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Barn Find 1935 Willys Model 77

It’s Willys week here on Barn Finds and here’s another great 1930s project car for those of you who are into vehicles from this era. Which I hope everyone is, because, you know, it’s a car and we’re car guys and gals so we should like all cars, right? This super cool 1937 1935 Willys Model 77 is listed here on eBay in Metamora, Illinois and there is a $9,800 buy-it-now price or you can make an offer.

This was somewhat of a compact and/or an economy car for this era. No, it wasn’t the smallest or maybe even the most efficient car but with a 100-inch wheelbase, it was small and because they got around 25 to 30 mpg – which is considered pretty average today – it was economical to own. The Willys 77 succeeded the Willys Whippet, being introduced in 1933.

I’ll have to defer to the readers and their knowledge of vehicles that may have a cooler, integrated spare tire mount because as of right now, I can’t think of one. You can see how solid this car is in the photos. The seller refers to it as a barn find and it had to have been in storage for years in order to be this complete and looking like it’s ready to go.

This was considered an aerodynamic car in its day with those designed-in headlights and sloping front end. It’s interesting to compare those bumpers to something from the mid-1970s with giant, chrome, sequoia-like beams and then again to what we have today as bumpers, very expensive plastic and foam over a “bumper” that is totally integrated into the design of most vehicles other than maybe pickups. Somewhere between the three of those has to be the perfect bumper.

I’m assuming that the green color shown on the dash would have been the car’s original color. The taupe (?) color that it’s painted now probably isn’t original. The interior needs the amount of work that you already knew it would need but if you’re on board with a $10,000 Willys sedan project, you won’t mind doing that work.

Unfortunately, this one isn’t currently running but hopefully the 48-horsepower, 145 cubic-inch inline flathead-four engine turns over at least. The seller has had it for five years and they say that it’s original and hopefully it can be saved. How would you revive this Willys?


  1. Pete Phillips

    I’m confused. The blue one with the rounded, next generation body that was up here a day or two ago was also listed as a 1937. They can’t both be ’37s–way too much difference!

    Like 1
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      You’re right, Pete, my apologies for the typo. Thanks for catching that!
      The other one was a 1937 Model 37 and this one is a 1935 Model 77. My brain combined all of those dates and model numbers and shook them up in a big Yahtzee-like cup and spit them out incorrectly here. Sorry about that.

      Like 7
      • BigDoc Richard Van Dyke Sr

        I hope whoever is lucky enough to purchase this doesn’t turn it into a pavement scrapper.

        Like 6
      • Al

        You don’t have to create a pavement scrapper.
        I have a neighbor who purchased a pavement scrapper new.
        He has a tough time just getting off his driveway, let alone drive it down a street. It is called a Pagani Zonda. A lovely and impractical car.

        Like 6
  2. Connecticut Mark

    25-30 miles per gallon, all iron and steel, no plastic.

    Like 11
  3. Steve RM

    Looks like the head has been off lately. Check the heads nuts. Wonder what they found.

    Like 2
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      Steve R,

      Having owned many flathead equipped cars that had either loose head nuts or worse — the head had been removed, I have concluded that because it was so easy to pull the head, when it came to car owners with little engine repair knowledge, the first thing they did was to pull the head!

      Engine running rough? Don’t check the ignition, just pull the head!

      Like 4
  4. Solosolo UK Solosolo Member

    My first ever car was a 1939 Vauxhall Ten (followed quickly by a 1941 Chrysler Windsor) and it was a nearly identical version of this Willys other than the headlights. It was a bit smaller, had knee action front suspension, and the gear lever rattled like there was no tomorrow, but a great little start up car never the less.

    Like 2
  5. David Taylor

    My family had one when I was 6YO. The factory color was light green metallic (like seen on the dash of this one. Also, the top was NOT metal but wood frame covered with rubber-like material. These cars were universally referred to as a “Little Willis”.

    Like 1
  6. ken koelle

    buried spare –early bantam

    Like 1
  7. David Scully

    Don’t call Ohio George Montgomery or K.S. Pittman – This one needs to be saved as is…

    Like 1
  8. Kenneth Carney

    Metomora isn’t that far from where I grew up. Maybe a 30-45 minute drive
    from Bloomington at the most. You should’ve seen the stuff they pulled out
    of the barns in the late ’60s over there!
    Fords, Chevys, Mopars, Packards, Lincoln’s, you name it and it was probably there for the taking. A friend of
    Dad’s pulled a ’34 Deusenberg dual
    cowl phaeton out of a pole barn in ’64,
    and within 3 years, had it finished and
    running. The gentleman who owned it then rented it out mostly for movies and
    weddings. Nice to hear that there’s some good stuff still lying around up there. Last time I saw one of these was
    at the first Street Rod Nationals in Peoria, Illinois in 1970. It was Poppy Red and was packin’ a 327 small block
    Chevy and powerglide tranny. And like
    a lot of boys my age, I had a model of
    Ohio George’s ’33 Willys coupe too.

    Like 1
  9. Pete

    That paint isn’t original, The sheetmetal is though. Yeah

    Like 0
  10. wudy

    I learned to drive in a 37 Willys, and it looked a lot like a v w Beatle,same engine as a jeep army car,,we had two of them,,,a 37 and traded it for a 41,, good little cars

    Like 0

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