The Willys Knight was produced by the Willys Overland Company between 1914 and 1933. The 'Knight' made use of the sleeve valve engine technology designed by Charles Y. Knight. The engine design shed the traditional poppet valves for a set of sliding sleeves to control intake and exhaust gases. While expensive to produce, this precision engine was quiet, durable and powerful.
In an effort to add more flair to the top of the line, Willys commissioned Amos Northup to design a new body. Northup was chief of design at the Murray Corporation of America. He believed that the automobiles of the 1920's were not very attractive, and that stylish appearance and high comfort were the primary reasons that customers would purchase a car. Northup's efforts resulted in the beautiful plaid-side line of Willys Knights. He was aslo commissioned by other independent auto manufactures and produced such impressive designs as the REO Royale and Graham Blue Streak streamliner.
The car shown here is a 1930 'plaid-side' roadster model 66B equipped with the famous Knight Great Six sleeve-valve engine. The Model 66 represented the top-of-the-line for Willys Knight, and was good for a healthy 87 horsepower. This plaid-side sports the original paint scheme and colors. Note the squares on the doors which are hallmark of the plaid-side.
The Plaidside Roadster, designed by Amos Northrup, is noted for its unique 'Plaid' pattern on the bodysides. The Plaidside Roadster was accompanied in the 66B Series by a Plaidside Phaeton. This Roadster body was manufactured by Griswold Motor Body Company of Detroit, MI. Griswold produced coachwork beginning in the 1980's and the Plaidside Roadster was their last automobile body manufactured prior to their demise in 1932.Also photographed at :