Historic Magazine Cover Car! Real 1941 Willy’s Gasser

This awesome 1941 Willys is the real-deal! Legitimate racing history, original sheet metal and a killer engine combine for a huge sale price. The car can be found for sale here on eBay with a current bid over $63,000! Located in Lompoc, California, there isn’t a ton of information in the ad about the history, but it has been written about by HotRod.com. Check out this amazing car and let us know if you’d like to drive this beast!

As mentioned above, not only does this car have legit racing history but, you can see it on the cover of Hot Rod Deluxe here. According to the article the car began its racing history in the Denver area in the 1950s. It was powered by a Pontiac engine and had the Pontiac logo on the doors. Later, Dave Mader and Jerry Morris added their names and raced the car in Kansas during the late 50s and early 60s.

Here is the current chassis with what appears to be a mock-up drive train. The engine is currently a 392 cubic inch Chrysler Hemi from 1957. It features a .030 overbore with forged pistons, aluminum rods, an Engle solid roller cam, and roller lifters. The heads are vintage Triple Nickel that have been ported by Lockerman which reportedly came from Mark Williams last front engine dragster!

You can see the fuel cell and battery located in the back which helps with weight balance and transfer. There is clearly new sheet metal covering the rear axle as well as what appears to be a new roll cage. The cool thing about this car is the body itself is all original steel including the tilt hood!

This car has a great look and when you combine that along with the racing history, it’s no wonder the bidding is so high already. You can read more about this amazing car here on HotRod.com. Let us know what you think about this one. Will it top six-figures?


  1. mike b

    I remember building a Revelle model kit of this in black with flames…

    Like 14
  2. pete

    I always loved this kind of go fast car. Would love to own one but its to rich for my blood

    Like 8
  3. TimM

    Just to take it down the drag strip once!!! I’d have it on the wheelie bars half way down the track I would bet!!! 392 hemi .030 over light weight!!! Molly Hatchet wrote the song for that called ” Dreams I’ll never see”

    Like 7
    • Steve R

      This car will never make a run down the track. It’s now a show car, which it’s perfect for. It has many issues with originality that will be rectified by the new owner, such as the make of engine, fuel system, seats etc. As it sits, it would fail tech so fast it would make an unsuspecting owners head spin. No track would ever let it make anything other than a “parade lap” it’s so far out of compliance. There is nothing wrong with that, it’s earned a good retirement. Besides, there are no old race cars running any of the faster classes at nostalgia races, and very few even in the slower classes.

      It’s neat, and puts the boards of fake gassers to shame, that’s why the bidding is so high and is bound to go higher. Real gassers don’t come along often, this one looks like it’s got the attention of a few collectors.

      Steve R

      Like 6
      • triumph1954

        Steve R. Not true! There is quite a few of these cars still being raced with a few updates. Even cars with more history than this one. These are one of the most exciting class of cars to watch race. Takes a lot of skill to race one down the track.

        Like 3
      • Steve R

        Not around here. I’ve been to almost every race run at the local track, Sonoma raceway, over the last 18 years, either racing or working for the track and have never seen a 60’s vintage “Gasser” make a run. The closest you get are the few on display when the national event rolls into town, but that’s it. I’ve been to a several nostalgia races at Bakersfield, the only vintage gassers there are either in the show or participating in cacklefest.

        Maybe things are different where you live, but here, there are none racing. There are a several race cars built in the 50’s and 60’s still running brackets, but those aren’t gassers. They have all been updated throughout the years for safety, but that’s about it.

        Have you ever looked over the cars you are talking about? How many were actually campaigned in the 1960’s, probably very few, at best? I’d bet most are recent builds and actually not vintage cars.

        Like 2
  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    A ‘41 Willys always catches my eye because the one built and raced by Stone Woods Cook racked up a lot of fame and fortune in the early 60’s. I even had a Revell model of it. Even though I aim more at the original and restoration cars the Stone Woods Cook car became a classic in its own right. And when you think about it there are a lot of iconic hot rods out there that are equally deserving of a special place in automotive history…

    Like 9
    • Howard A Member

      S, W, and C was the 1st racially integrated race team. Tim Woods and Fred Stone were both black, and fantastic wrenches. They were also the 1st black team to win a national title. It was sad that fact was hidden in the media, and was not known to many. Remember when it was “Stone, Woods, and Cookie”? I too built several models like this.

