December 26, 2019

WILLYS-KNIGHT/WILLYS

Willys-Overland Co.

Elyria, Ohio (1914)

Toledo, Ohio (1915-1963)


This is a Willys-Knight radiator emblem (1915-1919)     mjs
Size: 65mm wide 45mm high     MM:

John North Willys had been manufacturing the Overland since 1907 and became interested in the Knight sleeve-valve engine. In 1913 Willys bought the Edwards Motor Car Company, which had a licence to build the Knight engine, and in 1914 the Willys-Knight car appeared alongside the Overland. Initially the Willys-Knight was built in Elyria, Ohio at the former Garford plant that Willys had taken over.

The first Willys-Knight was an expensive 45hp four-cylinder automobile. But by 1915 production of a lower priced four-cylinder Willys-Knight began in Toledo. The Willys Six was introduced in late 1916 and was built up to late 1919. A larger V-8 version of the Willys-Knight arrived in 1917. But the wide range of models produced by the Willys-Overland Company at a time of material shortages after the First World War resulted in financial problems and in 1919 John North Willys was forced to accept outside management under Walter Percy Chrysler.

After two years John North Willys regained control of his Willys-Overland Company. The Willys Six car had gone with Walter Chrysler to evolve into the first Chrysler car but John North Willys still had the Overland and the Willys-Knight, which he was able to revitalize successfully. Sales moved from 50,000 in 1921 to over 200,000 in 1925 due mainly to sales of the Overland and the company returned to profit. From 1926 all Willys-built Knight cars were six-cylinder cars, including a new car called the Falcon-Knight.

In late 1926 John North Willys introduced the highly successful Whippet and in 1929 seeing his company was in good shape, he stepped down as president of his company. But the company suffered the effects of the Great Depression and John North Willys was back in 1932 when a new low-priced Willys 77 appeared. All other model lines were dropped in 1933 and Willys-Overland moved into receivership. Production of the Willys 77 continued in receivership and seemed to provide the means of recovery for Willys-Overland. But John North Willys died in 1935. In 1939 the Willys 77 was briefly renamed the Overland and in 1941 it became the Willys-Americar.

The Willys-Overland Company also produced commercial vehicles starting around 1908 when some postal vans were built using passenger car chassis. In 1910 an 800-pound commercial car, the Overland 37, was listed and a 1-ton capacity Overland commercial appeared in 1911, although this is believed to have been a badge-engineered Federal product. The Willys name first appeared on a 1-1/2-ton Utility truck built by Gramm between 1913 and 1915. The main commercial production by Willys-Overland was delivery vans, although the Willys-Knight was offered as a taxicab from 1924.

The Overland Four panel van became the Overland Whippet and was known as plain Whippet in 1927 and 1928 and thereafter as the Willys Whippet. From 1927 to 1931 a line of Willys-Knight trucks from 1-ton to 2-1/2-ton capacity was offered but van production continued up to World War II. During World War II, Willys-Overland moved into manufacture of the Jeep, which was first made by American Bantam. Production of civilian versions of the Jeep continued after the War, including panel delivery vans, pick ups, utility wagons, fire apparatus vehicles and other speciality vehicles.

Willys passenger cars reappeared in 1952 but the company was purchased by Kaiser in 1953 and passenger car production in the USA ceased in 1956 but continued in Brazil until 1967. The company became Kaiser-Jeep Corporation in 1963.

Emblems

The first use of the Willys name on a motor vehicle was a 45 hp six-cylinder car produced in 1909 and which displayed a "Willys Six" radiator script, see original photo below:

This is a Willys Six showing a radiator scrpt (1909)     autolit.com

The first motor vehicle to use a Willys radiator emblem was a 1-1/2-ton light commercial Utility truck built in the Gramm Motor Truck Company factory in Lima, Ohio from 1913 to 1915, see example below:

This is a Willys light commercial showing a radiator emblem (1913-1915)   brtm

The red and white enamel Willys Utility truck radiator emblem shown below is rare:

This is a Willys Utility truck radiator emblem (1913-1915)     mjs
Size: 65mm wide 44mm high    MM: Bastian Bros

The first blue, white and red enamel Willys-Knight radiator emblem appeared in 1914, see example above at the top of this post. This Willys-Knight radiator emblem was used on all four-cylinder sleeve valve models until 1919.

The following blue and red enamel Willys Six radiator emblem appeared in late 1916 and was used until 1919 on all six-cylinder poppet valve models: 

This is a Willys Six radiator emblem (1916-1919)     mjs
Size: 42mm diameter   MM: Greenduck

The following red and black enamel Willys-Knight radiator emblem was first used for the eight-cylinder Willys-Knight Model 88-8 from 1917 to 1919 and then on all models from 1920 to 1928, except for Model 56 in 1928-1929:

This is a Willys-Knight radiator emblem (1917-1928)     mjs
Size: 41mm diameter   MM: None

The following red painted Willys-Knight emblem was mounted at the center of the spare wheel cover on all models, except for models using wire wheels, from 1923 to 1929:

This is a Willys-Knight spare wheel cover emblem (1923-1929)     dnc
Size:77mm diameter   MM: 

The following metal Willys-Knight emblem was mounted on the clock blank cover where a clock was not fitted, from 1925 to 1929:

