Car production was stalled during WWII and didn’t begin to pick up again until around 1946.
After the intensity of rationing during the war, it’s easy to see why people started to value the luxury car market. Several notable post-war beauties won the hearts of motorists who had been denied so much for so long. But there are also a couple of practical, hard-working cars that came onto the scene as a direct result of the utility that the war demanded in vehicle design. We take a look at a healthy variety of both.
The Willys-Overland Jeep was certainly the hardy workhorse of the war era. American troops needed a practical and robust four-wheel drive to navigate dangerous war zones with relative ease. This vehicle was produced speedily, cheaply and in high numbers. They were also easy to fix in a tight situation and could traverse many different types of terrain.
1949 Jaguar XK120.
At the other end of the spectrum comes the 1949 Jaguar XK120, one of the most iconic sports cars of the era. This car put Jaguar back on the automobile scene after the war. It held the title of the fastest vehicle on the market for nearly a decade, reaching 132 mph. The Jaguar XK120 was easily the embodiment of post-war luxury.
Want to see which classic cars were popular in the 1930s? Check out this article!
1946 ½ tonne Chevrolet Pickup.
The 1946 ½ tonne Chevrolet Pickup is a fine example of American wartime vehicle practicality fused with sleek 1940s automobile design. This sturdy vehicle was more durable and powerful than Chevy’s pre-war trucks and pays homage to those trucks the company built for the military during the war. The 1946 pickup truck is also the last example of this unique design, as the model was only in production for a year before Chevrolet launched their “advanced design” trucks.
1948 Bristol 401.
Another high profile sports car of the 1940s, the Bristol 401 stunned the wealthy with its ability to accelerate from zero to sixty in just over fifteen seconds. Many improvements had been made on the 400 model, including winding windows, as well as a bonnet and boot controlled by interior buttons. The bodywork was sophisticated, with an aerodynamic design. Certainly a highlight for British automobiles during this era.