Curbside Through The Windshield: Unidentified Flying Willys Aero Ace Object


This past Saturday afternoon was a rather fruitful car-spotting day. Around here–and completely opposite blizzard-handicapped New England–the roads and curbs are full of charming classics, basking in the late-winter sun…including a car I’d never previously seen mobile.


As I was passing the Powell Street exit on the Eastshore Freeway, I saw something early ’50s-looking keeping up with the surprisingly brisk traffic. From its upright simplicity (and from a distance), I first thought it was an ordinary 1952-54 Ford: Seen those, so I can get off at Ashby. But as I merged to exit, I saw that it was a Willys Aero! I’ve never seen one outside of a museum!


The fascinating history of possibly the best-performing of the early-1950s compacts is covered here. But due to a refreshing lack of the typical planned obsolescence associated with most 1950s American cars, it’s a bit hard to pin down which model I was pacing on the freeway. It was definitely a 1952 or 1953, and most likely an Ace, but I’m not too sure.


This is as close as I could get before I got in caught in a wad of traffic trying to decide which exit was which, and I didn’t get any more shots. So I’ll turn it over to our more expert car spotters. Can we firm up the model year of this little innovator?