1932 Ford Models B and 18

The 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18 was seen as Dearborn's response to the Depression.

After a 19-year run and a production total exceeding 15 million units, the Model T -- upon which the Ford empire was founded -- almost caused that empire's collapse. The car, though still surprisingly good even in 1927, had nonetheless been upstaged by its contemporaries, and the director of this epic, Henry Ford, was not blameless. His dogmatic resistance to change allowed Chevrolet to beat Ford to the number-one position in 1927.

Classic Cars Image Gallery

1932 Ford Model 18 Forder Sedan V-8
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
The DeLuxe V-8 1932 Ford Fordor sedan, here in Washington Blue with black fenders, enjoyed a production run of 20,471 units. It sold for $645. See more classic car pictures.

That first body blow came in a year when new car registrations were down by nearly one-million units. Chevy not only outsold Ford, but did it to the tune of a quarter-million vehicles. Of course, Ford Motor Company had been shut down most of that year, throwing 60,000 workers onto the street while Henry labored to rush his new Model A into production. The cost had been extremely heavy: hundreds of millions of dollars, plus the loss of market leadership again in 1928, when Chevy outsold Ford by another quarter-million units.

A good turn of speed and plenty of acceleration were qualities that soon endeared the Model A to the general public, putting Ford back on top in 1929 by over half-a-million registrations. The firm earned a handsome profit of $91 million.

Unfortunately, the economic boom ended abruptly as the Wall Street crash of October 1929 devastated the industrial world. The following year, helped by $29 million worth of advertising, Ford's market share rose by over five percent -- but sales actually fell by a quarter million. If anything, 1931 was even worse, with sales skidding another half million, and for the third time, Ford lost market leadership to Chevy. In fact, Ford's production had plummeted nearly 50 percent, whereas Chevrolet's drop was negligible.

Henry Ford knew that something had to be done, something that would catch the imagination of the buying public just as forcefully as his beloved Model T had done two decades earlier. Of course, Henry knew all along what was going on, but being a secretive man he disclosed few of his intentions. Engine development, for example, had been in progress all through the Twenties, and various configurations -- even an unsuccessful X-8 motor -- had been tried. But in the main, Henry liked fours: "I've got no use for a motor that has more spark plugs than a cow has teats."

Nevertheless, Henry had said in 1929 (to a very select few) that "We're going from a four to an eight because Chevrolet is going to a six." As he revealed his plans to engineer Fred Thoms, he also instructed him to "Get all the eight-cylinder engines that you can." Thoms duly acquired nine V-8s, most of which were of multiple-piece construction from high-priced cars such as Cadillac, LaSalle, Cunningham, and Henry's own Lincoln, which sold for a towering $4,600.

However, while desiring the prestige of a V-8, Ford planned to produce more than 3000 engines a day, which meant that a cheap-to-produce monoblock design was critical to his plan. The 1930 Oakland and 1929 Viking (Pontiac and Oldsmobile companion cars) did have monoblock V-8s, but their engines were still expensive to manufacture; the cars were priced at $1,000 and $1,700, respectively.

Ford was determined to sell his V-8-engined car for $500-$600. Not surprisingly, it was nearly everybody's judgment that a low-priced, mass-produced V-8, with the block cast in one piece, was impossible. Henry's answer was simple: "Anything that can be drawn up can be cast."

To learn more about the early plans and designs of the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18, continue on to the next page.

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Designing the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18

Designing the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18 -- starting with the V-8 engine -- involved the input and planning of many people.

Under the direction of Laurence Sheldrick, engineer Arnold Soth had started work on a V-8 in May 1930. His 60-degree V-8 of square design had a displacement of 299 cubic inches. Once again, however, Henry Ford's directives presented the engineers with problems. He wanted this engine built without an oil pump; instead, the flywheel would throw oil into a tank in the valve chamber from whence it would run down to the bearings. Needless to say, that engine quickly burned out on the dynamometer.

