Overland Advertorial

This article in attachment Overland091509 is yet another from a special Sunday edition of the Indianapolis Star that touted the excitement of the upcoming first automobile races at the new Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The date was August 15, 1909.
This is actually less of an article and more of an advertorial for the Overland Automobile Company which donated a gold plated car as the prize for the driver setting the fast time for a mile run during the auto race meet. As much as anything it is a narrative resume for President John Willys who cobbled the company together as the amalgamation of at least three firms: Overland, Marion and a sales company he created called American Motor Car Sales Company.
The article touts the company's state-of-the-art factories in Indianapolis and Toledo as well as the talent of their 3,000 employees. The company had five factories in Indianapolis alone. The Toledo plant was formerly the production facility for the Pope-Toledo automobiles. Their planned production was 15,000 cars, a very strong run for the 1910 model year.
Overland stressed a full range of models at price points meeting the needs of the wealthy and those of average income. The article notes that they had a large display tent at the entrance to the grounds. Visitors could see the Overland gold plated car along with showroom models and come away with a Speedway-Overland souvenir.
Attachment OverlandNews091509 contains an Indianapolis News article published September 15, 1909, or a month after the article analyzed in the preceding paragraphs. This article announces that the company had been recapitalized and the name changed to Willys-Overland. This was at the direction of the board of directors. The capital stock of the corporation had been increased from $800,000 to $1,500,00. The additional investment was needed to re-tool the old Pope-Toledo factory as well as make improvements to the Indianapolis operations. The name change date is interesting as some secondary sources indicate that the alteration did not occur until 1912.
The directors increased their projected 1910 production to 20,000 cars, of which plans called for 9,000 vehicles to be constructed in Indianapolis. Through the company's acquisition of Marion Motor Car Company on 15th Street as well as property formerly held by the Big Four Railroad, factory capacity had expanded dramatically. In addition to that growth, another 36,000 square feet had been leased in the Laycock industrial building. They had also expanded the original Overland facility in West Indianapolis with three other structures. In Toledo, the company had just added a 165,000 square foot building to the 412,000 square foot building already in place. 

Overland091509.pdf1.84 MB
OverlandNews091509.pdf330.5 KB