      Like 13
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Sometimes my memory is like a rabbit’s tail; short and fussy. I forgot that Stone and Woods were black. I remember the ‘Cookie’ name too. A lot of water has washed under that bridge…

        Like 4
      • 427Turbojet 427Turbojet Member

        If you can find them I highly recommend “Gasser Wars” by Larry Davis and “Supercharged Gas Coupes” by Don Montgomery. In “Gasser Wars” especially it’s described how most of the teams worked together, sharing parts, tools and often their homes. In the ’60s it was much more a sport than a business. The “Wars” part of it was really a promotional campaign pushed mainly by the competing camshaft grinders. The cam makers published cartoon-like ads making fun of their competitors names and reputations while the racers generally were friends and got along well. The books have been out of publication for years but can usually be found on eBay or Amazon. Well worth the read if you find them and have wonderful photos.

        Like 2
      • triumph1954

        Howard A. That fact was never hidden in the media. Go back and look at old magazines and articles about them and it always shows pictures of them.

      • Howard A Member

        IDK, I was an avid drag race fan and I never knew it. But, I was a poor kid, and a $1.25 was too much for a magazine in the 60’s, ( when I could have bought another model for that)and media coverage was iffy, at best.

        Like 1
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Back when I was a kid I bought more models than magazines. Of course the local newsstand owner was somewhat of a prude and didn’t believe in fast cars or (gasp) women posing in the nude. I remember the only coverage of car events was ABC’s Wide World of Sports where you’d get 20 minutes of ‘Watching Paint Dry’ (Golf), ten minutes of equestrian (equally boring), ten minutes of figure skating (are you kidding?) and three minutes of the Winternationals, with five minutes of commercials.

        Like 2
  5. Troy s

    From back when hot rods were not built out of Summit racing catalogs, but fabricated pieces of imagination an creativity. A gasser like this would absolutely scare the 💩out some people nowadays, a real handful. What a machine!

    Like 8
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      It was an entirely different game back then. It was trial and error; there was very little in the way of scientific approaches. You tweaked something and if it worked, you tweaked it a bit more. You altered wheelbases and location of the rear axle; you lifted the front to transfer weight to the rear, but hopefully without making your car aerodynamic (I remember when some of the funny cars actually flew). And everyone watched everyone else, as much for their safety as to see what improvements they were making. A different world, that I truly miss…

      Like 9
      • Howard A Member

        That’s true back then, trial and error, in more than just drag racing. That “error” cost many plenty, and as Troy suggests, they were a handful. Gassers had some of the most spectacular crashes. I got a kick out of “they watched everyone else”. I heard, if a drag racer got a flat on the front on the way to the track, and put a snow tire on to get them to the track, the next week, every other racer had a snow tire on the front of their tow vehicle.

        Like 8
      • Dave

        Something to bear in mind is that Southern California in the 1960s was the center of the nascent aerospace industry. They most certainly had access to technology.

        When they weren’t building moon rockets they were making things go fast on the dragstrips and dry lakes.

        As far as trial and error goes, it worked well for Wilbur and Orville. The secret is to keep detailed notes on what you’re doing.

        Like 7
  6. Robert White

    Interesting sale.


    Like 6
  7. Hotroddaddy

    Neat cars to look at, but as far as I am concerned give me a stock 41 Willy’s American any day.

  8. ACZ

    Like the Maltese Falcon. “The stuff dreams are made of”.

  9. George

    i gotta change my underwear agin’…

  10. TimM

    Use a depend under garment George!!!
    Then you don’t have to change it till the end of the day!! You can just sit in it!!!

    Like 1
  11. John C.

    I believe Maple Grove raceway in Reading Pa. still has a weekend set aside for nostalgia race cars to come out, you would be surprised how many are still around!
    Another funny thing is that a friend of mine that likes these old Willy’s coupes remarked that with the all the fiberglass bodies around that there are more 1941 Willys coupes around today than there were in 1941! lol!

  12. John

    Willys please, not Willy’s.

    Like 1
  13. John C.

    Opps the grammar police are watching!

  14. Thor

    Oops. The knuckle draggers are too.

  15. Tony T

    Wilbur and Orville had a wind tunnel … hardly “trial and ERROR”!

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