1925 Overland 91A

From life in a steel Quonset hut in Tennessee to Charlie Thompson’s loving garage in Colchester, VT. This 1925 Overland has many new adventures ahead.

1925 Overland 91A front

Charlie Thompson has been without an old car ride for a while now. His beloved 1930 Whippet has some engine problems and he needs to have it rebuilt.

Most of our old car problems are caused from lying around, in a barn, doing nothing. Not Charlie’s Whippet. He has worn the heck out of it, traveling to most of the states east of the Mississippi. There are many famous on-the-road stories from his traveling adventures. It is too bad he is so modest, most of us would have the stories plastered everywhere, but not Charlie.

Wendell Noble remembers telling Charlie some ideas for fixing the holes in the running boards of his Whippet. Wendell says Charlie patiently listening to every one of his suggestions and at the end simply replied by saying, “Why would I do that?”.

Another of Charlie’s replies when asked if he was ever going to restore his Whippet….. He would reply by saying he had just finished the restoration a few weeks earlier.

A few months ago, Charlie was attending the WOKR car club International Meet in Huntsville, Alabama. WOKR stands for Willys, Overland, Knight Registry. During a club visit about 40 miles north of Huntsville, in Tennessee, he spotted the Overland pickup among many old vehicles owned by Ed Hanish.

1925 Overland 91A rear

1925 Overland 91A #256864

  • 1911 Production…….eleven
  • 1925 Production…..157,000
  • Base price……$530
  • Engine…4-cyl 27HP
  • Transmission…..3-speed manual
  • Wheel Base…..100 inches
  • Weight……1769 pounds

Charlie’s overland was a coupe and has been made into a pickup, with overland blue paint.

He also found it was for sale.

After talking it over with his wife, Marion, he decided he would travel back to Tennessee with his trailer to bring it home to Vermont. Not everyone has a neat wife like Marion!

He is doing a few “fixes” on the Overland, with hopes of getting it registered and on the road soon.

The ring gear has an issue and there is a plan to replace it with a spare. The carburator has been cleaned and tuned and the starter has received a “green-light” from Smitty’s Starter Shop in Sheldon.

Asked when he will be heading out on a multi-state journey in his new Overland, his only reply was to wait until he and the car gets more acquainted. He has had 55 years to get acquainted with his Whippet and look at the adventures they have had!

The twentieth century was the century of the automobile in which this machine went from the plaything of the wealthy to an important part of everyday life for most people.

the overland logo

During the first part of the twentieth century, many entrepreneurs began to design, manufacture, and market automobiles. Most of these early manufacturers failed to survive the Great Depression of the 1930s. One of these early companies was the Overland Automobile Company.

When Claude Cox was in his senior year of Rose Polytechnic Institute, a small private college with a program in engineering, he made a three wheel vehicle for his senior year thesis. In 1902, Cox met with Charles Minshall, the owner of Standard Wheel Company of Terre Haute, Indiana. Minshall was interested in building an automobile, but didn’t know how to. Cox seemed to have the knowledge so Minshall hired him to head Standard Wheel’s new automobile department and design the car.

In 1903, Cox designed and built a car much advanced for the time. The new car was named the Overland and featured a two-cylinder water-cooled engine that was mounted up front under the hood. The car also featured a removable switch plug so that it could not be driven without it.

The first Overland was a runabout. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the runabout was a common open-car body style, small, and inexpensive.

According to “The Standard Catalog of American Cars” there were 154,292 Overland automobiles built between 1903 and 1914 when the brand name changed to Willys-Overland. The last vehicle built with the Overland name was in 1927.

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