No. 145: Dodge Goes to War

It’s well known that America was hardly ready for a global conflict when one crash-landed on its lap on Dec. 7, 1941. Our nation had to gear up, and fast, for a war that would spread across oceans and continents. That included building trucks. Dodge responded with the WC, a series of half- and three-quarter-tonContinue reading “No. 145: Dodge Goes to War”

No. 144: The Loadmaster

It was running when I parked it, No. 144: The Loadmaster. This old hoss carried melons from the farms of south Georgia to the freight yards of Atlanta. It trundled bundles of bright leaf to warehouses in Greenville and Rocky Mount. It carried pumpkins from central Michigan to trucking terminals in Kalamazoo. It took hardhattedContinue reading “No. 144: The Loadmaster”

No. 143: A Fleeting Moment Before the War

The Chevrolet Fleetline bowed in 1941 … just in time for Chevy executives to shelve the automaker’s family-car-for-all and turn their attention to making tanks. Plans for a roomy, inline-6-powered car with three speeds on the column languished until the end of World War II. By 1947, Chevrolet was going full-tilt making an array ofContinue reading “No. 143: A Fleeting Moment Before the War”

No. 119: One More Model Before War

The new Ford was different than its predecessors. It had three-piece fenders — it would be easier, engineers figured, to replace a small part than an entire fender in the event of an accident — and came in three models: Standard, Deluxe and (new that year) Super Deluxe. Also debuting that year: two heaters! AsContinue reading “No. 119: One More Model Before War”

No. 117: Look! In That Arizona Sky! It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s ….

…a 1948 Chevy Fleetline. See the fancy chrome strips along that absurdly long front fender? The four doors? Those details identify this as the Sportmaster, Chevrolet’s top-of-the-line family sedan. Powered by an inline six, with three on the column, the Fleetline series was an interstate mainstay until 1955. That’s when the Tri-Five line of carsContinue reading “No. 117: Look! In That Arizona Sky! It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s ….”

No. 111: Dowdy But Dependable

The lowly Dodge. It always ran a few paces behind the flashier Fords and GMs of the post-war models crowding those fancy new highways, the interstates. It was reliable, yes, but … … but it never seemed as fancy. This 1948 Dodge D 24 turns a plain face to passersby in Glenwood, Ore., 2,610 milesContinue reading “No. 111: Dowdy But Dependable”