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Wartime car production - Big Three

The lack of 1943-1945 model-year cars reminds us that the country’s great auto industry, by government decree, ceased civilian car and truck production in early February 1942 and switched to producing a wide gamut of military hardware. With raw materials diverted for wartime production, carmakers substituted painted trim for chrome on final 1942 models, giving them a drab appearance.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2015/05/22/wartime-cars.

“Drab appearance” is an interesting comment in the article.

40s-50s customizers minimized trim, chopped roofs, sectioned bodies, etc. all of which the factory designers were doing in house by the late 50s. They did keep the chrome and such much longer I will concede. Though a lot of the concept drawings were cleaner overall than production cars.

The monochrome paint fad was more 80s-90s street rods than anything else (aside from every car company doing all black editions of things --still happening today).

I think things like this civilian defense Studebaker look great, and foreshadowed styles to come:

image Source: https://www.militarytrader.com/military-vehicles/1942-studebaker-chicago-civilian-defense-automobile