As soon as World War II was over the manufacturing might of the United States turned its attention to consumer items — items that were sorely needed thanks to limited or no production during the war.
My folks were early customers of the new production lines. In 1948 they gave their Ford Model A to my aunt and uncle on the family farm and bought a brand new 1947-48 Frazer Manhattan.
I was three at the time so the Manhattan was the first car I remember being ours. It had very cool push-button latches on the inside of the doors. Fortunately they were so stiff my very curious little fingers I weren’t able to open the doors with while the car was moving. But I sure tried!
Alas, the Manhattan was outdone by our growing family’s need to go camping in the mountains and canyons of Idaho. By 1952 it was too small for the five of us and all our gear. When Dad hitched on a trailer to carry our heavy, primitive camping supplies the Manhattan barely made it out of town. We often stopped to refill the radiator from a stream using the “dipper” (a sauce pan) we always carried under the back window.
There was a line of cars known to have big motors – which was Dad’s excuse to buy a 1952 Cadillac.