C.H. Will Motors Corp. - 1927-1930 - H.E. Wilcox Motor Co. - 1910-1921 - Wilcox Trux Inc. - 1921-1927 - Minneapolis, Minnesota


C.H. Will Motors Corp., Minneapolis, Minn.

The Greyhound system of bus companies purchased the former H.E. Wilcox Motor Co. in 1927 and turned its production over entirely to buses, most of which were delivered to mid-western Greyhound companies. The operation was named for its general manager, Carl H. Will, and the buses were known at first as "W.M.C." and later as "Will" buses. In response to Greyhound's requirements, Will introduced a redesigned parlor car on 239 or 249-inch wheelbases later in 1927, and with minor modifications these constituted the front line of Grey­hound's fleet until 1930. Waukesha 6-cylinder engines were used, together with Timken axles, robust drop frames (now one-piece side rails) and air springs at the front..As part of the formation of Pacific Greyhound Lines in 1929, the California Body Building Co. of Oakland (see PIONEER STAGE) was acquired, and its buses, slightly modified, became known as "Pioneer-Will" and later as Will. With an order for 60 of these for Pacific Greyhound completed in the summer of 1930, the Oakland plant was closed. In the meantime Yellow Coach and Greyhound agreed on a manufacturing contract, according to which Greyhound would underwrite part of the development expenses of new Yellow models built to Greyhound specifications, and the first purchase contract pursuant to this agreement was signed in November 1929. Greyhound wound down Will production at Minneapolis, the last buses being delivered to Northland Greyhound Lines in January 1931. Virtually all Will buses had Eckland bodies, and very few were ever sold to companies other than Greyhound. Probably about 500 were built.

The corporation continued in existence as Greyhound Motors & Supply Co., directed by Carl Will and located in Chicago, where it operated a bus overhaul and rebuilding plant for the parent company.


This company began its career in vehicle construction with the Wolfe passenger car of 1907. Some car-based delivery trucks were also called Wolfe, but the name of all products was changed to Wilcox in 1910 when two trucks were listed, a 1-tonner with driver either behind engine or over it, and a 3-tonner. Also that year Wilcox shipped a bus to South Dakota, described as a combination mail wagon and stagecoach. Truck production grew over the next few years so that Wilcox became the most important vehicle maker in Minneapolis. By 1918 the range consisted of six models, from 3/4-ton to 5-tons, the larger being cab-over-engine models which Wilcox was particularly noted for. Buda or Continental engines were used, although Wilcox also made some of their own engines, and were something more than mere assemblers of trucks. A number of Wilcoxes carried bus bodies, used to transport iron and copper miners in areas where there were no railroads, and in 1922 Wilcox made their first purpose-built bus chassis. This was a sophisticated low-­loading vehicle with drop frame (with fabricated arches rather than one-piece side rails), a cast-aluminum radiator and Huck-type live axle with differential-mounted planetary gear train for final reduction. Bodies were mainly by Eckland, a Minneapolis firm who were to be associated with Wilcox and subsequently Will until the end of their history. Wilcox buses used either Continental or Waukesha 6-cylinder engines, and later models had a top speed of 62 mph with 29-passenger bodies. In 1925/26 the Northland Transportation Company ordered 39 of these buses for which the trade name of Northland was used, possibly to distinguish them from the Wilcox truck. The latter were now made in 1- to 5-ton models, with Buda or their own make of engine. However buses came to dominate the company's output, and in March 1927 H.E. Wilcox sold the enterprise to principals of the Motor Transit Corp., formed in 1926 as a holding company for bus lines operated under the Greyhound name. (see WILL).



For more information please read:

Ed Strauss & Karen Strauss - The Bus World Encyclopedia of Buses

G.N. Georgano & G. Marshall Naul - The Complete Encyclopedia of Commercial Vehicles

Albert Mroz - Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Trucks & Commercial Vehicles

Donald F. Wood - American Buses

Denis Miller - The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Trucks and Buses

Susan Meikle Mandell - A Historical Survey of Transit Buses in the United States

David Jacobs - American Buses, Greyhound, Trailways and Urban Transportation

William A. Luke & Linda L. Metler - Highway Buses of the 20th Century: A Photo Gallery 

William A. Luke & Brian Grams - Buses of Motorcoach Industries 1932-2000 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Greyhound Buses 1914-2000 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Prevost Buses 1924-2002 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Flxible Intercity Buses 1924-1970 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Buses of ACF Photo Archive (including ACF-Brill & CCF-Brill)

William A. Luke - Trailways Buses 1936-2001 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Fageol & Twin Coach Buses 1922-1956 Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Yellow Coach Buses 1923 Through 1943: Photo Archive

William A. Luke - Trolley Buses: 1913 Through 2001 Photo Archive

Harvey Eckart - Mack Buses: 1900 Through 1960 Photo Archive

Brian Grams & Andrew Gold - GM Intercity Coaches 1944-1980 Photo Archive

Robert R. Ebert  - Flxible: A History of the Bus and the Company

John McKane - Flxible Transit Buses: 1953 Through 1995 Photo Archive

Bill Vossler - Cars, Trucks and Buses Made by Tractor Companies

Lyndon W Rowe - Municipal buses of the 1960s

Edward S. Kaminsky - American Car & Foundry Company 1899-1999

Dylan Frautschi - Greyhound in Postcards: Buses, Depots and Post Houses


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