Experimental Parts: 1940s Pontiac Fenders

As automobile production resumed after World War II, steel would prove to be a scarce commodity until things got back to normal. That led companies like General Motors to experiment with other materials. According to the documentation provided by the seller, this included aluminum rear fenders for pre-and-post war Pontiacs. A pair of these have been found in Broad Brooks, Connecticut, and are available here on Facebook Marketplace for $1,200. An interesting find brought to us by Peter Rettig!

As we understand it, as late as 1948 Pontiac was experimenting with the use of aluminum for body components for 1942-46 and 1947-48 models. Carrying the same part numbers and prices as steel fenders, these became available at GM warehouses. Once the dealer took possession, they would prime coat them with zinc chromate which provided a light greenish color. The parts would come with instructions on how to repair or prep the fender for paint and installation.

The seller has secured a pair of these aluminum fenders and postulates how cool they might look when polished to a mirror shine on a customized 1940s Pontiac. They weigh far less than their steel counterparts at less than five pounds lbs. If you were looking to add speed to your custom ride, something like this could help by lowering weight.

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Comments

  1. Steve R

    Good as a conversation piece, but that’s it.

    As a performance enhancement, that’s a fools errand, there is so much cost effective low hanging fruit available that spending $1,200 on some light weight fenders makes no sense.

    Steve R

    Like 7
  2. Alan Brase

    Be careful adding these to your 8 cylinder Pontiac. The performance increase might make it difficult to control.

    Like 21
    • SMOKEY Member

      Wow……….. Gosh darn good advice ! I would have never thought of that.

      Like 5
  3. jerry z

    I’d buy them just to have has a conversation piece. Probably weigh like a feather!

    Like 1
  4. Raymond L Saunders

    I like em….polish em up and let em shine

    Like 2
  5. BlondeUXB Member

    Fun pieces of history.
    Time for someone to “clone” a super-stock Sliver Streak HO…

    Like 1
  6. RICHIE

    around 1985 i purahased all of the obsolences of a north jersey chevrolet dealer. i n the group where about 12 of these rear fenders for chevys. the parts manager told me he was there when they came in. richie

    Like 3
  7. Burger

    Let’s not be too harsh on the man here, peeps ….

    The only 40’s Pontiac to break the sound barrier was the example with “lightweight” polycarbonate gauge needles.

    Like 1
  8. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Great story! Never knew.

    Like 4
  9. scottymac

    With all the aluminum needed for fighter and bomber aircraft going to the war effort, hard to believe they was material available for these “experiments”.

    Like 7
    • That Guy

      As a British car fan I’m a bit more familiar with the immediate post-war vehicles from the UK than here. After the war ended, there was a lot of surplus aluminum around. That’s the main reason Land Rovers were designed with aluminum bodies, and why Rover sedans had aluminum doors, hoods, and trunks. Steel was tightly rationed, while aluminum was more readily available. I don’t know to what extent this situation existed in the US, but I imagine it was somewhat similar for a while.

      Like 3
  10. Crawdad

    They were consuming huge amounts of aluminum for the war effort. Here , the time period is immediately post-war. All that aluminum capacity and not building any more warbirds, so we got Aluminum fenders, ice cube trays, tumblers and pitchers brightly anodized ( that sweated terribly – poor application for alu. ) screen doors, aluminum siding. lightweight lawn chairs, and probably a lot of other stuff I don’t know about. I have seen a picture of a giant pile of brand new P-38 lightnings piled up for scrap in 1945

    Like 2
  11. Alan Brase

    I’ve see a similar picture of P-38’s being scrapped myself. At least one made it into civilian hands in our neighborhood. I’d see it flying when I was a kid. Later, I figured I’d just imagined it, they I saw a picture. “Jack Snodgrass and his P-38”
    A local company Chamberlain, made a lot of war materiel, converted to making aluminum extension ladders and other products for Sears, Roebuck.

    Like 1

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