For those of you unfamiliar with the Overland and Whippet nameplates, this lovely 1927 touring car is a distant ancestor of today's Jeeps. Hard to believe, but the Willys-Overland Corporation was also the cornerstone of what would become American Motors, although in the late-20s, it was a big deal as the #3 nameplate behind Ford and Chevy.
The Whippet was advertised as the smallest car in America, but offered lively performance and impressive style thanks to its European origins. Developed by a sister company in England, the Whippet came to America with dashing good looks, great colors, and impressive build quality that was often overlooked in the low-price field. As a result, this wonderful old car is a delight on the road, with sprightly performance and a fabulous look. Touring bodies were incredibly popular in the '20s, and this one offers great proportions that make it seem both larger and more impressive than, say, a comparable Model T Ford. Finished with traditional black fenders and trim and off-white bodywork, it speaks of the Roaring Twenties and has been nicely restored today. Fit and finish are quite good, the plated parts carry an appropriate shine for a nickel-era vehicle, and those slender bumpers are miniature works of art that are surely better for appearance than for protection.
Originally sold and re-imported from Australia, which explains the right-hand-drive, this Whippet features a neatly restored black vinyl interior that duplicates the original quite well. The original upholstery was probably a low-grade leather and quite honestly, the modern stuff is both more durable and more comfortable. The wood-rimmed steering wheel feels substantial and gives you good leverage at the helm (no power steering, remember), and there's plenty of room for five for a day of touring fun. Instrumentation is basic and you'll need a bit of choke to get it running, but it offers an authentic 1920s driving experience that is delightful for all the right reasons: the sound of the engine, the rush of the wind, and the tall driving position all make it an event. A new black folding top with correct snaps and wood bows is included and thanks to the car's compact size, it's easy for one man to raise or lower.
The 134 cubic inch flathead four engine makes 30 horsepower, but remember that torque was what really moved cars in the '20s, so with its long stroke and great gearing, it's happy to trundle around at barely walking pace in top gear. Out on the open road, performance is comparable to a Model A Ford, and with some practice, double-clutch shifts are easy. It still runs the original vacuum tank fuel system, and for reliability, a few modern ignition components were used during the restoration. Four-wheel brakes were still cutting-edge technology in 1927, and they're adequate for the car's performance, and they're visible behind those beautiful wood-spoke wheels wearing stylish whitewall tires.
Fun to drive, you won't find a better-looking open car for less money anywhere. Call today!
This vehicle is located in our Atlanta, GA showroom. For more information, please call (678) 279-1609 or toll free (877) 367-1835.