Logo2.gif (35388 bytes)
ari spool2 top.gif (4726 bytes)

Classic AutoRAI 99: pre-war cars:

Overland, Willys-Knight & Pierce-Arrow

rbgrad.jpg (1460 bytes)

Overland_Touring_Type_80_1915_front.jpg (60871 bytes)Overland was one of America's pioneer marques that got into financial trouble in 1907. John North Willys, a car trader, took over the company and produced cars under the Overland name as well as under his own name.
Overland cars competed successfully in the market segment of the dominant Ford Model T. Their cars were cheap, a bit more luxurious, and offered a wider model range (and a choice of colors). In 1915 Overland was the second most car selling make in America; Ford of course was number one.

Overland_Touring_Type_80_1915_side.jpg (41128 bytes)The simple but durable Type 80 was available in several body styles, but the open Touring model was most common. It's powered by a 3904 cc 4 cylinder side-valve engine that produces 25 hp.
It's the kind of car you'll expect Harold Lloyd to drive in one of his silent movies, don't you think?

Willys-Knight_Model_56_1928.jpg (117211 bytes)Most pre-war Willys cars were fitted with engines with Knight-patented sliding valves and were subsequently called Willys-Knight. The first Willys-Knight appeared in 1914 and the line continued until 1932. After that the Willys-Overland company returned completely to side-valves, like in its most famous product: the original Willys Jeep.
The Model 56 was introduced in 1928 as the smallest model in the Willys range and lasted only two seasons. It had a straight 6-cylinder engine which produced 45 hp but it proved less popular than the larger models with sixes offering 53 to 70 hp. In general the Willys-Knight models were popular cars in the medium-priced field in the US.

Pierce-Arrow_Roadster_1935.jpg (46035 bytes)A price-winning Pierce-Arrow this is, judging by the nice cup standing next to it. It's yet another rare and beautiful American luxury car.
In contrast to the likes of Packard, Cadillac or Lincoln, Pierce-Arrow cars were even rare and exotic in their own era. The company produced only small numbers of cars and was most of the time in a difficult financial situation. It was owned by Studebaker from 1929 till 1932, until the Studebaker company itself ran into financial trouble (later they acquired Packard, what turned out bad too). From 1933 to 1938 Pierce-Arrow was run by a consortium of businessmen and some very fine cars were introduced in that time, but at the end of 1938 the company finally went bankrupt.
The car on the picture is (probably) a V12 (1602) model and it features a fancy boat-tail body and a convertible top. The V12 engine has a displacement of 7030 cc and turns out 175 hp. After the demise of Pierce-Arrow these wonderful engines were used in the fire engines of the Seagrave Corporation up to 1970.

Go to the next page by clicking the arrows pointing right...

rbgrad.jpg (1460 bytes)

ari spool2 bottom.gif (4754 bytes)

ari home2.gif (4411 bytes)