I see a lot of cars but when I saw this one on Saturday it really shows what’s what. Every Saturday morning from about 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. a very informal group called the Donut Derelicts show up with their cars at a large strip mall parking lot next to a donut shop. It’s in Huntington Beach, California at the corner of Adams and Magnolia. There are no rules, no judging, and hardly any spectators. Well, maybe there’s one informal rule: unless it’s a non-running hulk that you’re trying to sell, you’d better be driving your car in (no trailer queens). The group attracts an amazing variety of cars that can range from a brass-era classic to a full-race off-road truck. Just in the top photo you can see a restored ’30s Ford sedan, a tri-five Chevy street machine and a Shelby Mustang behind the Willys.
This ’33 or so Willys was engineered to the nth degree. Everything from panel fit to it’s overall design is 10 out of 10 in my opinion. There isn’t an inch of wasted space or an excess ounce of weight. Somehow, a blown Hemi was shoehorned under the hood without any bulges in the side panels. The attention to detail and the exercising of restraint is impressive. The body is perfectly sprayed in one color with not so much as a pinstripe or decal on it. The grille was expertly restored and has the Willys emblem nicely painted. Nothing looked like the car was assembled then someone discovered that some part didn’t fit so a modification was needed. Whoever built this knew what he was doing.
Here’s a bit of trivia: Willys is pronounced “Will-iss” and not “Willies.”