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Willys-Knight – Series 66, 66A, 66B


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Grace Moore

30th January 1930: American operatic singer who occasionally appeared in films, Grace Moore (1898-1947). She was played by Kathryn Grayson in a 1953 biopic 'So This is Love' and was nick-named 'The Tennessee Nightingale'. (Photo via John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images)

Grace Moore : News Photo

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39 minutes ago, 58L-Y8 said:

A Willys-Knight 66B cabriolet by Dansk Karosseri-Fabrik, with a lengthened over-the-cowl hood.

Willys-Knight 66B  & 32SG Rolls Royce 1931 dansk.jpg

 

Would we agree that would be the world's best Willys Knight if it still existed?   I think I would take the one off custom body over the plaid side cars.

 

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7 minutes ago, alsancle said:

 

Would we agree that would be the world's best Willys Knight if it still existed?   I think I would take the one off custom body over the plaid side cars.

 

A.J.  Not only the best Willys-Knight 66B, maybe the only 66B ever custom coach-built.   I'd love to see more images of this rarity!  This is the best I can get it.

Willys-Knight 66B 1931 Dansk Karosseri-Fabrik.jpg

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The Dragone brothers plaidside is up for auction.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1930-Willys-Knight-Model-66B-/164300594683

 

   In 1913, Willys-Overland was the second best selling car in the United States behind Ford. In the same year, John North Willys went on a trip to Europe where he met Charles Knight and discovered his newly designed sleeve valve engine. Willys was no engineer, but he was a great salesman. Seeing the novelty and uniqueness of the sleeve valve design he knew that it gave great marketing and sales possibilities even though it burned more oil than a traditional poppet valve engine. In 1914, the Willys-Knight was born and they produced more Knight sleeve valved engines than all other manufactures in the world combined at the time. Later on in the 1920's, the Willys-Knight was known as a middle range motorcar in the market, but that didn't stop Willys from making an upscale model. So in 1929, the Plaidside Roadster was introduced at the New York auto show and styled by automotive designer Amos Northup who was more well known for designing the Reo Royale. Northup gave the Plaidside its distinctive plaid design on its sides, so it was dubbed the "Plaidside." At the 1929 New York auto show it was voted as the best looking car of the year. Only 14 Plaidsides exist today according to the Willys Knight registry. 

     Offered here is a great barn find; an unrestored 1930 Willys-Knight Model 66B Plaidside Roadster. It's one of the original 14 Plaidside roadsters known to exist today and most likely the last Plaidside in unrestored condition. It is mostly complete including the original headlights which are in good condition, original radiator mascot, both front and rear bumpers and complete top assembly. The car being removed from the barn is also documented with a video (link below). This car was owned by the family for over 60 years! It may also be a pretty neat thing to put on display just as it is in "barn find" condition or would make a great car restored. Contact us today for more information.

 

See the video here: 

 

s-l1600.jpg

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25 minutes ago, alsancle said:

The Dragone brothers plaidside is up for auction

The son says dad got it in 54, but there is no way it was that far gone in 24 years from new.  So it must have sat outside for decades, by a guy who was a "collector" of vintage cars?. What a shame.   What $ were they asking at Hershey for it?

 

I am surprised that 14 still survive, especially with an engine design that would scare away many collectors back in the 50s?

 

 

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3 hours ago, F&J said:

 

The son says dad got it in 54, but there is no way it was that far gone in 24 years from new.  So it must have sat outside for decades, by a guy who was a "collector" of vintage cars?. What a shame.   What $ were they asking at Hershey for it?

 

I am surprised that 14 still survive, especially with an engine design that would scare away many collectors back in the 50s?

 

 

 

They have it for 36,500 on their website.

 

https://dragoneclassic.com/currentofferings/1930-willys-knight-model-66b/

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Here's something to ponder, compare the length of the fender sweep of the Dansk-bodied convertible victoria with the 66B Plaid-side and the 66A recently for sale.   The Dansk car not only has the same fender sweep as the 66A but looks as if it might have been a 126" wheelbase rather than the 66B 120" wheelbase.   If the Dansk was built on a 66B, why would they go to the trouble to change the wire wheels too?   Pure conjecture, but I'll opine Dansk received a 66A 126" wheelbase chassis updated with 66B radiator shell and headlights to keep it current.

