World War I had an enormous impact on American civilian motor vehicle manufacturers, contributing to the success of some and the failure of others. Beginning with the 1916 Punitive Expedition against Pancho Villa, this history shows how over 200 manufacturers contributed to the war effort, many benefiting strongly from government contracts to produce vehicles for military use. It examines how military mechanization and the automotive industry developed symbiotically, each affecting the other in profound ways. Industrialized warfare didn't necessarily mean efficient production - standardization and mass production techniques were still in their infancy, and some manufacturers were better positioned to take advantage of the crucible of war.
Author, artist, photographer, and musician Albert Mroz was employed as a machine designer in Silicon Valley for over 20 years. He is a member of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association, the Society of Automotive Engineers, the Society of Automotive Historians, and the American Truck Historical Society, and is on the advisory board of the Hays Truck Museum.