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Singapore 1938 Newsreel footage - name that car!


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Some homework for the keen of eye.

Our guys found this fantastic travel film from 1938 on youtube showing Singapore in 1938. We have had fun identifying the cars in the footage, mostly English makes such as Austin and Morris. But what we cant be sure of are the American cars at 8:06 [i think its a '36 Buick Special?] and at 9:18 [Chev convertible?].

Its a bit grainy but figured if any one can identify them it will be the esteemed forum users of the AACA. Hope you can help and hope you enjoy the clip!



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Thanks and I see what you mean - that characteristic dip in the bumper bar seems to have been a Ford trait then?

Have flipped the query over to the what is it forum. Lets see!

One of the last Fords produced at the factory [a 41 Mercury roadster] still exists now in Indonesia. Quite significant given the occupation started in February 1941 and production ceased then.


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  • 2 weeks later...

The Japanese walked in about February 1942, the British surrendered that "Gibraltar of the East" fortress to a numerically inferior enemy! Those poor guys ended up building railroads for the Japanese! Like in the Philippines the Japanese got to take all those nice cars in the dealerships and drive them off for their personal use.

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Very quickly [as I am geting a little 'off piste' for a Buick forum]:

Yes I meant 1942! February 15th, 1942 to be exact which was the date of the surrender of Singapore. The surrender of the Allied forces was taken at the Ford factory itself no less! [see pic]

I spoke to the owner of the Merc. The '41 Mercury was Canadian CKD and was assembled in Singapore in 1941. The Japanese Imperial Army requistioned the car and held it until the end of the war when the Dutch Army took it over and moved the car to Bundung, Indonesia then in '49 the Gurkas got it and in 1953 it was bought privatley by a Chinese doctor. The car then went into a long storage period in 1964 and was bought by the current owner in 1997 with very low mileage. Photo from the current owner attached.

The factory is now a museum devoted to the occupation.


One last car trivia point: During the war the Ford factory was assigned to Nissan! Nissan used the site for the assembly of trucks and other vehicles for the Japanese occupying forces. The factory reverted to Ford assembly after the war and finally closed in 1980.

Back to Buicks now!



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