AUTOS: Ceiling Zero

Sales of new cars, used cars and jalopies all hit bottom again last week. All over the U.S. the story was the same: gas rationing and the tire shortage have made cars a drug on the market. Only active buyers are the steelmakers; last month they swarmed through junkyards, snapped up 400,000 old cars at prices ranging from $14 to $22 per ton.

When WPB blacked out the auto industry after Pearl Harbor, the U.S. had only about 500,000 new cars on hand, a two-month peacetime supply. This looked like the tightest shortage...

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