1932 Ford Model 18 Victoria V-8
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
The 1932 Ford Model 18 Victoria was billed as a five-passenger coupe, though one could just as easily have called it a close-coupled (and far more stylish) two-door sedan. Only 8586 of the 1932 Ford Victorias were produced for the U.S.

Unknown to anyone else, even his son Edsel, Henry had started engineers Carl Shultz and Ray Laird working on his ideas in Thomas Edison's old Fort Myers laboratory, which had been relocated from Florida to Henry's newly established Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan.

Ford then asked Ed "Spider" Huff -- who had worked with Ford since Henry built his Quadricycle in 1896 and was now head of the electrical laboratory -- to develop the ignition system. Huff's unwelcome reply was that it couldn't be done the way Henry wanted and there was no use bothering with it.

That was hardly the kind of answer old Henry wanted. Instead, he instructed Emil Zoerlein to develop the ignition system, similar to those found today, mounted on the front of the engine and driven directly from the camshaft. Ford told him, "You'll probably run into a lot of opposition on that, but that is what I want, and that is what is going on this engine."

Henry also cautioned Zoerlein, as he sent him over to the Fort Meyers laboratory, "What you see back there I want you to keep to yourself and not say a word to anybody about it. We are designing a V-8 engine." Ford was emphatic about its secrecy saying, "Keep Sheldrick out."

Shultz and Laird were concentrating on transferring Ford's ideas into reality, but there seemed little urgency, probably because business was good in 1930, with Ford selling more than one-million vehicles -- almost double Chevrolet's total. Success for Schultz and Laird came in November 1930 when two different 90-degree V-8 designs were completed. One was of the same square dimensions as the ill-fated 299-inch Soth engine, but the other had a bore of 3.375 inches and a stroke of 3.25 inches, giving a displacement of 232.5 cubic inches.

With the help of Herman Reinhold, blocks were secretly cast at the Rouge, and by February 1931 the first engine was running. By June, four engines designated Model 24 were installed in revamped Model As for testing. Even Henry Ford and his friend Thomas Edison drove them between Dearborn and Ford's winter house in Macon, Georgia. But Ford decided that "The time wasn't right, the depression was on, business was bad." Instead, he decided to release an improved Model A, and work on that was begun in late summer 1931.

To learn more about the design of the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18, continue on to the next page.

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Perfecting the Design of the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18

Designing a new V-8 engine for the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18 took a lot of thought, planning, input, and effort. By 1931, the new engines were being tested.

The Ford Rouge plant was abuzz with activity, nowhere more so than in the engine laboratory, where it was realized that the new inline four must show a significant improvement over the Model A engine. While the basic 200.5-cubic-inch block was retained, numerous modifications were made to increase the power output. A high-lift cam, new crank, new larger mains, and new rods with bigger bearings were exploited with careful balancing.

1932 Ford Model 18 phaeton V-8 engine
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
A new V-8 engine, such as the one in this 1932 Ford Model 18 phaeton, required years of designing and testing by Ford engineers.

When the engine was put into production in November, engineers believed they had the perfect four. It may have been perfect for Ford, but 50 horsepower wouldn't have been outstanding even in 1927 when the Model A was introduced, and it certainly wasn't in 1932. Contemporary cars, some with four-cylinder engines, produced more than this. For example, the 1932 Plymouth PB's 196.1-cid four developed an impressive 65 horses, slightly more than the 60 generated by Chevy's 194-cid, valve-in-head six.

Elsewhere in the Rouge, "Stamping Joe" Galamb came up with the idea of eliminating the Ford's side aprons, suggesting a new full-width frame that would be visible between the body and the running boards, thus eliminating the need for the aprons. Unfortunately, these new U-section frames were not torsionally rigid.

To compensate, Gene Farkas designed a rectangular-section, tubular cross member. It would have been expensive and difficult to manufacture, and Henry was persuaded it wasn't necessary. But the lack of rigidity became more apparent as the cars reached the road and twice dealers would be instructed to mount special strengthening plates. The problem was inherent, so the rejected cross member had to be adopted for 1933.

