The Overland Co. of Indianapolis had produced almost its entire 1907 production run of 47 cars and was out of cash. John North Whys, super-salesman, arrived in town on a Saturday to look for the cars he had been promised, only to find that the company was to go into receivership the following Monday; the panic of 1907 was at its height and the company was even $350 short for its already-issued payroll cheques.
The story of Willys' rescue of the Overland concern, then his rebuilding the company into one of the giants of automobile history, has in it elements (such as Willys' driving cars from the assembly line and selling them as they were built) which scarcely can be credited but are true. Willys himself was a salesman and was a genius at his work. Also, he was smart enough to hire the best engineers to do the designing, interfering himself only on one major point: the only attempt to mass-produce the fabled Knight sleeve-valve engine.
The Overland company, in the years following Willys' rescue of the corporation and before America's entry into the Great War, produced so many different models of automobile that, even today, historians are confused as to what was made, when and how many for, at one time, the company was producing no less than eleven different basic models.
(source: Manitoba Antique Auto Museum)
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