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“Black on Black on Black—no cooler traditional hot rod” — Bruce Canepa
392 Hemi V8 / 450+ H.P.
5 Speed Tremec
Built by noted hot rodder Jerry Hagens
Featured on HotRod.com, Motor Trend, and other various publications
An awesome tribute to the traditional style of hot rodding!
The hot-rodding and drag-racing cultures have long been centered around the attractive cars and trucks that Willys created in the early 1940s. The compact size and light weight of the Willys "Americar" line, whether in coupe or light-duty truck configuration, lent itself well to 'rodders stuffing enormous V8 engines under the hood and going racing. When someone talks about a Willys hot rod, most will think about a nose-high ‘40s coupe with a big, blown Hemi up front, slicks, and a wheelie bar out back or even a 1933 Willys Model 77. As popular as the style has become, the Gasser motif is now much more common than before. So how would one differentiate? How about going back to the simplistic roots of traditional hot rodding?
Lynn Park, who owned the car for more than 15 years, bought this Willys from accomplished hot rodder Jerry Hagens, who in the mid 90s had found the near-perfect original '40 Coupe at a Good Guys street rod meet in Des Moines, Iowa, with only 77,000 miles on the odometer. The vehicle was almost too nice to modify but true to his roots, Jerry went about hot rodding the vehicle by adding a Hemi and a 700-R4, but then later decided to sell it. In late 2000, Lynn bought it and added his own touches by adding a Tremec five-speed, different wheels and tires, and changing the rear end.
The chassis was built with an original 101-inch wheelbase and a Ford 9-inch (3.70) rear-end with '57 Ford axles. The front suspension is an independent Mustang II unit, while the rear suspension consists of Willys springs and Pro Shocks. 16x6 and 16x7 Willys steel wheels are wrapped in General tires (205/55-16 and 235/75-16), respectively.
Lynn had Blair's Speed Shop in Pasadena, California, machine and assemble the '58 Chrysler 392 Hemi, set up with a 10:1 compression ratio. After installation, not much else would fit in the engine compartment when he was done, though, save for the SPAL electric fan, Sanderson headers, and custom air cleaner. The big-block was mated to a 5-speed Tremec 3550 transmission and is equipped with a McLeod clutch, flywheel, and dual discs. To make the trans fit the Hemi, Lynn used a Chrysler-Chevy adapter plate, a Chevy bell housing, and redrilled the Tremec to fit the Chevy housing.
To match the black and chrome-accented exterior, the simple hot rod look was carried over into the interior as gray cloth was used on the bench seat and door panel for a clean and uncomplicated end product. The only splash of color in the otherwise inky interior is the stock orange-colored gauge unit.
Lynn is best known for his impressive collection of Cobras including 10 original Cobras built by Shelby in the ‘60’s. However, this car held a special place among his others as he enjoyed driving it much more often and was known for taking it to the NHRA Museum in Pomona where it was regularly voted best hot rod.
Upon arrival at Canepa, every collector car for sale is put through an extensive and diligent process called the “Canepa Difference.” This includes a major and comprehensive mechanical inspection where all systems are serviced and restored as necessary. They also receive an award-winning concours-level detailing, including a thorough cleaning of each and every surface.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to own this “timeless” ‘40 Willys Coupe Hotrod.