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Saturday, January 2, 2016

Hot Wheels 1941 Willys

When you see one of these Willys it's always a street rod no matter what!  And that's fine except that i'm normally not a big fan of this car, unless you talk about this Hot Wheels version.

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Known as the Americar this was Willy's bread-and-butter model line from 1933 to 1942.  Offered in various bodystyles ranging from a 2-door coupe to a 2-door pickup this was the car that kept Willys alive save for the upcoming Jeep.  The 1941 has a classic layout that, oddly, was very similar to the 1940 Ford!  Despite the fact that it was the sole car that Willys rested on it was never a success for the company with 4-cylinder engines that were not up to the task of daily driving.  However, the Willys was later resurrected as a Hod Rod with the 4-cylinder canned for V8's or supercarged V8's that can range from 300 to 600 horsepower range, and as the Willys was also popular on the drag strip a 4-speed slap shift automatic was the preferred choice.

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Hot Wheels has done the Willys before, but as a drag-car with a rather large rear spoiler that interrupted the flow of the rear tail.  In 2009 Hot Wheels introduced a typical 1941 Willy's Hot Rod, and as you can see from the pictures of the orange and blue it was a stellar knockout and one of my favorites!  The front has the round headlights with the teardrop framed detailed, V-shaped hood, and electric razor grille that is part of the interior piece.  Despite it's small size the flared fenders of the Willy's makes up for it to give it a more dramatic look; as does the round roof that flows into the rear trunk area and features a split rear window.  The tail sweeps down in a long sweeping arc that ends in detailed taillights and rear Hot Wheels plate.  The hood has a chrome scoop that sticks out, while the rear tires are the wide ones that Hot Rodders love.  The base underneath shows off the frame, drivetrain, and dual exhausts that are visible from the rear.

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Inside it's a snug fit for two with barely any outward visibility.  The dashboard is flat and has gauges located in the center, the slap shifter on the floor, and roll cage bars that diagonally cross the doors, requiring some twist and turning to get into the car.  For 2016 the Willy's returns in blue with flames and a retooled body where the grille is not part of the metal body; nice, but the paint has metalflakes (not as smooth as the 2009 versions) and it lacks the front-end and rear-end details that the 2009 version also has.  It's still a nice car, but Hot Wheels has to work hard to make the '41 Willy's even more special because after the first two awesome recolors it's hard to let any recolor of this car top those two!

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