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1953 Articles about Kaiser Buying Willys on the CJ-3B Page

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old News Articles This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

Derek put together a great multiple-article look at the Kaiser’s purchase of the Willys assets.

Below you’ll find some added some additional info and research as well.

First, my only quibble with one article is that there is the implication that Willys-Overland was humming profitably along. Despite profits, it’s my understanding that the company was dealing with some cash issues, hence why they (especially Ward Canaday) might have been interested in selling. At the time, Canaday controlled Empire Securities, the single largest shareholder in Willys-Overland. For some background on Empire Securities, read this 1946 Fortune article.

In regards to some of the issues raised in the final article of Derek’s the post, Edgar Kaiser addresses some of them in this 1955 Congressional testimony, particularly one reason the company lost money during the first two years.

Here are a few more reports from 1953, organized by the University of Toledo:


And more from the University of Toledo:


And, here’s Leslie Gould’s take on Ward Canaday in a March 30, 1953, article:




3 Comments on “1953 Articles about Kaiser Buying Willys on the CJ-3B Page

  1. Dan B.

    How cool. It’s on my list to dig through the Kaiser archives over at the Bancroft library in Oakland.

  2. keith Buckley


    I’ve been through a large part of the Kaiser archives. Are you local out there?
    Which part of the collection are you interested in? Have you been to the archive before?

    In relation to this post, The archives contains the original records pertaining to the merger, and what each exec thought of it. The tax credit came back and bit them in 1955 when the government used it to cancel a large part of M38A1 production.

    Ward Canaday being made President of the Overland Corporation was not a ‘gift’.
    Just like recently when Chrysler was split into Newcarco and Oldcarco for bankruptcy. It disgraced Canaday.

    You can reach me at

  3. Dan B.

    Thanks Keith. I’ll send you an email.

    On one extreme, I am interested in nearly everything in the archives, out of general curiosity. On the other extreme, I am interested in any info or pictures of the 1960-1964 “Willys” (Kaiser-Jeep) Traveller as well as the 230 OHC Tornado since that’s what I have.

    I am across the Bay in San Francisco, so this is close… once everything re-opens.

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