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Subtle Changes

Front Side View
Verne Simons
| Senior Editor, Jp
Posted July 1, 2001
Photographers: John Cappa

One Clean Wagon

Step By Step

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  • Good, Bad, and What It's For
    This is one slick ride that McGee built to show off the roots of SUVs given their current popularity. It certainly catches your eye, and we want one. As for the paint it sure would hurt to brush this Jeep against a bush, let alone a rock. Oh yeah, we doubt that we are the first to point this out, but a yellow Willys wagon is just a few feet shorter than a school bus, but we doubt there are many kids who wouldn’t want a ride to school in this bus.

  • Body & Interior
    A custom-mix yellow, combined with interior upholstery done by the same guy who did Jimmy Buffett’s Lear Jet plus subtle ghost flames (déjà vu from the March ’01 cover Jeep?) really sets this ride apart from the crowd. Part of the floor was transplanted from a Dodge Caravan to keep the interior clean and neat, and to allow rear seat removal from the old wagon when the need for extra space comes to call.

  • Chassis & Driveline
    The frame was lengthened an even foot to make room for the S9000 Superwinch up front. A Chevy V-8 was bolted up to the original T-90 tranny for a little more motivation. Lift was achieved with a spring-over on the stock wagon springs and gained about 4 inches.

  • Wheels & Tires
    With either show or go in mind Mark cruises down the streets and local trails care of 15X8.5 Center Line Hellcats while rubber comes from BFGoodrich in the form of their 35-inch Mud Terrains.

So you wrench on an old Willys wagon for five years, finally get it ready to show off at Summit’s Truckfest at Norwalk Raceway Park, and what happens? You get first place in Jp Magazine’s Editor’s Choice award. Damn that was easy, thanks Mr. Cappa. Want to know what that feels like? Better start building, good luck, and in the meantime talk to Mark B. McGee who had this honor at last year’s event when he showed up with his can-be-seen-from-Mars-yellow Willys wagon.

The influence of street rodding on this Jeep is quite apparent. From the fit and finish inside and out to the extreme attention to detail it would seem that Mark and his buddies are old hands at building the other type of Willys, namely those that are tubbed, chopped, and channeled. Apparently Mark had become bored with building street rods, and wanted something that would provide him with new challenges and ideas. And now that this challenge has been met and the Jeep is complete we hope to see more of Mr. McGee’s yellow Willys.


1960 Willys wagon

Four-bolt main Chevy 350


Transfer Case:
Spicer 18

Spring-over with Superlift shocks and Energy Suspension poly bushings.

Dana 25 4.27 (front)
Dana 44 4.27 (rear)

Center Line Hellcats 15 x 8.5 with 3.75 inches backspacing.

35-inch BF Goodrich Mud Terrains.

Built for:
Reasons we understand.

$18,000 and 5 years labor.