As usual, Henry laid down a few controlling factors, insisting for example that all his cars retain cross (transverse) springs. And, distrusting the tendency of brake fluid to leak, he always insisted on mechanical brakes, advertising the "Safety of steel from toe to wheel." Ford wouldn't make the switch to hydraulic brakes until 1939.

On the other hand, after having test driven a Model A across a field, Henry said that "Somebody must represent the public. It rides too hard. Put on hydraulic shock absorbers." Their fitment to the Model A, and its successors, set a precedent for low-priced production automobiles.

Ford was always stubbornly reluctant to follow anybody's lead. That's why he wanted to go from a four to an eight (rather than to a six) and why he resisted the adoption of rubber engine mounts. "Cast Iron Charlie" Sorensen recounted the arrival one day of Walter Chrysler in his new Plymouth with "Patented Floating Power," saying, "Henry Ford did not like it. For no given reason, he just didn't like it, and that was that."

Sure enough, the mounts were not fitted to the Model B when it first went into production. Ford had, nevertheless, taken note of them, for they were installed on the V-8. The mounts were developed for Ford by Firestone engineers because Ford employed only about 200 engineers and -- like many manufacturers then and now -- used outside suppliers to help develop components.

To learn more about the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18, continue on to the next page.

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Preparing to Produce the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18

With the new V-8 engines almost ready, Henry Ford's factories had to begin preparing to produce the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18 cars -- after some last-minute tweaking.

While Henry gave many directives for the mechanical design of his automobiles, he paid scant attention to styling, leaving that side of things to his son Edsel. He did, however, take notice of the public criticism of the A's cowl-mounted gas tank. As a result, Ford decided it would be moved to the back and that a pump would deliver fuel. Edsel was more than happy about that move because it gave him and designer Eugene T. "Bob" Gregorie more freedom to work on the overall styling. Gregorie would create styling sketches that were checked by Joe Galamb and Edsel before being put up as full-size clay models.

1932 Ford Model 18 roadster V-8
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
The most desirable 1932 Ford Model B or Model 18 is probably the roadster, but only 15,115 were built worldwide, 9268 of them with the V-8. Compared to the cabriolet, a true convertible, the roadster sported a jauntier look.

Toward the end of 1931, Ford and many of its suppliers were already producing parts for what was to be called the Model B, but Mr. Ford wasn't happy. By the first week of December, he had made up his mind. On the morning of the seventh, after just one hour in consultation with Edsel, he decided to temporarily abort production of the B and come out with the world's first low-priced V-8 in 1932.

The production lines (which hadn't really gotten started) were stopped, and cessation orders went out to suppliers. In the following days, most of the 50,000 workers became engaged in ripping out the old equipment and installing hastily designed and manufactured machinery for building the V-8.

At this point, the press was buzzing with speculation about Ford's plans. When letters poured in urging Ford not to discontinue the four, Henry responded by saying, "We shall continue to make the four-cylinder model. The eight is only two fours, you know."

Meanwhile, Henry and many others concentrated on changing the plant over to production of the V-8. The automotive world's best-kept secret was out, and Ford was to about to produce the product that he hoped would be the key to free the company and America from the gridlock of the Depression. Henry had indeed started something: By the second week of February 1932, he announced the reemployment of 30,000 men, confidence was gaining, and America was beginning a gradual journey back to work.

By the end of the month, Ford announced his intention to spend more than $300 million in Michigan alone in 1932. Unfortunately, he could expect little return during the forthcoming year, when he planned to "risk all" to produce 1.5 million vehicles.

Charles Sorensen, Ford's untitled chief engineer, remembered Henry's reaction after being told that to revamp the plant was going to cost $50 million: "We have too much money in the bank. That doesn't do that bunch in the front office any good. When they look at it they become self-satisfied, and I know they are getting lazy. Let's you and me pull that down. You do that until it hurts. I know this new car will bring in more money than ever. We have too much money, Charlie, let's you and me get it working."

To learn more about the reaction to the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18, continue on to the next page.

