1922 Wills Sainte Claire A68

1922 Wills Sainte Claire A68 1922 Wills Sainte Claire A68 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.

1922 Wills Sainte Claire A68 1922 Wills Sainte Claire A68 1922 Wills Sainte Claire A68 Roadster
Chassis #: 6336
Engine # 7367
Sold for $151,250 at 2015 Bonhams Amelia Island Auction.
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

ON THE COUNT OF FIVE – ALL-NEW 400PS AUDI TT RS IS READY TO LAUNCH

ON THE COUNT OF FIVE – ALL-NEW 400PS AUDI TT RS IS READY TO LAUNCH

Much loved five-cylinder configuration is retained in the latest Audi Sport flagship delivering supercar-style pace with quattro adhesion Most powerful TT ever to enter series production set to open...
Record numbers for a 'classicissima' Ferrari

Record numbers for a 'classicissima' Ferrari

Maranello, 5 February –Investment in classic cars seems to be paying off even more these days. This can be seen from yet more records set at special auctions and sales between private collectors....

BREMBO IS #1 (AGAIN) AT THE 81ST RUNNING OF THE 24 HOURS OF LE MANS WITH ITS 10TH CONSECUTIVE VICTORY

Le Mans, France, June 23, 2013– The 81° edition of the classic 24 Hours of Le Mans, the worlds greatest endurance race, illustrated the supremacy of Brembo brakes with the overall victory of the...

Lingenfelter Collection Garage Crawl To Take Place Saturday, June 15 During 26Th Annual Eyeson Design

BRIGHTON, Mich. - Ken Lingenfelter, owner of Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, will open the doors of his famed Lingenfelter Collection by hosting a Garage Crawl during the 26th Annual EyesOn...
1966 24 Hours of Le Mans: Bewildered Bruce

1966 24 Hours of Le Mans: Bewildered Bruce

The look on Bruce McLarens face as he climbed from his GT40 would be one of stark contrast to the rest of those with the Ford team. It was clear who the winner was, and yet, confusing as well. In the...
© 1998-2018. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

data-full-width-responsive="true">


Vehicle information, history, and specifications from concept to production.

Follow ConceptCarz on Facebook Conceptcarz Google+ Follow ConceptCarz on Twitter RSS News Feed

Conceptcarz.com
© 1998-2018 Conceptcarz.com Reproduction or reuse prohibited without written consent.