Willy’s Whippet 1930


Here’s a 1930 Willy’s Whippet, not too many Hot Rodders have seen this model car. This project needs lots of work!

The Willy’s Whippet has been pieced back together from scratch, there is a lot of work that has gone into this project already. The body is really more of a shell, but we don’t mind a challenge.

The Whippet will be a fun project, challenges are part of building Hot Rodsyou learn something new every time you take on a project like this.

The parts that have been used so far are quality, the base seems to be pretty solid. We will start by going threw the drive train and making sure things are right and safe!

The only way to really see what things look like, are to take them apart! We decided to pull the body and go over the chassis, take care of safety items and any leaks.

While the body is off the car we decided to send it over to the body shop. This will be a great time to weld and get the firewall smoothed out, we can go over the body and find anything that needs extra work done. The firewall needs to be all welded up and any cracks fixed, the next phase is to grind all the welds smooth and flat.

After much welding and grinding, the firewall is just about ready to have some light weight filler applied. This car will take some time to get the body all lined up. It will need to be on the chassis to square things up.

While the body is off, we decided to take the engine apart. The heads have been redone, the engine block cleaned up and ready to put back together.

The Willy’s has plenty of thin metal due to rust. The body was blasted, but now we have to deal with areas with thin metal.

The engine has been cleaned up, heads decked and rebuilt, now its time to assemble the engine for mock up. We need to find a better pulley system for the front of the engine, we won’t need a/c on this build.

The Willy’s deck lid still has the original wood installed, it’s not worth the effort to save it. We will take out all the wood and build a steel frame that will last.

The deck lid without a frame is pretty flexible, this next shot shows the metal frame all built and welded in place. Squaring the deck lid while doing this is always fun, the fit and function has to be right as well.

Before we can install the deck lid, we need to weld in some bracing for the rear quarter areas. The filler piece below the deck lid is gone, so we made a new piece for this area as well.

The hinge for the deck lid is being aligned, we need to make sure we can open and close the deck lid and still have decent body lines for now. Looks pretty good considering what we had to work with.

I’m sure people will talk when they take a look at this setup, an LS in a 30 Whippet…? Crazy, well it is something i’ve never seen before. The engine is getting cleaned up and almost all bolted back together.

The picture on the left is the old LS Intake, the owner has decided to go with a Throttle Body Fuel Injected System made by Atomic. This system is fairly complex and will need to be wired with the old coil packs.

We had to find an Aluminum Radiator that would work with this setup, we wanted it to fit inside the Willy’s grill shell. We ended up using an Aluminum Radiator that was for a 32 Roadster. The fit and look is good, having access to the filler neck was the tough part. Looking close you can see that it jogs in towards the engine for easy access.

We need to fabricate a new hood for the Willys. Starting with some kind of frame structure will get things started. This lid will be removable, so we need to try to keep it light enough for one Man to remove.

The frame structure of the Willy’s hood is pretty much complete. Forming the sheet metal to the structure is the tough part, if we could roll the piece it may seem easier, but there are more flat areas than bends. It’s hard to un-bend a sheet of metal.

We start by tacking the sheet metal to the top of the structure, this will give us an ark to start with. The curved areas going into the sides are all formed by hand, this takes lots of bending a little at a time until the shape is correct.

The Willy’s looks a little more complete at this point. We still need to find a good hinge for these doors. The original setup for the car was a piano type hinge for the top section, they were removed at some point and discarded.

We need to moch up the LS1 wiring for this project. We of course are not using the original setup, but going with a Throttle Body Fuel Injection System and MSD Electronic Ignition. Figuring out how to get everything to play nice will be the real trick.

Prescott Hot Rods is a mile high, with the lack of air to feed a motor, fuel injection is always nice. Tuning carbs at altitude is always an ongoing chore. These systems are not cheap, but when the’re done right, the results speak for themselves. There’s a lot of wiring to do to get this engine up and running. 

After installing the throttle body and loads of harnesses, we can start to figure out what else we need to get this setup working. The MSD Ignition box, battery pack for the fuel and hand held device will be mounted inside the car on the firewall. This will help clean things up inside the engine compartment.

The Willy’s Whippet has little room inside, so we decided to mount the Ignition system to a removable plate under the dash. Some of this may still be visible, but you has to admit, those little red boxes sure look cool! We will re-route the harnesses to the inside firewall after all the metal work is done.









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