|The 1932 Ford is regarded as being definitive hot rod, and has been since the birth of hot |
rodding as we know it back in the Thirties. The Deuce's popularity is easy to understand.
In 1931, the Model A was still very close to Henry Ford's heart. Sales were slipping, and the
stubborn Ford thought his dealers were the reason. When some of his staff were able to
convince him that the Model A had become obsolete in a marketplace where people wanted
more luxury in their cars, he had no firm plans for a new car or its engine.
Model A production was stopped in the United States and work on a completely new car began.
In addition to the greater comfort the public wanted, the design goals for the '32 Ford included
more power and more elegant lines.
The introduction of the 1932 Ford was, like the release of any new Ford in those days, quite an event. Some dealers displayed cars with special clear hoods that allowed customers
to see the new flathead Ford V-8 engine.
Although it was customary for a particular design to remain in production for two years, the
following year brought another complete redesign. The 1932 Ford represents the end of an era,
with American cars growing noticeably more aerodynamic in 1933. That same year also saw
the introduction of the Chrysler Airflow, and virtually all cars were given sleeker lines.
Windshields were laid back, fenders continued to wrap around more, covering more of the
chassis, and the process of building cars longer and lower continued.
Among hot rodders, the popularity of the 1932 Ford has always remained strong. Back in the
Forties, a Deuce roadster was easy to find and inexpensive. Hundreds of Deuces were
recruited for racing on dirt oval tracks and dry lakes. Being simple cars made them easy to
strip down and modify.
Even stock, the '32 frame provides substantially greater torsional rigidity than the 1928-1931
Model A it replaced. Since 1932 was the year of Ford's first production V-8, installing a later
V-8 wasn't as much work as it would have been otherwise.
Another thing that makes the Deuce easy to modify is that the following year saw the introduction
of separate inner fender panels on all Fords. Due to the way the bottom of the 1933 hood mates
to the top of the inner fenders, rather than to the top of the frame rails as it had in the past, it's
a lot harder to run a fenderless car with a full hood. The Deuce is also the only car Ford ever
made that had the sides of the frame rails exposed.
People love the 1932 Ford because it's just plain beautiful. Considering what else was being
done at the time (and the fact that it was not a prestige car but a car for the masses), in terms
of both practicality and aesthetics, it stands as a masterpiece of automotive design.
as of several years ago, there were currently more 1932 Fords registered just in the state of
California than Ford ever built. But that doesn't mean you see them every day. And even if you
did, we will probably never get tired of them.