Ford Model B (1932)

Ford Model B (1932)

Overview
The Model B was a Ford automobile with production starting with model year
Model year
The model year of a product is a number used worldwide, but with a high level of prominence in North America, to describe approximately when a product was produced, and indicates the coinciding base specification of that product....

 1932 and ending with 1934. It was a much updated version of the Model A and was replaced by the 1935 Ford Model 48
Ford Model 48
The Model 48 was an update on Ford's V8-powered Model 40A, the company's main product. Introduced in 1935, the Model 48 was given a cosmetic refresh annually, begetting the 1937 Ford before being thoroughly redesigned for 1941...

. Strictly speaking, the Model B was a four-cylinder car with an improved version of the engine used in the Model A, but Ford also began producing a very similar car with Ford's new flathead V‑8 engine.
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Encyclopedia
The Model B was a Ford automobile with production starting with model year
Model year
The model year of a product is a number used worldwide, but with a high level of prominence in North America, to describe approximately when a product was produced, and indicates the coinciding base specification of that product....

 1932 and ending with 1934. It was a much updated version of the Model A and was replaced by the 1935 Ford Model 48
Ford Model 48
The Model 48 was an update on Ford's V8-powered Model 40A, the company's main product. Introduced in 1935, the Model 48 was given a cosmetic refresh annually, begetting the 1937 Ford before being thoroughly redesigned for 1941...

. Strictly speaking, the Model B was a four-cylinder car with an improved version of the engine used in the Model A, but Ford also began producing a very similar car with Ford's new flathead V‑8 engine. The V‑8 car was marketed as the Model 18, though it is commonly called the Ford V‑8, and, other than the engine, is virtually indistinguishable from the Model B.

Up to this time, Ford had produced only one "model" at each time with range of body options and retained the idea of a single basic platform, despite the engine choice and two associated model designations. (This explains why the colloquial name "Ford V‑8" by itself was sufficiently descriptive in the early 1930s; it was the Ford with a V‑8, unlike in later decades, when the paradigm of various models to a make became universal.) Model B and Model 18 Fords came in a large variety of body styles: two-door roadster
Roadster
A roadster is a two-seat open car with emphasis on sporty handling and without a fixed roof or side weather protection. Strictly speaking a roadster with wind-up windows is a convertible but as true roadsters are no longer made the distinction is now irrelevant...

, two-door cabriolet, four-door phaeton, two-door and four-door sedans, four-door 'woodie" station wagon, two-door Victoria, two-door convertible sedan, Panel and sedan deliveries
Sedan delivery
A sedan delivery, commonly called a delivery in American English and a car derived van in British English, is a two-door station wagon with a driver or driver and front passenger seats, and steel sheet-metal panels in place of rear side windows...

, five-window coupe
Coupé
A coupé or coupe is a closed car body style , the precise definition of which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and over time...

, a sport coupe (stationary softtop) and the three-window Deluxe Coupe. Prices ranged from US$
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

495 for the roadster and the coupe's $490 to the $650 convertible sedan. Production totals numbered from 12,597 for the roadster to 124,101 for the two-door sedan. 298,647 V8-powered Bs sold in 1932, and except for the fact Ford could not keep up with demand, the four-cylinder B would have been a disaster: dealers switched customers to them from the V8, and even then sold only 133,539, in part because the V8 cost only US$10 more. Nowadays, the roadster and coupe are most sought after, as these body styles are popular for streetrods and intact examples have become rare.

The Model 18 was the first low-priced, mass-marketed car to include a V‑8 engine, an important milestone in American automotive history. The V‑8 was rated at 65 hp (48 kW) when introduced, but power increased significantly with improvements to the carburetor and ignition in later years. This engine choice was more popular than the four-cylinder, which was essentially a variant of the Model A engine with improvements to balancing and lubrication. In both models the fuel tank was located in the lower rear of the car, as is typical in modern cars, rather than in the cowl as in the Model A and late Model T, requiring Ford to include an engine-driven fuel pump rather than rely on gravity feed.

The Ford V8 was also made by Ford in Britain in the 1930s. It was mildly re-styled and relaunched as the post-war Ford Pilot
Ford Pilot
The Ford Pilot Model E71A was a large car from Ford introduced in August 1947. It was effectively replaced in 1951 with the launch of Ford UK's Zephyr Six and Consul models, though V8 Pilots were still offered for sale, being gradually withdrawn during that year...

.

