1941 Willy’s – aka Purple Hayes

After all of the builds over the years, there have been a few special stories that have stuck with us.  Here is the history of our award winning 1941 Willy’s as featured on wheels.ca

The Car:1941 Willys Coup

The Owner: Chris and Susan Hayes, Mississauga

The Story: Chris Hayes first came across the famous Canadian Chilly Willy Gasser in 1974 and fell instantly in love. The unique four-speed racer got into his system and never left.

Thirteen years later, in 1987, he was reading Auto Trader and spied an all-steel Willys for sale in Toronto.

“I didn’t care if it was in pieces,” he recalls. “I paid cash on the spot and was on my way.”

He spent hundreds of hours rebuilding the Willys into the car of his dreams. And then one day, tragedy struck. Hayes fractured several vertabrae  in an accident at work, and the Willys sat idle in the garage for years while its owner grappled with overwhelming pain.

Eventually, Hayes was forced to sell his dream car.

Aside from his wedding, he says, there have only been “a few times I’ve had tears in my eyes. That was one of them.”

Years later, he and his wife, Susan, were out for a drive and came across Barrie car restorers Radical Rods and Rides. They stopped to take a look and noticed a Willys with 392 Hemi sitting there, waiting to be finished.

If you believe, even the tiniest bit, in fate, you already know they bought that car.

Radical Rods started a five-year build that transformed the Willys into a one-of-a-kind show car, with a 383 stroker, 60′s fuel injectors, a full roll-cage and wheelie bars. It was painted a showstopping Mercedes black with purple “ghost flames” that flow through the interior on the dash and centre column. Aptly named “Purple Hayes,” it has been featured on two commercials and won awards in every car show it entered.

Susan retires at the end of the year and the couple plan to cruise throughout Canada and U.S. in their hard-won beauty.

The moral of the story? “Never stop dreaming,” Hayes says. “Some of them really do come true.”



Kyle Kent And His 1970 Plymouth Duster

What started out as a simple Father’s Day promotion between local radio station Rock 95 in Barrie Ontario and Radical Rods Rides and Restoration turned into one of the more memorable classic car restorations in the 14 year history of our company.  Here is the story of Kyle Kent, his 1970 Plymouth Duster and Radical Rods and Rides.

In the spring of 2012, Radical Rods and Rock 95 ran a radio campaign called “Pimp My Dad’s Ride” for Father’s Day.  The winner of the campaign was going to receive $5000 worth of car restoration work from us.  The $5000 could be spent in our shop anyway the winning father wanted – custom paint job, custom interior work, engine or mechanical work, etc….  Rock 95 selected the 10 finalists and then it was up to the public to vote on which father they wanted to see win the grand prize.  The winner was Kyle Kent and his 1970 Plymouth Duster.  Kyle’s story touched a lot of people.  He was a devoted father of three who was waiting for a life saving double lung transplant.  Despite the fact that his classic car was run down, it was his greatest treasure and his children pleaded for the public to vote for him.

After Kyle was named the winner of the contest, his “classic car” arrived at Radical Rods Rides and Restoration.  After assessing the car, we were a little deterred.  The $5000 wouldn’t have done nearly enough to make a change in the car’s rundown appearance but in the end that would not have mattered to Kyle. Anything would have helped.  While the Duster was at Radical, Kyle was given the green light to undergo his surgery.  His father had once told us that the thought of getting his car restored would help him get through the transplant and the recovery.  Kyle’s story of his love for his classic car touched everyone at Radical and we decided to go above and beyond for Kyle and his family. Our team got together, discussed what we could be to help him and in the end our amazing crew here at Radical decided that they would donate their time and we would cover the cost of the parts to give Kyle’s Duster a real facelift.  All in our $5000 promotion turned into a much greater investment and it was worth every penny.  Nobody at Radical will ever forget Kyle’s reaction when he first saw his newly restored 1970 Plymouth Duster.  It was a touching moment for everyone.

Kyle was able to take his newly restored 1970 Plymouth Duster home and he was able to enjoy the car for a full year.  While the transplant was initially successful, it was with great sadness that Kyle’s body rejected his life saving surgery.   We are happy that Kyle got to enjoy one more incredible year with his family and his restored Duster and he will be greatly missed by everyone he got to know here at Radical Rods Rides and Restoration.  Kyle’s family still uses his car at different gatherings in order to celebrate his memory.

Here is the photo gallery of some of the before and after work that was completed.