Richard Willett's Mystery Wrecker

From Kustomrama
Jump to: navigation, search

The Mystery Wrecker is a show rod built by Richard Willett of Malden, Massachusetts. Willet, a motorcycle mechanic by trade, was 33 years old when he completed his radical show stopper.

It started with an idea and a chassis made from one and a half by three-inch rectangular tubing. Featuring a 94-inch wheelbase, Willet installed an early Ford transverse leaf and a re-designed 1940 Ford steering. Harley-Davidson front wheels with re-designed hubs were installed up front. 18-inch handmade wheels wearing Firestone Indy-type tires were installed at the rear. The front tires were Goodyear's and the front brakes were 1940 Lincoln with handmade adapters.

Power came from a 1964 Buick 425 cubic inch engine with a stock bore, stroke, and other internal components. It ran four Carter C series AFB carburetors and dual 6-71 GMC blowers. Midas Mufflers of Dedham, Massachusetts helped construct the individual pipe exhaust system. Ignition was a Vertex magneto. A Schiefer flywheel on the stock Buick clutch delivered torque to a 1955 Chevrolet three-speed transmission. The rear axle was 1950 Mercury with a 3.78 to 1 ratio. The blower drive, valve covers, and the entire intake system was handmade and chromed. The entire undercarriage was also chromed, and it ran two stainless steel gas tanks.

The body on the Mystery Wrecker began life as a 1924 Ford truck. Richard used a Cal-Automotive fiberglass reproduction bottom half of the cab with molded doors. The wrecker platform and everything behind the cab were completely handmade.

Once the construction was completed, the truck was painted by Kelsey Martin of Beverly, Massachusetts. The body was covered in White Pearl before Kelsey added vivid red yellow, blue, and green Candy overlays in a wild sweeping design.

Joe's Auto Trim of Arlington, Massachusetts upholstered the truck in a rich Red Naugahyde that covered from the walls to the headliner. Carriage lamps at either side wrapped up the style.

Magazine Features and Appearances

1001 Custom and Rod Ideas Winter 1971


Did you enjoy this article?

Kustomrama is an encyclopedia dedicated to preserve, share and protect traditional hot rod and custom car history from all over the world.

Can you help us make this article better?

Please get in touch with us at if you have additional information or photos to share about Richard Willett's Mystery Wrecker.

This article was made possible by:

SunTec Auto Glass - Auto Glass Services on Vintage and Classic Cars
Finding a replacement windshield, back or side glass can be a difficult task when restoring your vintage or custom classic car. It doesn't have to be though now with auto glass specialist companies like They can source OEM or OEM-equivalent glass for older makes/models; which will ensure a proper fit every time. Check them out for more details!

Do you want to see your company here? Click here for more info about how you can advertise your business on Kustomrama.

Personal tools
Help us