Author: charley2030

Buick Y-job


“[General Motors Corporation head of styling Harley] Earl felt compelled to design and build a statement car… The resulting design – penned by former Oldsmobile studio head George Snyder and Joe Shemansky then modeled in clay by Jock Park – came about in the first half of 1938. …The Y-Job – so called because Y represented “one step beyond” the X-prefixed cars that GM had previously worked on, according to [fabricator Vince Kaptur Sr.] – debuted in December 1939 as ‘The Car of the Future’…”

Excerpts from .

In 2016 the Y-Job was the first vehicle documented in the National Historic Vehicle Register of the Historic Vehicle Association: .

“In the late-teens after finishing his college education, Harley J. Earl joined the family business [in Los Angeles], which by that time was well along in being established as one of the finest coachbuilders in the west.”

Excerpt and more information about him at . See also .

Image of Harley Earl in the Y-Job: General Motors Corporation.

Cartoon censorship


Image: January 17, 1939 Look magazine article from .

See the full magazine article at the link. It shows what animated cartoon images and sounds were acceptable and what were not. Hollywood adhered to the Motion Picture Production Code which was self-censorship adopted as an alternative to possibly more stringent federal government controls. Learn more about it at .


U. S. Royal tires


These 1939 advertisements might show more about marketing “angles” than the product itself. When something becomes, more or less, a commodity then efforts to sell a particular brand often emphasized an emotional but relatively unrelated topic to persuade the prospect to buy. This wasn’t a new technique in the 1930s but it became more widespread.


“In 1928, Adolph Schleicher, owner of Samson Tire and Rubber Company had a small factory in Compton, California but decided to move to a bigger location in East of Los Angeles. The factory in East Los Angeles became the largest manufacturing facility to the West of the Mississippi; it took 8 million dollars to create. This factory was modeled after the 7th century BC Assyrian Palace of King Sargon II, the wall surrounding the tire plant featured heraldic griffins and bas-reliefs of Babylonian princes.

“The Samson Tire Company only operated for a year and sold the factory to the US Tire Company [in 1930] due to effects of the Great Depression.”
Excerpts and circa 1939 image from .

Truck trailers


Although headquartered elsewhere, Fruehauf Trailer Company built truck trailers in Los Angeles. Pacific Freight Lines was based in Los Angeles. Learn more about PFL and other trucking companies of the period at .


Images: detail and full ad in Motor Transportation magazine from Ken Goudy collection


“Fruehauf Trailer Company dominated the semi-trailer industry and never had any significant competition outselling their nearest competitor by almost 80%. August Fruehauf’s motto, “Built to Last” was incorporated by the research and design team as they developed new and improved methods of transporting American goods around the world.”

Excerpt and link to extensive historical information: .