Willys-Overland hopped on the sleeve-valve-engine train in 1914 when they launched the Willys-Knight brand. It came to be after Willys purchased New York’s Edwards Motor Car Company and moved their operations to the old Garford plant in Elyria, Ohio.
The Knight was available through 1933, and it was the only Willys-branded product offered between 1921 and 1930. Power is from a 3.0-liter Knight sleeve-valve inline-four rated at 40 horsepower when new. Sleeve-valve engines were expensive to produce, yet Willys built nearly half a million Knight-branded cars during the marque’s run.
This example presents well with shiny black wire-spoke wheels, nice blue paint, and a retractable black top. It is said to have remained with its original-owning family for about 90 years before being purchased by the consignor in 2015. It is now expected to fetch between $17,500-$22,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Not sold.
Update: Not sold, H&H Auctioneers online, August 2020.
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | May 17, 2017
Photo – Brightwells
Willys-Knight was a sub-brand of the Willys-Overland company. John North Willys’ little empire started when he purchased Overland in 1907. Many marques followed and his legacy lives on today in the form of Jeep. The Willys-Knight was available from 1914 through 1933.
As was the case with every “-Knight” suffixed automobile marque, the Willys-Knight is powered by a Knight sleeve-valve engine. In this case, it’s a 3.0-liter straight-six making 53 horsepower. The Model 70 was introduced in 1926 and could be had through 1930. Seven body styles were offered in 1928 with this, the sedan, being the most expensive, costing $1,495 when new.
This example was sold new in the U.K. and has remained there its entire life. The current owner acquired it in 2011 and has used it regularly. The body is fabric, which looks very nice and it sports four-wheel brakes. It’s a driver and should bring between $16,275-$18,775. Click here for more info.
Update: Not sold.
Update II: Sold, Brightwells Bicester June 2017, $11,645.
Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2012
Photo – Gooding & Company
Willys-Knight was a line of automobiles produced between 1914 and 1933 by the more commonly known Willys-Overland Company. There were a number of “Knight” branded cars in production around this time because they all used Knight Sleeve-Valve engines (there were no less than eight).
The Knight Sleeve Valve engine wasn’t exactly a novelty – there were all kinds of pioneering ideas in the early days of motoring as to how an automobile should be powered. That said, they did have a few issues and they were expensive to produce, even if the straight-six in this car did make 82 horsepower.
But the car pictured here is about the looks. That combination of light green and black is very attractive – especially the painted grille. It’s a “Plaid-Side” Roadster with the doors appearing to be plaid. It isn’t something you see everyday. The body was designed by the Griswold Motor Body Company in Chicago.
The pre-sale estimate is $140,000-$180,000, with uniqueness being a selling point here. To read the complete description and for more pictures, click here. To see the complete Amelia Island lineup from Gooding & Co, click here.