An article in the February 28, 2016 issue of Automotive News revealed that within two months of the December 7, 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor, the last civilian car came off the assembly line, and auto manufactures began making tanks, halftracks and numerous other vehicles for the war effort.
When Nancy and I were growing up in Gettysburg in 1945, World War II was coming to an end, and in July of that year, wartime restrictions on automotive production ended. Once again, factories throughout the country, began concentrating on making cars for the general public.
In March of 1946, one of the first cars to arrive in Gettysburg was the new DeSoto Deluxe with fluid drive. It was on display at Phiel’s Garage on York Street, and it was the first new model since 1942.
An article in the Star & Sentinel in March of 1946 reported that more than 400 people visited the Glenn C. Bream car dealer on Chambersburg Street in Gettysburg to see the new Plymouth and the new Chrysler.
The earliest mention of a new Ford in the Gettysburg area we discovered was a report of an accident in May involving a 1946 model.
The end of the war meant new cars and the end of gas rationing. As a result, the local Chamber of Commerce reported that inquiries more than tripled in the first two months of 1946 compared to the same period in 1945. The tourists would soon return to Gettysburg!