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  #1  
Old 12-12-2010, 12:54 AM
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Snake Farm Snake Farm is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Paradise Road.....last house
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Default "Secret Willys Revival" (My chopped '53)

Hello and welcome to my build. As I mentioned in my intro thread I have decided to build my first Rat Rod out of my '53 Willys PU that has been buried under a pile of boxes and junk for the past nine years! I am still in the process of digging it out and switching places with it and my other project in order to work on it, so as of right now the only thing building is my interest Still I thought I'd go ahead and start this thread and post up a few pics and a little background on my truck.

This is how the Willys looked when I brought it home in 1980........no, that's not a typo, I've owned this thing for THIRTY YEARS


When I bought it monster trucks were the rage and I intended to build it with a big lift, double roll bar full of lights, skid plates, winches on each end and a big set of Swampers. However I didn't get around to working on it for a year or two and by that time the urge to build a mudder had worn off. In fact to the point that when my then brother-in-law who owned a body shop was asked by a customer to chop a top he said "I've never chopped anything before but if I had something to practice on first I might give it a shot" And I said "why don't we practice on my Willys"......and so it began

Here's the Willys as we towed it to the shop behind my '65 Ford PU


Dec. 31, 1982....This was our New Years Eve party
Getting ready to do our first chop, my wife and I in the center and my sister and brother-in-law

What a bunch of goofballs

Off with the doors....


Make some marks.....


.......to be continued,

Ray
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  #2  
Old 12-12-2010, 01:04 AM
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Snake Farm Snake Farm is offline
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.........Whack off the top!


.....and then snap a couple "obligatory" pics with no top


Kilroy was here....


We did take several pics that night but I'd hardly consider them a "how to"....I mean, just look at that bracing .........man we had NO idea what we were doing, LOL ......but we were having fun!

And of course as soon as six inches were cut out of it we had to set the top on and go for a test drive!


To be continued,

Ray
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  #3  
Old 12-12-2010, 01:25 AM
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Snake Farm Snake Farm is offline
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So here's where we were at midnight.........Dick Clark was counting down to 1983 and we had just roughed in our first top chop......emphasis on "rough"

Split in 4 pieces (the sides of the cab really angle in towards the top) and tacked back in place


Couple weeks later doors are chopped and back on suicide style


Making some tunneled cab lights out of exhaust tubing...


Rolled it outside for the first time.........chopped top and 4X4 just doesn't look right...........

.......have to see what we can do about that?

To be continued,

Ray
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  #4  
Old 12-12-2010, 02:04 AM
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Snake Farm Snake Farm is offline
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Hey, I got it turned right side up now but a chopped 4X4 still doesn't look right does it?
Shortly after this pic was taken my brother-in-law bought a '76 Chevy Luv truck theft recovery from an insurance company to get the cab and front clip. He had no use for the frame and it looked like it might be just what the Willys needed so on it went....


All in all not a bad fit. Gave me a low stance, torsion bar front suspension with disc brakes and about five feet for a bed with the rear axle centered on the bed. Unfortunately the project languished for the next few years without much progress except for mounting the engine and tranny, installing a steering column, building an exhaust system and replacing the Luv rearend with one from a full size Chevy Blazer.
During that time the Willys sat outside I snapped this pic on New Years Eve 1989 just before loading it up to move it to a garage my father-in-law owned.


....and in it's new home, hoping to get back to work on it!


To be continued,

Ray
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  #5  
Old 12-12-2010, 02:19 AM
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Snake Farm Snake Farm is offline
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Location: Paradise Road.....last house
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But alas, not much progress on it again for a couple years and then the property where it is stored gets sold...........so it's down the road again


To another temporary home where it sat for another couple years while life went on........


All this time I never had a garage at my house to put the truck in so if I worked on it I had to drive to my in-laws. They once again sold out and moved in the early nineties and their new house didn't have a place for the Willys so home it came and sat outside again (under the plastic behind the Buick) until 1997 when I finally was able to build a garage.


To be continued,

Ray
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  #6  
Old 12-12-2010, 12:05 PM
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DavidJ DavidJ is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Moravia, Iowa
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I have a old willys found I have had a few in the past I like your chop top looks great with the really small back window. The last one I had I had a 350/400 tubo and ran very well. keep posting great build
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  #7  
Old 12-12-2010, 12:18 PM
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Sam_Fear Sam_Fear is offline
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Location: Dixon, IA
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I'm almost going to cry at this point. Go little Willy's! Don't give up!
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Images of that 50ish IH cab grafted in the middle of a 90s Pontiac grand am are still burned into my brain like seeing a fat aunt naked. - ???
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  #8  
Old 12-12-2010, 12:24 PM
rainman rainman is offline
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Keep us posted on progress, looks good!!
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  #9  
Old 12-12-2010, 02:09 PM
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Gregster Gregster is offline
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Location: Trussville , AL.
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I'm excited to see what you are going to do , that was like looking back in time at everyone hair in the pictures .
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  #10  
Old 12-12-2010, 06:45 PM
postalexpress postalexpress is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Homer Alaska
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that thing looks sweet!!!!! what are you going to put under the hood?
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