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Tag: wwii

January 10, 1942 – Ford earns WWII Jeep contract
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January 10, 1942 – Ford earns WWII Jeep contract

A Ford Jeep on Utah Beach, photography on July 18, 1944. Prior to the US entering WWII, the U.S. Army contacted 135 companies asking for prototypes of a four wheel drive reconnaissance car. Only two responded, American Bantam and Willys-Overland. After American Bantam delivered their working model for testing on September 21, 1941, the Army found it met nearly all of their criteria, except for a few issues with underperformance, such as engine torque. The Army was adamant about producing a vehicle that met very strict standards.  The blueprints for the American Bantam vehicle, which the Army took ownership of, were sent to Willys and Ford, along with a list of hopeful improvements. Ultimately, Willys hit the mark and the Willys MB earned a production contract. As the United Sta...
December 27, 1941 – USA begins WWII tire rationing
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December 27, 1941 – USA begins WWII tire rationing

The United States Federal Office of Price Administration (OPA) began its first rationing program to support WWII efforts on this day in 1941, limiting the number of tires any automobile driver could own to five. This included the existing tires on any vehicle already owned by a driver. Originally designed as a consumer protection agency to stabilize prices and rents to prevent unwarranted increases, the OPA shifted its mission to limiting purchases of certain goods once WWII broke out. Aside from tires, this included the rationing of cars, metal, typewriters, bicycles and food, among other items. Essential drivers could apply for a certificate to purchase new tires through an OPA program. Vehicles deemed as essential included transport trucks for foods or fuels, public transportati...
December 21, 1945 – General Patton dies following mysterious car accident
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December 21, 1945 – General Patton dies following mysterious car accident

Patton's wrecked Cadillac On December 9, 1945, U.S. General George S. Patton, received an invitation from his chief of staff, Major General Hobart Gay, to go pheasant hunting off-base, near his German post. Patton, riding next to his preferred chauffeur, Private H.L. Woodring, noticed the dog belonging to their hunting guide was riding in an open top Jeep behind them. Believing the dog to be cold, Patton asked his driver to pull over and bring the dog into their car. In doing so, Patton moved to the rear of the vehicle, and allowed the dog to ride upfront. It was a simple act of kindness toward an animal that would prove fatal.  Not long after their pit stop, Patton observed burned hulks of automobiles on the side of the road. To this he said, "How awful war is. Think of the waste."...
May 15, 1942 – Gas rationing begins in US for WWII efforts
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May 15, 1942 – Gas rationing begins in US for WWII efforts

On this day in 1942, 17 states in the eastern United States began gas rationing at the order of the Office of Price Administration, as the effort to preserve materials for World War II ramped up. Gasoline was not the only commodity being rationed. Rubber was the first material to have a rationing program initiated by the OPA, in part due to the Japanese invasion of the Dutch East Indies, which cut off major rubber supplies to the US. Tires for wartime vehicles were a necessity, which meant non essential drivers had limited access to new or used tires for their personal vehicles. This Day in Automotive Historhttps://special-deluxe.creator-spring.com/listing/day-in-automotive-historyy Logo Tee Various levels of gas stamps were issued, based on levels of importance. Your average motori...
March 28, 1941 – Construction begins at Ford’s Willow Run
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March 28, 1941 – Construction begins at Ford’s Willow Run

Construction of Ford Motor Company’s WIllow Run manufacturing plant began on this day in 1941. Ford built it to manufacture aircraft for Allies involved in WWII, which the United States would join the following December.  The plant, located between Ypsilanti and Belleville, Michigan, primarily produced B-24 Liberator bombers. Once full production of the Liberator started in October of 1941 it did not stop until May of 1945. Willow Run produced more than half of all Liberators.  Ford funded the construction of the plant but sold it to the government upon completion, with a lease agreement for Ford’s manufacturing efforts. When the white flags flew, Ford declined to purchase it back, but Kaiser-Frazer was able to secure ownership. In 1953 General Motors purchased the plant and...
August 7, 1944 – VW halts production due to WWII
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August 7, 1944 – VW halts production due to WWII

Adolf Hitler was thrilled with Ferdinand Porsche’s design of his Volkswagen, or “People’s Car.” It was the perfect tool to put the German people behind the wheel of an affordable car. To build these new cars, Hitler ordered the construction of a new factory town, which would be named Stadt des KdF-Wagens bei Fallersleben. The city was dedicated in 1941 and its factories churned to life. Expectantly, it wasn’t just the new Volkswagen KdF Wagens that were coming off the assembly lines. Along with a small handful of insect shaped cars that came be known as Beetles, the assembly lines pumped out military Schwimmwagens and Kübelwagens. Both of these were also designed by Porsche. As the war raged on and allied bombing raids grew closer and closer to the factories, it became apparent that Peopl...

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