This story was written by Northern Ohio Chapter member Thomas E. Priebe.
The year was 1946 and the world was rebuilding and retooling after World War ll.
America was restarting the auto industry, which during the second world war was heavily
involved in the manufacture of defense materials. Autos were not produced for public
consumption from 1942 to July 3, 1945. The public at that time had to make do with what
they had to drive until the great restart of the auto industry.
In 1946 autos were rolling off the assembly lines, but many looked like as they did in
1941-42. New autos were in high demand. Thus to buy one was not easy, as waiting
list’s were established and a lottery system. If you were lucky enough you got the car
that came in no matter if it was a 4door, 2door, convertible or wagon. You accepted it or
your number was dropped to the bottom of the list. Then the next in line got a chance to
My Grandfather Priebe who owned the South Euclid Tavern and Priebe’s meat market
had many connections in both industries. He became aware of the availability of two new
1946 Ford’s. Thus he contacted my Grandfather Hagedorn who jumped at the chance to
purchase a new car. He was driving a 1936 Ford. So the two Grandfather’s embarked on
a journey into Cleveland, Ohio to a large warehouse where the two 46 Ford’s were stored
Upon gaining entrance, they were informed that the bumpers were not available at the
time of assembly. The existing bumpers were silver painted wood 2 x 4’s. These were
intended to be temporary until the chrome plated bumpers were available. The 2 x 4‘s
would then be removed and replaced with the real thing.
Grandfather Hagedorn chose to repurpose the 2 x 4’s into a set of saw horses. I always,
as a child wondered if this was a tale or truth, as it was hard to believe that Ford would
release a car with wood bumpers.
Trusting you find this story both enjoyable and informative. I remain, Thomas E. Priebe