On Sunday I scooted down to Appleton, Wis., to photograph a 1931 Willys-Knight owned by Lloyd Gauerke. The huge, classy coupe looks like a “Pebble Beach” quality restoration, but Lloyd did most of the work in his backyard. The sleeves in the Knight sleeve-valve engine were cracked, so it currently has a 1955 Chevy six, which bolts up in the same holes. Eventually, the Willys Overland Knight Registry will be reproducing the cylinder liners and the original engine will go back in the car. But Lloyd plans to keep the 1988 S10 five-speed overdrive transmission, the cruise control and the slide-out GPS mount. You see, Lloyd likes to drive his car long distances. After the photo session he took me for a ride. The car ran as smooth as silk, had absolutely no rattles and kept up well in modern traffic. The short ride gave me a few ideas I’d like to work out for my ’36 Pontiac. I know it would be a lot more fun to ride in if it rode like Lloyd’s car.
Gunner’s Garage with John Gunnell
"Gunner" is one of of the most prolific authors and most visible characters in the old car hobby. He has written dozens of books about old cars for Krause Publications and is the former editor and publisher of Old Cars Weekly. His collecting pursuits range from old Pontiacs, to MGs, to retired police cruisers, to Indian motorcycles. He remains a frequent contributor to Old Cars Weekly and owns and operates Gunner’s Great Garage, a classic car restoration and gift shop in Manawa, Wis.
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