The Stock Market Crash of October 29, 1929 began an economic slide from which the country would not recover for over a decade. The affect of the crash on the automotive industry was significant - many companies shut their doors, including Pierce-Arrow and Franklin.  One was established in the late-Thirties by Powell Crosley, Jr., the innovator behind an affordable home radio.  The Crosley Corporation made small, light, and comparatively practical cars that proved ideal for people on a tight budget.  Crosley automobiles sold well after their introduction in 1939, and continued to do so during the war years when the rationing of gasoline for civilian use proved a severe limitation on what people could drive.

 

1934 Buick Sedan

  • The Great Depression proved disastrous for the automobile industry, and Buick sales were down dramatically by 1933.   Company president Harlow Curtice introduced the Model 40 and 50 Sedans, promising “more speed for less money.” People loved them, and Buick sales improved. The company was saved.
  • The 1934 Buick has “freestyle doors,” which open outwards from the middle. These were perfect when on slow-moving, horse-drawn carriages, but could be deadly when incorporated in automobiles, should they unexpectedly open and passengers fell out. They were informally known as suicide doors.
  • The gangster element in American culture was big news in the 1930's, especially when they successfully robbed the banks that were often blamed for the trials of the Great Depression. Using our imagination, we see this car leaving a bank after making an unauthorized withdrawal, guns blazing in a chase with local law enforcement. Observant visitors will notice a mysterious bullet hole located above the rear passenger's-side fender.