A Second Look at the 1932 Ford

????????????????????????EXPANDED AND REVISED – The 1932 Ford is one of America’s most beloved cars. Using rare facts and original factory photos, here we take a detailed look at the special car known as the Deuce.

 

 

 

Editor’s note — It’s no secret that we’re big fans of the 1932 Ford here at Mac’s Motor City Garage. Hey, who isn’t? Along with the 1957 Chevy and the 1965 Mustang, the Deuce is one of America’s most beloved cars. This feature originally appeared in August 2012, and with more facts and photos available, it’s time for an update. Also, you can find more stories about the 1932 Ford here and here. 

 

The 1932 Ford, known to posterity as the Deuce, is so frequently hot-rodded and reproduced that original and restored examples are relatively rare. In the interest of history (and just to be different) this feature will focus entirely on stock production vehicles. In the slide show gallery below, you’ll find a number of original factory photos, as well as some restored cars that were photographed at the 2012 EyesOn Design car show at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan. The show that year included a special exhibit celebrating the 80th anniversary of the 1932 Ford, and since the Deuce was one of Edsel Ford’s most memorable creations, it made a fitting tribute.

While the ’32 Ford is forever associated with the famed flathead V8 engine introduced the same year, roughly a third of the approximately 323,000 passenger units produced in 1932 were four-cylinder Model B vehicles. (The Model B engine was a refined, upgraded version of the venerable Model A four.) The V8 carried the Model 18 designation. However, all the various body styles carry a B prefix in their identification regardless of the engine type; for example, B-40 for Roadster and B-520 for the Deluxe Coupe (aka three-window; body by Murray.)

 

1932 Ford B-35 Phaeton cabin dimensions

The chassis number was stamped on the left frame rail in three locations, while the engine number, which also served as the legal serial number in most jurisdictions, was stamped on the transmission bell housing. In the photos below, you’ll see Henry Ford and W.R. Campbell, head of Ford’s Canadian operations, ceremonially hand-stamping the first units.

Although the Deuce is held in high regard today, in 1932 it was a bit of a lemon, at least by today’s consumer standards. The brand new V8 engine was fraught with development problems throughout the model year, including overheating and crankshaft failures. Also, the chassis was insufficiently rigid and prone to flexing and cracking, which in turn produced fracturing and tearing of the body sheet metal. A number of factory dealer bulletins addressed these problems. And in production, the center crossmember was upgraded several times while the frame rails were reinforced at the rear kickup using multiple methods. For 1933, the frame was completely redesigned with a  robust X-type crossmember.

 

1932 Ford B-68 V8 Deluxe Cabriolet watercolor

 

The ’32 is that rare thing among early Fords, a one-year model. Unlike the earlier T and A and in contrast to the later ’33 to ’48 V8 models, the Deuce pretty much stands alone. There’s considerable parts interchangeability with other years, naturally, but the bodies, frame, and many other components are unique to ’32. And as early Ford enthusiasts know, Deuce parts sell for 50 to 100 percent more than comparable pieces for other years, and for no other reason than they are Deuce parts.

And Deuce guys pay these prices. The ’32 Ford is just special that way. It has that hold on people. In the lead photograph above of the DeLuxe Coupe in the forest, the young lady only assumes the young man is carving her initials in the tree. More likely, he’s recording his total devotion to the cherry three-window. More photos below.

 

