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It happened on October 25th: John North Willys is born

John North Willys was born on October 25th, 1873, in the state of New York. He began selling bicycles in his hometown of Canandaigua and within a few years expanded into manufacturing his own line of bicycles.

At the dawn of the 20th century, Willys ran a very successful car dealership that sold Overland automobiles. When the factory encountered supply problems in 1907, he purchased the company, which became known as Willys-Overland five years later.

Business was good to the point of becoming the second largest automaker in the U.S. (Ford was No. 1). During World War I, Willys-Overland built trucks, planes, and engines.

The company's best-selling vehicle, the Willys-Overland Whippet, found more than 100,000 takers between 1927 and 1931.

After the Willys enterprises went bankrupt during the Great Depression and John Willys died in 1935, Willys-Overland started production of the Willys MB military vehicle, better known as Jeep, in 1941.

Source: Wikipedia