Since the rear was already assembled, I wasn't able to be have it powder coated so I ended up priming/painting it the same matching color as the engine. The paint is PPG single stage Concept urethane, with a little clear mixed in for the final coat.
The chassis was stripped down to the bare frame and cleaned up prior to bringing it to the powder coater. It fit in the back of my pickup, along with all of the other parts that were to be coated. The powder coater did a real nice job, and I got my frame back a few weeks later. Last two photos show the coated frame. It's a very close match to the charcoal gray metallic that is used on the engine and rear.
After all of the fit up was done and body gaps established, it was time for the body to come off of the chassis. The body was lifted up off the frame and placed on a dolly and the chassis was brought back home for dis-assembly.
I originally had intentions of directly filling the fuel tank which is mounted in the trunk between the wheel tubs. That meant opening up the trunk and potentially spilling fuel on everything if I wasn't careful. Besides, I happen to live in one of the only two states in the country where we can't pump our own gas. So, I decided to go with an external tank filler. I got one of the Hagan fuel door assemblies which was installed high up on the rear fender. The gas cap doesn't need to be removed either, as the gas nozzle just gets inserted into the fill-through cap. The installation came out real well and doesn't detract from the smooth body lines.
The last time I posted was over a year ago, and the Willys was on its way to the shop for bodywork and paint. This was one of the jobs I knew from the beginning that I was going to farm out to others who had the experience and equipment. I probably have a hundred or so photos of the entire process, so I'm going to compress it down quite a bit and just show some highlights.
I brought the Willys out to Tim Leiphart's Hot Rods and Restoration shop in Lewisberry, Pennsylvania for the bodywork and paint. Tim is a few hours away from me, and although I was able to travel out to his shop from time to time and lend a hand with the work, almost all of the photo credit and work belongs to him.
All of the seams on the fiberglass body were sanded down, and low spots were filled in. The curved area around the trunk lid needed some attention to make the lid and body match up. At this point, the body is still on the chassis, and will remain there until all gaps are fit up. The tilt front shell posed a lot of fit up problems and took a long time to get everything to line up. The cutout in the tilt shell is just large enough to clear the blower scoop. There is no lip around either the scoop or grille opening, just a slightly rounded edge.