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Reaction to the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18

Now let's consider the reaction to the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18. With the public introduction of the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18 looming, the press speculated about the new arrivals. The factory had nothing to say, but dealers indicated that Thursday, March 31, 1932, would be the first public showing. National, full-page newspaper advertisements (paid for by dealers) appeared on Tuesday, March 29, announcing the new Ford V-8. Two days later, more ads depicted for the first time the new V-8 engine and quoted prices ranging from $460 for the roadster to $650 for the convertible sedan. The four-cylinder Model Bs cost $50 less.

1932 Ford Model 18 Victoria V-8
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
Like all 1932 Ford Victoria Model 18 V-8s, this one rode a 106.5-inch wheelbase.

From a distance, the 1932 didn't seem all that different from the Model A, but closer inspection revealed it to be all-new from radiator cap to taillight. Edsel and all who'd helped him could rightfully feel proud, for this was far and away the best-looking Ford yet -- an opinion soon confirmed by the nation's youth, who would covet the 1932 "Deuce" for hot rodding above all other cars.

As with the Model A, the design team had taken its styling cues from the imposing Lincolns that so embodied Edsel's artistic taste. The objective had been a smaller-scale adaptation incorporating the same sculptured lines and fine detailing. And because the body design was coordinated with the new chassis being developed, the new Ford looked lower and sleeker, and in fact had a lower center of gravity for a better ride and handling.

Also heavily involved in the new Ford were body suppliers Briggs, Murray, and Budd, who fine-tuned the approved stampings in anticipation of fat production contracts.

The result was the first Ford that could boast both outstanding performance and beauty. As an impressed newsman wrote after the San Francisco preview, "In the new Ford car the eye is caught by the bright beauty of the rustless-steel head-lamps, and travels along the bead on the side of the hood toward the rear of the car [giving] the impression of an arrow in flight. The bodies are fresh and modern, from the gracefully rounded V-type [vertical-bar] radiator to the rear bumper. The convex lamps, full-crowned fenders and long, low running boards harmonize with the balance of the design."

A wheelbase extended 2.5 inches to 106 inches enhanced not only external appearance, but interior room as well. And because the rear transverse spring was relocated behind the differential, the "spring base" was 113.5 inches, allowing for both a smoother ride and a lowering of the car by 2 1/2 inches (also helped by replacing the Model A's 19-inch wheels with 18-inch units).

To learn more about the revolutionary elements of the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18, continue on to the next page.

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Revolutionary Elements of the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18

Now we'll consider the many revolutionary elements of the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18. For a Ford, the new V-8's interior was almost as revolutionary as its exterior. While the headlight switch remained at the horn button, as on the Model A, the key and ignition switch were sensibly combined into a single anti-theft unit at the steering column bracket. With the ignition toggle "off" and the key removed, the steering gear locked the front wheels for parking. It was a wonderful idea (still in use today), though it took some getting used to. The uninitiated were forever removing the key before stopping, thus running into all sorts of locked-up trouble.

1932 Ford Model 18 phaeton V-8 interior
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
In the 1932 Ford Model 18 phaeton V-8, a leather interior, sidemount spare, and luggage rack were quality touches.

Instruments, including an 80-mph speedometer, were grouped in a handsome, engine-turned oval housing trimmed with a stainless bead strip and mounted in a mahogany-color panel, a design theme borrowed from the Lincoln. Sun visors were arranged to swing out of the way, while the usual top-hinged windshield now opened on a pair of adjustable arms.

Following now-customary Ford practice, fine wool, mohair, and leather upholstery were offered. Also per tradition, fenders on all models were dipped in black enamel, while bodies came in a fair choice of colors with contrasting reveals and pinstriping.

Models numbered no fewer than 17 (34 counting fours and V-8s), arrayed in Standard and DeLuxe series. Base-trim body styles comprised the Tudor and Fordor sedans, three-window coupe with trunk or rumble seat, roadster (also with trunk or rumble seat), and four-door phaeton. To these, the DeLuxe series added the Victoria, a five-passenger "coupe"; two-door convertible sedan, still with fixed side-window frames; a rumble-seat convertible cabriolet; plus a Sport Coupe with a rumble seat and dummy landau top irons.

