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Supreme Example! 1962 Willys Interlagos

Stunning and smartly refreshed with a mixture of retained original and new parts, this 1962 Willy Interlagos makes a rare American offering as it comes to market here on Barnfinds classifieds. The Costa Mesa, California classic comes from the estate of an American collector who retrieved the diminutive sports car from its native Brazil. The international collaboration of Willys and French Renault-tweaker Alpine yielded fewer than 800 examples, according to Hemmings, and this brilliant specimen of the snappy rear-engine sports car can be yours for $79,000.

The rear-mounted, air water-cooled 845 cc (52 cid) inline four-cylinder made 60 HP, propelling the 1177 pound mite to 62 MPH in 14 seconds, but fans of spirited driving immediately began coaxing more power from the tiny overhead cam valve four. Thanks to Hemmings for some details. Any car taking its name from the Brazilian road racing circuit Interlagos, “between the lakes,” clearly had competition in mind.

Unique rear styling pays passing homage to the waning fin era, while the graceful grille and scoop coax air rearward, always challenging with a rear-engine layout. The original paint color never looked better than this hand-rubbed two-stage respray.

Original leather seats mix with new and replacement parts for a tasteful restoration that’s authentic but not shabby or tattered. The right-hand grab bar mimics early Chevrolet Corvettes, America’s version of an international two-seat sports car. The extreme intrusion of the front wheels into the foot wells underscores the miniature dimensions of this 149 inch speed racer, about 6 inches shorter than a modern Mazda Miata.

The fully reupholstered front boot offers room for weekend travel or (more likely) your favorite car care products. Well established in Brazil since before World War II, Willys saw the Interlagos as complimenting its lineup of Jeeps and Renault-based family cars, reaching a new market with a spritely nimble sports car. Have you heard of the sporty Willys Interlago?


  1. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    Like the love child of a Renault Caravelle and an Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce. Very cool and what a great color!

    Like 19
    • Vintageeuro

      Very cool, but let’s correct a few facts. This is essentially a rebodied Dauphine, which means the engine is water cooled, and it’s a OHV, and not OHC design.

      Like 13
      • Todd Fitch Staff

        Thanks, Vintageeuro. “OHC” came from the Hemmings article. I was looking at it trying to figure out how it was OHC, but it’s indeed overhead valve. Much appreciated. I fixed that and the air-cooled reference and left my mistakes in strikethrough font for posterity. Cheers -Todd

        Like 19
      • JMB#7

        Todd, I appreciate how you edited with the strike-through. I doubt that there are more than a handful of people in the USA that are qualified to confirm specifications on this car. Keep the really rare car write-ups coming!

        Like 17
  2. KC John Member

    Never heard of this thing. Pretty cool though. Interesting piece of automotive history. GLWTS

    Like 15
  3. Will Fox

    ? This I’ve never heard of either! When it comes to foreign classics, there are models built in such miniscule numbers that they can go unnoticed. This is probably the only one in the U.S.! Definite material for cars & coffee.

    Like 8
  4. Dlegeai

    My first reaction is looking at the front end of a sort of Alpine Berlinette, then looking at the rear end of a slightly customized Caravelle…..all news to me, great find, cool car if not a bit on the high $$$ side….but what do I know? It is worth following.

    Like 5
  5. Claudio

    It doesnt look air cooled…i can see a radiator

    Like 3
  6. Pagodaman

    Guys it’s a shame when you comment cars from outside your “tiny” American market. This is simply a French Alpine cabriolet, which is called Willy Interlagos in Brazil, Dinalpin in Mexico or FASA Alpine in Spain. No Willys intervention there. And Willys went south well after WWII, not before the same as Kaiser did in Argentina, both in the 50’s. Ford and GM were in Argentina well before 1930, but no the independents. Renault took over later. It would be nice at least to Google a bit before assuming wrong things as almost everytime a foreign car is posted, usually with Citroëns. It won’t hurt!

    Like 7
    • Ivan

      Correction. Willy’s Brazil was bought by Ford do Brasil in 1972. They were producing several cars under the Willy’s badge until then.

