1928 Willy’s Overland Whippet Six

Highlights

  • Rare right-hand drive example
  • South African import
  • Just 18,566 indicated miles
  • Presented in fine, usable condition

The Appeal

When you think of Willys vehicles, the first thing that probably comes to mind is the classic WWII Jeep. However, Willys were making a name for themselves as a vehicle manufacturer long before this.
Here we have a 1928 ‘Overland Whippet Six’, an all-round touring car first put into production in 1926. 

Built primarily for the US, Canadian and Australian markets, it proved to be immensely popular– in 1928 it was the third best-selling vehicle in the US. The ‘Six’ was the one to have too, featuring the larger, more powerful 3,200cc six-cylinder engine.
They were renowned for being built to a very high standard, resulting in a robust and reliable car. This example is remarkably well preserved, having lived much of its life in the warm and dry South African climate. 

As such, it’s a very solid, nicely patinated vehicle, replete with the simple charm and character that makes pre-war vehicles such a delight.

The History and Paperwork

  • Manufactured / registered in 1928
  • RHD South African import
  • Imported to the UK in October 1987
  • 3 owners since UK import
  • “Operation and Care” handbook
  • Some servicing / maintenance receipts
  • Tax and MOT exempt

The Interior

  • Retrimmed two-tone brown / tan upholstery
  • Presented in excellent, unrestored condition
With a roomy, twin bench layout and large glass house, the cabin of the 'Whippet Six' is a lovely place to be. 

The bench seats themselves are trimmed in a corded, two-tone material that perfectly complements the exterior colour. With the coordinated cream headlining, which itself is in fine condition, and tan carpets, the passenger compartment is light and airy.
At some point, the seats have clearly been retrimmed to a good standard. There is a small tear on the driver’s seat, which has been restitched, but other than that the upholstery is all presented in fine condition. 
The wide, original wooden wheel and instruments are in lovely condition, wearing a light patina and really adding to the character of the vehicle. We can say the same of the door cards, wooden trim on the dash and door-tops, and the brightwork in the cabin. 

Everything functions as it should and presents in good, unrestored condition, wearing its history proudly.

The Exterior 

  • Navy Blue paintwork
  • Black vinyl roof
  • Twin fender-mounted spares
  • Period rear luggage rack and trunk
One of the things we love about this 'Whippet Six' is the specification – the Navy paintwork with contrasting white-wall tyres suit the car perfectly and offer a lovely combination of subtlety and a bit of pre-war glamour.
The paintwork and external trim itself is in good condition. Obviously, this is a pre-war car, so there are some marks and blemishes, but certainly nothing significant. 

There is some minor pitting to the brightwork, and some minor scratches to the paint. 

However, as far as we can see, the body is free from corrosion and damage – probably due to the fact that it has spent the majority of its life in such a dry climate. 

Another nice feature is the period sun-visor, a practical and attractive optional extra.
With black painted wire wheels in good condition, shod with white wall tyres with lots of good tread on them, it’s a truly handsome older car. We love the wear and age present on the rear luggage case, it’s such a unique and original feature, and just adds to the vehicle’s charm.
Underneath, the car looks to be presented in excellent condition. At some point, a lot of work has clearly been undertaken to restore and preserve the vehicle’s chassis and running gear, as much of it has been painted and treated. 

As a result, it looks in fine condition, with no evidence of corrosion or damage at all that we could see.
Overall, we would say that the car presents in very good, largely unrestored and original condition.

The Mechanics 

  • Desirable 3,200cc straight-six
  • Manual transmission
  • Four-wheel cable-operated brakes
  • Electric fuel pump upgrade
Mechanically, the ‘Whippet Six’ is the one to have from the range. 

With a more powerful 40bhp six-cylinder engine (a significant 10bhp improvement over the base model), seven-bearing crankshaft and full pressure lubrication system, it offers a number of significant and practical upgrades over the four-cylinder models. 

With the four-wheel braking system and upgrade to an electric fuel pump, it makes this car a very usable and enjoyable classic that’s perfect for regular use.
The owner assures us that the car drives very well indeed, with a lovely engine note and no known issues.

Summary

Few vehicles will bring a smile to the face of everyone you see quite like a pre-war vintage car. 

There’s a charm and elegance to them that modern cars simply cannot capture. Whether it’s their styling, the simplicity of their drivetrains or the burble of their powerplants, they’re deeply lovely things.
And this ‘Whippet Six’ is a fantastic example of a carefully looked after and well-preserved classic – absolutely perfect for both regular use and shows. 

Presented in a lovely specification with tasteful colour scheme and wearing its patina with pride, this is a beguiling and very pretty car. The fact that it’s the ‘Six’ makes it even more desirable as an ownership proposition, and it’s not like they’re making any more of them. 

So if you’ve always fancied dipping your toe into the world of vintage cars, or if you’re looking for a quality vehicle to add to an existing collection, then this could well be the perfect solution.


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Auction FAQs
Auction Details
  • Year 1920
  • Make Willys
  • Model Overland Whippet Six
  • Colour Blue
  • Mileage 18,566 Miles
  • Engine size 3200
  • Seller Type Trade
  • County Hampshire
  • Country United Kingdom
  • Auction ends
Bidding history
56 Bids
  • du•••• £9,200 18/07/22
  • Tw•••• £9,100 18/07/22
  • du•••• £9,000 18/07/22
  • du•••• £8,900 18/07/22
  • Tw•••• £8,800 18/07/22
  • du•••• £8,700 18/07/22
  • Tw•••• £8,600 18/07/22
  • du•••• £8,500 18/07/22
  • du•••• £8,400 18/07/22
  • Tw•••• £8,300 18/07/22

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