Who Really Won the Second World War???

IMAGE_edited1959_singer_gazelle1aug 29 006IMGtop down mini 2002001Its not a difficult question to answer if we look at the highways of the Western World today. Before the second World War British auto manufacturers were one of the largest in the World, we had a host of varied makes and models. One would have waited a very long time to see a foreign automobile on a British Road. Austin-Morris-Hillman-Vauxhall-Ford-Standard,Bentley,Rolls Royce and so many more once ruled the highways and byways of the English countryside. This same story could be told in the USA with the many American makes. Take a look around today and we see Japanese and German cars everywhere. In the years following the war car production was at an all time high, it was an exciting time with new ideas and bigger faster sleeker chrome plated models appearing every year. In 1949 at the New York Auto Show no one paid much attention to the tiny unimpressive VW Beetle. In the 1960’s no one paid much attention to the cheap and boxy little Japanese models. Why was this?? gas was cheap (petrol) and we the victors were rebuilding our lives. Who would buy one of these cheap little European or Japanese cars that were generally viewed as unremarkable,unreliable with parts and repairs hard to find. Then slowly things began to change, in Britain the first signs occurred in 1956 with the Suez Crisis. The costs and shortages of petrol across the UK caused people to rethink the big gas guzzling cars. Over night the Bubble cars became popular and where do you think most of them came from—– Germany!  In the USA a few tiny Japanese cars began to appear in the mid 1960`s and the challenge to the small British and European imports was about to begin. In the 1970`s came the second serious fuel crisis, shortages causing huge line ups at gas stations occurred all across the US. The big Three took little notice, they did  make a feeble attempt at a small compact car. GM produced the Vega!!!Ford the Pinto!! and Dodge the Omni. Anyone remember these total failures. In fact the Omni was based on the VW Rabbit, and we had the gall to suggest the imports were all cheap and nasty copies of our cars. True some were, the Datsun was using ideas from the Austin Car Company and later the MGB was produced as a Datsun 1500. By the 1980’s the British Car Industry was in chaos with strikes and poor management. With even poorer automobiles being rolled of the assemble lines.  Leyland became BMC as more and more car names disappeared from the roads and were replaced by European and Japanese cars. Rover/Triumph made a deal with Honda to produce a Rover and Triumph Acclaim. Gradually the once famous British marques were sold off to foreign manufacturers, BMW bought Rolls Royce, VW bought Bentley,  Austin and Land Rover went to China and India. In 2004 the last Rover rolled off the assembly lines and the company that had lasted a 100 years was gone. Today in the USA the big three are hardly big anymore Toyota leads the World. GM are working with Japanese and Korean car manufacturers, Ford worked with Mazda, and Chysler is now named Fiat Chrysler. So before you answer the question, Who Won the War, check the make of car in your driveway, if it happens to a domestic model check the neighbours cars in the street. See the USA in your Chevrolet, I think not, see the USA  maybe in your Honda,Toyota or Nissan. Oh! and one other small point, how many British-US motorcycles do you see today,  no more BSA-Norton-Matchless, maybe a few Harley`s. Yeah I guess we won the war but lost the peace.

God Bless and keep reading.

About irishroverpei

Author of "Lily & Me", "The Royal Navy & Me" and Chapter XXl Armageddon. Writer, blogger and RN Submariner, antique automobile enthusiast.
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