Between 1932 and 1934, Ford only made 3 cars: the Model B, the Model 18 and the Model 40. The Model B replaced the Model A and offered a 201 cubic inch 4 cylinder engine. This 1932 Ford Roadster has been expertly restored and modified. Unfortunately the original Ford roadsters are incredibly rare and hard to come by due to the number of customizations you could make.
Even mixed with unoriginal parts, a restored custom rod can be pretty insane. Check out this crazy car with awesome flame decals. In fact I’ve seen a lot of custom hot rods with exposed engines and flames up the side. It’s the ultimate badass engine.
But back to the origins. The Model 18 Ford offered a 221 cubic inch V8 flathead and was the very first Ford with a flathead V8, a momentous occasion for the manufacturing giant. And that wasn’t the only first for Ford that year, but the Model 18 was also the very first low-priced, mass-marketed car with a V8. Initially the horsepower was a measly 65 but this increased greatly over the years with improvements to the carburettor, the ignition and all the fine-tuning car enthusiasts have been able to do.
Both the Model B and the Model 18/Model 40 shared the same bodies with a similar chassis and trim. The idea behind the Model B was to keep cost low with as few technical changes as possible which made it practically indistinguishable from the Model 18 and although it was hoped to be a price leader, the Model B was in fact made obsolete by the newer, shinier and only a smidgen more expensive Mode 18.
When the Model A was released in the late 20s, there were already four competitors on the market: Chevrolet, Dodge, Durant and Willys but the competition didn’t last long. The new Model B did have some distinguishing features such as a longer wheelbase and an outward curved dropped chassis. One of the most important modifications was the movement of the fuel tank that was removed from the front of the vehicle were it formed part of the dash and was relocated in the lower rear part of the car. This positioning is reflective of modern cars but at the time it forced Ford to include and engine-driven fuel pump in order to feed the fuel into the engine instead of relying on our trusty friend gravity.
I haven’t mentioned much about customizations, and seeming as though I brought it up earlier I believe it’s only right to talk about it now. The Model B and Model 18 came in both a Standard and Deluxe trim, but that wasn’t all. There was a whole host of body styles including:
- The 2-door roadster
- The 2-door cabriolet
- The 4-door phaeton
- The 2-door sedan
- The 4-door sedan
- The 4-door station wagon
- The 2-door Victoria
- The 2-door convertible sedan
- The 2-door sedan delivery
- The 5-window coupe
- The sport coupe
- The 3-window Deluxe Coupe
- The pickup
Some of the customizations included:
- Single or twin sidemounts
- Luggage rack
- Inside and outside mirrors
- Leather interior
- Broadcloth interior – closed cars only
Phew. That’s a lot of choice. Back in the day you could buy the Ford roadster for approximately $495 but these days it wouldn’t be uncommon for an original to be sold for thousands. And although that’s probably not surprising, Ford actually had difficulty keeping up with production demand as it sold almost 300,000 Model 18s in 1932 alone. Now that’s a lot of car.
The poor Model B was discontinued based solely on the fact that buyers just didn’t like 4-cylinder cars yet in Europe the tax system slightly favoured the smaller car and it was able to hang around just a little longer.
It’s safe to say that this little car has captured the hearts of thousands, including mine. I just love it’s huge grill, bulbous headlights and soft-top style. Whether it’s 1932 or 2016, the 1932 Ford Roadster is a winner for me.