you guys should know is, I trust y'all. I am a noobie when it comes to these old beasts, but I love them all the same. Thats why I posted here, and not in another forum, like say, on Reddit. You guys let me have it, but keep it on a level where I can digest whats being said, and I love y'all for that. Thanks guys! I will keep this thread updated with whatever happens, good or bad. Again, I really appreciate it!
 

Tom1956

Well Oiled
All-Star
Dec 20, 2011
1,975
Flushing Michigan
First Name
Tom
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
  2. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1955
  2. 1957
Nick, that really sounds like a sensible plan that can and I am sure will be accomplished. Good luck on this project and have fun. You know we are all here for you.
 
Top