American Cars, 1946–1959: Every Model, Year by Year. Arranged year by year, this book includes all cars offered for sale in the United States by major American manufacturers in model years 1946 through 1959. For each of these model years, the reader will find an overview of developments affecting the automobile industry, followed by an annual status report of each nameplate and extensive data about every model sold that year: production numbers, pricing, specifications and dimensions, standard equipment and major options, paint color choices, running changes from the previous model year, and other information.
Trucks are not included in this book, but each year’s commentary includes brief remarks on events surrounding truck production by the major car manufacturers. Willys-Overland’s Station Wagon and Jeepster models are not included within this book as they were truck based vehicles, even though they were considered cars by the National Automobile Dealers Association and Willys marketed them as alternatives to traditional cars. See Appendix One, which provides an overview of minor makes, for more information on these unique vehicles. Likewise, this book excludes limited production models by aftermarket coach builders, “chassis only” and “commercial chassis” (such as those built by Cadillac, and others, for aftermarket conversions to ambulances, hearses or limousines) and the products of small, independent makes without traditional dealer networks. Checker, for example, did not have a nationwide dealer network and sold nearly all of its production for fleet service. Therefore, the Checker is not included herein.
Also, in the immediate postwar seller’s market, nu-|merous small entrepreneurs made attempts at building cars, most producing only a handful, others producing as many as several hundred per year, but these are not included as they were never mass market vehicles. Examples of such cars include the Dual Ghia, Muntz, Tucker and Playboy vehicles. Appendix One provides summary information on makes that produced fewer than 500 units per year.
- I. Minor Makes from the Immediate Postwar Period
- II. Transmission Types
- III. Engine Types
- IV. 1950s Dream Cars
- V. Milestones
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