Willys-Knight 66B 1931 Dansk Karosseri-Fabrik.jpg

Willys-Knight 66B plaid-side - gettyimages.jpg

Willys-Knight 66 CL TN b -cropped.jpg

Willys-Knight 66A for comparison.jpg

Willys-Knight 66A for comparison a.jpg

Edited by 58L-Y8
Added W-K 66A images from the WOKR website for comparison (see edit history)
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58 minutes ago, 58L-Y8 said:

Here's something to ponder, compare the length of the fender sweep of the Dansk-bodied convertible victoria with the 66B Plaid-side and the 66A recently for sale.   The Dansk car not only has the same fender sweep as the 66A but looks as if it might have been a 126" wheelbase rather than the 66B 120" wheelbase.   If the Dansk was built on a 66B, why would they go to the trouble to change the wire wheels too?   Pure conjecture, but I'll opine Dansk received a 66A 126" wheelbase chassis updated with 66B radiator shell and headlights to keep it current.

Willys-Knight 66B 1931 Dansk Karosseri-Fabrik.jpg

 

 

I assume just the norm of personal preference in custom built cars.  My guess is a totally custom made fender and the Buffalo style wheels really are easier to mount and dismount. 

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19 hours ago, alsancle said:

The Dragone brothers plaidside is up for auction.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1930-Willys-Knight-Model-66B-/164300594683

 

   In 1913, Willys-Overland was the second best selling car in the United States behind Ford. In the same year, John North Willys went on a trip to Europe where he met Charles Knight and discovered his newly designed sleeve valve engine. Willys was no engineer, but he was a great salesman. Seeing the novelty and uniqueness of the sleeve valve design he knew that it gave great marketing and sales possibilities even though it burned more oil than a traditional poppet valve engine. In 1914, the Willys-Knight was born and they produced more Knight sleeve valved engines than all other manufactures in the world combined at the time. Later on in the 1920's, the Willys-Knight was known as a middle range motorcar in the market, but that didn't stop Willys from making an upscale model. So in 1929, the Plaidside Roadster was introduced at the New York auto show and styled by automotive designer Amos Northup who was more well known for designing the Reo Royale. Northup gave the Plaidside its distinctive plaid design on its sides, so it was dubbed the "Plaidside." At the 1929 New York auto show it was voted as the best looking car of the year. Only 14 Plaidsides exist today according to the Willys Knight registry. 

     Offered here is a great barn find; an unrestored 1930 Willys-Knight Model 66B Plaidside Roadster. It's one of the original 14 Plaidside roadsters known to exist today and most likely the last Plaidside in unrestored condition. It is mostly complete including the original headlights which are in good condition, original radiator mascot, both front and rear bumpers and complete top assembly. The car being removed from the barn is also documented with a video (link below). This car was owned by the family for over 60 years! It may also be a pretty neat thing to put on display just as it is in "barn find" condition or would make a great car restored. Contact us today for more information.

 

See the video here: 

 

s-l1600.jpg

It probably is fine at that price post some haggling, but realistically I probably would have found the needed parts or a parts car and bundled the pieces or two together (my guess is higher priced obscure cars scare the hell out of more people than not - the really handy fabricators perhaps do not want a project at this price and the unhandy ones know the restoration shop bills will be ....).  Perhaps the definition of between a rock and a hard place. 

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1 hour ago, John_Mereness said:

It probably is fine at that price post some haggling, but realistically I probably would have found the needed parts or a parts car and bundled the pieces or two together (my guess is higher priced obscure cars scare the hell out of more people than not - the really handy fabricators perhaps do not want a project at this price and the unhandy ones know the restoration shop bills will be ....).  Perhaps the definition of between a rock and a hard place. 

