Business: Four-Wheel Debutantes

The doors of Manhattan's soot-flecked Grand Central Palace this week open on the 1939 version of the greatest annual U. S. fashion parade, The National Automobile Show.*

Keynote of every automobile show is burgeoning optimism. Last year optimism seemed logical—except for 1929, 1937 was the industry's best year. But behind its optimistic front, the automotive industry knew as well as anyone else that the economic highway was being strewn with tacks. Warily, the industry proceeded with 1938 production, but not warily enough. By spring, when Depression II was in full slump, even low-gear...

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