      Like 3
    • GeorgeB Member

      Willys continued to make cars in Brazil well into the 1960s, after abandoning automobile production United States, around 1955

      The Willys Aero tooling was sent south, and in the sixties was adapted as the Itamaraty Sedan

      The Dauphine was sold as initially with that name, and later, with improvements, as the Giordini

      This is a very cool version, a Caravelle restyled by Michelotti

      Like 6
    • BlisterEm Member

      Guys, Congratulations on your Worldwide reach outside of your “tiny” American market! As an advertiser here, it’s nice to see. Even when it attracts these the trolls, we know that there are plenty of real people who enjoy the content.

      Like 10
  7. Malcolm Boyes

    Love it.It just needs a couple of things..perspex Alpine headlight covers and a couple of Alpine Cibie Rally spots..This ia a Brazilian Alpine…and that’s great.(Love that Rio License plate!!)

    Like 3
  8. Threepedal

    Makes the all-door Nova elsewhere in today’s listings look like a steal

    Like 5
    • BlisterEm Member

      Tough call. Dollar store 4 door Rosie or super model Giselle with her top down.

      Like 1
  9. George Guba

    South American to be precise. As far as I know, they weren’t imported to the US in any official way.

    Like 0
  10. acbc59

    Wasn’t this just on BaT?

    Like 1
    • Tiger66

      Yep. The high bid was $44,255 (reserve not met).

      Like 1
  11. acbc59

    Bid to $44,255 on 9/29 RNM

    Like 0
  12. Ivan

    The only sad thing I see is that the “acrylic” bubble” over the headlights are missing. It changes the look a lot not having that in place. Great car otherwise. I grew up in Brazil and these have always been extremely desirable.

    Like 2
  13. Derek

    That’s really nice. Very niche, though; as well as belonging to the {low production / odd / French} set, it also belongs to a {licensed abroad / coachbuilt} subset. Never seen one to my knowledge, but I’ll keep my eyes open the next time I’m at Retromobile…

    Like 1
  14. jwaltb

    Cartoonish front, fish mouth rear. Butt- ugly, IMO.

    Like 1
  15. Claudio

    Ohhh man , the list of cars in this price range leaves this one at a very low level

    A renault dauphine was quirky at best and this is quirkier !

    Like 1
  16. Claudio

    Another estate sale , how come there are so many deaths ?

    Research steve kirsch cause he has a few good reasons

    Like 0
    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      Why are their so many deaths of persons with forgotten cars? Fumes? Maybe because of social media we are seeing them reach a broader audience than the old days when a local or regional “estate sale” was the only way to move the cars onto a new owner.

      Like 2
  17. Bailsout

    I think Brazil and Willys are both American…

    Like 2
  18. DLO

    “6” shorter than a modern Miata”?
    What the hay? I can’t even fit into a modern Miata, let alone this one. They must have smaller people in Brazil.

    I actually “tried on” a Miata with my nephew and friend watching. When I tried to get out I literally had to spill out sideways and crawl out on the ground. My nephew was laughing his a$$ off. I’m only 6’ and 200lbs.

    Like 2
  19. Ricardo Ventura

    This car is not finished yet.
    In addition to the headlight details, the side moldings, among other items, are also absent.
    Maybe you didn’t have time to finish.
    I believe that this convertible version was only manufactured in Brazil and that it is already very difficult to see here.

    Like 0
  20. Robert Hagedorn Member

    $79,000 is a lot of money to put into this, but I love the car. I especially like the two oversized gauges–they REALLY set this car apart.

    Like 1
  21. Martin Horrocks

    It is an ambitious ask for a Willys convertible. They do not fetch Alpine money, and the Dauphine spec means not much bang for the buck.

    This is the original Michelotti design, however so interesting. The classically beautiful A110 Berlinette was in-house not Michelotti, though based on his design.

    Like 1
  22. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    A fast Renault Caravelle? Frightening.

    Like 0
  23. Steve

    Be the first on your block…town…county…state…country with this Willys sports car.

    Like 1

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