1911 - 1927

Wills Sainte Claire

Information about Wills Sainte Claire

Wills Sainte Claire, an American automotive brand, reflects the pioneering spirit of the early 20th-century motor industry. Founded by Childe Harold Wills in 1921, the brand was born out of Wills’ departure from Ford, where he had been a key figure, instrumental in the development of the Model T. Utilizing his severance of $1.6 million, Wills established his company in Marysville, Michigan, along the picturesque St. Clair River.

Wills Sainte Claire cars were synonymous with innovation and luxury. The inaugural model, rolled out in 1921, was notable for its use of molybdenum in its steel, enhancing the durability that Wills was obsessed with. The car was powered by a sophisticated V8 engine, a notable departure from the simpler engines of the time, and featured overhead cams—a rarity and a technical advancement in the automotive industry at the time.

Despite the high quality and advanced technology, the brand struggled with production consistency and financial sustainability. Frequent halts in production for new innovations led to financial strain and eventual bankruptcy. By 1927, unable to turn a profit and outcompeted by larger manufacturers, Wills Sainte Claire ceased operations. Today, the legacy of Wills Sainte Claire is preserved in automotive history and at the Wills Ste. Claire Auto Museum in Michigan, where enthusiasts celebrate the brand’s contribution to automotive engineering. The vehicles, known for their distinctive Canada goose logo, are prized as classic cars, encapsulating the ingenuity and ambition of their creator.

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