BRAKELIGHT: Ford Helps Disabled Veterans (June 1951)
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BRAKELIGHT: Ford Helps Disabled Veterans (June 1951)

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More than 250,000 soldiers were wounded in WWII. Some of them could not operate a car using the normal controls. Car makers and shops realized that they had a debt to pay to these veterans. When new cars could be bought after the war, just about every automaker offered hand controls at no extra cost. In a Ford brochure from 1946, Henry Ford wrote: “The least we can do for these men is to be sure that they get an even break with those who come back without major disabilities, and we do not want any profit incentive to enter into this picture. No man who lost a limb in the armed services of our country during the war is going to have to pay anything extra to drive a Ford automobile.”

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For veterans driving older vehicles, may shops worked with hospitals to install and maintain the hand-control systems.

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