Post War Cars: The Story

3 years 2 months ago - 3 years 1 month ago #1053 by JP
JP created the topic: Post War Cars: The Story

Oldsmobile Advertisement February of 1945

As you might expect, after World War II it took a while before anyone started thinking about restoring the auto industry. In order to have an industry you need to have people who are clamoring for the newest invention. Europe was not in good shape. In fact, the Mercedes factory was barely still standing. Britain took a pounding and its auto cities, Birmingham and Coventry were more a memory than a sight to behold.

1946 Cadillac Model 62 Sedan

1947 Pontiac Streamliner Stationwagen

Fortunately the war was unsuccessful in reaching the shores of America. It tried to come but we were able to keep free from the destruction of Hitler and the Asian enemy. So, after the surrender of its foes, the United States amazingly was still in a position to manufacture new cars. All the car builders needed were buyers.

1945 Oldsmobile 75 Deluxe Coupe

1945 Oldsmobile 98

Yes, the war was devastating to everyone, everywhere. But, as the war slowly ebbed behind us our thoughts turned back to the things we enjoy most, like driving! Now that was good news to the auto industry. Cars in Europe that weren’t damaged by the bombings commanded a premium in resale prices. Thus, a market for new cars was emerging once again. Great news!

1946 Ford

1948 Chrysler Town & Country

Still, even with things turning back around, this environment did not paint as pretty a picture as we are being led to believe was coming back. The truth is, in the USA, economic conditions were not quite as rosy as one would suspect if they were looking at us from a war-torn Europe. Even though the U.S. industrial complex was not ravaged by strategic bombing, our economy did suffer from the ceaseless production of war materials, much of which has never been paid for by our European allies. Because of this shortfall in recovering war expenses, there were many scarcities, for example, steel, glass, copper and rubber were often not readily available. And to exacerbate our headache, the trade unions began to flex their muscles and many companies were affected by long strikes. As we have seen in modern times, strikes at the Ford or GM plants were becoming a common occurrence in the motor industry.

1946 Ford V8 Deluxe Tudor Sedan

Despite the adversities described above, the U.S. auto makers were still producing cars by the million in 1945 to export them around the world to whoever needed them. Beware; these cars were not the cars we saw earlier with great style like the Cord and the Mercedes cars. I don’t think many cars from the mid to late 1940s fall into that classic range. These post war cars consisted of a separate chassis into which was fitted a straight six, side valve engine of around 4-litre (240 cu in) capacity, mated to a three-speed column shift gearbox. The bodywork was pre-war in style, but the cars gave people what they needed at that time: effortless high speed cruising and plenty of interior space.

1946 Ford Convertible

1947 Ford Super Deluxe Convertible

As you might imagine, the classic American cars of the pre-war day were already but a distant, fond memory to many. However, there are always the visionaries who see the wisdom in keeping certain special cars with the hope those gems will escalate in value with time. Amazingly, many people who bought cars in the late 1920s and in the 1930s were optimistic collectors who believed their car would do just that. And they proved to be right. Cars that had special value and meaning were the Auburn, Cord, Duesenberg, Marmon, Mercer, Pierce-Arrow and the Stutz. Collecting cars was becoming vogue. Thus, the emphasis of car designers was once again on an ambition of creating new jewels that the mass public would faun over once again. With this new philosophy in mind, car production soared back to volumes of great prosperity. In fact, the U.S. automakers produced 6.6 million cars in 1950. 1945 marked the close of World War II and 1950 marked a timeline where the resurgence of cars once again became a big part of the American dream.

1945 Chrysler Advertisement

Dodge Plymouth Desota Automobiles

1945 Ford Super Deluxe

1945 Ford Super Deluxe Convertible

Hope you enjoyed these cars. They appear sturdy but the styling just is not there yet. By the way, post cars for sale here, parts for sale, businesses and anything else you'd find at a big ole' swap meet. JP

(About JP: He is the author of the book, Terrorism Defeated: God’s Plan to Win the War on Terror which was released in 2008. He loves the classic car community and has made a commitment to partner with his brother to bring you a website that is a worldwide swap meet you can visit every day on your computer to find classic car parts, cars to buy or sell, or the opportunity to link your automotive needs to one of this website’s advertisers and/or experts.)

Cheers, Fast Eddie, Founder Ed's Swap
Last Edit: 3 years 1 month ago by JP.

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