“Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan… No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.”
Great stuff Dave. Amazing how our country came together. My Dad, Iowa farm kid, was the head mechanic on the Santee in the Pacific. There was nothing he could not fix with pliers and some bailing wire. Never talked about the war til later in life when his ship mates starting having ship reunions. Truly, the greatest generation.
I believe the handful of cars produced in calendar year 1942 had "blackout trim" - aka, no more chrome.
Nash and the other independent car companies really let their freak flags fly in the postwar period. It wasn't until 1949 when one of the Big Three (Ford) came out with a really new design. Sadly, by the early fifties the "step-down" Hudson and the "forwards or backwards?" Studebaker were passe.
Great article, but I have to make a few points. The Willow Run plant never made cars prior to the war. It was commissioned as a B-24 Liberator facility (first as component production, then assembly) and was dedicated in June of ‘41. An interesting side note about Willow Run is that the complex was located in two counties, Wayne and Washtenaw. The B-24 assembly line made a 90 degree turn to keep all of the expensive tooling in low-tax Washtenaw County, while the administrative offices were in Wayne.
As you probably already know, Henry Ford was famous for “cutting costs”. Here is an anecdote that illustrates that fact that your readers may find interesting. When Ford was awarded the contract for the GPW, they were essentially identical to the Willys version with all parts being interchangeable. Ford was concerned about having to warranty parts that were not “Ford” parts. To solve this problem, many parts (including bolts) were cast or stamped with the script Ford “F” to help identify who deserved the warranty claim.
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Sorry not to see the 1942 DeSoto, which was the first mainstream (leaving out the Cord) American auto to have concealed headlamps.
Being an apologist for the GOP while trying to have a public conversation about mental illness is some seriously funny stuff, Dave. Like a vegan McDonald's exec.
That Packard Clipper can't be a sedan, as the Clipper was only a four-window design, not a six-window. It must have been an ambulance conversion.
That 1942 Oldsmobile looks pretty sad for being only two years old!