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It'll Buff Out: 1942

It'll Buff Out: 1942

May 1942. Arlington, Virginia. "Operations in auto body plant and storage of 'frozen' cars. Buffing surface of a car body prior to painting. Cars 'frozen' by Office of Price Administration ruling stored on Virginia farm." Photo by John Collier, Office of War Information. View full size.


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What a Grind

I don't believe he's buffing. He's grinding the old paint to prepare for body work.
The air tool he's using was too weak to power a buffing pad and spun too fast. A buffing wheel would have been a thick sheep's wool pad. Also why would you buff a
fender that's rusted out on the bottom.

What did you say???

Nobody thought too much about eye and ear protection back then. Heck, I didn't think about ear protection until the mid-'90s. By then, the damage had been done. Love the old cars from the 1940s. They always remind me of Mighty Mouse cartoons!

Speaking of buff

The autobody guy should be wearing safety glasses.

Deep freeze

The caption refers to the Office of Production Management order halting production of all non-military vehicles as of January 15, 1942. More than 400 auto dealers descended on Congress (sound familiar?), but all they got was a delay until February 2.

All sales of 1942 model civilian vehicles were prohibited. One result: the 1942 Plymouth "military vehicle" below.

Tires also became a crucial commodity (and object of theft), and in July 1942 there was a plan (evidently never implemented) for government confiscation. It has been suggested that a main purpose of gasoline rationing was to preserve rubber.

Patient ID

A 1941 Ford DeLuxe Tudor Sedan is undergoing buttock surgery.

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