Bill Stephens of Clinton, Missouri, searched many years for an early '50s Willys truck like the one he fell in love with as a kid-he found a few along the way, but none in good enough shape to start with. Back in 2004, a '51 Willys Overland popped up in the local paper, described as a decent body that ran well and just needed some TLC. Bill's wife, Sonya, rushed out and bought the '51 as a Father's Day present.
The truck wound up being all original except for the '56 Chevy 265 V-8 that was installed in the California-bred truck some time ago, and Bill had no problem with keeping the small-block intact. Even though the truck was in pretty respectable shape, it had a bit of a "31 flavors" paintjob of many spotted-in primers and topcoats, so Bill gave it a good dose of black primer so it was a bit easier on the eyes. At the same time he also had the seat recovered and added all-new chrome to the Willys.
That was fine for a year until Bill decided to have Fristoes Body Shop in Clinton, Missouri, lay down some deep gloss-black paint. Since then the '51 has garnered many awards and is the only Willys truck Bill has seen at any of the shows he attends. With results like Bill's, we think they might start to catch on!
If you have a Classic Cruiser and want to see it here, e-mail at least six high-resolution photos and background info to the e-mail address above, or mail prints to: Classic Trucks, Attn: Grant Peterson, 774 S. Placentia Ave., Placentia, CA 92870.