1930–1949 years

Model of the car: Healey 2.4-liter, 1946

With gas strictly rationed, and most new cars earmarked for export, motoring was difficult in 1940s Britain. So when news broke that Donald Healey’s sporty new 146ci (2,400cc) had recorded a best speed of 111mph (179kph) on the Jabbeke Highway in Belgium in 1947, it was especially uplifting news. Keep Reading

Model of the car: Willys Mb Jeep, 1942

In 1938, with war clouds gathering over Europe, the US Army decided to replace its motorized motorcycle-sidecar combinations (used for messenger and advance reconnaissance duties) with a small, general-purpose vehicle. Keep Reading

Model of the car: KDF-Wagen/Volkswagen, 1939

The beginnings of the best-selling single car design ever—21,529,464 were bought by the time manufacture ended in 2003—go further back than September 1939, when the car in its final form was revealed. Keep Reading

Model of the car: Mercedes-Benz T80, 1939

This car is the ultimate manifestation of speed as envisioned at the height of Nazi power in Germany.

The monstrous six-wheeler was a pet project of racing driver Hans Stuck, who wanted Germany to assert its engineering supremacy by grabbing the world land speed record. Keep Reading

Model of the car: Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941

Even today, there’s something irresistibly futuristic about the Chrysler Thunderbolt. It’s also extremely evocative, its pontoon-like body having been the inspiration for millions of tin toy cars of the 1940–50s. Keep Reading