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Willys America Open House 2013

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Thanks to Steve Elkins for filing this great report from the 2013 Willys America Open House last Saturday! You can see more pics at the oldwillysforum also.


The annual Willys America Open House was Saturday, July 13, 2013. Over one hundred Willys vehicles converged on the old lumber town of Cazadero nestled among the towering redwoods of the Russian River region of Sonoma County, California.

Once again, Paul Barry opened up his amazing restoration facility to Willys owners everywhere for his annual event. Willys enthusiast from all over the region, and some as far as the Eastern United States, came to the event. Well known names in the Willys World such as Harry & Jo Sheets from Indiana, and Bill Norris, who publishes the best calendars in the world, were there to enjoy a wide variety of Willys on display and to meet other enthusiasts.


Here are some folks caravanning north to the event. Just to their south the Golden Gate Bridge looms amongst a marine push.

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Willys America houses the largest variety of unique Willys vehicles anywhere. There were personnel carriers, Mavericks, Sedan Deliveries, Jeepsters, Forward Control trucks, Jeeps built in Japan and the Philippines, military vehicles, ambulances, fire trucks, RR vehicles, just to name a few. There was even a 1943 Allis-Chalmers Snow Tractor powered by Willys (L4-134.)


1943 Allis-Chalmers Snow Tractor powered by Willys (L4-134.)

The good folks at Willys America have been working hard this year. The Willys Museum was totally remodeled with a fantastic display of Pauls collection of unique vehicles, highlighted with Willys Wagon High-railers and other Willys employed by the railroad when steam powered the train locomotives. It’s only natural that Paul has a nice Willys fire truck collection to exemplify one of his professions.

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Live music and a BBQ lunch was enjoyed by everyone. My favorite activity was watching the Willys P.U. fire truck display shooting water high into the sky from the PTO water pump mounted in front of the grill.


Paul Barry and his crew deserves a lot of thanks from those of us who enjoy his Annual Open House. Special recognition should be directed to Jim Russell. Jim leads a Willys Caravan every year from Milbrae, South of San Francisco, 90 miles up the King’s Highway, across the Golden Gate Bridge, stopping to pick up more vehicles to add to the string. The caravan of Willys of all types is my very favorite part of the trip. The Willys America caravan is an official West Coast Willys activity.

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Jim hosts another WCW event in Leaburg, Oregon on August 17, 2013. If you’re a WCW member, then you already know about it. If you’re not a member, then check out the WCW website and consider joining the information network (not a formal club with a president and such.)

If anyone on the caravan wants a photo of their Willys, I may have taken a few amateur shots. My ’49 Jeepster was in the dugout this weekend with low compression (burnt valves), so I was driving modern iron. While waiting at the Vista Point overlooking the Golden Gate (a channel of water), I decided to take a standing position along the railing on the departure span of the red bridge and take a video all the Jeeps driving off the Golden Gate Bridge, ending the first leg of the trip. The video turned out O.K. for an amateur.


8 Comments on “Willys America Open House 2013

  1. George

    I have visited Paul and his craftsman many times when I was traveling to SF area. Paul has ben very helpful with technical maters and his crew does a fantastic job of restorations. It took me 9 years to complete my 53 wagon and most of my parts came from Paul. Again, the craftsman he has working for him do an outstanding job.

    George Franks
    Bedford, TX

  2. STEVE

    personnel carriers
    sure would like to see pictures of that, have only seen artists drawings

  3. Bob

    I just gotta say WOW! I heard Paul and Jane had a nice collection out there, but I had no idea.

  4. Colin Peabody

    I sure wanted to make this event, but was unable to get past some other matters. I visited Paul’s place a couple of years ago and was impressed by what I saw then. What a collection of fine Willys vehicles. I wanted to get to see Harry and Jo Sheets again and to meet Bill Norris, and am sorry I couldn’t do that, but I’ll bet Bill got enough photos to fill his calendars for years to come! Great job Paul and crew and thanks to Steve Elkins for the great photos!

  5. scramboleer

    A great event indeed. Thanks to Steve for the pics and article and to Dave for posting!

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