1922 Wills Sainte Claire A68 news, pictures, specifications, and information
Four Passenger Coupe
 
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.
Roadster
Chassis Num: 6336
Engine Num: 7367
 
Sold for $151,250 at 2015 Bonhams.
The Wills St. Claire Company was introduced in 1919 but their experience with automobiles began many years before. Engineer C. Harold Wills was an expert metallurgist who had introduced Henry Ford to vanadium steel, which added to the Model T's legendary durability. Wills also designed the famous Ford script logo. In 1919, Wills left Ford and began building his own automobile. He used the $1.5 million he'd received in severance from Henry Ford to help capitalize on his new car. His new car was dubbed the Wills Sainte Claire, after himself and the river that ran near his new Marysville, Michigan factory. The Canada grey goose was portrayed on the new car's radiator ornament.

The engine was a 265 cubic-inch monobloc V8 with two overhead camshafts. It was designed in similar fashion to the Hispano-Suiza World War I aircraft engines. Precise bevel drive gears improved upon the noisy straight gears of the Hispano design, making the Wills' V8 much quieter. The engine breathed through a dual throat carburetor and offered exceptional performance.

Wills used castings of molybdenum steel to help keep their 121-inch wheelbase Wills Sainte Claire light and nimble. Beginning in 1925, the company offered a SOHC 6-cylinder engine along with the V8.

Between 1922 and 1927, more than 12,000 examples of the Wills Sainte Claire were produced. Though the cars were well engineered, the business model was not as fine-tuned. Wills often shut down the production line so he could make improvements. The V-8 engine was very expensive to produce and the low output of the company would never yield a profit.

This particular example is a Model A-68 V-8 Rumble-Seat Roadster. It is one of the 2,162 Wills Sainte Claire cars produced during 1924. It features high ratio gearing, distinctive headlamps and the driver's courtesy light. It wears an older restoration that still shows well in modern times. It has its original Wills bumpers, golf club bracket and a mechanical directional system. The Wills includes a full set of side curtains.

By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2015
Recent Vehicle Additions

2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid

2017 Force India VJM10

2017 Mercedes-Benz W08 EQ Power

2017 Sauber C36

1933 Maserati 4CM

2017 Ford GT Competition Series
"
GM STUDENT CORPS EXPANDS TO INCLUDE FLINT
FLINT, Mich. – The GM Student Corps kicked off its second year today, expanding the summer internship program to include a new team of 10 students from Flint Southwestern Classical Academy high school. General Motors made the announcement at the annual meeting of the Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce. This year's Student Corps will provide 120 Detroit-area and Flint students from 12 high schools with paid internships and the opportunity to give back to their neighborhoods. Teams...[Read more...]
NEW BREMBO GT CALIPER AND PEDAL BOX ASSEMBLY DEBUT AT 2013 PRI SHOW
INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 12, 2013 - Taking its range of Racing products to a new level of performance, Brembo - the world leader in brake technology and the Choice of Champions - chose the 2013 PRI Show to debut two new exciting products, including a new six-piston, monobloc aluminum caliper designed specifically to fit 390mm discs. This GT caliper is the first one designed by Brembo specifically to work on discs with a bigger annulus (a braking radial surface as large as 64mm) allowing the ...[Read more...]
Ford To Auction Prototype Of The 2014 Mustang Cobra Jet For National Multiple Sclerosis Society At Barrett-Jackson
◾Ford is selling a one-of-a-kind prototype of the NHRA competition-ready 2014 Mustang Cobra Jet at Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society ◾The sale includes an once-in-a-lifetime Mustang experience. The winning bidder will become an honorary member of Team Mustang with full backstage passes to the Ford Product Development Center, Ford Design Studios and Ford Racing ◾Ford to also offer Ride-and-Drives and hot laps at Mandalay Bay Event Center featuring t...[Read more...]
EDWARDS PACES FORD QUALIFYING EFFORT AT INDIANAPOLIS WITH 3RD PLACE SHOWING
 CARL EDWARDS, NO. 99 FASTENAL FORD FUSION (QUALIFIED 2nd) – 'We have a fast race car and I am pretty proud of that lap. If I did it again I don't know that I could go any faster. That was a pretty good lap. Hopefully that holds up for a top two or three. If we can start up front I think we have the pit crew and crew chief on the box and a car that can win this race. I want to win this thing badly. MARCOS AMBROSE, NO. 9 DEWALT FORD FUSION (QUALIFIED 10th) – 'We improved a lot and I am pretty ...[Read more...]
Edsel Ford's Speedster Stars at 'The Amelia'
Edsel Ford's 'continental car', a custom boattail speedster, will take its rightful place in the Sports Car Class of the 18th annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. In the shape of Edsel's seminal speedster is the genesis of Ford's legendary design department. Edsel Ford was hardly 'a chip off the old block'. The acorn fell well away from the mighty oak that was Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company. Edsel was not just the President of Ford, he was a car guy to his core. His ta...[Read more...]

© 1998-2017. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.