American Car Spotters Guide - 1946

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American Car Spotters Guide - 1946


By the end of the war roughly ten million Americans were in the market for new cars. Most manufacturers had launched their 1946 models in the summer and autumn of 1945, but production was hampered by shortage of materials and by strikes. Nevertheless, the one-millionth post-war car was built in August, 1946, and there were several new cars, including the Kaiser and the Frazer which were produced in the Willow Run plant (used by Ford for bomber production during the war).

In many ways the immediate predecessors of the' 46 models presented a cleaner, neater and more subtle appearance, a minimum but effective use of chrome having accentuated rather than overburdened their lines. Post-war abundance brought heavy chrome mouldings and the generally graceful curves of the' 42 types were blunted off, resulting in a heavy-handed styling of what had been basically sound and trim lines. Major body proportions differed little from those of fifteen years previously, the cars still high and narrow on their wheels. 'Liberty Ship' builder Henry J. Kaiser, allied with Joseph Washington Frazer, chairman of Graham-Paige, would drastically alter the dimension of the post-war American car.

The Kaiser-Frazer concern, with which Graham-Paige had merged, bought up the giant ex-Ford Willow Run plant from the U.S. government, where B-24 Liberator bombers had been built, and commenced to turn a new page in the styling of American cars. Howard Darrin was responsible for the design, and production at Willow Run which began in June, 1946. The lower priced Kaiser and the more expensive and luxurious Frazer were basically similar, with a wide slab-sided envelope body. All vestiges of fenders were gone, the windshield, despite the modern concept, was still a split t 'V' and, all in all, the relatively large cars presented an altogether clean and compact appearance despite their size, and were devoid of superfluous chrome trim. It was all new to the American car-buying public and a Kaiser or Frazer stood out among the '46 U.S. automobiles as very different from the run-of-the-mill.

Other new makes announced included Bobbi-Kar, Brogan, Comet, Darrin, Davis, Motorette, Playboy, Publix, Rocket, Super-Kar and Tucker. Their production, however, was minimal. The Automotive Golden Jubilee was celebrated in a big way in Detroit from 29 May to 9 June. Total production during 1945 and 1946 amounted to: cars, 1945: 69,532, 1946: 2,148,699, trucks and buses, 1945: 655,683,1946: 940,866. Their combined total value was more than US$4 billion.
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Buick Series 50 Super, Model 51 Sedan
USA

Buick

  Also see: Buick Road Tests and Reviews | Buick Brochures
 
Buick started its 1946 season in late 1945 with four Series 50 Super models (including an Estate Wagon, Model 59) and three Series 70 Roadmaster models. By mid 1946 two Series 40 Specials had reappeared. The Century Series 60 was dropped. The dash featured woodgrain effects on the Roadmaster, and the speedometer featured a trip odometer that could be re-set to 999.9 miles. A clock was located on the passenger side, being the same size and in the same location as the speedo.

The straight-8 O.H.V. engines had been in production since 1931, the Special and Super being fitted with a 248 CID 110 horsepower unit, while the Roadmaster was fitted with a 320.2 CID 144 horsepower unit. The 40 Special had a 121 inch wheelbase, the 50 Super a 124 inch wheelbase, and the 70 Roadmaster a 129 inch wheelbase. Prices ranged from $1391 to $2594. The 2 door Special, of which 34,425 were manufactured, cost $1741, the convertible Super cost $2046 (5987 built), the 4 door Super $1822 and the Roadmaster $2110. Total Buick production for 1946 was 153,627, of which 20,864 were Roadmasters, and 77,724 were Super Sedans. Shown: Series 50 Super, Model 51 Sedan.
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1946 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible Club Coupe
USA

Cadillac

  Also see: Cadillac Road Tests and Reviews | Cadillac Brochures
 
Cadillac offered four series 61, 62 ,60 Special and 75. Pictured left is the Series 62 Convertible Club Coupe. Engines were 150-bhp 346 CID V8s.
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1946 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 75
USA

Cadillac Fleetwood

  Also see: Cadillac Road Tests and Reviews | Cadillac Brochures
 
Cadiliac Fleetwood Series 75 7-passenger Touring Sedan was optionally available with dividing partition, for formal use. The wheelbase was 136 inches. Hydramatic was optional on all models.
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1946 Chevrolet Style Master
USA