W.R. Campbell stamping first Canadian Ford V8
Lewis Wolff 1932 Ford B-190 V8 Victoria
Joseph P. Abella B-82 1932 Ford Closed Cab pickup
1932 Ford B-68 V8 Cabriolet
1932 Ford Deluxe Fordor Sedan
John Egbert 1932 Ford Station Wagon
1932 Ford body drop
1932 Ford B-68 Deluxe V8 Cabriolet
Henry Ford stamping 1932 Ford Job One
H. Lynn Stringer 1932 Ford V8 Deluxe Roadster
Louis and Pamela Ironside 1932 Ford B-55 Tudor Sedan
1932 Ford V8 Tudor Sedan peace officer
1932 Ford V-8 Model 18 Roadster William and Jenell Larson
1932 Ford Deluxe Roadster golf course
Lewis Wolff 1932 Ford B-400 V8 Deluxe Convertible Sedan
1932 Ford B-520 DeLuxe Coupe at vista
1932 Ford B-35 Phaeton cabin dimensions
1932 Ford B-400 Convertible Sedan
1932 Ford Roadster Pickup
1932 Ford Model B Coupe Police
Lynn Stringer 1932 Ford Model B Standard Coupe B-45
1932 Ford B-68 Deluxe Cabriolet
1932 Ford assembly line engine installed in chassis
1932 Ford Model B Coupe Prototype
1932 Ford B-50 V8 Sport Coupe
1932 Ford DeLuxe Roadster
1932 Ford B-68 V8 Deluxe Cabriolet watercolor
1932 Ford V-8 Model 18 Roadster William and Jennell Larson
Ken Bruening 1932 Ford B-160 Fordor Sedan
1932 Ford Sport Coupe hill
Lewis Wolff 1932 Ford B-76 Open Cab Pickup
1932 Ford B-520 V8 Deluxe Coupe
1932 Ford Victoria dealer delivery
1932 Ford Deluxe Phaeton two ladies aboard
1932 Ford DeLuxe Coupe
1932 Ford Standard Coupe

W.R. Campbell stamping first Canadian Ford V8

Lewis Wolff 1932 Ford B-190 V8 Victoria

Joseph P. Abella B-82 1932 Ford Closed Cab pickup

1932 Ford B-68 V8 Cabriolet

1932 Ford Deluxe Fordor Sedan

John Egbert 1932 Ford Station Wagon

1932 Ford body drop

1932 Ford B-68 Deluxe V8 Cabriolet

Henry Ford stamping 1932 Ford Job One

H. Lynn Stringer 1932 Ford V8 Deluxe Roadster

Louis and Pamela Ironside 1932 Ford B-55 Tudor Sedan

1932 Ford V8 Tudor Sedan peace officer

1932 Ford V-8 Model 18 Roadster William and Jenell Larson

1932 Ford Deluxe Roadster golf course

Lewis Wolff 1932 Ford B-400 V8 Deluxe Convertible Sedan

1932 Ford B-520 DeLuxe Coupe at vista

1932 Ford B-35 Phaeton cabin dimensions

1932 Ford B-400 Convertible Sedan

1932 Ford Roadster Pickup

1932 Ford Model B Coupe Police

Lynn Stringer 1932 Ford Model B Standard Coupe B-45

1932 Ford B-68 Deluxe Cabriolet

1932 Ford assembly line engine installed in chassis

1932 Ford Model B Coupe Prototype

1932 Ford B-50 V8 Sport Coupe

1932 Ford DeLuxe Roadster

1932 Ford B-68 V8 Deluxe Cabriolet watercolor

1932 Ford V-8 Model 18 Roadster William and Jennell Larson

Ken Bruening 1932 Ford B-160 Fordor Sedan

1932 Ford Sport Coupe hill

Lewis Wolff 1932 Ford B-76 Open Cab Pickup

1932 Ford B-520 V8 Deluxe Coupe

1932 Ford Victoria dealer delivery

1932 Ford Deluxe Phaeton two ladies aboard

1932 Ford DeLuxe Coupe

1932 Ford Standard Coupe

 

Note: Lives have been spent and volumes have been recorded exploring the history and lore of the 1932 Ford. If you’d like to learn more about the Deuce, these two books are a great start: 

The Early Ford V-8 as Henry Built It by Edward P. Francis and George De Angelis, Motor Cities Publishing Co;, ISBN 0-911383-03-4; $41.95

The 1932 Ford Book: A Production Chronicle and Restoration Guide by David G. Roher, The Early Ford V8 Club of America; ISBN 978-0-615-26201-7; earlyfordv8.org; two volumes; $84.95

 

2 thoughts on “A Second Look at the 1932 Ford

  1. I love the way they have hooked the engine in pic 18. AS hook screwed in a plug hole!
    A V8 Deluxe coupe for me please.

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