Hummer

Over a coffee break in the fall of 1902 Charles Minshall, president of the Standard Wheel Company, and Claude E. Cox, a recent graduate of the Ross Polytechnic Institute, decided to name their budding automobile company Overland. The combined total experience of these two in the automobile industry resided completely in Cox who had converted a motorized tricycle to a four-wheel design as his senior thesis project. To Minshall those were credentials enough to appoint Cox as designer and head of the brand new Overland Automobile Company.
The first Overland produced happened to be a very advanced vehicle for 1903. It had a five horsepower single-cylinder engine under a hood in the front of the car, with a two-speed planetary gear set shifted with foot pedals. Ignition was controlled with two dry cell batteries and a jump spark system; there was a plug that would change the current from one battery to the other that was also removable and fit nicely into the pocket. Without a key this was a simple means of theft prevention, as the plug was required to start the car.
In January of 1905, feeling cramped in the Standard Wheel facility in Terre Haute, Cox moved Overland to an abandoned Standard Wheel warehouse in Indianapolis. By this time, Minshall doubted the viability of his automobile company and backed out leaving Cox high and dry. Salvation came from a buggy manufacturer in Indianapolis who had tried and failed to create an automobile and was very much impressed with Coxs designs. For a 51 percent share in Overland, David M. Perry financially backed the fledgling Overland Automobile Company.
In 1907, a car dealer from New York named John North Willys approached Overland with $10,000 and an order for 500 cars. Soon after Willys grew concerned because correspondence with Overland had ceased and he had yet to receive any of the 500 cars he had ordered. Venturing a trip to Indianapolis Willys had discovered that production had halted and Perry had lost everything including his home. Seizing the opportunity, Willys purchased controlling share of Overland (at a discount) and moved the operations to a circus tent until new production facilities could be acquired.
With Willys in charge, production resumed in 1908 and the first off the line were the 500 cars he had ordered the previous year. In 1909 production increased nearly ten fold with a total of 4,907 cars. Overwhelmed and dejected Claude Cox jumped ship on very bad terms with Willys. Now completely in Willys control Overland continued to expand by purchasing smaller companies. Production quadrupled in 1910 to a total of 15,598 vehicles. From 1912 until the First World War only the Ford Motor Company out produced Overland.
http://www.rmauctions.com/lots/lot.cfm?lot_id=52149

In 1953, Kaiser Corporation bought out Willys-Overland Motors, and renamed it Willys Motors Company. In 1963 the company re-organized, becoming Kaiser-Jeep Corporation, and the Willys name disappeared into history (though Overland was used as a premium Jeep model, and a concept Jeep Willys was created).
In 1970, Kaiser Industries decided to leave the automobile business, selling Kaiser-Jeep to American Motors Corporation, which had been created from the merger of Hudson and Nash. Not ten years later, after being hit by fuel crises and lack of acceptance of its new designs, AMC sold a major portion to Renault, of France, in 1979. Chrysler Corporation acquired all of AMC in 1989 from Renault, which had been unable to find acceptance for its own new designs. In 1998, though flush with success, Chrysler was acquired by Daimler-Benz of Germany, becoming the DaimlerChrysler Company, AG. It was then acquired by Cerberus Capital Management in 2007 and, following bankruptcy, was divided between an employee retirement fund, Fiat, and the U.S. and Canadian governments.
From 1953, every ten years or so, Willys-Overland had been reorganized or purchased.
"Original is at John North Willys (of Overland) biography http://www.allpar.com/corporate/bios/willys.html#ixzz2w5vHasbA"

Hummers were originally built by AM General Corporation, which was formerly AMC Jeep's General Products division, in its Mishawaka, Indiana assembly plant. They were created under a contract for the United States armed forces. The first model, the Hum-Vee, was built in a variety of military-based equipment and versions. These included troop carriers, gun turrets and radar. The U.S. military, on receiving their quota, have adapted some of the vehicles, including modifications to facilitate a directional microwave crowd control beam (Active Denial System). AM General began to make plans to sell a civilian version of the vehicle after the military model received so much public interest in the late 1980s.