This is a clock blank cover emblem (1925-1929)     mjs
Size: 52mm diameter    MM: None

The following red and white enamel Willys-Knight radiator emblem was used from early 1928 to the end of the 1929 model year:

This is a Willys-Knight radiator emblem (1928-1929)     mjs
Size:60mm wide 42mm high    MM: None (some Fox)

The following Bakelite emblem is a horn button fitted to the steering wheel on Willys-Knight Model 56:

This is a Willys-Knight horn button emblem (1928-1929)     dnc
Size: 60mm diameter

The following white and black enamel Willys-Knight radiator emblem was used on the Model 70B and Model 87 in 1929-1931:

This is a Willys-Knight radiator emblem (1929-early 1931)     mjs
Size: 51mm high 34mm wide    MM: D L Auld

The following original variation of the previous Willys-Knight radiator emblem shows differences in the detailed design of the helmet scroll work:

This is a Willys-Knight radiator emblem (1929-early 1931)     mjs
Size: 51mm high 34mm wide    MM: Fox

The following variations also exist but I cannot confirm that these emblems are original. Certainly, the pale blue emblem looks like a reproduction emblem.

This appears to be a further variation of the Willys-Knight emblem  kmc
Size: Unknown     MM: Unknown

This appears to be a further variation of the Willys-Knight emblem    kmc
Size: Unknown     MM: Unknown

If you can provide any further details about these design variations, please let me know, in order to update this post.

The following metal Willys-Knight radiator emblem was used on Model 66 B from mid-1929 to the end of 1930:
This is a Willys-Knight radiator emblem (1929-1930)     mjs
Size: 79mm wide 29mm high    MM: Bastian Bros

The following black enamel emblem was used as a headlight bar emblem on Model 66B:

This is a Willys-Knight headlight bar emblem (1929-1930)   mjs
Size: 62mm high 36mm wide    MM: Bastian Bros

The following emblem was displayed on the front bumper on Model 66B:

This is a Willys-Knight bumper emblem (1932)  ms

The following metal radiator emblem was used for the Willys-Knight Model T103 1-1/2-ton truck from 1929-1930. This Willys-Knight truck radiator emblem is scarce. 

This is a Willys-Knight Six truck radiator emblem (1929-1930)     mjs
Size: 59mm wide 33mm high        MM: Crowe

The following two-piece red and white enamel Willys radiator emblem was used for the first series of the Willys Six Model 98B in 1930:

This is a first series Willys Six radiator emblem (1930)     mjs
Size: 152mm wide 36mm high overall (center 48mm wide 28mm high)
    MM: None

The Willys Six radiator emblem shown above was changed for the second series in 1930 to a single piece red and white emblem mounted in a wings down moulding impressed into the radiator shell, see example below:

This is a second series Willys Six radiator emblem (1930)     mjs
Size: 46mm wide 27mm high      MM: None

The following black enamel Willys Six radiator emblem was used on the 1930 Willys Six Light Truck:

This is a Willys Six light truck radiator emblem (1930)     mjs
Size: 90mm wide 42mm high    MM: D L Auld

The following black, red and white enamel Willys Eight radiator emblem was used on the Model 8-80 for 1930-1931:

Thids is a Willys Eight radiator emblem (1930-1931)     mjs
Size: 70mm wide 36mm high     MM: Fox

The Willys-Knight headlight bar emblem was changed in 1931 for the Model 66D first series, see the red and black painted example below:

This is a Willys-Knight headlight bar emblem (1931)     mjs
Size: 133mm high 50mm wide    MM: None

The Willys Six radiator emblem was changed for Models 97, 98D and the Willys Six Light Truck in 1931, see example below:

This is a Willys Six radator emblem (1931)     mjs
Size:51mm high 29mm wide    MM: Unknown



The following black and red painted Willys Overland emblem was used on the headlight bar on the Willys Model 6-90 and 6-90A in 1932-1933:

This is a Willys Six Overland headlight bar emblem (1932-1933)    mjs
Size: 90mm wide 68mm high    MM:
 Unknown

The following black and red painted Willys Eight emblem was used on the headlight bar on the Willys Eight Model 8-80D and Model 8-88 in 1932-1933:

This is a Willys Eight headlight bar emblem (1932-1933)     mjs
Size: 90mm wide 68mm high    MM: None

Willys-Knight models built in the period 1932-1933, Willys Eight Model 8-88A built in 1933 and Willys four-cylinder Model 77 built in 1933-1936 displayed diecast combined grille emblem/hood ornaments, see examples below. The following Willys-Knight emblem/hood ornament is scarce.

This is a Willys-Knight diecast hood ornament/emblem (1932)
mean turkey sammich

This is a Willys Model 77 grille emblem/hood ornament (c1936)   ms

There were no radiator emblems fitted on any Willys models in the period 1937-1942 but the 1940 Willys displayed red painted "Willys" scripts, see example below, on both sides of the hood towards the rear and on the trunk lid.


This is a Willys hood script (1940)      mjs
    

After World War II, Willys produced civilian versions of the Jeep, station wagons and the Jeepster from about 1947 to 1951.

The following red painted emblems are examples of the emblems used on Willys Jeepsters:

this is a Willys Jeepster radiator emblem (c1948)     ms

This is a Jeepster hood emblem (c1950)     ms






















   




















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