The heart and soul of this one-of-a-kind Willys is the body. The team at Legens Hot Rods created more body modifications than a person could imagine. Using some of the original '41 Willys pickup body parts (cowl, front fenders, and grille center section), the crew handbuilt the rest. We don't have enough pages to name all of the 241 body mods, but trust us, the entire pickup body was handmade. Steve had dies and wooden bucks made from the stock '41 Willys pickup body lines, windows, and grille openings. Then the fresh body skin was handmade and hand-formed using 18-gauge steel laid over custom-made wooden bucks to shape the fenders, cab, doorjambs, doors, dash, gauge pods, A/C vents, hood top, hood sides, grille center section, and cowl. The firewall and floor pan were made from 16-gauge steel. A new stainless steel vertical grille insert was made and polished by Dan's Polishing. A pair of '34 Ford door handles were modified to adapt to the all-new Willys doors. Custom aluminum headlight buckets were made to accommodate the '06 Mini Cooper lenses. A pair of '37 Ford taillight cups house the original '41 Willys taillight lenses with custom-made polished aluminum rings. The masterful one-piece, double-wall bed contours the rear of the cab and was also created from a wooden buck. A set of LHR polished stain-less steel stringers separate the bed floor's mahogany planks. An LHR fuel-filler concealment kit features a hinged bed floor plank, which allows quick access to the fuel-filler neck that adapts to the modified and polished stainless steel 18-gallon Rock Valley fuel tank. After the exterior's fresh virgin skin was shaped, hammered, sanded, and smoothed, it was primered and block-sanded. Then it was rolled into the LHR climate-controlled, downdraft paint booth, where Spies Hecker two-tone Grey Effect with added metallic (top) and Spies Hecker Sparkle Effect Silver (bottom) were applied. The paint was then color-sanded to remove any blemishes or orange peel, and the two-tone paint was separated with a mild silver-gray pinstripe. The painted surface was then buried in multi-coats of Spies Hecker clear. After the clearcoat had time to cure, it was cut, buffed, and polished. To accent the Willys body, new original stainless steel body moldings were handmade, then applied.
As the custom-made doors are opened, it exposes an interior like no other. The dcor is of newstalgic flavor with a handmade Willys-style one-off smoothed steel dash. Custom round gauge pods were filled with Classic Instrument whiteface gauges. The lower portion of the dash is flanked with two custom Vintage Air vent pods. A custom center console separates the Legens deep low-back bucket seats, which were covered in caramel buffalo leather with tuck 'n' roll inserts. The console also houses a Vintage Air control panel, window switches, Eclipse DVD/GPS monitor, and polished McLeod shifter with a stylish woven caramel buffalo leather boot. The Eclipse system powers the Pioneer 4-inch and 6x9-inch speakers. A Ron Francis wiring kit was installed, connecting all the electric current to those electrical components. Plush saffron-color BMW velour carpeting was laid on top of the Dynamat insulation material, which coated the entire cab and door panels. A single-piece gray suede headliner creates a smooth hemisphere. The LHR-crafted, handmade door panels are accented with woven insert armrests covered in caramel buffalo leather. A Flaming River steering column was capped with a steering wheel that was pulled out of a '52 Holden, then refurbished by Pearlcraft in Australia with a custom-made horn button sporting the Willys logo. The dash-mounted rearview mirror was another of LHR's creations. A pair of eye-catching aluminum pedals drop down from under the dash and are capped with highly polished burled wood.
Wherever owner Seth Wagner displays the "World's Most Beautiful Willys Pickup" it draws an instant crowd of admirers.
Hammerhead was such an incredible creation, we thought it warranted some extra exposure. We were fortunate to receive images of the entire buildup. Truckin' has dedicated the next eight pages to share with you a Reader's Digest version of the 20,000 hours that went into completing this one-of-a-kind '41 Willys concept pickup.
The bed floor features mahogany wooden planks separated with polished stainless steel stri
One of the mahogany planks is hinged (available from LHR) to gain access to the modified R
'41 Willys Project Crew:
History Of Willys
John North Willys bought the Overland Automotive Division of Standard Wheel Company in 1908, and in 1912 he named it the Willys-Overland Motor Company. Willys-Overland made both cars and trucks. Some of the wildest street rods are built from pre-WWII Willys cars and pickups.
The Willys coupes and pickups came onto the drag-racing scene in the early '60s, a period in NHRA history known as the Gasser Wars! Famous names of this era of drag racing include: Fred Stone, Leonard Woods, Doug Cook, Big John Mamanian, K.S. Pittman, and the Panella brothers (just to name a few).