Guest Post – When Making A Car Was Illegal – GPCox

I remember when I first wrote this – it took many readers by surprise! Hope you all enjoy it!

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

This is the latest Guest Post from gpcox all about the vehicles in service during World War II and a little about what the American Family had to sacrifice back home.

When Making a Car Was Illegal

After Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt ordered all car manufacturers to cease the production of private automobiles and convert the factories to produce military

Utility Truck Utility Truck

vehicles, weaponry, airplane engines, parts, etc.  But, this would not put an end to man’s love affair with the automobile.  A car manual became priceless to a private owner and a truck manual was an absolute necessity for a farmer or businessman.  With the rationing of gasoline in the U.S., the “National Victory Speed” was 35 mph and driving clubs were encouraged. (Our modern day car-pools).

Automobiles were produced in massive quantities before the Great Depression and this brought the price down considerably.  Then, the stock market crashed…

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on April 22, 2018, in Home Front, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 62 Comments.

  1. I have read your post. This is really great and nice. Thanks for sharing with us.
    vehicles-background-replacement

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That was awesome, GP! Thank you! These little nuances of history are so easy to get lost, I’m so thankful you’re preserving them so we won’t forget. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As “56 PackardMan”, I certainly appreciate your references to Packard! 🙂
    Here’s my post on the Packard Merlin engines https://56packardman.com/2017/03/28/gear-head-tuesday-packard-and-the-merlin-engine/
    and here’s my post on the V-12s Packard built for the PT boats:
    https://56packardman.com/2015/12/08/gear-head-tuesday-packard-v-12-powered-pt-boats/

    Seldom remembered today is the fact that an important part of Packard’s business was its marine and aviation engine business.

    Packard even built a diesel aviation business.

    Packard landed a contract to build the J-47 jet engine. The cash flow from that project would have largely funded the planned, but alas unbuilt, all-new ’57 Packards (and Studebakers). Ike had appointed former GM Chairman Charles Wilson as Secretary of Defense. Wilson knew that Packard was making a determined effort to recover the “luxury car crown” it had handed to Cadillac when it began emphasizing cars in the Buick-Oldsmobile-Chrysler price class. Wilson yanked Packard’s J-47 contract. That action really started the dominos falling for Packard …

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, you really know how to bring history to life gp, this post is a perfect example mate.
    Your site is a veritable archive of Military history.
    Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Our wartime car was a Plymouth Coupe. It had no self-starter and had to be cranked or push-started, But it went and went and went …

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I would love the speed limit to be 35 mph…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m always amazed at how fast some things disappeared. And were only replicated with great difficulty later. I guess there were more important things on our mind.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Great guest post, GP! It’s interesting to learn how making car was illegal, I had no idea and no wonder everyone had to share cars and they became so important. Car manuals barely exist these days as it’s so difficult to fix a car oneself with all the electronics etc … they must have been a life-line when so much was dependant on sorting by oneself. Fascinating post!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post on one of my favorite subjects. Packard in its heyday had the slogan, “Ask the man that owns one.” They were considered to be “America’s Rolls Royce.” My father in WWII, drove a GMC 2 1/2 ton 6×6–like the ones mentioned in the post. Many Studebaker US 6 model heavy trucks were sent to Russia. They were appreciated for their ruggedness and reliability.

    Liked by 2 people

    • They were indeed cream of the crop – it would be great to have one today, in the world of ‘planned obsolescence.’ Judy’s grandfather had one, you two have something in common.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow, you learn something new everyday. I did not know this.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Such sacrifices they went through during the war. This would never happen in todays society.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Wow! I did not realize this.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. What a great post. I hadn’t connected all those dots–how American production filled the military’s needs. Thanks for this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Very welcome, Jacqui. I always look forward to your remarks. On your site, I’m always too far out of my league to comment much!! I’ll just never be a pro-writer. Oops, think I’ve told you that a time or two – haven’t I?

      Like

  14. A radical thought on Earth Day: maybe we should make producing cars illegal again!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Great post! I commented on your site.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. What an interesting post! I had never heard that making civilian cars was actually ‘illegal’ at one time. I know much was dedicated to the war effort, but this was a very intriguing new fact. It is stuff like this that makes your blog even more interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. The Jeep was a wonderful vehicle going through rough terrain and the jeep surplus did not go to waste after the war. Filipinos made good use of them by converting them into passenger vehicles by lengthening the bodies and painting them with vivid colors making them famous as Filipino jeepneys.
    I can’t imagine the “Privilege of Denial” today.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Glad to hear those iconic vehicles weren’t wasted! I know what you man about the “Denial” either!! It actually makes me laugh to think about – if it wasn’t (in reality) quite sad.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Fab post GP, I’d be lost without my car!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. this is so surprising to me and explains so much as well –

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I commented on the full post, too, but wanted to add here how much I enjoyed it. For one thing, it helps to explain why my dad and his friends were slow to get cars after they graduated from high school and started working. I’ve always known that being unable to afford a car was part of it, but now it occurs to me that a car might have been hard to come by.

    I also mentioned how remarkable even the thought of denial would be today. I’ll spare you my rant about that, except to say that our society as a whole is extraordinarily privileged, and in many ways remains extraordinarily unaware of that truth. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Hi, GP. I left my comment (and a link) on the main site.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

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