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- See also: Ford Model B (1904)
|Manufacturer||Ford Motor Company|
Ford Model 18|
|Predecessor||Ford Model A|
1932: 2,692 mm (106.0 in)|
1933: 2,845 mm (112.0 in)
The Model B was a Ford automobile with production starting with model year 1932 and ending with 1934. It was a much updated version of the Model A and was replaced by the 1935 Ford Model 48. 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, 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, five-window coupe, a sport coupe (stationary softtop) and the three-window Deluxe Coupe. Prices ranged from US$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.
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 rods. This continued into the 1960s on a large scale, being noted in popular media of that time via a hit song. 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 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 rodders would strip weight off this readily available car and 'soup up' 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 doors.
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 or the 1932 Packard. 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 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 FordEditThe 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 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 rodsEdit
Most newly built hot rods use fiberglass or more expensive, newly pressed, 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.
List known surviving examples here
- David L. Lewis (2005). 100 Years of Ford. Publications International, 81–89. ISBN 0-7853-7988-6.
- "Generations: Ford Model T to Crown Victoria". Edmunds.com. Retrieved on August 21, 2006.
- 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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