Though officially listed within the commercial vehicle line, an eight-passenger woody station wagon was also available with a four or V-8. Early 1932 ads listed "fourteen body types," completely ignoring the wagon and counting both the two-passenger and four-passenger (rumble-seat) roadsters and coupes as one model rather than two.

1932 Ford Model 18 coupe
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
The 1932 Ford Model 18 coupe was the first Ford to have a grille to hide the radiator. Because of the handsome, clean design, hot rodders still seek it out.

Introductory ads touted many benefits of the new Model 18 Fords: "Eight-cylinder, 90-degree V-type, 65-horse-power Engine o Vibrationless o Roomy, Beautiful Bodies o Low Center of Gravity o Silent Second Gear o Synchronized Silent Gear Shift o Seventy-five Miles per Hour o New Self-adjusting Houdaille Double-acting Hydraulic Shock Absorbers with Thermo-static Control o Comfortable Riding Springs o Rapid Acceleration o Low Gasoline Consumption o Reliability Automatic Spark Control o Down-draft Carburetor o 90-degree Counterbalanced Crankshaft."

If anything, the ads understated the capabilities of the new 221-cubic-inch flathead V-8, for while it was advertised at 65 horsepower, it actually developed about 70 bhp on a compression ratio of 5.5:1; many claimed that top speed was more like 80 mph.

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Production Problems with the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18

Not everything went smoothly: there were production problems with the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18. According to contemporary reports, 5.5 million people turned out to see the new Fords upon introduction, and within days the firm claimed 200,000 orders.

The question was, could Henry Ford meet the demand? Perhaps the biggest problem faced by the buying public was the fact that there just wasn't much money around. People were either unwilling or unable to answer Henry's call as they had in 1928 and 1929. Important though this fact was, it only served to disguise the real problem: Ford just could not deliver.

1932 Ford Model 18 station wagon
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
Only 568 of the jaunty V-8 roadster version of the 1932 Ford Model 18 station wagon sold. But the 1932 DeLuxe Ford coupe attracted 21,175 buyers.

Thirteen million people saw the car over the first weekend, but many of the 1000 or so cars gracing dealership showrooms were to stay where they were, for dealers were uncertain when replacements would arrive. In addition, it's doubtful they were aware of the problems that would soon follow.

The people who had no trouble obtaining a new Ford were those with clout. Actor Wallace Beery took delivery of two DeLuxe Tudors and one station wagon, while Buster Keaton and Louis B. Mayer both became proud V-8 owners.

Ford obviously didn't foresee the production problems that were to delay the delivery of his new V-8 and thereby allow the other manufacturers, notably Chevrolet, to get almost a five-month lead on him for the 1932 model year. Nor did Henry anticipate the unreliability of the car he had just spent millions developing, and he certainly didn't understand the fact that although he was prepared to risk all to stimulate the economy, it wouldn't be enough in the depths of the Depression. During 1932 Ford lost almost $75 million.

Nearly all of the first 2000 V-8 motors needed to have their camshafts, pushrods, valves, valve guides, and front cover changed. While the next 2000 or so would need at least a new front cover, even then none of the first 4250 cars could be sold; instead, they were to be used as demonstrators.

Many running changes occurred both before and after production began. Early Model Bs had a black-painted dash with only choke and throttle control knobs. The starter button changed position several times and at one point was a T-handled pull-rod. When the V-8 was introduced, it had an engine-turned panel with the throttle on the left, choke in the center, and a switch for the dash light on the right.

By April, the Model B had thorn brown, rather than black, panels with the throttle on the left and the choke on the right. No dash light would be provided until June, a month after the damascened panel was also made standard for all models. The starter button for all American cars was now on the floor between the clutch and brake, and many other minor changes were also seen.

