1940 Willys 440 Coupe-Pickup

The stylish cars and trucks produced by Willys in the early 1940s have long been a cornerstone of the hot-rodding and drag racing communities. While a Hemi-powered ’40 Willys “Gasser” tearing up a local drag strip is an iconic image for any historic drag racing aficionado, the same sight might make a traditional marque enthusiast squirm. Whether in coupe or light-duty pickup form, the compact dimensions and light weight of the Willys “Americar” line lent itself well to ‘rodders shoving massive V8 engines under the hood and going racing, but that popularity has made standard, uncut examples an exceedingly rare sight today.

This 1940 Willys Model 440 ½-ton Pickup is a rare survivor, restored to near-standard appearance with a few discreet and attractive personal touches. The Model 440 Coupe-Pickup was introduced for the 1940 model year, targeted at fleet managers looking for economical and inexpensive lightweight delivery vehicles. At a list price of just $535, Willys guaranteed every truck for 100,000 miles or three years. Despite the attractive figures, Willys could not compete with the might of Detroit’s major players, and sales never lived up to expectations. Considering the hard life most commercial vehicles lived, the smart and stylish little 440 Coupe-Pickup is quite scarce today. This example has been treated to a high-quality cosmetic restoration, with the all-steel body attractively finished in deep blue, highlighted with red wheels and wide-whites for the classic look. The paint is excellent, and chrome trim is in similarly fine condition.

The interior is attractively restored in natural tan upholstery accented with oatmeal square-weave carpet and body-color dash and door tops. A bit of artistic license was taken in the choice of materials, which warm up the cab without spoiling the original layout’s simplistic charm. Electronic gauges from Classic Instruments retain the classic look while adding a layer of reliability and functionality. The restoration work is very well done, with an appealing quality that encourages regular driving enjoyment.

Willys relied on its tried and true “Go-Devil” inline-four to power the entire “Americar” line from 1937-1947. The 134.2 cubic-inch four is rated at a modest 60 horsepower, but it has character in abundance. The engine bay is tidy and well detailed, showing some signs of regular use. Power goes through a 3-speed manual gearbox with a floor shifter. Useful updates to the drivetrain include a 12-volt conversion with alternator charging and a high-torque gear-reduction starter. It runs well and feels nicely sorted on the road, with outsized character and charm.

With discreet but effective updates, this rare and delightful Willys 440 Coupe Pickup is a joy to drive, and the authentic, high-quality restoration is sure to garner plenty of attention on the road, in club gatherings, or at your local Cars & Coffee.

Offers welcome and trades considered 

 

$49,500

Stock number 6820

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