Childe Harold Wills began his automotive career with the Ford Motor Company. He was the chief metallurgist and was responsible for helping Henry Ford incorporate a new material, vanadium steel, into the production of the Model T. Vanadium steel was a lightweight material that was not only strong but flexible and it would become the principal material for most of the Model T's chassis parts.
Wills worked for Ford until the end of World War I, when he decided he wanted to build his own automobile. When he left Ford, he took with him $1.5 million which he would use to start his own company. The new C.H. Wills and Company was located in Marysville, Michigan and in 1921, they built their first automobile which was called the Wills St. Claire. Unlike the Model T, which was an affordable, mass produced vehicle, the Wills St. Claire was an expensive luxury car that was built using the latest technologies and materials. For the cast components, Wills incorporated another new material, molybdenum, which like vanadium steel, was lightweight and very durable. Wills St. Claire vehicles were powered by either V8 or I-6 overhead valve engines. Unfortunately, the Wills St. Claire never achieved the success that other vehicles did during this period and by 1927 the company closed its doors.
Today, Wills St. Claires are extremely rare automobiles and it is estimated that fewer than eighty examples remain.
◾Custom Ford Mustang GT, auctioned at no reserve at Barrett-Jackson in Florida, commands $300,000 for charity
◾Proceeds to benefit Henry Ford Health Systems' efforts to provide access to healthcare for more people
◾The silver Mustang was featured in the movie 'Need for Speed'; it boasts a custom-designed wide body rolling on Forgiato 22-inch alloy wheels
A custom 2013 Ford Mustang GT that starred in the blockbuster movie 'Need for Speed' was sold by Ford Motor Company for $300,000 on Saturd...[Read more...]
'Thou shall never do a slantback front end.' That was the commandment from Gene Bordinat, Ford's vice president of design, 'Henry Ford II only wants vertical front ends, and he'll show us the door if we ever try anything like it.'
This mantra hung over the early development of the third-generation of Ford's wildly successful Mustang. In 1975 Ford designers began the job of redesigning the iconic pony car for the coming 1980s. The car and country had been through a roller coaster 20-year perio...[Read more...]
BARRINGTON, ILL. – July 3, 2013 – The 7th Annual Barrington Concours d'Elegance will feature a wide variety of vehicle classes, including some of the most celebrated pre and post war collectible cars in the world, with stars and stunning examples from each group. An array of exquisite examples of automotive excellence will be shown on July 12-14, 2013, at the Makray Memorial Golf Club in Barrington, Ill. The Concours will celebrate over 100 fine autos with displays detailing the history o...[Read more...]
◾'Opening the Highways' Ford advertisement first printed in 1925 still used to summarize company's vision for automotive leadership
◾Ford and The Henry Ford work together to restore historic painting used in the ad
◾Restored painting and ad unveiled in Henry Ford Museum's 'Driving America' exhibit
DEARBORN, Mich., June 24, 2013 – A nearly 90-year-old advertisement that propelled Ford Motor Company's vision for putting the world on wheels and recently helped transform the company from...[Read more...]
•Special limited-edition Ford Racing history artwork is unveiled at the annual SEMA show as part of the Ford press conference
•Famed automotive artist Sam Bass created the artwork at the request of Edsel B. Ford II, with proceeds from sales of limited-edition autographed prints benefiting JDRF
•Drivers and Ford race vehicles featured on the special artwork include Henry Ford (Sweepstakes), Trevor Bayne (No. 21 Fusion), Dan Gurney/A.J. Foyt (Ford Mark IV), Bob Glidden (NHRA Thunderbird), Jack...[Read more...]