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Response to the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18

The response to the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18 was powerful. As soon as the cars finally started to reach the public, letters of complaint began to flood into Dearborn. In their wake came an equal and opposite flow of service and change letters from Ford Motor Company. Some dealt with minor alterations such as a new oil filler assembly; others instructed dealers to totally dismantle engines for a bearing modification.

1932 Ford Model 18 roadster V-8
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
Auto racers were impressed with the V-8 engine in the 1932 Ford Model 18 roadster.

Every major facet of the engine's workings caused some sort of problem -- in the induction and fuel supply, the bearings and lubrication, and the electrical system -- but by 1934 most of the wrinkles had been sorted out. It was just unfortunate that Mr. Ford, in his eagerness to stimulate the economy, became one of the first automakers to ask the public to do its development engineering.

One group easily convinced of the V-8's performance attributes was the auto racers. However, it wouldn't be until 1933 that the engine's full potential would be realized, when Ford V-8s took the first seven places in the Elgin Road Race in Illinois. Perhaps an indication of what was to come was Fred Frame's 1932 victory lap at the Indianapolis Speedway in a Ford V-8 roadster (a Lincoln driven by Edsel was the Official Pace Car).

Also impressed with the performance of the new Ford was Britain's The Motor magazine. It marveled in its June 14, 1932, issue over the V-8's "Exceptional Acceleration and Hill-climbing, Quiet Running and a High Maximum Speed." Specifically, a test Victoria spurted from 0-60 mph in 16.8 seconds, topped out at 76 mph, and could lug down to four miles per hour in top gear.

In addition, The Autocar, a competing British publication, stated that "The driver is conscious of the unusual ratio of power to weight...Furthermore, acceleration is devoid of hesitation, the car veritably shooting forward the instant the throttle is depressed."

Pennzoil, meanwhile, had racing driver Eddie Pullen and his crew drive a total of 33,301 miles in 33 days around the Mojave Desert. In temperatures averaging between 110-114 degrees, their Victoria averaged 41.8 mph and 19.64 miles per gallon, using 11/2 pints of oil every 1,000 miles.

To learn more about the Depression's effect on the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18, continue on to the next page.

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The Depression and the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18

What was the Depression's effect on the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18? Unfortunately, the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18 were not able to pull the country out of the Depression. Henry Ford could hardly expect his cars for the masses to be bought by the masses if they couldn't find work to earn the money to pay for them.

Instead of hiring one man for a week, the company (and others as well) might employ one man for two days and another for three. With heads of families desperately seeking jobs, jealousy and suspicion ran wild. Accusations of favoritism were numerous.

1932 Ford Model 18 phaeton V-8
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
By 1932, most buyers preferred closed cars, but today this 1932 Ford Model 18 phaeton is far more desirable.

Sadly, Mr. Ford's V-8 would not be the engine to drive the country out of the Depression. Because of the slow production start-up, sales were low until June 1932, when they reached some 55,000 units, nearly as many as Chevrolet and Plymouth combined. But by July it could be seen that the demand just wasn't there. Sales fell back, production was halved, and wages were cut to $4 a day. Interestingly, when his workers were earning $6 a day in 1929, Henry Ford's earnings had been $14 million, Edsel's $8 million.

For July through September 1932, production hovered around 20,000 units per month, but gradually trailed off along with sales. A massive sales drive in October helped, but November saw layoffs and more than three-quarters of a million Michigan workers unemployed, 70 percent of them in Detroit. The figure had been only half a million in January.

By December, four of Ford's 33 U.S. plants had closed down, another 19 by January -- many never to reopen. February saw the start of 1933 Model 40 production in eight plants. Total North American output for 1932 had been a little over 300,000 cars, a far cry from Henry's predicted million and a half.
The average loss to Ford on every car sold in 1932 was $250, but Mr. Ford didn't see it that way, saying to Charlie Sorensen, "We did not lose it. We spent it. Most of it went in wage envelopes, the rest for taxes; but we did not lose it -- we used it. If we had dropped it on the stock market, that would have been losing it."

