Tag: 1932 Ford

90 Years of the ’32 Ford at the Petersen Automotive Museum – Mark Vaughn @Autoweek

90 Years of the ’32 Ford at the Petersen Automotive Museum – Mark Vaughn @Autoweek


A little over 90 years ago, on March 31, 1932, Ford brought power to the people—V8 power, which up until then could only be found in Cadillacs, Lancias, and cars like that. With the all-new 1932 Model 18, Henry Ford democratized the V8. Suddenly just about anyone could buy a powerful car that also looked good. And as soon as ’32 Fords got to be old cars, they and their flathead engines were scooped up by veterans returning from WWII and turned into hot rods, over and over again.

Tom McIntyre’s ’32 3-window rebuilt by Rolling Bones was originally a race car.

“Hot rods are still cars that are third or fourth or fifth owners that you can customize and make it your own,” said Terry Karges, director of the Petersen Automotive Museum. “But you start with something that’s real affordable, that almost nobody wants anymore, and you start to personalize it.”

“It’s the iconic hot rod,” said collector Bruce Meyer. “It’s a great platform for innovation, and hot rodding is all about personalization, innovation, and performance. So when something’s right, it just lasts. And you can see that it’s pretty darn popular.

To celebrate all that, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles didn’t just host another cruise-in—though they did that—but they invented their own holiday, National Hot Rod Day, June 11, and invited owners of ’32 Fords to come and celebrate.

While signups suggested there might be 250 cars present, a little over 100 actually showed up. No matter, it was still a great day filled with horsepower, old friends, and stories of ’32s of yore.

“The ’32 Ford was the first economically available V8 engine,” said hot rod author Pat Ganahl, who was wandering among the Deuces on the Petersen’s open-air parking deck. “And it was a totally new body style, thanks to Edsel Ford.” It was a body style that has easily stood the test of time, mainly due to its simplicity of design.

“From the Model A to the ‘32, you really got a little bit softer and smoother, there are a few more curves and compound curves and things to it,” said AMBR-winning hot rod builder Troy Ladd of Hollywood Hot Rods. “I think it really was a turning point in automotive design at the time… I think it’s just a really nice design—it just works.”

The Day of the Deuce – John Pearley Huffman @Road&Track.com


Before World War II, amid the Great Depression, when Herbert Hoover was President of the United States, and even most Germans didn’t take Hitler seriously, Ford stopped making the Model A. Ninety years later, its replacement, the 1932 Ford Model B, will remains the foundation of automotive enthusiasm in America. And “Deuce Day” this past Sunday at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles indicates that that foundation is vital.

“You can see enough out of it,” one showgoer said to another while inspecting a five-window ’31 rat rod so radically chopped that the windshield was hardly more than a slot and the driver has to basically sit on the floor. “Yeah,” the other said, “you don’t want to have too much outward visibility.”

Though it was Deuce Day, the show wasn’t so strict that only ’32 Fords were admitted. See, that ’31 Model A was okay too. Plus a few customs and the like. But mostly it was ‘32s. Maybe 60 of them.

The 1932 Ford has been a superstar since its inception. Throughout 1930 and 1931 there were rumors that Ford would soon add a V-8-powered model. “The rumor that something new will be introduced by Ford which will create a sensation in the automobile continues to gain strength,” reported The New York Times on April 3, 1931. “The report that there is to be an eight-cylinder car read for distribution before the end of this year is neither denied or affirmed.”

The company kept the rumors boiling for a year as the public grew ever more anxious to see the new, more powerful Ford. The sort of tease that GM would use effectively over eight generations of Corvettes. And Honda would abuse the process in the agonizing lead up to debuting the second Acura NSX. But Ford did it first.

