Repair or Replace: 1941 Willys Coupe, Sedan and Pickup

Willys Coupe, Sedan and Pickup

For every car show I’ve attended, there was a Willys somewhere with a crowd of people surrounding it, gawking with curiosity. There appears to be no limit to the lengths a Willys owner will go to restore their car the way they imagine.  From tubbed rear ends, and chopped tops, to wild paint jobs sporting flames and airbrushed skulls. Every Willys is different than its sibling. Each Willys coupe and sedan appears more unique than the one before it because there are no two that are identical. Originally named the Willys Americar, these little gems were built from 1937-1942 and have become a favorite choice among hot rodders, and car builders coast to coast.

Finding yourself a Willys coupe or sedan in respectable condition isn’t easily done.  These vehicles fetch a premium and it’s easy to see why.  Often, the 1941 Willys is a rolling piece of artwork.  Telling the story of its owner in a way most cars do not.  Willys were never built with big motors or drag strips in mind. Those ideas came later, steaming from the cars cult-like following.  The Willys is no less popular today as it was when hot rodders first got their hands on them and modified them to suit their interests. Today, a 1941 coupe or sedan is going to set even the most car-crazed person back around $30,000 for an entry level Willy.  That sounds like a lot of money because it is a lot of money. So what’s the upside?  By the looks of it, plenty!  The 1941 Willys can command big money.  Just a quick look around shows these cars selling for more than $100,000 properly restored.  That leaves plenty of meat on the bone for those owners looking to turn a profit or simply own a car that isn’t only retaining its value but increasing year after year.          


Fiberglass Willys Kit?

  • As with many popular cars of this period, the 1940/41 Willys coupe, sedan and truck can often be found in a Kit Car package. Such packages typically begin around $10,000 and rise quickly depending on whether you order a finished car that’s ready to roll or you simply purchase the shell to build yourself.  As with all kits, most that are offered for sale are fiberglass.  Fiberglass panels are notoriously difficult to fit, align and work with.  Kit car packages have come a long way over the years, and there are those that are worth considering.  Before you pull the trigger and decide to purchase a Willys kit, join an online forum devoted to Willys builds.  Ask around at car shows and read reviews of the kit you’re looking to purchase.  Doing your due diligence on the Willys kit that’s right fit for you can save you a ton of money in the end.  


1941 Fun Facts from the Past!

F.Y.I.  CBS Television Quiz made its debut appearance as America’s first broadcast game show.

Automotive:  All American automotive manufacturing would soon slow due to World War II.

In the Movies: The Willys Coupe is featured in the movie Hot Rod starring Gregg Henry and Pernell Roberts.

Billboard Charts:Chattanooga Choo Choo” by Glenn Miller held the Billboard number one spot in 1941.

Fun Fact:  The Wisconsin Badgers were NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions in 1941.

1941 Kentucky Derby Winner:  Whirlaway

Miss America 1941:  California’s, Rosemary LaPlanche


Repair or Replace

1941 Willys Coupe

Online Pricing: $30-100K+

Quick Look Paint:

  • Complete Paint –
  • Fenders x2-
  • Quarters x2-
  • Doors x2-
  • Rockers x2-
  • Hood-
  • Roof-
  • Decklid-
  • Add for jams on all parts-
  • Undercoating-
  • Misc-$$$$-
  • Materials-


                (Paint) Labor and Materials- $5K

               (Media Blast)- $1.5k


Quick Look Body:

  • Body (Glass, Trim, Interior, Exterior)- 5k+
  • Body Repair any existing damage after Media Blasting
  • If no replacement panels are needed and body is semi-straight  70 hrs+ repair, including prime and block.


                 (Body)-Labor and materials- 12k+


Quick Look Total:   (Body, Paint, Parts, Material, Etc.) =

$33K+ selling price

$18k+ repair costs

= _____________



Conclusion: Build it!

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