Wednesday, June 13, 2007

world war II automobile tips department

The Automobile User's Guide With Wartime Suggestions
Way, way back, I posted the self quiz on the inside front cover of this guidebook produced by GM during World War II. Try it and see how many you can answer before the answers are revealed over the coming months.

I found this guide amidst the new arrivals of used magazines at the K/W Book Exchange in Kitchener. As you read, keep in mind the rationing mindset of the war years and contrast the tips on how to prolong the life of your fine North American automobile to the disposable nature of most modern technology (case in point: I just tossed out a print that gave up the ghost after less than two years of service). Posts will be limited to two-to-four pages from the guide, warts and all - let's say some of the accompanying cartoons are on the non-PC side.

Onto page 1. If you'd like, rig up some chimes in the background, like those childhood book-and-record sets.

AUG - Page 1
"Information not generally available" - how tantalizing. But would the information for new drivers help them pass the driving exam?

The roots of General Motors in Oshawa go back to around 1876-77, when Robert McLaughlin moved his carriage shop south from Enniskillen (a plaque and model displayed in a shed on the family farm site in Tyrone mark McLaughlin's earliest ventures). The business was inherited by his sons Sam and George, who entered into an automobile manufacturing agreement with Buick in 1908. A decade later, the company was sold outright to GM, with Sam becoming president of Canadian operations. The McLaughlin-Buick name was phased out in 1942, not long before this guide.

AUG - Page 2
That I have a copy indicates previous owners followed these suggestions to the letter. The directions are indicative of the conservative measures undertaken during the war.

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