 

It feels like it would have been a crime,  but that 66B Coupe that was for sale on Hemmings last winter for 23k would have shared 95% of the parts.

 

 

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22 hours ago, alsancle said:

 

I'll be outbid soon.  Hopefully.

 

 

If you think it's hard getting me to work on your Stearns ............your gonna pass out when I give you my hourly rate working on that thing............even at the "going rate to polish a turd" I hope you get outbid!

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2 hours ago, edinmass said:

 

 

If you think it's hard getting me to work on your Stearns ............your gonna pass out when I give you my hourly rate working on that thing............even at the "going rate to polish a turd" I hope you get outbid!

 

Are you trying to tell me "sport bidding" is a bad idea if you actually win?   If I did that car would be garage art.   I think it is awesomely cool,  but I also think 100k or so spent on a running one is a much better idea.

Edited by alsancle (see edit history)
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21 hours ago, alsancle said:

 

It feels like it would have been a crime,  but that 66B Coupe that was for sale on Hemmings last winter for 23k would have shared 95% of the parts.

 

 

That would be a shame for this Coupe to bite the dust, but that is also what it may come down to.  If you get something that looks like a parts car as a parts car for the plaidside that is close to a parts car, then you will still be short the quality parts you need to turn out an exceptional end product.  For Example: is a Packard 12 sedan bumming around on ebay and it is what is needed to get a few pieces of rare diecast, a great steering wheel, great instruments, and ... for a convertible - AND IT IS REALLY NOT THAT BAD OF A CAR IT JUST HAS ALL THE WRONG ECONOMICS ASSOCIATED WITH IT, but anything even slightly worse and it would be a serious waste of ....    Basically, you will need a pretty nice car to get a finished product to be even remotely cost effective. 

 

eBay item number:

274420205993

1937 Packard “Barn Find” V12 1508 Touring Limousine 144” W.B. | eBay

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5 minutes ago, alsancle said:

 

And now marked sold.   Maybe eBay did the trick?   Would be interesting to hear from the new owner and their plans for it.


 

Street rod bait at that number.......but you never know.

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11 minutes ago, alsancle said:

 

That would be a crime against humanity.  


 

Nothing new about that.......and any cool open car under 40k is subject to being street rodded. Like the 1929 Stearns Knight thst was chopped recently.......and zi have found the running gear. That, is another story. 😝

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Just a couple of comments regarding discussions on the WK cars. First, the engines are simple and easy to work on. Many parts ARE available thru the club. The engines are strong and durable. I have driven my stock 66A coast to coast three times on the Great Race, as well as on many club tours and to events in Nashville and eastern Ohio. Don't let a "different" design cloud your opinion of this car. Many were driven well over 100,000 miles in a day when that number was "unreachable".  Second, buffalo wire wheels were an option on the 66A cars and are listed in the parts book. Wood was standard. Varsity Roadsters used wires as standard- but not buffalo wire wheels. An interesting note on the 66A styling. Headlights, cowl lights and tail lights were shaped like a shield to accompany the Knight mascot. It won one of the very first styling awards for an automobile. Cars built at the very end of the series. used a different cowl light due to exhausting the normal cowl light parts bin.  The 1928 66A chassis and drive train was used by Stearns for their M and N model cars in 1929.

1517880873_2018-64-Young28WK66ASedan.thumb.JPG.8d7cc2afa309b3fec8f101671b459cfe.JPG1142899550_2017-6-9-MarkYoung29WK66ARoadster.thumb.JPG.1cdc8f68dc176c65447f7a065edfbd4c.JPG

Edited by Mark66A (see edit history)
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Stearns Knight and all Knight cars are just another platform. Too many people are afraid of them. So far, I have enjoyed spinning wrenches on them. Nothing particularly challenging. AJ.......send more money!

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Mark 66A

 

"The 1928 66A chassis and drive train was used by Stearns for their M and N model cars in 1929."

 

Thanks for confirming my hunch about how those cars came about.  It appears to have been "too little, too late" to save Stearns.

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