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Rebuilding America: Joshua Joyce’s 1947 Jeep Willys TDI Rat Rod


Photos via Steven Campbell
In the wake of World War 2, America saw an unprecedented boom in automotive manufacturing; one of the first companies to sell retrofitted war vehicles to civilians was the Willys-Overland Motors’ Jeep brand Willys SUV. Joshua Joyce of Village Customs in Virgina Beach tried his hand at re-imagining this once robust rock a top heavy truck into a pavement scraping rat rod was no easy task. Having already had plenty of experience chopping his old MK1 golf turbo diesel, he knew the stock motor would need to be replaced with something more fuel custom engine mounts, Joshua transplanted a 1996 Volkswagen AHU TDI into a trimmed and cut bay. jeep-willys-village-customs-airsociety-rat-rod-bagged-air-suspension-003Increasing power output came next along with stage 2 cams, a Kerma K03/K04 hybrid turbo, Kerma 764 nozzles, built AAZ turbo pump, a ported head, and upgraded intercooler saw both fuel efficiency and power output to climb mountains and survive heavy blasts, the Jeep Willys was neither aerodynamic or sporty to begin with. Looking to lower the overall height of the stock Willys body lines, this included a chop top roof along with a heavy body the body proportions further revolved around raising the window sills to make them level with the front windshield. A M35A2 rear sliding window was added along with a hand made bed all sitting on a completely custom key aspect to Joshua’s new hand made frame is the capability to support a completely overhauled suspension system. Long gone are the archaic leaf springs, in their place is a hand made ladder bar front and two-link rear Slam Specialties SS6 air springs fueled via a ViAir 400c compressor tied to a simple 3-gallon air tank feed air via copper hard lines through manual paddle valves to provide the ultimate look for this one of a kind hot to keep some part of his ride period correct, Joshua opted to keep the stock 16×4″ front and 16×8″ rear factory wheels mated to factory/period correct humble welder who loves building cars took an American classic and rebuilt it from the ground up to be his ultimate form of has endless gratitude toward Mike Fall for all the hard work on this motor, as well as to Jason Rollins, Charles Williams, Lee Clarkson, Abe Lopez, and Katie Moutvic for their support along the

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