Check out this piece of tropical magic on display for the last time in the continental United States at the 56th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts World of Wheels at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in February.
Sitting amid sand, palm trees and a tiki hut was a 1951 Willy’s Overland pickup the color of a Hawaiian sunset. Visions of warm, beautiful beaches and fruity drinks with umbrellas enticed the crowds circling around the exhibit.
Going Native and Then Some
Restorer Wayne Harmless created this amazing truck for owner Clyde Terry of Oahu, Hawaii and “tropical” is the theme du jour. Tasked with turning an old jeep, which drove like “a beast,” into the vision it is today is Wayne’s original mission. Like most restoration projects, it turns out one thing leads to another – and Clyde finally gives Wayne the green light to restore the truck “his way,” and that’s when things really start to go native.
Drives like a Caddy
Now, the “Hawaii Truck” has a smoother ride thanks to a new suspension and rack & pinion steering. The transmission is an AOD, 289 with 302 heads. According to Wayne, the truck drives like a new Cadillac.
An Amazing Job
Wayne also customizes the truck with a hydraulic bed and a tailgate that lights up. A “WO” (the logo for Willy’s Overland) is emblazoned on the rear of the truck and lights up when you step on the brake. The comfortable interior with its beautiful wood work on the dashboard has vintage air and heat as well as electric doors and windows. Wayne Harmless does an amazing job meeting the client’s needs and bringing this “monster” truck to life.
Get Your Priorities Straight
Throughout the restoration process, Clyde’s friends send him photos of the work. He and Wayne communicate back and forth via emails and phone calls in order to work out details of the build. As his excitement grows, Clyde decides to halt work on restoring his new house, switching gears to build a custom garage for his new truck. “Priorities,” as Wayne Harmless says, are important in life. Besides, a pickup this sweet needs a garage to match!
Enjoying a Classic Truck …The Hawaiian Way
When Clyde Terry takes delivery of this one-of-a-kind ride in Oahu, he fully intends for life to slow down a bit. He plans to enjoy his retirement. He says he’ll grab his guitar and drive his new truck down to the beach where he plans to serenade the waves and watch the sunset. Now that’s the way to enjoy a classic truck.
Get a Closer Look at the Hawaiian Truck
Watch our full interview with restorer Wayne Harmless and learn more about his inspiration for the unique “WO” brake light:
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