Classic Beast: 1953 Willys Aero Lark

The Willys Aero was the product of a former Packard Motor Car Company engineer named Clyde Paton and designer Phil Wright. Its post-war design was first launched for the 1952 model year with unitized body construction and a variety of inline-6 engines with names like Hurricane, Lightning, and Super Hurricane. Today’s Aero Lark has the 2.6 liter Lightning six and appears to be a mostly original survivor that could be driven on the weekends without much fuss. Find this 1953 Willys Aero Lark offered for $9,500 in Long Beach, CA via craigslist.

From the seller:

1953 Willys Aero Lark Sedan
condition: excellent
cylinders: 6 cylinders
drive: rwd
fuel: gas
odometer: 70000
paint color: black
size: mid-size
title status: clean
transmission: manual
type: sedan
This head turner from 1953 is an absolute time capsule of mid-century automotive styling!!!

The Willys Motor Company only made their Aero Sedan line from 1952 to 1955, competing with Ford and Chevy in the mid-size sedan market. This is one of 7692 Willys Aero Lark Sedans and is a VERY rare survivor. A solid, clean and reliable runner, it’s all original with a re-done interior (seats and door panels) and I’ve done all the current mechanical and electrical work to get it running, shifting and stopping safely.

It features a new voltage regulator, battery, mechanical fuel pump and tune-up. All electrical has been gone through and works quite well on it’s original 6V system. Transmission shifts strong and true and has the Overdrive option although I’ve never used it. Cruising speed seems to be comfortable at about 55 MPH. New Coker Firestone Whitewall 640 15’s have plenty of tread on them. Brakes are fully and safely functional after a total overhaul (new master cylinder, drums turned, shoes relined, new hoses and wheel cylinders) and replacement. All brightwork is clean and very presentable.

The Raven Black paint is in excellent condition although patina/wear is starting to show here and there. It’s not a show car but an incredibly clean driver. It’s a car and it’s meant to be driven, not to be a trailer queen. Interior was redone by one of the former owners who was in the police department as evidenced by the Oklahoma Police Department stickers in the windshield. This great old Aero was sold by the Grimsley Motor Company in Stillwater, Oklahoma and spent it’s entire life there in private hands and lived in the Kaiser Frazier Museum there for many years until it was recently liquidated and touched California soil for the first time since 1953. It’s been well taken care of for it’s entire life and has zero rust or body damage. Amazingly, it gets about 25 miles per gallon on average!

If you want a great orphan car that you won’t see anywhere else, then this is for you. So far I’ve tracked down about only eight other Aero Willys Sedans in the So Cal area. They’re quite rare.

Everything under the hood can be easily found at most auto supply stores. I’ve never had a problem. The Aero also comes with a TON of extra parts and an amazing amount of vintage sales brochures and owners manuals, etc.

This is a true survivor that you can feel 100% confident in driving home, although I would definitely flatbed any old car of this vintage doing any great distances. It fires up strong every time and will definitely get you home.

For those who are wondering why I’m selling this, I have my eye on something else and wisely have only one classic car at a time! ;)

No lowballers, tire-kickers or trades. Price is firm. I also have a restored set of original , DMV clear CA 1951 plates with the white metal 1953 tags for an additional price.

Buy now or cry later. You won’t see an original survivor and solid driver like this for this price for long. Snag it before someone else does.

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