Ford trucks were treated to a restyle for 1942 that was shared by all models, and they no longer looked like the car line. However, it turned out to be a short selling season.
The United States was drawn into World War II on December 7, 1941, shortly after Ford's 1942 models were introduced. The order was given to stop production of civilian vehicles on February 10, 1942, so assembly plants could be converted to producing war materiel.
From the time the plants closed through to the end of the war, Ford concentrated its efforts into building B-24 Liberator bombers; aircraft engines; tanks; Jeep-type military vehicles; wooden gliders; and military versions of the 1942-era pickup trucks, cars, and heavy-duty trucks.
A Ford Sedan Delivery shows off the redesign given Ford cars for 1942. Like their truck counterparts, car production was low -- and for the same reason.
Ford trucks boasted new styling for 1942, but relatively few were built.
Production ceased on February 10, 1942, so the Ford company could concentrate on building war material instead.
Ford built several prototype 3/4-ton military vehicles, including this forward-control four-wheel-drive cargo truck.
Ford produced a variety of military vehicles during World War II.
In May 1943, the Ford Motor Company suffered a heavy loss with the death of Edsel Ford, Henry's only son, who at the time was president of the company. Upon Edsel's death, Henry Ford once again stepped in to take the helm, but at 80 years of age, wasn't capable of the task. Because Ford Motor Company was so vital to the war effort, the United States government stepped in, essentially assigning a successor. Tapped for the job was Edsel's oldest son, Henry Ford II.
At the time, "Henry the Deuce" was in the Navy. At just 26 years of age, the government pulled him out of military service and reassigned him to the vice presidency of Ford Motor Company.
With demand for war-related vehicles easing toward the end of 1944, the War Production Board authorized Ford to resume production of a limited run of heavy-duty trucks for the civilian market. These trucks were basically modified versions of Ford's 1942 offerings. In order to be able to buy one, purchasers had to prove their business was vital to the war effort.
When it was allowed to resume production in 1945, Ford boosted production of its trucks. Read about the Ford trucks of 1945, 1946, and 1947 in the next section.
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