A labor of love

Sheree Silverwood/Times Record Reporter
The Blums' Willys.

It's not every day that you see a bright red Willys at a car show. It's even more unusual to see two parked right next to each other at a car show. But to see two bright red Willys belonging to a husband and wife is a real rarity. Fiberglass manufacturer Bob Blum and his wife Sandy are that couple. Married for 18 years, the Wellman, Iowa duo always travel to car shows together - but in separate cars!

Bob's 1941 Willys Gasser was the first of the flaming red cars to be built. Taking five years to complete, it's a full out custom, built from the ground up on a Fast Times Rods tube chassis. Bob did all of the work on the car himself except the paint. Despite having a fire-breathing 409 Stroker engine topped off by a BDS blower, Bob drives the car everywhere it goes, putting 23,800 miles on it so far. "It's no trailer queen", he says. This is no small feat when the car has a ten gallon gas tank and gets only four miles to the gallon! He made the 80 miles from Wellman to Aledo only stopping twice for fuel.

The second car to be built was Sandy's 1933 Willy's coupe. It took four years to complete, and features an L98 Corvette engine. Bob and Sandy had just torn the car completely apart when he was diagnosed with cancer for the second time. While Bob was undergoing chemotherapy, an outpouring of friends went to his shop and helped to do a frame-off restoration on the car. Bob and Sandy said it really was unbelievable just how many people came to assist with building Sandy's car. Thankfully, Bob is now cancer-free.

It was the Blums first time attending the Knucklebusters show in Aledo, they said they had a great time, and Bob's 1941 Willys Gasser was voted the prestigious People's Choice Award.