When we think of restoration projects 1964 Mustangs, Cadillac’s or MGs instantly spring to mind. Of course, these all enjoyed their heydays post-war. What about pre-World War models?
From an aesthetic perspective, cars of a 1930s ilk don’t always resonate with a wider audience. Alas, they do have their place though. They remind us of a previous time, a different world all together to the one we live in today. This nostalgia is often a driving force (pun intended – sorry) for restoration projects using pre-World War cars.
Those of you who have been following our restoration project will be familiar with the Ford Model Y that Mike Hill is currently reimagining. So, let’s take a look at the history of this classic model that made a few headlines in its time.
£100? Yes please!
Ford’s progress during the 1930s was strong – but only at home in the United States. Whilst exports of their models were good, in Britain a higher tax – based on engine size – had impacted their sales. This prompted a rethink.
So, in 1932 they sent over examples of 15 smaller cars to their Dearborn headquarters. In just 10 months the first Ford Model Y left the production line and went on sale. The rest, as is oft said, is history.
Various modifications, improvements, and new models were released over the next few years. A price war with Morris, who stripped back the Model Y and repurposed it themselves, resulted in the 1935 Popular (as the Model Y became known as) being available for just £100! It was the first fully-equipped car to sell for such a low price.
After the war its influence remained until the early 1950s when the side-valve engine was eventually replaced, crystallising this era of engineering as the ‘upright’ one.
So why restore a model this old?
If you remember a few weeks back we spoke to Mike. He cited “a soft spot for 1930′s to 1950′s cars for their looks” as a reason for this particular restoration. He also touched on a really interesting point about pre-war models:
“Pre-war automobiles really interest me but I found out that after the war, when people went back to work, a lot of family cars were converted into trucks to carry goods. This inspired the decision.”
It is this mentality of a bygone era, married with a desire to find a solution to such a mentality that has led this project. The compatible nature of the Model Y made it a natural choice.
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