The first Overland motorcars were developed at the turn of the century by the Standard Wheel Company, but it was not until New York auto dealer John North Willys bought and reorganized the company in 1907 that the Overland really came into its own. Production numbers grew consistently and Overland was relatively ahead of its time in using sliding-gear transmissions instead of the epicyclic, or planetary, transmissions used on cars like Ford’s Model T. So successful was Willys at managing and selling that in the early teens only Ford built more cars than Overland. Among Overland’s attractive four-cylinder offerings was this superb and charming 1912 Overland Model 59 30hp two-seat roadster. Like all Overlands built before 1915, it is right-hand drive. It has been restored to very high standards and finished in an attractive coral with a green coachline, while the fenders are dark green with a gold coachline. The diamond tufted leather and interior panels are a matching dark green, as is the cloth top. Even the top bows are wrapped in green leather. The wood spoke wheels are painted to match the body. Behind the charming roadster body are an oval fuel tank and spare tire. A true Nickel Era motorcar, nickel is found on the steering column, windshield frame and kerosene lamps. The horn is on the right side of the cowl and in the center there is a Warner Auto-Meter speedometer with odometer and trip meter. In addition to this car’s stunning condition, it has been fitted with an electric starter to make it easier to live with. Overlands of this vintage in such spectacular shape are seldom seen, much less found for sale and vividly illustrate the value, style and performance that made them successful competition to Ford and Buick.
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