Today, the 1932 Model B is a highly collectible car that people will pay thousands of dollars to restore to exact original style. During the WWII period the Model Bs and V‑8s were frequently altered into hot rod
Hot rod
Hot rods are typically American cars with large engines modified for linear speed. The origin of the term "hot rod" is unclear. One explanation is that the term is a contraction of "hot roadster," meaning a roadster that was modified for speed. Another possible origin includes modifications to or...

s. This continued into the 1960s on a large scale, being noted in popular media of that time via a hit song
Little Deuce Coupe (song)
"Little Deuce Coupe" is a song written by Brian Wilson and Roger Christian. The song first appeared as the b-side to The Beach Boys' 1963 single "Surfer Girl"...

. Since the 1970s, 1932 bodies and frames have been reproduced either in fiberglass or lately in steel, which has helped resolve bodywork shortages, and increased the number of "rods" being created or restored. Those that are made are often very expensive. A typical auto-show hot rod may be $60,000 or more.

Deuce coupe


Deuce coupe is a slang term used to refer to the 1932 Ford coupe, derived from the year of manufacture. In the 1940s, the '32 Ford became an ideal hot rod
Hot rod
Hot rods are typically American cars with large engines modified for linear speed. The origin of the term "hot rod" is unclear. One explanation is that the term is a contraction of "hot roadster," meaning a roadster that was modified for speed. Another possible origin includes modifications to or...

. Hot rodders would strip weight off this readily available car and soup up
Engine tuning
Engine tuning is the adjustment, modification or design of internal combustion engines to yield optimal performance, to increase an engine's power output, economy, or durability....

 the engine. They came in two body styles, the more common "5-window" (two door windows, two quarter panel windows, and the rear window), and the rarer "3-window" De Luxe Coupe that featured rear-hinged suicide door
Suicide door
A suicide door is a car door hinged on the trailing edge, the edge closer to the rear of the vehicle. Such doors are rarely used on vehicles in modern times because of their disadvantages....

s.

1933 Ford



The 1933 revision of the car was substantial, especially considering how important the 1932 change had been. For its second year, the Ford's wheelbase was stretched from 106 in (2692 mm) to 112 in (2845 mm) on a new crossmember frame. The grille was revised, gaining a pointed forward slope at the bottom which resembled either a shovel
Shovel
A shovel is a tool for digging, lifting, and moving bulk materials, such as soil, coal, gravel, snow, sand, or ore. Shovels are extremely common tools that are used extensively in agriculture, construction, and gardening....

 or the 1932 Packard
Packard
Packard was an American luxury-type automobile marque built by the Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan, and later by the Studebaker-Packard Corporation of South Bend, Indiana...

. Both the grille and hood louvers curved down and forward.

Power from the V‑8 was also increased to 75 hp (56 kW) with a revised ignition system. The four-cylinder engine continued unchanged, but was referred to (by some) as the Model C. Ford Motor Company never referred to its "Improved Four-Cylinder engine" as a "Model C" engine. This is a common misconception due the introduction of a larger counterbalanced crankshaft during the Model B engine production, and the letter "C" casting mark on most, but not all, of the Model B heads. (Model A part number
Part number
A part number is an identifier of a particular part design used in a particular industry. Its purpose is to simplify referencing to that part...

 suffix was ‑A, Police Special High Compression head part number suffix was ‑b, and there was a fairly large letter "B" casting mark about the center of the head.) Total sales for the model year were up to 311,113.

1934 Ford


The 1934 Ford (called the Model 40A) was not as substantial a model year change as the previous two years had been. Noticeable changes included a flatter grille with a wider surround and straight hood louvers. V‑8 output was again increased, this time to 85 hp (63 kW), and the four-cylinder
Straight-4
The inline-four engine or straight-four engine is an internal combustion engine with all four cylinders mounted in a straight line, or plane along the crankcase. The single bank of cylinders may be oriented in either a vertical or an inclined plane with all the pistons driving a common crankshaft....

Model B engine was in its last year, as was the Victoria body style; nevertheless, there were fourteen body options, the Tudor being top-seller.

Modern hot rods


Most newly built hot rods use fiberglass or more expensive, newly minted, steel bodies. The classic 1932 Ford lines are closely reproduced with new bodies. Sometimes original bodies are used, but the cost of originals is quite high. 1933 Fords are also popular starting points for hot rod construction.

Because the 1932 Ford is extremely popular with hot rodders, unmodified versions are becoming exceptionally rare.

Sources

  • Brinkley, Douglas. Wheels For The World: Henry Ford, His Company And A Century Of Progress.
  • Gauld, Graham. "The Ford Motor Company", in Northey, Tom, ed. World of Automobiles, Volume 6, pp.681-700. London: Phoebus, 1974.

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