Historical Sketch of the Overland Companies

Demand for Overland automobiles increased to the point that it was difficult to produce the necessary quantity at the Standard Wheel Works facility in Terre Haute.  In 1905 Overland operations were moved to Indianapolis at 900-1300 West Henry Street.  In 1906 Claude E. Cox was the president of the Overland Auto Company when Standard Wheel Works sold the car and rights to Parry Manufacturing Company of Indianapolis.

Shortly before the national panic of 1907, John North Willys made a contract with Overland to manufacture 500 cars in 1908, and paid $10,000 to bind the agreement and give the factory the financial ability to increase its facilities.  During the panic Overland noted that it could not fill its contract and could not meet its current payroll. Over a weekend, Willys raised the $350 and deposited it to the credit of the Overland Company.

Bankruptcy was stalled for the moment on the pledge that the company would be reorganized with Willys as president, treasurer, general manager, sales manager, and purchasing agent.  Overland resumed production.  Willys sold 465 cars in that year, paid the most pressing debts, and showed a profit of $58,000.  With the inevitable improvement in credit and the available cash, in 1909 he took over the plant of the Pope auto manufacturing facilities in Toledo, Ohio, and started production of a new automobile that he named the Willys-Overland.

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