1928 Willys-Knight Truck
The paint is peeling, but you can still read ‘Kaiapoi – The best that grows into Kaiapoi goes’.
- The Kaiapoi Woollen Mill was at once one of the most important industrial businesses in the colony of New Zealand.
- 1928 was the Kaiapoi Woollen Mill’s jubilee year and the mill was working at full capacity again after a downturn in the early 1920s. The profitable year and celebrations probably prompted the purchase of this brand new truck
- Willys-Knight began with the meeting of two men. John N. Willys was the head of Willys-Overland Company in Toledo, USA. He was visiting England in 1913 when he met Charles Y. Knight, who convinced John that the sleeve valve engine was way better than the noisy and inefficient poppet valve engine
- John tried out a Knight engine and covered 4,500 miles of idyllic English and Scottish countryside in 15 days – a great feat. He was sold
- On his return to America John bought the Edwards Motor Company of New York (which had a licence to build Knight motors) and went to work
- The finished product was the Willys-Knight, produced in various models between 1914 and 1933