Some sources indicate Mercury (Kiekhaefer) started
making Wizard brand outboards for Western Auto
after WW2 (1946 or later) yet we have other sources
including many Wizard outboards made prewar in
1940 and 1941 proving an earlier relationship.
The book "Iron Fist" indicates Kiekhaefer had three assembly lines churning out Sea King singles for Montgomery Ward, Wizard singles and twins for Western Auto and Mercury singles and twins for distribution thru Mercury dealers. Mr. Hunn in his book "Old Outboards" implies that making Wizards
for Western Auto began in 1946...several other
sources also make the same assertion.
Seems like a trivial nit to pick, but, obviously
there is some confusion as to a basic fact.
I am curious as to why not venting.
The early Kiekhaever outboards no matter the brand
are interesting and easy to work on. I think
a worthwhile subject for a book although
probably too narrowly focused subject matter
to be a best seller.
The website I use to help track down Wizard model information indeed lists Wizards going back to 1940 and provides model numbers, etc. for each of those years. Incidentally, 1940 was the year Mr. Kiekhaefer changed the name of his company from Thor to Kiekhaefer Mercury.
Prior to 1940, before Mr. Kiekhaefer renamed the company from Thor to Kiekhaefer Mercury, he was producing the Sea Kings for Monty Wards as well as those under the primary Thor brand. He continued the production of Sea Kings until 1947 during a period of overlap production with OMC. The Sea King line of motors and who manufactured them is a complex story. Seems like just about everyone made Sea Kings at one point in their history. However, quite a few made the Wizards, too.
Well, at least that is my understanding of things.