autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

Electric Jeep Willys Rocks Stainless Steel Body, Will Do 100 MPH

In case you haven't been living under a rock large enough to mess with the signal, you're aware of Jeep having released the all-electric Wrangler Magneto concept last month. But what if we were to return to the roots of the label for an EV restomod job covering a Willys?
Electric Jeep Willys 10 photos
Electric Jeep Willys RestomodElectric Jeep Willys RestomodElectric Jeep Willys RestomodElectric Jeep Willys RestomodElectric Jeep Willys RestomodElectric Jeep Willys RestomodElectric Jeep Willys RestomodElectric Jeep Willys RestomodElectric Jeep Willys Restomod
Given the said official context, it might be difficult to point your finger at the build, and the history of this particular example makes things even more complicated.

Having been brought home by a soldier at the end of WWII, this 1940s machine eventually received the stainless steel body you see here in the 1960s. And now, the owner's son has decided to bring the vehicle out of hibernation and use it for the summer city drive.

That would explain why the EV's sprinting abilities are nowhere near those of the Willys examples that put on a show at the drag strip every now and then.

In fact, New York-based Ai Design has gifted the vehicle with an unspecified, but, once again, not spicy electric motor, which works with a 25 kWh battery pack. The latter consists of five cells from a salvaged Tesla battery, which sits in an impressive, weatherproof box visible through the seven-slot front grille that used to serve the factory "Go Devil" engine—a 2.2-liter four-cylinder delivering 60 hp.

Speaking of original bits and pieces, the only such components that remain in place are the rear axle and the steering box.

In theory, the thing can do 100 mph (160 kph), but as Matt Farah kindly demonstrates in the video below, which comes via Hagerty, you don't need to get anywhere near that speed to have a good time in this thing. By the way, since the owner doesn't have off-roading ambitions for the machine, it is now an RWD affair.

So, how does it drive? Well, Matt tells us that (and quite a bit more): "Dynamically, it's horrible, but it's better than the best Bronco I've ever driven!"

Then again, with the leaf springs and the old-school, rugged wheels and tires still in place, this no-longer-just-a-Jeep-thing Willys EV restomod certainly isn't afraid to get off the road.

Video thumbnail


 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories