29 April 2000
This Lot has no reserve
1916 OVERLAND MODEL 90 COUNTRY CLUB ROADSTER
Chassis No. A513711
Green and black with black leatherette upholstery
Engine: four cylinder, in-line, cast en bloc 35 bhp; Gearbox: selective sliding three speeds forward and reverse; Suspension: semi-elliptic springs; Brakes: mechanical contracting on rear wheels. Left hand drive.
John North Willys, a pioneer automobile dealer from Elmira, NY became head of the nearly moribund Overland Co. of Indianapolis in 1907 after the firm had suffered financial reverses. The following year he moved production to the old Pope factory in Toledo, Ohio where the marque would make its home for decades to come. Overland soon earned a reputation for building sturdy, economical, stylish cars priced with three speed gearboxes, instead of Ford's two speed planetary gears, and with more powerful engines.
By 1914 Overland had become one of America's best-selling cars with over 80,000 of the 79 Series finding customers in that year alone. This was also the year in that Willys debuted his sleeve valve engined Willys-Knight that would prove to be far and away the most successful car to be powered by this kind of engine. In 1915 Overland held second place in US sales, with a broad range of cars including the sleeve valve Knight model, a six-cylinder line and the mainstay four cylinder machines such as the car on offer here.
This particular motor car carries a most unusual body style with a staggered seat arrangement. It also has a jump seat that pulls out from the dashboard. Also unusual for cars of this era is a capacious trunk, albeit with a small access lid. The body appears sound and undamaged, as do the fenders and running boards.
Lighting equipment is original and all the plating on the car appears quite good. The black tufted seats are still presentable and may very well be the original upholstery supplied with the car. The original carpeting still appears quite presentable, and the replacement top and side curtains are still in very fine condition.
The car has been repainted a shade of green and shows to be in presentable condition. We understand that the Overland runs and drives quite well. Notably, the ignition has been changed to battery/coil from its correct magneto set up.
This attractive vintage Overland represents the first generation of automobiles removed from the brass era, incorporating more modern engineering and more graceful styling than had been prevalent only a few short years before. Soundly constructed of quality materials and with a charming appearance, this Overland should prove to be an enjoyable, reliable early car to show and drive with a minimum of preparation and restoration.
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This lot has no reserve.
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