Despite the difficult beginning, the V-8 would continue to receive many refinements and endure for another 21 years. The four, on the other hand, saw relatively few installations in 1933 and fewer still for 1934, so it was dropped. Fortunately for Ford and most of the auto industry, 1932 was the low point of the Depression, after which sales began a gradual improvement.

Though it was born in tough times and arrived needing further development, the "Deuce" Ford nevertheless has had many loyal and enthusiastic fans for a very long time, and still does. Among them are not only hot rodders, but old car enthusiasts in general-all of whom appreciate the 1932 ford Model B and Model 18's timeless styling and snappy V-8 performance.

To learn about specifications of the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18, continue on to the next page.

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1932 Ford Model B and Model 18 Specifications

The 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18 were not without their glitches, but they were still attractive and, in some cases, sought-after vehicles. Here are the specifications for the 1932 Ford Model B and Model 18:

1932 Ford: Models, Prices, Production



Model B 4-cylinder Wght Price Domestic K.D.1 Can. Foreign Totals
roadster, 2P


$410 984 63 166 93 1,306
roadster, 2/4Pp
2,144 435

phaeton, 5P
2,238 445 613 332 305 463 1,713
coupe, 2P
2,236 440 20,692 66 924 195 21,877
coupe, 2/4P
2,261 465

Sport Coupe, 2/4P
2,286 485 742 129 103 157 1,131
Tudor sedan, 5P
2,378 450 37,122 3,497 3,152 11,346 55,117
Forder sedan, 5P
2,413 540 4,224 2,073 839 3,636 10,772
DeLuxe roadster, 2/4P
2,178 450 3,727 316 286 216 4,545
DeLuxe phaeton, 5P
2,268 495 300 75 54 39 468
DeLuxe coupe, 2/4P
2,364 525 970 111 53 124 1,258
Victoria coupe, 5P
2,344 550 526 107 66 137 836
cabriolet, 2/4P
2,295 560 429 262 60 316 1,067
DeLuxe Tudor sdn, 5P
2,398 500 4,082 163 290 1,896 6,431
DeLuxe Fordor sdn, 5P
2,432 595 2,684 1,697 334 5,684 10,399
convertible sedan, 5P
2,349 600 42 79 47 65 233
4d station wagon, 8P
2,505 600 1,052 0 16 4 1,072
Total Model B

78,189 8,970 6,695 24,371 118,225


Model 18 V-8r
Wght Price Domestic K.D.1 Can. Foreign Totals
roadster, 2P
2,242 $460 568 78 135 124 905
roadster, 2/4P
2,283 485

phaeton, 5P
2,369 495 600 351 369 305 1,625
coupe, 2P
2,412 490 31,112 140 881 97 32,230
coupe, 2/4P
2,453 515

Sport Coupe, 2/4P
2,422 535 2,169 50 107 133 2,459
Tudor sedan, 5P
2,512 500 62,697 4,914 2,878 2,940 73,429
Fordor sedan, 5P
2,549 590 9,984 1,510 1,264 1,243 14,001
DeLuxe roadster, 2/4P
2,308 500 7,318 184 482 379 8,363
DeLuxe phaeton, 5P
2,375 545 978 75 336 118 1,507
DeLuxe coupe, 2/4P
2,502 575 21,175 152 812 277 22,416
Victoria coupe, 5P
2,488 600 8,054 0 527 289 8,870
cabriolet, 2/4P
2,415 610 5,962 245 690 411 7,308
DeLuxe Tudor sdn, 5P
2,522 550 20,200 1,074 696 1,216 23,186
DeLuxe Fordor sdn, 5P
2,568 645 20,471 1,797 1,105 2,594 25,967
convertible sedan, 5P
2,480 650 884 21 103 155 1,163
4d station wagon, 8P
2,635 650 331 0 3 0 334
Total Model 18

192,503 10,591 10,388 10,281 223,763
Total Model B and 18


1Knock-down units for export. Source: '32 Ford, The Deuce: A Formal and Sporting History of Ford's First V8 and the Model B, by Tony Thacker, Osprey Publishing Limited, London, 1984.

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