When the V-8 showed up, the public went nuts. In its April 1, 1932 edition The New York Times related how crowds flocked to Ford’s New York headquarters at Broadways and 54th that debut day. “By actual count,” wrote the paper, “the number who viewed the cars exceeded 40,000 by six P.M. and visitors still were arriving at the rate of 4500 an hour. The exhibit will be opened at 8 A.M. and will run until midnight today and tomorrow.” The most popular part of the exhibit was apparently the cutaway chassis showing details of the new engine. “No figures were available as to the number of orders placed,” continued The Times. “Although it was said that many dealers were receiving orders despite the fact that the cars were not yet on display at their places.”

At the Petersen, the variety of ‘32s on display proved how durable the design is. Despite several examples at Deuce Day that tried mightily, it’s hard to screw up a ’32 so thoroughly as to make it truly ugly.

Bruce Meyer, who is L.A.’s patron saint of hot rodding, was on hand with one of his Doane Spencer roadsters built in the immediate aftermath of World War II. It sort of presided over the event as Deuce Royalty. The star of the show, however, was Pat Gauntt’s still fresh Deuce three-window coupe which looks like it was built on the day that Bentley decided to go hot rodding.

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How A Scottish Designer Inspired by American Classics Creates Modern Designs for the Global Market – Jim Koscs @Hemmings


What do the 1959 Jaguar Mk. II, 1963 Corvette Sting Ray, and 1965 Buick Riviera have in common with the 1994 Aston Martin DB7, 2001 Aston Martin Vanquish, 2014 Jaguar F-Type, and the ProDrive BRX Hunter that took second at the 2022 Dakar Rally?

The first three classics helped inspire a young Scot to seek a career in automobile design. The other four are among the products of his still-going career that included leading Jaguar design for 20 years and getting Aston Martin design back on track for the new century. Designs that he says inspired him, and those that he later created, share the common thread of making an emotional impact that resonates across generations.

The BRX Hunter comes from Callum’s design firm in Warwick, England, named, simply, Callum. A supercar yet to be announced will also join the firm’s portfolio. Meanwhile, Callum’s firm has also turned to projects as disparate as future “mobility hubs” for cities and, what Callum calls a “first love,” furniture design. The latter includes his own modern take on the classic Eames Chair.

Callum spoke with Hemmings to discuss the art of infusing modern automobile design with the kind of emotion that can make cars compelling and memorable—regardless of the powertrain. We started with his own connection to the American classics he loves.

Though Callum does not own a Riviera or C2 ’Vette, he does have a ’32 Ford hot rod and is restoring a 1971 Chevy C-10 pickup. For a while, he owned a ’56 Chevy that he says was an internet impulse purchase. The pickup has a Chevy small block, but, down the road a few years, Callum envisions an EV conversion for the truck and a pair of classic Mini Coopers.

The Exotic Buick

Many Hemmings readers (and authors) grew up seeing the first-gen Riviera and the C2 Corvette as daily drivers in their towns, but Callum, born in Scotland in 1954, mainly saw those cars only in photos. He tells Hemmings that rarely seeing these cars in person – and almost always at special events rather than on the road – gave him a unique perspective that helped shape his ideas on design.

Photo by Thomas A. DeMauro.

“I didn’t grow up with these cars,” he says. “My context of them was something very exotic. I grew fonder of them as I got older and understood the depths of their design. They’re just beautiful pieces of design. That size of the Riviera, common in the U.S. back then, was so exotic to me when I was younger. Because it was so large and long, designers could express themselves more easily.”

That’s not to say Callum treats those classics as sacred artifacts. Given the chance, he says he would “retro-mod” them. (We Yanks call it restomodding.) Callum believes that thoughtfully chosen design, mechanical, and interior upgrades don’t hurt a classic but rather can renew it for more years of even greater enjoyment

Photo courtesy of GM.

“I appreciate original designs, but there’s always room for improvement with a better powertrain, suspension, wheels, brakes, and instrumentation,” he says. “My rationale is, if the original designers of those cars had what we have at our disposal now, they’d probably do some of the same things. If I had the Riviera, I’d lower it and put on bigger wheels.

