Colorized photo from 1942, May Original title: Automobile store on 14th Street which has stock of frozen cars Photographer: John Collier Jr. Location: 1712 14th St NW, Washington DC
During World War 2, as the war continued, everything from gas to food had to be rationed out, cars were included in that. Car companies had to retool to make tanks and trucks for the war. There were only a small number of new cars made in the early 1940's. And of those, they were all bought by the government and then rationed out to only certain people.
The government stockpile, had requirements: They had to be a doctor, police, firefighter, farmers and a few other essential people were allowed to buy new. And only if they had at least one car that had more than 40,000 miles on it.
As for the rest, they had to buy it as a used car. This dealership that used to sell new cars, only sold used ones. And I guess had to test drive it by rolling back and forth on the showroom floor. I can't imagine them rolling the cars in and out just for a test drive. Bet getting the ones on the side were hard to remove if they sold it, they would have to empty the room just to get it out.
January 30th, 2023
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