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The Overland Automobile "runabout" was founded by Claude Cox, a graduate of Rose Polytechnic Institute, while he was employed by Standard Wheel Company of Terre Haute, Indiana
Terre Haute is a city and the county seat of Vigo County, Indiana, United States, near the state's western border with Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 60,785 and its metropolitan area had a population of 170,943. The city is the county seat of Vigo County and...
, USA, in 1903. In 1905, Standard Wheel allowed Cox to relocate the Overland Automobile Company to Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County, Indiana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population is 839,489. It is by far Indiana's largest city and, as of the 2010 U.S...
, and he got a partner.
In 1908, Overland Motors was purchased by John North Willys. In 1912, it was renamed Willys-Overland.
Overlands continued to be produced until 1926 when the marque was succeeded by the Willys Whippet.
The last vestige of the Overland automobile empire remains in the form of bricks spelling out "Overland" in the smoke stacks at the Toledo factory that once formed the core of Willys automotive empire. But the name would come back when DaimlerChrysler introduced the Overland name for a trim package on the 2003–present Jeep Grand Cherokee. The badging is a recreation of the Overland nameplate from the early twentieth century.