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How did WWII impact vehicle designs?

The end of World War II reignited several American industries including automotive. During the war, factories were churning out tanks, jeeps, and planes. All production of cars and trucks were halted. But after the war, the automotive industry received huge demand for new cars. According to World War II enthusiast John Eilermann, it was this surge, as well as working on military-grade vehicles, enabled the industry to come up with new innovation that would change the industry. Here are some examples of how WWII impacted vehicle designs for the automotive industry.

Image source: topclassiccarsforsale.com

Power steering: Tanks, as well as other heavily armored vehicles, required assisted steering for them to be driven with better control. Although the technology has been around since the 1920s, it was Chrysler who first introduced power steering in a commercially available vehicle. The original model was called the Imperial, which then ushered the way for the Cadillac which was released a year after the Imperial.

High performance cars using fuel injection: The technology was always there since the dawn of the combustible engine, but it was aircraft engines that utilized mechanical fuel injection to fly in higher altitudes. Later on, the same technology was brought to the automotive industry. Fuel injection setups became a staple in the racing world and was first made commercially available by Chevrolet in their 1957 Chevy 283 V8.

Image source: hemmings.com

ABS brakes: Antilock brakes are common in today’s vehicles, but it wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for British bomber aircrafts. According to John Eilermann, the technology originally measured the rotational speed of the plane’s landing gear and prevented the wheels from locking and skidding.

John Eilermann lives in Chicago and is mostly fixated on baseball and soccer. He is also deeply interested in World War II facts and memorabilia. Learn more about Mr. Eilermann and his hobbies by visiting this page.