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Builds: Chad’s Ford Model A Roadster PU Willys

• CATEGORIES: Builds, CJ-2A, CJ-3A, Features, Unusual, Willys Wagons • TAGS: .

Here’s a wonderful build, an experiment by a reader named Chad.  He wanted to know what a Ford Model A Roadster would look like if Willys built it. So, naturally, he built one himself!

He writes, “Did all of it myself except the upholstery, in my home garage. It’s got a flathead V8 for power and took between 6 and 8 years start to finish. The dDrivetrain is flathead V8 adapted to a C-4 automatic adapted to Dana 18. Front axle is Dana 27 w/Corvette discs….rear is Dana 44 with one piece axles and Lock-rite geared 4.27.  I thought maybe it would be a four year job, but stuff happens  and there was a whole lot of headscratching to make things look ‘somewhat factory’. I used as many factory parts as I could but not necessarily the way they were used ‘by the factory’…..(those are Jeepster tailights, but they aren’t mounted that way on a Jeepster, just as an example).”

Great work and thanks for sharing!






29 Comments on “Builds: Chad’s Ford Model A Roadster PU Willys

  1. John Waddle

    I seen this unit at the Midwest Willys reunion this past spring, at Kings Island . What a great job Chad. Note the” Willys ” on the cyl. heads. A lot of comments heard that day about , how the unit looked like a production line build. I mean that in a good way. Check out Mid West Willys reunion . org Spring 2009.

  2. jay

    chad, what is the frame it is on. looks too long to be cj. Did you cut the rear quarters off and reattach to get your rounded look before the bed? Looks great and would love to have the time to start something like this.

  3. S. Carter

    Thats a beautiful piece well thought out and one of a kind, love to see some pics of the entire build, love the bed is it hand made or ? great job

  4. Mitch

    This thing is an absolute piece of…ART!… I first saw it in “Off Road Adventures” magazine in the “Old Iron” feature… I turned to see Craig B’s FC tour jeep and fell in love with this one… The prequel to AEV’s TJ based Brute truck… Old school meets new. Just awesome Chad!

  5. Stephen

    Wow Chad,

    This has to be the finest build ever. You should be proud of yourself. What is the cooling like with the flathead, or do you not drive it too much. Looks like it is front wheel drive full time, with your in and out hubs on the rear end. I could be satisfied just to sit and listen to the exhaust hum. I bet it is a lot like a 1948 flathead powered wooden motor boat for sound. This thing is money. Good luck to you in the new year. Stephen Lee Adams

  6. Oswald

    That does it, we need more pictures Chad! How about a video to here that thing purr!

    What’s the story with the windshield sizing,, etc. etc.

    We Love It!


  7. Chad

    Thanks a bunch, I’ll see if I can answer a few of the questions……

    Frame is from a ’72 Commando (although none of the suspension is) 104″ wheelbase just like a Model A RPU

    There are ‘pieces’ of the quarter panel for the corners but a stock one is too short so it won’t work.

    I made the body with a 1″ inch square tubing framework then ‘skinned’ it with new metal.(the cowl and upper front quarters are all that are original, the rest of the body is fabbed…. the dash has a center section from a Willys wagon/truck spliced in because I like that gauge cluster)

    The bed is a modified and narrowed ’28-’29 Ford bed….the rear fenders are HIGHLY changed Willys truck fenders…(stock ones don’t come ANYWHERE close to fitting a Model A bed)

    Cooling is fine after purchasing a $700 custom Walker Radiator and Cooling Components electric fan/shroud combo. (one place I had to just bite the bullet and spend the money)

    Stephen, you’re misinterpreting the hub situation….the fronts are ‘fairly rare’ Warn Summer hubs….the first version of a lockout hub built around ’46 or ’47 I think, they actually replace the driveflanges. When you want 4wd you have to put the flanges back on…not really convienient in the overall scheme of things so that’s when other ideas were invented…..these are here mainly because it’s still in the ‘showing’ stages but when I get ready for some ‘wheeling I’ve got some regular lockout hubs to go on it…..(but for right now, it’s a sissy jeep, I guess)

    What you are seeing as rear lockouts are really hubcaps that I modified to fit (remember this is a later 44 with one piece axles, so they are flat…..anyway, the rear hubcaps are another one of those ‘factory’ parts that aren’t ‘where they are supposed to be’…they are modified ’28 Willys car hubcaps from the ‘wooden spoke wheel’ era.

    That’s about it, I guess……except one to Mitch….THANK YOU for noticing it as a pre-quel to the Brute!….No disrespect to the folks at AEV because that is an awesome truck but I absolutely had mixed emotions about seeing it debut…..loved the truck but knew I had been working on mine for years too (still kinda like to build one of those too)

    And Stephen…….yes, I like to just sit and listen to it idle.

    ……………….THANKS GUYS!…….

  8. Chad

    What any other jeep owner without doors does…..get wet : ) It’s not a daily driver so it’s not much of a problem. The last couple of 2As I’ve had didn’t have tops so really I’m stepping up with this one.

    Thank you for the compliment…I wanted something vintage looking colorwise not something flashy. I like it….it’s a good neutral color.

    Thanks again.

  9. chad

    No, they are not from Stockton Wheel….I made that mistake once, I’ll never do business with them again…….They are stock jeep centers (16″) mounted in a 7″ shell (rim)….I don’t remember exactly, but I think I used 4″ positive offset….that’s why they actually look wider than 7″…Thanks for the kind words.

  10. Pingback: Saturday at the Midwest Willys Reunion | eWillys

  11. richard

    nice job, looks great. you have inspired me to try this. i am thinking about doing this on a cj3a i have. did you have to do a special build vehicle title, or did they just view it as a cj2a?

  12. Greg

    Hard to believe it’s been several years since Chad debuted his creation. Still looks awesome. Where is it now? Any updates?

  13. David Eilers

    I saw it in 2013 at the Midwest Willys Spring Reunion. I took all kinds of pics. It has great details. I’ve seen it appear in photos at a couple subsequent events.

  14. Chad

    Thanks for the interest….It’s still making it to Reunions…made it to this year’s Spring one although I had to leave it at home so I could take an empty trailer to the Fall Reunion to pick up a ’48 2A I had bought. So contrary to what some like to report on Pinterest whenever it shows up, I still own it and I was the builder 8 or 9 years ago not the person the Pinterest posts claim……thanks again for asking.

  15. Dan B.

    I love this build. Wow! It’s a bonus having grown up with or owned Model A pickup, CJ2A, and a Willys Wagon. Superb work. Thanks for sharing.

  16. lokesh

    Mr. Chad, Have you posted anything over the youtube on your built. i am sure you will be having lost of hits.

  17. Chad ( aka rocnroll)

    I have nothing on YouTube but do appreciate the kind words and interest in the (now) 10 year old project….when I can get back into working in the shop a little, I have plans for another (Roadster type) top….nothing but mock-up plans right now though.

    Thanks again.

  18. Lew

    Chad, just a quick note to say I still find this just as beautiful now as when I first saw it several years ago.
    Very tasteful and just hotrodded enough to be cool but not over-the-top.

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