Email Us >
The Willys company is most commonly associated with the design and part production of the famous WWII Jeep but the history of the company stretches back as far as 1907 when John Willys, a New York business man purchased the ailing Overland Motor Company. By 1910 the company had started to build four cylinder cars designed to rival the Model T Ford, and were second only to Ford in terms of numbers of cars produced by the end of 1918.
Although by the mid-1920s they had been overtaken by the likes of General Motors Willys-Overland were still a major player and in 1926 the Willys-Overland Whippet was introduced and provided consumers with an excellent alternative to the Ford Model A introduced in 1928. The Whippet was blessed with a lot of the same characteristics as the Ford in that it was of a very simple design, extremely sturdy and reliable. The main differentiating factor between the Ford and the Willys was that the Whippet was able to produce roughly the same performance as the Ford but with a smaller engine. In fact the engine found in the Jeep during the 1940s and into the 50s was of the same basic design to that of the Whippet, so Willys very much adhered to the principle of ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!’
It is thought that this particular example was imported into England in chassis form. It is possible that it was bodied by Bristowes of Poole but they could have simply been the supplying agents. The previous owner purchased the car in 1987 and over two years carried out a full restoration. Surprisingly it then saw little use aside from having MOTs most years. The history file that accompanies the car includes the old style UK buff log-book, photographs of the restoration and old expired MOTs. We’ve given the Willys a basic service prior to sale that has included a repair to the Autovac, draining the old fuel and replacing the 6V battery. We have since road tested the car and can confirm it goes as well as its Ford counterpart.
It would make a great family weekend run around and would also suit VSCC trails.