Built by the Willys-Overland Corporation of Toledo, Ohio, the Whippet was aptly named - it was small and swift. Introduced in 1926, it was America's smallest car, with a 100.25-inch wheelbase. Two engines were available, a four and a six. The Whippet was in production from 1927 until early 1931.
The car sold well with over 110,000 units sold in 1927 making Willys-Overland third in United States sales. But with the onset of the Great Depression Willys-Overland focused on a single low-cost car that would become the Willys 77.
What makes this Whippet unique is that it has never been restored and is a true 'barn find,' having been in storage for many years. The current owner got the car running, but, to his credit, has done little else to it.
The Whippet marque was introduced in July of 1926 as a 1927 model and was Overland's successor. In comparison to the equivalent four-cylinder Overland, the Whippet was 200 pounds lighter and rested on a wheelbase that was a quarter inch longer. The engine was more advanced, smaller, and produced the same amount of power. It featured advantages such as full-pressure oiling and pump-circulated cooling. It was a very durable and sturdy engine that would eventually be used in the Jeep vehicles more than a decade later.
The Whippet vehicles quickly became a very successful, popular and high selling vehicle. In 1928 a six-cylinder engine was added to the line up increase the vehicles versatility and catering to a wider demographic of buyers. In 1928 they were the third-best-selling marque and lost out to Essex by a small margin in 1929.
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2009