Vintage Pin Up: David Wright

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Saturday Car Post: Wartime Fords

Reader Question:

Have you ever heard
that 
there were
American-made

cars that were registered
and titled as 1943,
1944,
and 1945 Fords?

Yes, indeed.

And, you’re probably
wondering how such
a thing could be –
considering all the
major U.S. automakers
stopped making civilian
cars in early 1942 for the
duration of World War II,
and didn’t resume until
the 1946 models.

Still, both facts
are true –

Because a large number
of the 1942 Fords made
were held back for U.S.
government use and
for other “war-essential”
personnel.

And some states issued
the titles on those cars
based, not on date of
manufacture, but on the
date it was first registered.

Also, certain Ford plants
continued to produce
military ‘staff cars’ based
on the 1942 model
(mostly 4 doors-
the ‘Fordor’, but also
pickup trucks ) all the way
up to the end of the war.

Other manufacturers
were making staff cars
during this period
as well —
for example,
General Eisenhower
had a Packard Clipper,
Buick made such a car
called the Century
Series 60, and Plymouth
made the P-11.

The cars were equipped
with basic equipment,
and then modified for
their specific use, so it’s
not uncommon to find
a large variance in their
options and interior layouts.

One of my favorite features
on the Fords made at that
time was the manual start
mechanism – usually, the
car would be started with
the electric ignition- but
in case of a flat battery,
a crank could be inserted
into the front engine
compartment and fire the
car.

This feature was discontinued
after the war.

Thanks for your question !

.