1942-01-01

Effect of War Development on POST-WAR CAR DESIGN 420106

THE post-war car will have about the same general appearance as the pre-war car, but it will be better streamlined, more efficient, and lighter. Although it will be smaller, it will be long enough to ride well and wide enough to carry three people in the front seat. Performance will be almost as good as that of present-day cars, and gasoline economy will be better. Price will be lower than that of the 1942 models.
The foregoing is a brief composite picture of the post-war car as envisioned by a majority of passenger-car engineers queried by Mr. Jardine. These opinions were sent to the author in answer to a questionnaire sent out to a number of engineers who will have most to do with design of the post-war car. Excerpts from a number of these opinions are quoted in this paper.
Discussing the effect of the length of the war and of inventories, Mr. Jardine opines that, if the war comes to a sudden end, the first post-war car brought out will be the same as the 1942 models from a design standpoint, to be followed by the real post-war car after sufficient time has elapsed really to develop a new car.
With an estimated production of aluminum 6½ times that of 1939 by the end of 1943, and with a steadily falling price trend of this metal, he sees an ever-increasing amount of aluminum used in passenger cars, much of it in parts never before made of aluminum in production. By the use of aluminum and with careful design, he contends, the weight of the average car can be reduced 1000 lb without reducing the car size noticeably. More magnesium will be used, he believes, for the same reasons. Plastics also will be used in increasing amounts, he predicts, but he does not look for applications other than trim and small parts for some time.
With reference to fuel, he reports the general belief that 80-octane gasoline will be the regular grade; 100-octane gasoline, the premium grade. The price will be up due to taxes.
Although the rear-engine car is receiving more attention than ever before, Mr. Jardine reports that there are only a few engineers who believe that some post-war cars will be built with this engine arrangement. The frameless chassis, he believes, will find new applications in post-war cars. Hydraulic drives, with either fluid flywheels or torque converters, it is predicted, will come into increasing use.

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