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July 19, 2018
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American ‘Independent’ Automakers – AMC to Willys 1945 to 1960

American ‘Independent’ Automakers – AMC to Willys 1945 to 1960

By Norm Mort
About the Author

Paperback • 205x190cm • 96 pages • 120 colour pictures

ISBN: 978-1-845842-39-0

£ 14.99 + P&P (eBook prices vary, and delivery is free)

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• Comprehensive guide to the complete model ranges
• Deeply researched history reveals many little known facts
• Unique and rare models
• Production data and main features on individual models
• Issue dates, codes and packing for individual models and variations
• 120 high quality colour photographs, original ads, factory photos and brochure images
• Engine and detail photos
• Index allows for quick access to specific makes and models


The independent automakers who had survived the depression of the 1930s had flexibility and enough capital from the war to be the first to launch all-new models for a car-starved nation. So lucrative was the American post-war car market that new automobile companies were also formed to cash in on the pent-up demand for new cars. This is their story told through text and the use of contemporary brochures, period literature, factory photos, road test info, and over 90 new, previously unpublished colour photos of restored examples to relate the importance of these historic vehicles.


American Independent Automakers 1945-1960 covers the attempts by major makes such as Kaiser-Frazer, Willys, Packard, Studebaker, Tucker, Nash and Hudson to compete with the ‘Big Three’ in America. The ‘Independents’ were the first to introduce all-new models in an attempt to increase their market share and ensure the future.
Also, there were dozens of backyard enthusiasts trying to design the perfect American sports car, such as Cunningham, Fitch, Darrin, Williams, etc.
A similar number endeavoured to build small, economical cars such as Davis, Allstate, Playboy, Crosley and the diminutive King Midget, yet all were ultimately doomed to fail.
There were steam cars, microcars, three-wheel cars and flying cars, all competing to capture the consumer’s fancy and become significant builders in the years following World War II. Detailed captions and supportive text combine with the use of contemporary brochures, period literature, factory photos, and over 90 new, unpublished colour photos of restored examples to relate the importance of these historic vehicles. This book looks at all the major makers, focusing on the innovations, unique styling and features, and why, ultimately, all failed.

Independent Reviews

"The text gives a good overview of model development and prevailing design trends, but what really catches your eyes are the book's many period ads. Entertaining and informative, whatever classics you're into." – Classic Cars

"Packed with little-known facts, detailed captions and supportive text that combines with brochures, period literature, factory photos and almost 100 examples of previously unseen colour photos and restorations, this is both an enjoyable and informative read." – Classic Car Buyer

"With a super selection of original brochures, 90+ photos of restored cars, enough text to be informative and interesting, and a final section on some great sporty-looking, limited run, vehicles from Cunningham, Edwards and Flajole, this makes a good value look at some interesting model developments." – Classic Driver, New Zealand

"If you bookshelf is small but your interest expansive, you'll find this book a treat." – Hemmings Classic Car

"Packed with factory photos and ads from the author's own collection. This is a worthwhile book even for those with a knowledge of American indies."

"Any car buff interested in autos made from 1945 to 1960 MUST have this review of the old-timers, which includes model history and complete ranges. Unique, rare models, production data, and issue dates accompany over a hundred color photos, original ads and brochure images to make for an outstanding story told through text and auto maker advertising." – Bookwatch

Additional Information

Models covered: AMC/American Motors Corporation • Frazer • Hudson • Kaiser • Nash • Packard • Studebaker • Tucker • Willys …as well as

• Checker (1958-1982) • Crosley (1946-1952) • Cunningham (1951-1955) • Darrin (1955-1958) • Davis (1947-1949) • Dual-Ghia (1956-1962) • Excalibur (1952-1975) • Fitch (1949-1951) • King Midget (1947-1969) • Kurtis (1949-1955) • Muntz (1951-1954) • Playboy (1947-1951) • Ears Allstate (1952-1953) • Williams (1957-1969)


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