In 1990, two matching white Hum-Vees were driven from London to Beijing over the rough roads of central Soviet Union. The Hummers made the trip with ease, for they were built to drive on off-road terrain. The highlights of this journey were broadcast in the United States on ESPN. This publicity would pale in comparison to the attention that the Hum-Vee received for its service in Operation: Desert Storm the following year. Also, a privately-owned Hum-Vee was modified into the first Snow-Vee, including the addition of caterpillar tracks, a new rear compartment and a new engine. This vehicle was designed for use in and just below the Arctic Circle, and the Antarctic.

In 1992, AM General began selling a civilian version of the M998 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV or Hum-Vee) vehicle to the public under the brand name "Hummer".
In 1998, AM General sold the brand name to General Motors but continued to manufacture the vehicles. GM is responsible for the marketing and distribution of all Hummers produced by AM General. In the next few years, GM introduced two new homegrown models, the H2 and H3, and renamed the original vehicle H1. AM General continued to build the H1 until it was discontinued in 2006, and is contracted by GM to produce the H2. The H3 is built in Shreveport, LA alongside the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups, with which it shares the GMT-355 platform (custom modified and designated GMT-345).
In 1953, Kaiser Corporation bought out Willys-Overland Motors, and renamed it Willys Motors Company. In 1963 the company re-organized, becoming Kaiser-Jeep Corporation, and the Willys name disappeared into history (though Overland was used as a premium Jeep model, and a concept Jeep Willys was created).
In 1970, Kaiser Industries decided to leave the automobile business, selling Kaiser-Jeep to American Motors Corporation, which had been created from the merger of Hudson and Nash. Not ten years later, after being hit by fuel crises and lack of acceptance of its new designs, AMC sold a major portion to Renault, of France, in 1979. Chrysler Corporation acquired all of AMC in 1989 from Renault, which had been unable to find acceptance for its own new designs. In 1998, though flush with success, Chrysler was acquired by Daimler-Benz of Germany, becoming the DaimlerChrysler Company, AG. It was then acquired by Cerberus Capital Management in 2007 and, following bankruptcy, was divided between an employee retirement fund, Fiat, and the U.S. and Canadian governments.
From 1953, every ten years or so, Willys-Overland had been reorganized or purchased.
"Original is at John North Willys (of Overland) biography http://www.allpar.com/corporate/bios/willys.html#ixzz2w5vHasbA"

In 1940, these preparations proved invaluable, and Willys-Overland was included in the bidding for the development of a new, light-weight, four-wheel-drive, general-purpose (GP) US Army vehicle. It was 1940, and the US Army, in the middle of WWII, was in desperate need of a transport vehicle that was easy to fix in the field. The first design chosen by the Army Ordnance Technical Committee was the Blitz Buggy submitted by the Bantam Car Company. However, it was determined that the Bantam Car Company was too financially unstable to satisfy production, hence Willys-Overland and Ford were chosen to produce their own pilot models for testing, the results of which would determine the contract. Willys-Overland eventually won the government contract for the MA largely due to its superior engine, silhouette, low bid, and the companys ability to fulfill production needs and was later renamed the Willys MB. Willys-Overland produced over 300,000 "Jeeps" for military use during WWII.
Following WWII, Willys-Overland was met with the challenge of entering a new, civilian market. Opting not to resume production of its pre-war passenger car models, the company decided to focus first on producing a civilian version of the successful wartime MB Jeep. The first model they introduced into the civilian market at large was the CJ2A, a stripped down version of the MB with the new addition of a tailgate, which gained popularity in farming, ranching, hunting and other industrial applications. In the years following the production of the CJ2A, Willys-Overland continued to diversify its lineup with 2 and 4WD Station Wagons and Trucks, the Jeepster, M38, M38A1, CJ3A, CJ3B, CJ5, and CJ6, among others. Of all of the models produced, the Willys MB models, Willys Trucks, Willys Station Wagons, and Willys CJ2As and 3Bs were most widely used in military and consumer markets.
http://www.kaiserwillys.com/about-willys-overland-company


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