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1934


 

in the headlines
  • Bonnie and Clyde are killed in a police ambush in Louisiana
  • Hitler purges the Fascist party in Germany
  • Germany and Poland sign a ten-year pact of non-aggression
  • Heinrich Himmler is appointed head of the concentration camps
  • Hitler assumes the title 'Fuhrer' upon the death of von Hindenburg
  • 'Night of the Long Knives' occurs in Germany where hundreds of Hitler's brown shirts are found dead
1934 mileposts

In the United States

  • Industry production rises to 2,270,566 cars and 599,397 trucks
  • Chevrolet beats Ford's calendar-year volume by close to 10%
  • Peak year for auto fatalities per motor vehicle in the United States-over 15,000 pedestrians killed.
  • First parking ramp opens in Boston
  • First diesel bus in the United States
  • Labor disputes hit the auto industry with increasing intensity
  • Oscar-wining comedy, It Happened One Night, has romantic road-as-escape and hitch-hiking themes
  • American Federation of Labor (AFL) charters the United Auto Workers
  • Gangster John Dillinger steals his first Ford V-8. Ford V-8s earn high praise from folk heros John Dillinger and Clyde Barrow
  • Various makes have radio controls built into the instrumental panel
  • Westinghouse's all electric House of  Tomorrow at the Chicago World's Fair features an electric garage door opener
  • In Camden, the nation's fist drive-in theater opened. Family admission was $1; 75 cents for two
  • Congress passed the National Housing Act, establishing the Federal Housing Administration to insure home mortgages, thus increasing the possibilities of home ownership for more people. The act helped guarantee sub urbanization of the nation, which contributed to making the automobile the primary means of mass transportation
  • Henry Ford restores the $5 per day wage on March 15

US Auto Manufacturers

  • General Motors cars come with Knee Action (independent) front suspension - optional in some models, standard in many
  • Ford receives a modest facelift, while the V-8 gains another 10 horsepower
  • Newly streamlined Pontiacs get a horsepower boost, trunkback sedans are featured
  • Plymouth strokes its engine to 201.3 cid; independent front suspension is new; Westchester Suburban wagon bodies are created by an Indiana builder
  • Carryover Reos are displaced by freshened models in April, led by the S-4 Flying Cloud
  • The last of the Nash's big 322-cid straight-eights go into Ambassador models this year; all Nash engines have Twin-Ignition
  • All Lincolns adopt a new 414-cid V-12, with a high 6:3:1 compression ratio
  • Auburn displays new Aero-Streamlined styling; six-cylinder power returns
  • LaFayette debuts as the junior series from Nash; prices start at a modest $585
  • The Brewster nameplate returns after nearly a decade; unique bodies go mainly on Ford V-8 and Buick chassis from 1934-1936
  • The Hupp Aerodynamic features a three-piece windshield; Archie Andrews captures control of Hupmobile
  • Although the restyled Pierce-Arrow line includes a less-radical Silver Arrow; the company is forced to file for bankruptcy
  • American Austin builds its last car this year
  • Cadillac introduces a controlled current generator
  • Graham issues the Supercharged Custom Eight, the first moderately priced blown engine
  • Facing declining sales since the depression, Franklin finally closes down.
  • Terraplane officially becomes a separate make, and accounts for the dominant portion of parent Hudson's sales through 1937. Hudson abandons its six-cylinder engine this year
  • Chrysler launches its daring Airflow, but excellence in engineering fails to tempt customers, who don't fancy the Avant-garde look

And From Around the World

  • Citroėn introduces the Type 7 Traction Avant, featuring uni-body, front-wheel drive, and torsion bar suspension (an idea for automatic transmission was dropped). However, financial problems had been dogging Citroėn, and it goes into bankruptcy, later taken over by Edourd Michelin
  • Robert Moses builds Meadowbrook Parkway, the first entirely divided, entirely limited access highway in the world.
  • Vatican officials attack a Fiat ad as too sensual
  • Mersey Tunnel, United Kingdom 3.43 kilometers, longest underwater vehicular tunnel
  • Morris becomes the first British-owned car firm with a moving assembly line
  • British Road Traffic Bill mandates insurance, driver's test, imposes a 30-mph speed limit, establishes pedestrian crossings and bans jaywalking
  • Croat nationalist kill King Alexander of Yugoslavia and Foreign Minister Louis Barthou in their Mercedes in Marseilles
  • First Datsun (export name of Nissan) shipped
  • Emir of Kuwait gives the concession for newly discovered oil resources to Kuwait Oil (50% Gulf, 50% British Petroleum)
  • March 21 - Adolf Hitler announces plan to build a new highway system that will link all parts of the Reich. The Chancellor wants to greatly enlarge the present 900-mile network of four-lane highways, called autobahns.

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1934 production figures

Ford....................................................563,921

Chevrolet..............................................551,191

Plymouth..............................................321,171

Dodge...................................................95,011

Hudson Terraplane...................................85,835

Oldsmobile..............................................79,814

Pontiac .................................................78,859

Buick....................................................71,009

Some figures are estimates

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by the numbers

US Population......................................126,374,000

Avg. Income...............................................$1,506

DOW Avg. ......................................................104

New Births..............................................2,415,000

New Home (Median Price)..............................$5,972

New Car (Avg. Cost).......................................$630

Gas.........................................................19¢/gal.

Milk (Qt) ........................................................11¢

Bread (Loaf)......................................................8¢

Eggs.........................................................53¢/doz

Steak (lb)........................................................32¢

Stamp..............................................................3¢

Per Capita Income...........................................$474

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new in 1934
  • Flash Gordon, Li'l Abner, Donald Duck
  • Seagram's Seven Crown whiskey
  • pipeless organ (Hammond)
  • nylon
  • Laundromat (The Washeteria, Fort Worth, Texas)
  • US federal prison at Alcatraz Island (San Francisco Ca)
  • Parker Bros. Sorry
  • Radio Flyer "Streak-o-Lite"

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