We couldn’t believe it either! And this one is no April Fools joke. Detroit Speed is currently building a 1941 Willys for Mike and Janie Braswell. The Braswells are no strangers to killer cars and have a great collection. But don’t think for a minute that they are all sitting clean and pretty with no miles on them. Mike goes on Hot Rod Power Tour every year, and both Mike and Janie drive multiple NHRA Stock and Super Stock drag cars. It makes sense then that Mike would have a 1941 Willys drag car in his stable. One with a unique history that includes Kenny Bernstein.
When Mike approached Kyle and Stacy Tucker at Detroit Speed and Engineering about rebuilding the drag car, the Detroit Speed crew was ecstatic. It seems that all the recent Camaro and Firebired projects were getting a bit old and they wanted a new challenge. Well, after sandblasting this bad boy, they found the challenge. Below are photos from the initial disassembly and mockup.
The Willys will feature DSE’s new front and rear suspension systems including the DSE X-Gen 535 Series components. To check out more photos of the project, click here and you’ll go to the DSE project page for the 1941 Willys. And stay tuned because we will have regular updates coming with even more photos and details.
We’ll have another new DSE project highlight coming later this week as well. You are gonna love it.
April 25th Willys Update
Mike and Janie Braswell’s, Detroit Speed built, 1941 Willy’s is rapidly evolving thanks to the crew in Mooresville, NC. In this update you’ll see that the chassis is coming along nicely, along with body and roll cage mounts, rocker panels, and more. This may well be the best handling Willys on the planet when completed, and if everything goes right we’ll be doing testing, and shooting video of all the fun. Check out all the great photos we’ve got for you in this update on the project, and stay tuned as we’ll have more coming in a couple weeks.
A lot is going on with the Willy’s including finishing the suspension fabrication, and the replacement of rusty body panels. The good news is that the car is starting to take shape again. With a project like this where it rolls in looking like a decent car, only to find it’s a rust bucket, the project always seems to go backwards before it starts going forward again. Well, we are now moving forward.
Rusted rocker and sill plates are being completed, which means that fabricated body mounts are now finished as well. After the body was installed, work was able to continue on the chassis. The main frame components were installed previously, but now it was time to install the DSE X-Gen 535 Series Universal Front Frame kit which utilizes proven DSE technology in the front suspension.
Getting the front suspension installed with the X-Gen setup meant we could start working on the rear of the chassis. QUADRALink based components, including the Swivel-Links are going to be used so that the car handles great but rides nice too.
Note from Chad: Seriously?! Have you ever seen a panhard bar this trick before? Ever?! Wow. I dig this thing.
Now that the car is a roller, with a mounted body, it’s off to Ferguson Coach Works to have some hand fabricated replacement panels made. Since Ferguson specializes in 1941 Willys, and is know for amazing body panels, we couldn’t pass up the chance to work with them. This car just keep getting cooler all the time, and we can’t wait for the next round of updates as the panels get finished and the car comes back for floors and firewall.