1933 Willys 77 Truck
1933 Willys 77 Truck
Drag racing was born in the dry lake beds in the California deserts. In the 1930's as engines got better and drivers got braver, speeds began topping 100mph. But it wasn't until after World War II that a bunch of kids with cars, hanging out with nowhere in particular to go, turned into something more serious. Popularity grew steadily but drag racing still remained largely an underground pastime. Races frequently took place on disused military runways with the first organized event dating back to 1949 at the Goleta Air Base in California.
As the consigner states, this truck was built by Ken Kull to form a twin to the original Hill Brothers coupe named the Red Baron. Even exacting measurements were taken from that car to do the build for this car. Meant to only really go in a straight line, it does a very nice job of this! A blown Hemi engine running on alcohol, it is definitely the star of the magazine, and has played off the fame of the original Red Baron, looking just like it as a tribute to the iconic drag car.
Some shades of the original '33 truck are definitely evident, but many mods have been performed for extra aerodynamics and speed. The front of the truck has been stripped of any grille and bumpers, along with the removal of the headlights which now have orange smoked plastic inserts. This front end is fiberglass for easy removal to wrench on the mill if need be. A chopped roof sports an aluminum panel, again for weight loss, although it does not open. Running boards have been removed and we just see the naked fenders on front and rear. The bed is covered by a solid aluminum tonneau top, and on the back is a parachute setup and wheelie bars. In lieu of the running boards a set of 4 pipes of 2-inch ID, varying lengths protrude from behind the front wheel wells on either side. Plastic replaces glass in front rear and sides, and has a warm tinting to it to go with the red exterior. Some hand painted signage is on top of Riverside Red paint which is overall excellent, on doors and bed sides. 15 inch Radir ET Wheels are polished up and on all 4 corners.
Total gutting has replaced any signs of the original interior, but we need to bone up for the power from the front end to be safe as we can go to 165 plus MPH in this beauty. Fabricated aluminum panels line the entire interior, with a roll bar setup and a racing high back multipoint Simpson racing belt seat. Even a window net is installed. A simple red steering wheel reaches out to the driver, and by his right side is an old school B&M shifter. The dash has been kept very simple with more aluminum panel inserts and a small tachometer.
A flip forward of the fiberglass clamshell hood and fender front end, and we see a thing of beauty for the drag racing world. This being a towering 426ci Hemi. A few goodies inside like aluminum rods, JE Pistons, and a Schneider custom cam. Also, there are ported cast iron heads on top of either side of the block. This baby lives on alcohol and sports a large Hillborn 4 Pot Injection aided by a Littlefield Blowers Co. 871 style blower. On back is a TH400 3-speed automatic with a 4500 stall converter. Way back between those rear fatties is a 1957 Oldsmobile rear with 4.56 gears.
Remember a straight line is the task for this car, and the undercarriage helps with that goal. A tubing racing frame holds all floorpans and mechanicals together in a rust-free environment. For the front of the car Don Long Dragster axle is installed with Willys spindles and a mono leaf buggy spring. For the back a 4 link and Watts Link are holding everything together. Oldsmobile drum brakes are on the rear of this car or pull the chute if you go too fast!
Please watch these videos to see the car in action:
Odes to the Red Baron of yore in the drag racing world, this car is all buttoned up, and looking just fab in that overcoat and fun signage all over Riverside Red dress. Plenty of Alcohol fueled and blown power, it can definitely cackle, and crackle as it warms up for the 160MPH plus runs it can do.