1928 Willys Whippet Truck
Willys-Overland did offer commercial trucks in their 1928 Whippet catalog, although these trucks’ bodies weren’t built in-house; Willys shipped the rolling chassis and cowl-priced at $370 that year-to independent body makers, who modified the cowl and fitted custom truck bodies of many styles. Among those commercial body firms were The Shop of Siebert [Toledo, Ohio], Hercules, Martin-Parry, the Montpelier Body Corporation [Montpelier, Ohio] and the Anderson Body Works. Cataloged commercial body styles included the open express pickup, open side canopy top, screen enclosed screen side, solid side panel body and replacement trunk bed-fitted commercial roadster with slip-on body.
Here for consignment we have a barn find that was a dream of someone in the 1940’s to restore, and it did not pan out. It’s been sitting since and now is looking for a competent owner who wants to take on a project that is not made by any of the big three, and when finished will have one of only a few in existence today. That is called an investment.
Mostly rust-free steel makes up the front fenders, cowling, and firewall covering. There is a shiny radiator surround in front surrounding the radiator. Some repaired steel with newer replacements fabricated to match the body originally, make up the exterior of the cab. There is plenty of wood framing for the cab roof, and structural inserts for the exterior steel. On the back is the bed structure with a wood palette of stacked wood presumably from the bed but it is difficult to say for sure. Wood framing is above a steel undercarriage frame. Wood spoked wheels are wrapped by thin rubber which all need replacement.
Definitely a bright spot for this truck with original lacquered bead and batten covering the interior cabin. This is on the back sides and roof and looks very nicely preserved. No seat or dash, just the metal steering wheel structure and column reaching for the driver. The seat frame still exists and wood boxes of plenty of anonymous sundry spare parts. A wood floor is there but missing some inserts.
Under the colored hood is a 132.4 L head 4-cylinder engine. It has a Tillotson updraft carb of 1-barrel designation. A 3-speed manual transmission is on back. Currently this engine does not run.
The structural steel, leaf springs and mechanical drum brakes are in amazingly good condition, with no rust. All sit on wood floor pans and the bed is on wood beams which are attached to the structural steel.
An interesting barn find to say the least, a rarer item not often seen and even restored but when finished you’ll be the only one at the car show that has one. Step up and give yourself something to do.
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