In the spring of 1941, months before the United States entered World War II following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, all three large Detroit car companies publicly announced that they were so busy with military contracts for the American and British governments that they did not have the engineering resources to develop 1943 models. The independents followed suit soon after. They barely were able to get the ’42s out and the start of the war stopped civilian production fairly early on so 1942 cars are rare. The army, though, needs cars too, and not just jeeps, so a number of 1942 model sedans were made as staff cars for officers, in drab olive green paint. With rank goes privilege and even luxury makers Cadillac and Packard made staff cars.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower, later president of the United States, was the supreme military commander in the European theater of war for the Allies. He used a number of staff cars including a Packard and a Cadillac that’s on display at the Eisenhower Center in Abilene, Texas (Eisenhower’s hometown).
The Detroit Arsenal of Democracy military vehicle club was having a vehicle show at a VFW hall on Lake St. Claire that was hosting a veteran’s reunion. This 1942 Cadillac staff car was also used by Gen. Eisenhower, in England before D-Day and then in Germany towards the end of the war. It’s owned by a friend of the DAoD. It’s got the full complement of blackout shields for the lights and everything is painted olive drab, with the exception of the Cadillac logo on the hood badge. Like I said, with rank goes privilege and though they’re painted olive drab, every Cadillac logo is intact.