70 Year Project! 1928 Willys-Overland Model 96 Truck

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We’ve all seen project vehicles where the progress seems to drag on for years, but this 1928 Willys-Overland may be a vehicle that is ready to set some kind of record. If what the owner states is accurate, restoration work actually commenced about 70-years-ago, and as you can see from the photos, there’s still a fair way to go before it’s complete. You will find this classic located in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, and listed for sale here on Craigslist. If you are on the hunt for a truly unusual project vehicle, then you have the opportunity to secure this one for $5,000.

If my wife ever complains about my projects taking too long, I’m just going to show her this one and point out how lucky she is! Even though there is still plenty of work left to do, it looks like work on the body and frame have progressed fairly well. The timberwork looks really nicely done, and the body just appears to need some detail work before a fresh coat of paint can be applied. In spite of appearances, the Model 96 is said to be largely complete, and there are plenty of parts, many of them new, that are included with the vehicle. One item that caught my eye was a shiny new radiator shroud. There are also numerous other body components, including doors and their hardware, a timber windshield frame, and the wood for the bed.

The interior is a work in progress, but like many vehicles from this era, restoration of the interior is not a big job. The 96 will need floors fitted, and the dash will need to be painted and assembled. There is more good news because the owner has plenty of pieces to help complete the interior, and this includes new wood for the inside of the doors and new vinyl upholstery for the seat.

Powering the Model 96 is a 134.2ci flathead 4-cylinder engine which produces 30hp, while the transmission is a 3-speed manual. As you can see, the engine is partially dismantled, but I did spot its cylinder head in the vehicle’s cab. It isn’t clear whether any work has been performed on the engine at this point, although the rust in the cylinder bores suggests that a rebuild might be on the cards. Once again, the spares inventory extends to mechanical components, including an additional transmission, a clutch, generator, along with spare wheels and tires.

Having now been ongoing for 70-years, it would be great to see someone take this 1928 Willys-Overland and finish the restoration. The person who did this would find themselves with an interesting and unusual vehicle, and would also have a sense of pride in completing a task that appears to have defeated a few people along the way.

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  1. Dusty Stalz

    There’s a bit more work here than the author thinks, and that grill shell ain’t new.

    Like 3
  2. On and On On and OnMember

    Yikes, overpriced by thousands, cool and different, yes, of course. Engines left to allow the castings to rust make you cut too much off the bore. Lots of machining to do. We all know that taken apart and bagged parts unfinished projects are the most challenging. I’ve had my share of cardboard boxes of parts. Those days are over. Even for free this is a challenge………….call the Willys-Overland club and let them post it and part it out. I’m sure there’s parts here guys would love to have.

    Like 0
  3. TimM

    It truly is a tough project to take on!! If it were a ford or Chevy it would be much easier to locate parts!! You might only find one guy in the U.S. that has what you need!! Then he has you!!!!!

    Like 1

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