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1941 Willys "Silver Dollar" pickup

Classics  /   /  By Chad Tyson

Want to own a piece of drag racing history? Here’s your chance. The “Silver Dollar” was one of the last Chevrolet-powered A/Gas Supercharged drag cars. Known for its unusually high stance, it was responsible for NHRA rules limiting gasser’s height. It competed up and down the west coast from the early ’60s until its retirement in 1965. It then spent 42 years in a California barn.

“Truly a time capsule,” says the seller. Ready to scream down the track in historic or vintage classes. But it’s probably best if you’re a taller racer, as the builder, Mike Bamber, was 6’2” and located the gas pedal on the passenger’s side of the cab.

The engine the pickup used in competition is missing, but it has been fitted with a setup similar to what it had in 1965: 283-ci block, Larry Bowers GMC 6-71 supercharger, Hilborn injection and Corvette valve covers. Originally the block was bored and stroked to 340 ci, but this one is punched out to 355 ci. Still present are the B&M Hydro Stick transmission, Oldsmobile Positraction rear, leaf springs, lettering and blue Plexiglas windows from the gasser’s racing heyday.

The seller’s research discovered the car appeared 15 times in magazines since its reintroduction, including the cover story of Hot Rod Deluxe in August 2010. NHRA 50th Anniversary Event in Pomona, CA honored the gasser in 2010.

In the past year, 26 1941 Willys cars sold on eBay Motors. Good to excellent examples averaged from $37k to $65k. Many are modern gassers and street rods, or interpretations of vintage racers—not the real deal like this one. Click here to see the auction listing.

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