John North Willys founded his company in 1908 which was based in Toledo, Ohio. When he acquired the licence to build Charles Knight’s sleeve-valve engine, the cars were badged Willys-Knight. Initially, their sales were second only to Ford. The 1920’s and 1930’s brought many financial upheavals, but the firm survived and during WW II built hundreds of thousands of Jeeps. In 1953 the company was bought by Kaiser Motors and the Willys’ name was not used after 1963.