Willow Run Airport

Willow Run Airport

It’s been widely documented that Henry Ford opposed America’s entry into World War II. Some folks claim that the reasoning behind Ford’s decision was simply because he was a pacifist. Others believe the notion that Ford had darker beliefs and had aligned himself more with the Axis train of thought. Personally, I’ve always felt that actions speak louder than words… and no one can question Ford Motor Company’s contribution to the American War Machine.

A perfect example of this contribution was located at the Willow Run Airport west of Detroit, Michigan. Just prior to WWII, Ford had bought the old airport and had begun constructing an automobile assembly plant. After Pear Harbor and America’s entrance into the war, President Roosevelt banned the production of civilian automobiles and pressed the issue of conversion. America needed war machines and Roosevelt knew our car manufacturers were a capable source.

The factory at Willow Run Airport proved him right. From 1943 until the end of the war, Ford produced over 8000 B-24 Liberator bombers at the plant. Henry Ford’s idea of the proper assembly plant efficiently pumped out other machines as well – tanks, jeeps, gliders, and many other weapons were produced.

Now… none of this really seems topical to The Jalopy Journal, but my old man sent me these pics and I thought they deserved attention. Enjoy the photos and don’t lose sight on how all of this effected the world of hot rodding once the war ended.

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To view even more of these images, check out this incredible gallery.

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