Vehicles of the 40's
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1940 Plymouth P-10 Deluxe Convertible Coupe

1940 was a pivotal year for Plymouth, marking the introduction of a line of cars that were all new from road to roof.  Built on a sturdy X-braced perimeter frame with a 117 inch wheel base, they were longer and wider than their predecessors with a corresponding increase in interior room.  The engine sat farther forward by four inchs and the passengers sat closer to the center of the wheelbase for better weight distribution and riding comfort.  Plymouth's familiar flathead six lived under the hood.  With a bore and stroke of 3 1/8" x 4 3/8" for a total displacement of 201 cubic inches its dimensions were unchanged.  But net horsepower was up due mostly to improved metal finishing.  The standard engine with a 6.7 to 1 compression now produced 84 bhp, up 2 bhp from the previous year.  Chunky but handsome, in 1940 Plymouth set the styling theme that Chrysler would follow for the next decade.

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1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt

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1947 Buick 79 Station Wagon

The post-World War II exodus from the city to the suburbs dictated a new form of transportation, popularizing the station wagon.  Buick described the 1947 Super Estate Wagon as "a mixture of the practical and the smart -- a blend of opening-night correctness with wide-open spaces informality."  Although the 1947 models were little changed in mechanics or style from their immediate predecessors, Buicks advertising stressed the 1947 models new refinement, comfort, and glamour.  "Here is room -- and restfulness --   and appointments in the finest of taste,"  one ad declared.  The 1947 Buick's grill followed the 1946 pattern -- a concept that would be continued with only minor modifications through the 1954 model year, and would eventually become nearly as famous as the VentiPort portholes that arrived in 1949.  Three hundred of these $3,249 Model 79 Estate Wagons were produced in 1947.

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Feb. 3, 2010