Rusty But Cheap: 1963 Willys Wagon With A V8


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We recently featured one of these Willys that still had it’s original engine, and some of the comments mentioned the lack of speed available and one commenter even mentioned having one with a Chevy V8. That’s the modification that this one has, with a small block Chevy and a four speed replacing the original drive train. It’s up for sale here on eBay in Charles Town, West Virginia and has a buy-it-now of $2,500 but lower offers are being entertained. It’s a little rustier than I would like to see, but at least the panels are largely flat and apart from the tailgate, it looks like there’s enough metal left to weld to. Of course, you could just drive it as it is, as it is said to run well and sounds ok in this video!  What would you do?

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  1. Vince Habel

    We put a 283 in one of these in 62. Made a good snow pusher.

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  2. 365Lusso

    Wonder what the switch on the gearlever is for–electric overdrive maybe.

    Living in a small country town, this Willys would have a ton of funk prestige…..

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    • francisco

      That switch is for the 2 speed rear axle. I used to drive a beer truck, and it had the same switch. You could use it in every gear, so it turns your transmission into an 8 speed.

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  3. redwagon

    not certain if it is the angle of the shots or what but the truck seems out of square to me.

    check the shot of the rear – top leans to the right?

    check the 2 side shots – rear tires do not seem to be at the same place relative to the rear wheel arches on the body.

    i did note from the steering wheel that it is the rare ‘ss’ option. ;-)

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    • JW454


      I think you’re right. The rear of the body seems to be leaning to the right at the top. That indicates there are some very serious rust issues that need to be addressed. There is probably some SS Chevelle owners that would like to have that steering wheel to restore.

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      • Alan (Michigan)

        Agree regarding the wheel. Was my first thought when I saw that photo.

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    • Alan (Michigan)

      Spot-on regarding the axle location relative to the rear wheel arches, and even more noticeable in the video than it is in the stills. No underside shots… If there is much left of the frame, I’d be surprised. This would crab-track all the way to its’ next slumber spot, or… final resting place?

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  4. HoA Howard AMember

    That was me that had a 307, 2 bbl. in mine, but this is all over the place. It has a different steering column, (and steering box, presumably) and the 2 speed rear axle ( red button on shifter) would suggest a heavy duty truck drivetrain. Mine had an adapter plate that retained the Willys trans and transfer case. This has a lever missing, the far right lever, for high/low. Not sure what this has, if it even has 4 wheel drive at all. Tailgates are non-existent, so this one will have to be repaired. I ended up putting the engine in a ’51 Jeep pickup with much better results. These weren’t the best vehicles to drive everyday down the highway.

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  5. James

    I would turn into a faux woodie. If you had your choice would you rather have this or a jeepster commando?

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    • Will Calhoun

      Back in 69 I had a 1961 2wd one of these with a 455 Olds and a 57 Olds rear end. AMC Big Bad Green with faux woodie panels.Quite the attention getter for a youngster. Thanks to the foster dad with a machine shop I had a fun obnoxious colored ride that even with bold looks surprised people when you stood on it. The I-beam front end would lift a few inches coming off the line. Fond memories of a wild childhood.

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  6. Bobsmyuncle

    Really like those seats any idea what they are from?

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  7. leiniedude leiniedudeMember

    Is that a Rolls in the background in the second and third image?

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  8. Cassidy

    A nice rolling bomb looking for a place to happen with that open gas can in the back! In the front shot, looking at the tires, they are headed in opposite directions. Together with the aforementioned “out of square” back end should scare off all the knowledgeable car guys. Pretty bad looking tailgate with the back window not matching up. Parts vehicle at best

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