Two Classic Willys With More Than 2500 Horsepower Between Them
Published January 19, 2017
Most of us think of Willys as being reliable troop movers from an era gone by. Meanwhile, a pair of veterans turned a pair of the vintage Jeeps into desert terrors. With over 1000 horsepower each, they’re blowing away what comes to mind when thinking about these classics.
Justin Miller took his 1952 CJ-3A and spent four months to build and four years of tinkering to get to this state. He says that it started as just something funny to do with a friend but became a serious project. One of the hardest challenges was fitting the 427 cubic inches of its supercharged 1600 horsepower LS3 Dart engine into the small bay.
1500cc fuel injection, Dart Pro 1 heads and an Edelbrock intake manifold are just the beginning of the parts list. It also carries a two stage nitrous system as well as upgraded starter, alternator, and a more capable radiator. With its stainless headers in place, it takes up almost every possible sliver of space under the hood.
All that power gets thrown straight to the rear wheels because of the new 4L80E auto transmission that was added. The Mickey Thompson Street R tires serve the classic Jeep’s thrill runs on the drag strip. The dash mounted fire extinguisher might just be there to put out the tracks the LSX Willys lays down on the quarter mile.
Ammo cans come into play for custom fittings on the interior from the shifter mount to speaker boxes. It also carries a harness system. With this much power packed into such a small home, there’s no wonder that the LSX Willys also sports wheelie bars on the rear.
One Eye Willys
Matt Napier started with an older model but that doesn’t mean it’s any less amazing. His mission statement was also to have fun with friends but he described it as, “hood rat stuff.” Unlike the LSX Willys that has had four years, Matt’s One Eye is only one year in and still over 1000 horsepower.
Somehow he also managed to sneak an oversized engine into the rather small bay in his Willys. This one, however, is a 5.3L LS1 V8 that gets an added kick from its turbocharger. This engine is close to stock than the other Jeep but still turns out 1000+ horsepower with its mods. This Jeep also takes its power to the ground thanks to a GM 4L80E automatic transmission.
An 82mm Turbonetics turbocharger goes a long way towards this goal but it can’t get there alone. A single stage direct port nitrous kit pushes the output right alongside the 1500cc fuel injectors. With no room for the radiator remaining in the front, it moved to the rear where the Vasko exhaust system exits.
The interior is closer to the original, with replica parts brought in for the steering wheel and seating. Brand new gauges in the dash give more of a high tech feel to the display, matching the Kicker audio system.
Both of these Willys builds have Street Car Takeover events in their future and as part of their build mission. Above all, it looks like these two creations are a ton of fun to rip on and off the track. It’s good to see these Willys restored and upgraded by vets after having served their tours of duty.
Categories: Gear Grinding