Ghost Rider 1941 Willys - by Gary Rosier
This is a 1941 Willy’s Coupe owned by Bill Roberts and his wife Jody. Originally out of Edinboro, PA and now North East Pennsylvania they own Roberts Trucking (robertstrucking.com). It was established in 1978 as a family owned and operated business with approximately 50 company drivers and owner operators. They worked hard all their lives he said and in retirement decided that this was a car that he’s always wanted to build. It was the undisputed king of the “Gasser Wars” of the 60’s and 70’s he said and he was a FAN!
Willy’s introduced the Americar, as both a Sedan and Coupe in 1941. It managed to turn out 22,000 Americars in ’41 and a further 7,000 in ’42, before World War II put an end to civilian car production. In the years following the war, Americars with dead engines or some other catastrophic failure (pretty much all of them! LOL!), where repair costs exceeded the value of the car, became popular with drag racers. This was due to a short wheel base, light construction, and no doubt that in most cases a Willy’s hulk could be had for the asking. Today, it is almost unheard of to find a stock Americar.
This particular Willy’s was produced by Fast Times Rods in Dunkirk, NY in Fiberglass. It has a hand-built tube chassis with a Dutchman adjustable 4 link rear, custom tubular A-Arms with coil overs and stops via all four wheels Willwood 4 piston Caliper Brakes.
Its powered by a “Big Al’s” 468 cu in Chevy Big Block. Its a Dart Block with 4 bolt mains. It has an Eagle 4340 Stroker Crank, Eagle H-Beams, Forged JE Pistons with a compression ration of 8:2-1. Its rotating assembly is both balanced and blueprinted and includes a 650 lift Competition Roller Cam and rockers, Polished and ported Aluminum Dart Heads, Polished intake, 8-71 Supercharger, 2 Quick Fuel blower carbs, MSD Ignition and Dyno’s at 750 plus HP!
All that HP is transmitted through a TCI Street Fighter 4L60E trans with a 2500 TCI Stall. A Curry 9” center section with 4:11 gears and 31 spline Moser axles put the power safely down. Wheels are Billet Specialties, Tires are Hoosier Pro Streets (25x7.50R15LT’s - fronts with 29x18.550RLT’s - rear).
Paint is a PPG Lamborghini Orange with Orange Ghost Flames and custom air brushing all done by First Place Finishes of Angola, NY.
The Custom interior is by County Seats and is a Tan leather with custom accents. Engine temps, speed, tach, etc are all monitored by Classic Instruments.
No expense was spared, after all, if it was meant to do at all - it should be done right says Bill! Ghost Rider translates to “Fiery Spirit” and Bill is no stranger to fast cars and Spirit!
He has owned many cool cars to include a 1957 Chevy (327 - 4 speed) and a ‘68 Nova SS 396 car as a few of his favorites and a few Harley’s too! More Importantly, Bill gets his adrenaline pumping with over 20 plus years of racing Dirt Cars (Late Models) in the World Outlaw’s series as well as what was known as the Star’s Series up and down the East Coast. He campaigned several teams but his competitive spirit was always about being in it to win it and nothing else he says seriously!
No pun intended but who can resist? Keep on Truckin’ Bill - Love your competitive Spirit and dedication to task! This is one sweet ‘41 Willy’s and we LOVE those wild Ghostly Flames and graphics!