Automobiles In The 1930

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Automobiles In The 1930’s Essay, Research Paper Automobiles in the 1930’s The 1930’s will always be remembered for the dark times during the Great Depression. It was during this time that automobiles acquired nearly all the features that are evident today. Driving was confined to the middle and upper classes. The automobile industry did not fare well during the 1930’s; however, it was during this time that some of the major automobiles that are with us today were created. This paper focuses on automobiles during the 1930’s. This paper will cover the construction of automobiles during the 1930’s. This paper will also discuss popular automobiles during the 1930’s. The purpose of automobiles and their effect on society will also be covered in this paper.

Information for this paper will be gathered from books and the Internet. The “Big Three” were Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors. They emerged during the great depression, when they responded to the economic crisis by lowering their prices and limiting trade-ins. During this time, the “Big Three” continued to produce new cars with new features and designs(”DeSoto” Internet). During the Great Depression, smaller companies started to fold, driving out smaller independent producers(Internet). This development is what allowed the larger companies on the market to strengthen. The automobile industry suffered severely during the great depression. The United States production of automobiles fell 44 percent by 1932 to 1,300,000 automobiles (Unstead 28). This was the lowest

production of cars since 1918. Autoworkers were becoming jobless because of plant closings and lowered production(28). General Motors was able to make a profit during the 1930’s(29). Many firms went bankrupt during the depression; others went to truck production and managed to survive. The use of steel greatly helped the automobile industry during the 1930’s. During this time period, steel could be pressed into different types of shapes(28). This gave car designers greater freedom to create different types of shapes. With these different shapes the car designers created cars with completely different looks than of previous cars(28). The 1932 Cadillac was the first car to eliminate the box-like look of automobiles(28). Morris Cowley said, ” Bodies have become less box-like,

and there is more concentration on curves and streamlining with the addition of steel”(28). The cars stood high with more headroom and legroom for the passengers then cars do today. A huge structural advance in automobiles during the 1930’s was streamlining. Streamlining was a way of styling cars that gave them an aerodynamic look(Bondi 188). The automobile manufacturers during he 1930’s designed cars with the same principles of airplanes and high-speed trains(188). Streamlining helped to reduce the car’s drag, and gave the car better fuel economy(188). It also reduced the wind noise that a car made because of its different shape(188). Alfred Sloan said, “visually, streamlining integrates the car’s visible features into a more unified and flowing whole, in contrast to

the odd mix of shapes and angles of earlier automobiles such as the Model T”(188). Overall, with the advance of streamlining in the 1930’s, it helped to give automobiles a much smoother ride. Ford’s V-8 got great reviews during the 1930’s. The car featured a drop frame construction, which brought the passenger compartment down from its high perch up on the axles to between the front and rear axles, where it is on most present day cars(Bondi 189). John Dillinger, who was considered by the Federal Beureau of Investigation to be Public Enemy Number One said, “You have a wonderful car. It’s a treat to drive one . . . I can make any other car take a Ford’s dust,”(189). Also the notorious bank robber Clyde Burrow wrote, “Even if my business has not been strictly legal