Maybe not everybody knows the name, but many will remember seeing it at some time.

(All pictures by Simensays.)


  • The Wild Willy body is a true replica of the US Army jeep, Willys M38 produced between 1950 and 1952.
  • The Wild Willy is the first "Stunt vehicle" made by Tamiya, i.e. it could do wheelies. The first in a great row of "fun" vehicles including the Audi, Opel, Lunchbox, etc.
  • The Wild Willy was the first Tamiya Off-road model to have differential gear.
  • The radio box was designed to be water proof.
  • The model comes in two variants "Long Wheel Base" (LWB) and "Short Wheel Base" (SWB).
  • The SWB was the first version and had a wheelbase of 165 mm.
  • The LWB wheelbase is approximately 12-15mm longer than the SWB.
  • The LWB model was released as a result of the new models Audi Quattro and Opel Ascona, using more or less the same chassis, although modified.
  • There are a number of differences between the two varians, particularly most of the gear box parts, the radio box lid and the arm stay for the rear suspension. Some parts are interchangable, others are not.
  • The two variants can easily be identified by the "Arm Stay".(the font attachment of the rear swing arms, easy to se on the outside of the radio box. A circular hole in it confirmes a SWB while an oval hole confirms a LWB model.
  • The tires are shared with the Blazing Blazer
  • The Wild Willy is closely related to the Audi Quattro, Opel Ascona and the Willy's Wheeler.
  • There is a another model called Wild Willy 2 (58242, released 20 Oct. 1999) that has basically nothing in common with the original, except the looks of the body.


blog_58035_1The Wild Willy Box Art showing the beatiful artistic rendering of the Wild Willy.blog_58035_2The Wild Willy box and internals. Notice the classic blister packs.blog_58035_3SWB Wild Willy in standard box art livery.blog_58035_4A SWB WW. This image shows clearly the circular hole in the metal Arm Stay.blog_58035_5The rear of a SWB showing gearbox and drivetrain details.blog_58035_6The rear right of a SWBblog_58035_7A LWB WW 1. Notice how the entire look has changed because of the rear axle being moved back.blog_58035_8LWB, showing the oval shaped hole in the Arm Stay.blog_58035_9The LWB rear left view.blog_58035_10Head-to-head comparison of the LWB (left) and SWB (right)blog_58035_11The two variants, side by side. LWB closest.


Written by Larbut

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