After being deprived of new automobiles due to the government's World War II takeover of the auto industry, the end of the war arrived and Americans once again were able to replace that old auto that had been held together with tape, glue and any other "make do" repairs caused by the automobile shortage. Ford came out with the 1946 models which were not unlike the 1941 models. A massive grille and minor interior trim were the main changes. Three years later, in 1949, the new Fords were introduced with major changes in body styles.
IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY THE 1946 MERCURY HAD WOODEN BUMPERS. AND I BELIEVE IT WAS THE FIRST YEAR OF AUTOMATIC TRENSMISSIONS.
Ralph, You are correct regarding wooden bumpers on some of the 1946 automobiles, but this was only a temporary measure and only on the very early production cars. As soon as steel became more plentiful, the dealers received the chrome replacements and they were installed on the sold cars.
The first fully automatic transmission was the GM Hydramatic, which was available as an option on the 1940 Oldsmobile. Cadillac received the Hydramatic in 1941. The first automatic available for the Mercury was the Mercomatic, available in 1951. The new automatic for Ford was the Fordomatic, also in 1951. rayfromvillapark