Willys-Overland Motor Company

By | April 12, 2016

  The Willys-Overland Motor Company

Before the Jeep.

The Willys-Overland Motor Company history starts with a automobile dealership selling the Standard Runabout, in Elmira, New York owned by John North Willys.


John North Willys

The Standard Wheel Co. of Indiana was having financial problems, the assets of the company were acquired by Willys in 1907. He put the company back on its feet and by 1908 two models were available, the Overland and the higher priced Willys. In 1910 the company moved to Toledo, Ohio, after which the company was renamed Willys-Overland.


Between 1912 and 1918 Willys-Overland was Americas second largest producer of motor vehicles behind the Ford Motor Company. By 1933 Willys-Overland was in receivership, but it introduced a new cheap car.  The 1933 model 77 was produced and saved the company, the car was powered by a 4 cylinder side valve engine producing 45 horsepower of 135 cubic inches (2,200cc). In 1937 the engine became known as the Go-Devil and would go on to be the power plant for the Jeep.


Model 77

In 1941 the company introduced its model 441, with the Go-Devil engine. this was the last passenger car produced before total production was turned over to making the Jeep.


Model 441