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Information on 1940 vehicles
1940 vehicles were unique in the sense they were near the tail end of massive production numbers. That year 4,680,000 vehicles were produced in the United States. The numbers slowly began to dwindle over the next couple of years and in 1942, all production companies stopped for 4 years due to World War II. During this time, if you owned a vehicle, you were believed to have power and money.
Having gotten out of World War I and the threat of another war in the air, a quarter ton four-wheel drive military vehicle was developed by Chrysler. What would eventually become the Jeep was being commissioned by the military. Chrysler also introduced their new vehicle called the Town & Country this year. This would be the last vehicle that would be overseen by Walter P. Chrysler who passed away this year, a loss that was felt in the 1940 automotive industry.
A major improvement to 1940 vehicles was introduced by Plymouth. The All Weather Air Control System allowed heating, cooling and ventilation to become possible in vehicles. This maintained a constant temperature in the vehicle and the technology would continue to advance over the years.
The war that was taking place almost caused the 1940 vehicles produced to be their last. The company saw sales of their vehicles drop to only 5,900 units that year. However, on September 6, 1940, Volvo gained quite a bit of publicity for selling their 50,000th vehicle, giving them the boost they needed to make it through the difficult years.
The following list is of the remaining vehicles that were introduced in 1940.
Cadillac Series 62
Gillig Transit Coach School Bus
GM "old-look" transit bus
One other event of significance that took place this year was the end of the LaSalle line of vehicles. The company went defunct this year after it was determined there wasn't enough of a demand for their 1940 vehicles.
Overall, the 1940 automotive year was one that would have an impact on the industry. From the improved technology to the quality craftsmanship, car manufacturers truly delivered their best during this year.