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Published: Thursday, 10/9/2008

Auto pioneer Willys in industry hall of fame

John North Willys John North Willys
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Auto pioneer John North Willys, whose company became the basis for the modern Jeep operation in Toledo, was among eight individuals inducted this week into the Automotive Hall of Fame, in Detroit.

Mr. Willys, who died in 1935, took over a Toledo factory on Central Avenue in 1910 and built it into the Willys-Overland Motor Co. It later became the booming complex where Jeep Wranglers, Cherokees, and other vehicles were assembled.

The induction ceremony took place in Dearborn, Mich.

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