What I have here isn't finished or edited yet, I still have 600 words to write. I plan to touch upon the coach built industry and motorsports still. Any suggestions are welcomed.

            Pre-war automobiles are generally regarded as some of the most beautiful moving creations mankind has ever created. Their legacy continues to this day winning concours d'elegance events throughout the world.

Cars built after WWI and before WWII are generally regarded as “pre-war.” This usually means 1920s to about 1941. The pre-war era has been considered by many to be the golden age of the automobile. In this time period, there were two ways for a consumer of automobiles were available; a customer could buy a mass market vehicle from companies like Ford, or a customer could have a car coach built.

Mass market vehicles are cars designed for the average citizen. They are designed to be cheap, easy to fix, and dispensable when the time comes. During the pre-war era there were hundreds of auto manufactures, but in America, the “Big Three,” Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler, dominated the market.

Ford Motor Company was incorporated in 1903. Its earliest success, the Model T, allowed for ford to grow in wealth substantially. They sold 15 million cars over its production run. Experienced gained from the building of the Model T transferred into great business practices following WWI. In 1927, Ford released the Model A, and retired the Model T. In order to enter the luxury car market, Ford acquired Lincoln Motor Company. The Mercury division followed in 1938 to bridge the financial and quality gap between Ford and Lincoln.

General Motors was founded in 1908 as a holding company for Buick. Within a year, GM acquired Pontiac, Cadillac, Oldsmobile, and several smaller brands. Cadillac was to be GM’s luxury brand. Cadillac also spearheaded research and development for GM, creating the first electric starter, and V16 engine in passenger cars (History & Herritage, Cadillac.com). Following a short period of debt in 1910, the company would continue to grow in wealth and size up to the early 1980s.


Chrysler was founded in 1925 after the re-organization of the Maxwell Motor Company. Their first car produced was the 70. It was known for its advanced and well-engineered design. Chrysler also developed major technology; they were the first to create four wheel hydraulic brakes, rubber engine mounts, and safety wheels. Chrysler bought Plymouth, Dodge Brothers, and De Soto in the late 1920s. These brands gave Chrysler its luxury brand (De Soto), its budget brand (Plymouth), and truck division (Dodge).