Chevrolet Style Master

  Also see: Chevrolet Road Tests and Reviews | Chevrolet Brochures
 
Chevrolet Style Master Series OJ Model 1503 Sedan. Except for grille, bumpers and emblems it was same as 1942. Also available were Series OK Fleetmaster and Fleetline models. Australian production comprised Victory Stylemaster 1200 and Victory Fleetmaster 1000 models.
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1946 Chevrolet Fleetline
USA

Chevrolet Fleetline

  Also see: Chevrolet Road Tests and Reviews | Chevrolet Brochures
 
Chevrolet Fleetline Series OK Model 2144 Aerosedan.
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1946 Chrysler Town & Country Convertible
USA

Chrysler

  Also see: Chrysler Road Tests and Reviews | Chrysler Brochures
 
Chrysler Town & Country Convertible. The 1946 Chrysler range, which remained in production until February 1949, comprised the Royal C-38S and Windsor C-38W (6-cyl, 121½-inch wheelbase) and Saratoga C-39K and New Yorker C-39N (8-cyl., 127½-inch wheelbase). The Town & Country was available in five body styles on both the C-38W and the C-39N chassis and featured white ash with mahogany panels. The C-40 Crown Imperial had 145½-inch wheelbase.
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1946 Davis 3 Wheeler
USA

Davis

   
 
Davis was a new Californian three-wheeled 'fancy car' and seated four abreast. Few were made.
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1946 DeSoto Suburban
USA

DeSoto

  Also see: DeSoto Brochures
 
DeSoto 9-passenger 139½-inch wheelbase Suburban featured folding third seat. roof luggage rack and duo-tone paint finish. Regular DeSoto models were the S-11 DeLuxe and Custom, both with 121½-inch wheelbase and 236·7 CID engines. There was also a special export model, based on the Plymouth and designated SP-15C Diplomat. 1946 model DeSotos were in production from November 1945 to February 1949.
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1946 Dodge DeLuxe
USA

Dodge

  Also see: Dodge Road Tests and Reviews | Dodge Brochures
 
Dodge offered DeLuxe D-24S and Custom D-24C models on 119½-inch wheelbase, as well as a Plymouth-based export model with smaller engine, the D-25C Kingsway. The latter, with 117½-inch wheelbase, had the 217·8 CID 95-bhp engine (as Plymouth) as opposed to the 230.2 CID 102 bhp power unit of the regular models.
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1946 Fords
USA

Ford

  Also see: Ford Road Tests and Reviews | Ford Brochures
 
Ford started 1946 model production on 6 July 1945. Advertising was directed at the (near) future.
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1946 Ford Model 73B Super DeLuxe Fordor Sedan
USA

Ford

  Also see: Ford Road Tests and Reviews | Ford Brochures
 
Ford offered two basic series, both in either DeLuxe or Super DeLuxe versions: 69A with 100-bhp V8 engine, 6GA with 90-bhp Six. Body styles numbered eleven. Pictured left is the Model 73B Super DeLuxe Fordor Sedan. Cheapest model was 6-cyl. 3-passenger Coupe (71) at US$947.
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1946 Ford 69A-79B Super DeLuxe"Woodie" Station Wagon
USA

Ford

  Also see: Ford Road Tests and Reviews | Ford Brochures
 
Ford 69A-79B Super DeLuxe Station Wagon, popularly known as a "Woodie".
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1946 Ford 69A-79B Super DeLuxe"Woodie" Station Wagon
USA

Hudson

   
 
The Hudson Commodore Eight sedan was also available with six cylinder engine. Except for radiator grille they had same appearance as 1942 models. Their production started on 30th August 1945, and all had a 121 inch wheelbase chassis. The hood (bonnet) opened forward.
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1946 Kaiser Front Wheel Drive
USA

Kaiser

  Also see: Kaiser Road Tests and Reviews
 
Kaiser was first presented, in 1946, as a front-wheel drive car with unitary body/chassis and IFS/IRS (key: 1-engine: 2-clutch: 3-transmission: 4-final drive: A-stub axle: B-trailing arm: C-torsion bar, anchored at D). Production models, however, were of conventional design except for slab-sided bodywork.
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1946 Lincoln 66H Convertible Coupe
USA

