Made by Jam Handy, "It Could Be You" dates to 1949. This film was made during a time of unusual crisis -- when a shift from wartime to peacetime production led to a unique shortage of new cars despite heavy demand. As the film explains during WW2, the USA's auto industry was geared towards manufacturing war materials, leading to a complete halt of production of new makes and models. The film opens with a man receiving a phone call about a delivery of his brand-new vehicle (1:05). The narrator explains that Chevy is making more new cars than any other manufacturer (1:13). Two men are watching the film in a theater and one asks “When do I get my new Chevrolet?” (1:45). His peer replies that he must watch the rest of the film (1:54). The pair continues to watch (2:08) and it carries on with how in the early 1940’s when someone wanted a new car they could have one within a day or two (2:16). Many American’s had become accustomed to the ease and availability of being able to get replacement vehicles until WWII hit (2:44). Automobile plants were cleared out for the manufacture of war materials (2:47) which meant that production of new cars completely stopped. Within the US, citizens were encouraged to carpool and conserve gas for the war effort (3:02) and people turned from buying new products to having their old worn out products fixed which included their vehicles. A magazine follows showing post war cars (3:12) that many citizens anxiously waited for. Banners and building signs read “Japanese surrender” as V-J Day arrived on August 15th, 1945 (3:19). For automobile manufacturers such as Chevrolet, this meant the starting gate for production of new cars for residential and commercial use (3:24). The inside of a Chevrolet automobile factory is shown (3:28). Prior to the war they had constructed new facilities which made possible the production of more new models than previously (3:35). As the war progressed however, Chevrolet was still unable to meet the growing demand and had to continue to expand (4:06). Chevrolet executives and engineers are seen going over blueprints as they would have to build more new factories and hire thousands of new employees that would also have to all be trained (4:16). New materials that were developed in the war called for new machinery and for new trainings for employees (4:32). Thousands of small parts were redesigned so that they could be put to use the new war materials that had been developed (4:39). Unfortunately, they hit a roadblock when they encountered a severe shortage of vital parts (5:10). Supply of master brake cylinders completely dried up and the production lines halted (5:18). About 15,000 parts go into one new vehicle and each is necessary for the whole and this shortage sent Chevrolet workers hunting for parts (5:55). Not only were automobile manufacturers experiencing difficulty in getting the parts they needed but so too were manufacturers of lawn mowers, refrigerators, washing machines, etc. (6:57). The man from Chevrolet’s purchasing department is seen heading into a hardware store on the hunt and at an airport a plane is filmed just prior to take off chock full of carburetors (7:21) to be sent to hold Chevrolet over until the main shipment arrived. In 1949, there were still not enough materials to turn out the number of new cars that Chevrolet was now equipped to produce (7:35). The man watching the film asks again where his new car is just before he is swarmed by an angry crowd all asking the same question (7:50). The years of not making any new cars had caught up with the dealerships (8:34) and even the used car industry was choked as everyone had to hold onto what they had (8:56). The demand for new cars was increased more so as people who could not once afford cars in the past were now able to (9:17). Just before the war’s end, General Motors and Chevrolet created plans for the distribution of new cars among communities (9:41). They looked at the percentage of cars that had been sold in the community area in 1941 and allotted that area the same amount (9:50). This plan began with essential members of the community such as doctors and a “Department of Public Health” vehicle is shown (10:03). The film concludes as it informs viewers that Chevrolet Dealers were working as hard as they could to turn the phrase from “It Could Be You” to “It Will Be You” and get new cars out to everyone who wanted them (10:27). This film is a Jam Handy Picture (10:42).
This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com