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Thread: Hello from Albuquerque

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2021

    Hello from Albuquerque

    Hey everyone, glad to be part of the Willys Forum. A little about me: I am a veteran of 27 years active duty with the Air Force and currently working for the Air Force as a civilian. I am married and we love traveling to new places around the country, and she is eager to do some international travel as COVID restrictions continue to lift. Before joining the Air Force in 1988, I worked as an auto mechanic for my dad for several years, including through high school. I realized after running his business for a year that I did not like the customer service and "business" part of the operations, so I moved on to the Air Force. I I have several hobbies that keep me busy, most centered around vehicles. I have a fully self-restored 1951 Ford Tudor Custom that I worked on for about 12 years during several moves across the country. After settling in back in New Mexico, I had the opportunity to retrieve my 1953 Willys Truck that I had left abandoned in my home town.

    And about my Willys: My dad built the truck in the early 80s and put a 318 Chrysler V-8 engine in it. Still has the T-90 transmission, and all other running gear is original. He couldn't buy an adapter kit for a Chrysler to the T-90, so he made one. He changed the brake and clutch peddle system to put hanging peddles, changed the steering column and steering gear box, and a few other retro-adaptions, including a Warn OD. I "earned" the truck in high school and drove it for about 3 years before moving on to something else, essentially leaving it abandoned in 1986. Well, all these years later, I went back and got it. I pulled the spark plug out of the engine, turned the engine over by hand (turned freely), squirted some oil in the cylinders and let it set for a few days. I fixed some basic wiring under the hood as the squirrels and rot had gotten to most of it. Put some gas to the carburetor and it fired right up after 34 years of sitting outdoors, completely unprotected. Since then I have given it fresh oil and a good tune up, built a nice flatbed for it, rebuilt the carburetor, new beefy tires, and driven it around a bit. She is road ready once again and I can't wait to get it out for some old-school four-wheeling!

    I keep reminding myself, I hear a lot of stories at car shows when I show my Ford, and how many people wish they still had the car they drove in high school. Well, now I have mine!

    Looking forward to sharing more stories with you all, and continuing to learn about the Willys history, traditions, challenges and fun! (See my album, (53 Willys"). I will update it periodically.

    Last edited by DWMcLain; 04-17-2021 at 06:33 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Ft. Wayne, IN

    The truck sounds like a really nice restomod. Wherever it sat, the years were kind to it - nice patina.

    You will get just about as many "Oohs and Aahs" from the truck as you get from the '51 Ford. You will also have a lot of people tell you "My Father/Grandfather/Uncle ... had a Jeep truck just like that one".

    Have fun and enjoy it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member 5JeepsAz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Welcome! love the hood ornament ! whats the story on those roof lights? thank you for your service and looking forward to your updates

  4. #4
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Welcome DWMcLain!

    Thank you For your service!

    I too have both of my first Willys, and completely understand your commitment to your Truck.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Northwestern Ohio
    Nice man! great back story on our jeep. Amazing it fired right up.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Welcome and enjoy the community.

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