Lincoln

  Also see: Lincoln Road Tests and Reviews | Lincoln Brochures
 
The Lincoln 66H was available as Sedan, Club Coupe and Convertible Coupe (shown in foreground). Also shown is the Lincoln Continental Coupe, which was priced at US$4125. The Continental was also available with soft top.
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1946 Mercury Eight 69M Convertible
USA

Mercury

  Also see: Mercury Road Tests and Reviews | Mercury Brochures
 
Mercury Eight 69M was available as Town Sedan, Sedan Coupe, Club Convertible and Station Wagon. The convertible was also available with wooden body panels (Sportsman). Post-war production of Ford's Mercury and Lincoln cars commenced on the 1st November 1945.
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1946 Nash Model 4640 Sedan
USA

Nash

  Also see: Nash Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Nash 600 had integral body/chassis unit and provided good fuel economy (up to 30 mpg). Nash sales in 1946 totalled 98,769 units, the highest since the late 1920s.
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1946 Nash Ambassador Brougham
USA

Nash Ambassador

  Also see: Nash Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Nash Ambassador Brougham Model 4663 looked like its counterpart in the 600 Series (Model 4643) but had 121-in (vs. 112-in) wheelbase and was easily distinguishable by its larger rear fender cut-outs. An 8-cyl. was not offered (as in 1942) In fact the first post-war 8-cyl. Nash was not introduced until 1955.
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1946 Nash Ambassador Model 4664 Surburban
USA

Nash Ambassador

  Also see: Nash Road Tests and Reviews
 
Several manufacturers, including Chrysler and Ford, offered cars with wooden body panels. This Nash was known as the Suburban and sold at US$1929.
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1946 Oldsmobile Series 98 Club Sedan
USA

Oldsmobile

  Also see: Oldsmobile Road Tests and Reviews | Oldsmobile Brochures
 
The Oldsmobile Series 98 Club Sedan had 8-in-line engine. Olds in 1946 sold 112,680 cars, including 12,891 Valiants for handicapped service men.
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1946 Packard DeLuxe Clipper Sedan
USA

Packard

  Also see: Packard Road Tests and Reviews
 
The first post-war Packard was built on 19 October 1945. 2,721 followed. In 1946, 42,102 cars were produced. Material shortages, strikes in supplier plants and one strike at Packard resulted in loss of 75 working days. By June, 14 body types, eight chassis and three engines were offered.
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1946 Plymouth Special DeLuxe P-15C
USA

Plymouth

  Also see: Plymouth Road Tests and Reviews | Plymouth Brochures
 
Plymouth DeLuxe P-15S and Special DeLuxe P-15C were produced from 1945 to 1949 with very little change. In export markets they were also sold as DeSoto Diplomat and Dodge Kingsway (with different grilles and badges).
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1946 Pontiac Torpedo Eight Series 27
USA

Pontiac

  Also see: Pontiac Road Tests and Reviews | Pontiac Brochures
 
The Pontiac Torpedo Eight Series 27 Sedan had a 248·9 CID engine, 119-inch wheelbase. Also available as Six (Series 25) in six body styles.
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1946 Pontiac Streamliner Eight Series 28

 

USA

Pontiac Streamliner

  Also see: Pontiac Road Tests and Reviews | Pontiac Brochures
 
Pontiac Streamliner Eight Series 28, Sedan Coupe had same engine as Torpedo, but 122-in. wb. Six was also available (Series 26). There were three body styles.

 


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1946 Studebaker Skyway Champion
USA

Studebaker

  Also see: Studebaker Road Tests and Reviews
 
Studebaker first produced 'face-lifted' 1942 models, then in May, introduced the first real post-war Studebakers, pioneering a new trend in car styling. The early 1946 models were all Skyway Champions (3 and 5 passenger coupes, Club sedan and Cruiser sedan).
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Willys-Overland Jeep
USA

Willys

  Also see: Willys Road Tests and Reviews
 
Willys-Overland commenced production of the civilian 'Universal Jeep' in June 1945. During the rest of that year 1824 were made, followed by 71,455 in 1946. The 'Universal' Model CJ2A had sealeddbeam headlights, steering column gearshift and a tailgate.
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Willys-Overland Model 4-634 Station Wagon
USA

Willys-Overland

  Also see: Willys Road Tests and Reviews
 
Willys-Overland introduced its Model 4-634 x 2 Station Wagon in July 1946. It had seven seats (six from late 1947) and was kept in production virtually unchanged for several years.
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