The entry of the United States into World War II in December, 1941, dramatically increased public transit ridership across the nation. Automobile travel was discouraged by gasoline and tire rationing, and the government ordered maximum utilization of streetcars for urban transportation. Nationwide, transit companies were directed to discontinue use of rubber-tired vehicles on any routes where "street railway lines are or can be made operable".
The LA Railway needed more equipment to handle the greatly increased wartime traffic and ordered 30 PCC streetcars (including this one) in May, 1942. Despite government controls placed on the production of all transit vehicles (in order to conserve copper, steel, rubber, and other essential raw materials), the LA order was allowed to proceed. Delivered in late 1943, these were the only complete PCCs built in the US in 1943. Due to unavailability of certain strategic materials, painted steel was substituted for many chrome and stainless steel parts (such as interior seat frames and stanchions) used in earlier PCCs. 3100 was retired at the end of streetcar service in 1963. As delivered in 1943, The P-2 Class PCC cars (2096-3125) were painted in the two-tone yellow paint scheme worn by the P-1 class cars (Car 3001 is painted in this paint scheme here at the Museum). Circa 1947 it was repainted into the Los Angeles Transit Lines "fruit salad" paint scheme. Unlike many of its fellow Los Angeles PCC streetcars, it was never repainted into the LA MTA green paint scheme, wearing its Los Angeles Transit Lines colors until the end of service. The Transit Lines "fruit salad" color scheme was shared with other systems coast to coast that were then managed by the National City Lines organization.
In 2011-12, the Museum repainted the 3100's exterior and also touched up the interior. Long a staple in the Museum's railway operations, the car is now back in service looking better than ever.