At last, my Willys Jeepster!


My grand memories in the early 50’s, were of my mother driving me around the neighborhood, while I sat atop the back seat of a 1950 Willys delivering my paper route of over 100 newspapers. Those days were special (I found in my later years) only because that my mothers rheumatoid arthritis made it difficult to steer that car and work a “three on the tree”. She never mentioned difficulties only the joy especially on Wednesday’s when the paper was three times as thick with shopper adds.
Not being much of a mechanic, I looked for years to find one restored to original and in good condition. Being fully retired in 2015 I got serious about my search to recall a piece of my past. I finally found one through an agent, which met most of my specifications and only needed an engine rebuild and rewiring upgrade to a 12 volt system.
I felt confident with all the photos discussions that I would take the chance. I made the purchased, celebrated with tears in my eyes that evening with my wife that was totally in support of my dream. They shipped it from Laguna Beach to San Francisco.
Now the story begins!
I wanted a “driver” not a show car. Yet, it was in excellent condition with the two exceptions. I went to Gotelli Speed Shop in San Bruno to get creditable recommendation, knowing I wasn’t a ‘gear-head’ that could actually do rebuild. I settled on Rock & Roll for the rewiring and an auto shop that will forever go unmentioned to pull the engine and send it out to Clark’s Auto and Marine to rebuild the F-Four engine. Then the auto shop was to put it back in the car with the proper new or rebuilt accessories so it could become an everyday driver.
Well, Clark’s and Rock & Roll did an exemplary job. The gentlemen who new “everything” about cars didn’t rebuild the carburetor or fuel pump and said the radiator only needed to be flushed. A few months later it needed a new fuel pump. Next it needed a total rebuild of the carburetor. Then last winter the engine blew from a radiator that was half block and did not totally circulate the coolant. Can the picture get any prettier?
I happened to be close to Clark’s when the engine began to overheat. I got a call from him that was disheartening. The engine was totally destroyed because of one person not doing what I requested. “If it needs replacing, replace it”. The auto shop would take no responsibility.
We’re blessed by good people
Clark had no responsibility for what had happened to my car. Yet, he felt so bad for what he saw me go through and not have the support of the individual who was really the cause for the blown engine, he vowed to rebuild the entire engine and not charge me. He said; “when I give this back to you, all I want you to do is put gas in it”.
I’ve shown it in one car show ( “Cars in the Park” in Burlingame, CA) and won “The Peoples Choice Award”. Now, all I do is put gas in it and drive it…