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Hi.

Welcome! This is the place I write about Things I Notice in my daily walkabouts as well as what I might think about things in my world.

Ghosts & a 1954 Willys Aero-Eagle Hard Top Coupe

A friend told me about an old car that was in a seemingly inaccessible place near a stream bed in his neighborhood. I was intrigued and decided to go exploring today. Fortunately, our wet weather subsided and we are left with only humidity and warm temperatures so going for a walk in the woods didn't seem like a bad an idea. I walked for a while in the woods that my friend described and found the remains within 20' of the stream and with no roads closer than...well, quite a long ways away!! How had this car gotten down into this seemingly inaccessible place and who did it belong to before coming to this somewhat ignoble and abrupt end? There was a sewer system next to the stream so the county was obviously involved and in fact the county took over the land in 1981. The houses on both sides of the stream (about 1/4 mile away on either side) had been built from the mid- to late 1980s.I could not find a VIN on the car although I could tell where the tags had been attached. I don't think they were engraving VINs into the body yet but I'm not sure. Also, I could not find any emblems or car names or insignia or really anything that hinted at what kind of car it was. At first I thought the tail lights looked like an early 50s Ford. But then I noticed the unusual rear fender and tail fin design and knew it wasn't a Ford or Chevy. The engine is an old flat head 6 and that's where I got my first clue. There was absolutely no writing or insignia on the block but there was one piece of equipment still in reasonable shape---the distributor. The distributor was labeled "Auto-Lite IAT 1417 2H." Using Google, I found a list of vehicles that had used that particular component...Willys!! From the early 1950s. I then looked for the model of Willys that had the unique tail fin design and I found the 1952-1954 Willys Aero-Eagle. And then I found that the 1954 model was the only one with a flathead 6 with a mighty and powerful 226.2 CID. Which was a lot for back in those days and apparently that model of car was sort of fast. Willys and Jeep eventually became just Jeep although I think Rambler-Nash was in there somewhere, too.So that solved the mystery of what kind of car...now...who drove it there?? And why does the rear fender have bullet holes? Looks like .45 caliber and a 12 gage slug sized holes. Maybe Jimmy Hoffa? Hah!  I'm guessing some spooning teenagers drove it down there in the 1970s (way back when that part of the metro area was WAY out in the country), got stuck and just left it there. They probably stripped the ID plates.  The bullet holes were probably inflicted on the poor machine by deer hunters who were not even close to civilization when they found the car. But now, well now the ghosts of party goers past seems to haunt the wooded valley which is now the graveyard of this old Willys and someone's hidden memories!1954 Willys Aero-Eagle1954 Willys Aero-Eagle Flathead 226.2 CID1954 Willys Aero-Eagle Door with Bullet Holes1954 Willys Aero-Eagle

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