Forward for Wills book:
It is hard to consider where the automobile industry in the United States would be without the contributions of C. Harold Wills. As Henry Ford's first employee and chief engineer, Wills had a hand in every car Ford produced until he left in 1919, including the car that put the world on wheels, the Model T. His success at Ford propelled him to create his own car; The Wills Sainte Claire in the 1920's. And even though he held many metallurgical patents, helped to create the world's most successful car, designed the famous Ford logo, and built his own luxury car, there has never been a book written about this fascinating man.
Alan Naldrett approached the Board of Directors of the Wills Sainte Claire Auto Museum and asked about the idea of writing a book about Wills. For many years the Wills Museum Board of Directors had been shopping for an author, but had not had success in finding the right individual. But to our great surprise the right man had "fallen into our lap". Alan has done a great job putting all the historical facts and anecdotes about Wills into book form.
But who was C. Harold Wills? To some he was wunderkind party boy who carried jewels in his pockets to impress his friends and "the ladies". To others he was a mechanical genius who could solve complex mechanical problems ranging from advances in the planetary transmission to complex steel blends and the large scale production of Vanadium and Molybdenum steels. And to another smaller group, he was a husband, loving father and family man. From reading many articles (and reading between the lines) about him, and studying him for more than 30 years, I can conclude that he was a man who was successful in nearly anything he put his mind to from an early age, and never really experienced failure until his own car company filed for bankruptcy in the 1920's.
After Mr. Wills' endeavors at Ford Motor Company, he would eventually make his way 50 miles north of Detroit to the small hamlet of Marysville, purchase 4400 acres of land to build his idea of the perfect automobile and raise the community's tiny population from 200 to over 2000. He would layout the town's streets, create neighborhoods by building houses, construct an industrial park, and create the ideal community, in fact, as it was known: "The community of contented living". A workman could purchase a house in Marysville on a lot "big enough for a vegetable garden" and escape the crowded living conditions of Detroit. Mr. Wills was not just building a new and fantastic auto, he was building an utopia community.
And the car he built would not be any ordinary car. When he was at Ford, he learned how to build a simple & sturdy car. But his dream was to build a fantastic car using the best technology and engineering concepts that the auto industry had ever seen. The Wills Sainte Claire would be the first car to have a backup light, a patented courtesy light on the passenger side to light up the ground, and was an early user of hydraulic brakes with an engine utilizing over-head cams.
A fantastic car indeed.
Of the 12,107 cars made (according to Charles F. Boos, Manager of the Wills Sainte Claire Sales Department) only about 80 cars remain today, making them quite rare.
I invite you to visit the Wills Sainte Claire Auto Museum in Marysville, Michigan and see the largest collection of Wills Sainte Claire autos in the world.
I hope you enjoy learning about the history of C. Harold Wills and his endeavors as much as I have over the past 30 years!
There has never been a book written about C. Harold Wills, until now.
We have been waiting years for someone to write a book and Alan Naldrett has now done it.
I can now tell you. IT IS HERE! And it is fantastic!
We have just received our delivery of books from the publisher and they are now ready to ship to you.
To get your copy, send $22.00 per book + $4.50 shipping to:
Wills Sainte Claire Museum, C/O Terry Ernest, 1600 Pine Grove Ave, Port Huron, MI 48060
As soon as I receive your check, I will ship your book(s) to you.
PLEASE NOTE: ONLY BOOKS PURCHASED FROM THE WILLS MUSEUM FINANCIALLY BENEFIT THE MUSEUM!
Books purchased elsewhere do not support the Wills Museum.
They will make a great Christmas gift for your friends and family who appreciate the history of the early auto industry, so order more than one.
SPECIAL: Order as many books as you want and pay only $4.50 shipping!
This was a limited run of books. The time to order your copies is now!