The 56-year-old body wasn't in the best condition by any stretch of the imagination, so it was taken down to bare metal in order to remove the layers of rust and patches of decay. The inner fender wells and both rear quarter panels were replaced as was the original rear valence and rockers. A new lower tailgate area and cowl panels were fabricated, and the firewall was built from scratch with a 4-inch doghouse to accommodate the HEMI's setback, which sits just behind the front axle line. Custom panels were constructed from recycled walnut boards that were laminated together, clearcoated, and polished. Once Tavis approved of the bodywork and the Willys was beginning to closely resemble the rendering, he selected Sherman Williams '08 Toyota Tundra Pyrite Mica paint to cover the wagon.
With the paint buffed to sparkling perfection and after every nut and bolt was tightened, Tavis took the time to look back and examine his original game plan. Creating the entire wagon to somewhat resemble a factory optioned vehicle was the overall mission, which can easily be considered a success. Although Tavis' pockets weren't deep when he first started the project, or afterwards for that matter, he relied heavily on creative bartering and getting his own hands dirty in order to make things happen. Tavis' father, Dave, served as his right hand man throughout the entire build as the two even performed sheetrock and construction work in trade for a portion of the interior materials. The dream of creating a clean, updated Willys wagon was definitely a deep-rooted passion that Tavis just could not and would not give up on.
Holcomb Upholstery, in Aberdeen, Washington, is responsible for filling the original seat
A Haneline 5-in-1 gauge displays the Willys' vitals while keeping the dash area uncluttere
Most 'before' shots aren’t usually this tough to look at. Tavis' hard work and determinat