Location: Jeep Pkwy, Toledo
Text: In 1909, John North Willys moved the Overland Auto Co. from Indianapolis to the former Pope-Toledo plant on Central Avenue. As Willys-Overland, the company expanded its facilities and ranked second in annual auto production nationwide from 1912 to 1916. Here were developed and produced various models of the Overland, Willys-Knight, Whippet, Willys, and Jeep vehicles.
In 1940, Willys engineer Delmar "Barney" Roos, developed a prototype for a rugged, lightweight vehicle for the Army. Production began in 1941. Of the 651,068 Jeeps produced during World War II, Toledo’s Willys-Overland Motors assembled 57% of them, one every 1 1/3 minutes. By the war’s end (1945) the versatile Jeep (General Purpose Vehicle) was known the world over. Chrysler had occupied the plant until 2006 when it came down.