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From the Curator

Auto Memories II


During World II, the Ford Motor Company threw all its weight into the Victory effort with single minded thoroughness - into 8,600 Liberator bombers at Willow Run, into 278,000 Jeeps, 57,000 aircraft engines, and a mass of other military equipment totaling 656,000 units all told.

At wars end, Ford became the first to convert their factories back to peacetime manufacturing, producing the first civilian passenger car in July of l945, only five days after the last Liberator bomber.

Handicapped by plant reorganization for civilian production after the peace, and in management by the untimely death of the company President Edsel Ford in 1943, it is understandable that small changes were made in Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln cars during the years 1946-1947 and 1948.


I had a good friend whose uncle always bought MOON, one of my favorites. Moon's were made in St. Louis. My friend's uncle was in St. Louis and wanted to see the Moons being built. He went to the factory but found it closed.

A fellow walking by said that the workers were at lunch but to wait a few minutes. Soon a group of men arrived and invited him into the factory. Low and behold, the factory was bare. "Where are the cars?", he asked.

"Oh, we won't make production until we have enough orders for a run," he was told. This is the way a number of small companies operated.

When the factory was down, "The Moon was Down." When they were building cars, "The Moon was Full."


Oakland organized and became a producer in 1907. The company became a division of General Motors in 1909.

Oakland was never a large producer and it was considered to be a good car. In the mid-twenties to 1931 the "companion car" was 'in'.

Cadillac had the LaSalle, Buick the Marquette, Olds the Viking, REO the Wolverine, Nash the Ajax, Chandler the Cleveland, Studebaker the Rockney, and Oakland had the Pontiac.

The Pontiac was just a step above the Chevrolet in price and was a six cylinder car. Sales of the Pontiac far outstripped the Oakland.

In 1931 the Oakland was dropped and became history. The V/8 came out in 1931. The engine used was called the Northway. The last years of production were very stylish and a V/8 was offered.


All production Paige cars in 1925 had a white face in the dash. Custom cars had a black face.

The price of the 1925 Paige Custom Town Brogham when new was $3,000. plus. It has a Laundelet style, non-folding; Body by Robbins and custom coach work. This puts it in a more select group of cars with Packard, Peerless, Cadillac, Pierce Arrow, etc.

There was an economic shutdown in 1922, 1923 & 1924, and a large number of low producers were forced to the wall - 1923 was the last year for the Stephens, for example. As a result, it is somewhat hard to find cars from 1921 through 1924.

By 1925 the straight 8 was in, and the 6 was runner up. Paige sales were down in 1925. Luxury cars were 8's.


In 1925, the average speed limit was 25 mph, in 1929 it was 30 mph. When the Ford V/8 arrived it was 35 mph. By 1935, it had climbed to 45 mph.

John Dudley

By John Dudley
     Owner & Curator from 1967 - 2004

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