”That particular idea has a solid precedent. William L. Mitchell, the eminent head of GM design who instigated the Riviera, was said to feel that the chopped-roof 1963 Silver Arrow I concept was the best expression of the design. Callum cites Mitchell as one of his design heroes, along with Giorgetto Giugiaro and Sergio Pininfarina.

“I’m sure Bill Mitchell would have liked to see 19-inch wheels on the Riviera,” he says.

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Find of the Day: This ’32 Ford panel truck is a retrophile glamper van waiting to happen – David Conwill @Hemmings

The first time I went to The Race of Gentlemen, back in 2014, I encountered a guy camping on the beach in an early ’50s Chevy panel truck. This was an idea I’d had myself, but I’ve never owned a vintage panel truck. To see it in action was quite inspiring.

Now, I’ve got a family, so to take them camping would require something more akin to a Model AA chassis built up as a house car. But if I were, I dunno, an itinerant photographer or a guy with a Harley 45 who wanted to see the United States without destroying his kidneys, I think this 1932 Ford Panel Truck for sale on Hemmings.com could be a cool rig.

The exterior on this one is starting to shade past “patina” and into “decay,” so I could see a re-spray in a period Ford commercial color. This one looks like it might have been Medium Cream, but I’d be tempted to go with Vermillion Red (possibly the original color, according to the seller).

The nice thing about this truck is that it’s built on the passenger-car chassis, so you’ve got a ton of flexibility. There have been ongoing experiments with the Deuce frame since 1932. I would be tempted to set aside the original (right-hand drive!) chassis, complete with its four-cylinder drivetrain. All that would be neat under a Model A roadster body someday.

You can buy brand-new side rails and crossmembers for a 1932 Ford. The path of least resistance would probably see me going the 1980s street-rod route with parallel leaf springs in the back and a solid axle with four-bars in the front. It’s not period correct but it’s stupidly simple and solid, which is what you want in a road-trip car. Paint it black and let it disappear.

For wheels and tires, the aftermarket offers really convincing replicas of 1940-’48 Ford 16-inch steel wheels. That would give the truck the look of something still in service during or after the war years, when 16-inch tires were the most common and easy to get. I might be tempted to add a dropped headlight bar and a pair of Guide 682c sealed-beam headlamps with integrated marker lights—another popular retrofit in the ’40s and useful for adding turn signals.

We’re going to go back to the 1980s under the hood, too. The fuel-injected 302 and AOD transmission from an old Crown Victoria should do the trick. Paint it flathead green and never open the hood with other people around. The trans I’d control with a ’40 Ford-style column shifter, as it would free up leg room. The associated ’40 Ford steering wheel has been appearing in ’32 Ford roadsters for about 80 years now, so it would look right at home in the panel truck.

Inside, I see a pair of bucket seats, probably contoured somewhat to alleviate miles behind the wheel since presumably this is a vehicle meant for getting somewhere. If you wanted to bring a motorcycle, you could leave one side open with tie-downs for that. Otherwise, I’d see bunks on one side and cabinets on the other with cooking gear and a chemical toilet for emergencies. The aesthetic could take a page from 1930s U.S. Navy vessels, which were marvels at utilizing space.

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What makes the ’32 Ford so iconic? | Foose on Design – Ep. 1


What makes the ’32 Ford so iconic?

There are only a select number of automotive designs that have an almost universal draw, and the 1932 Ford Model B stands near the top of that short list. Whether factory or heavily customized, the ’32 Ford has a gorgeous appeal, but why is that? Chip Foose sat down with a pen and our cameras to share his thoughts about how this 87-year-old design is still relevant today.

What makes the ’32 Ford so iconic?

Related – We borrow the ’32 Ford roadster from the Hagerty ‘library’

More on the 1932 Ford here at Wikipedia

We borrow the ’32 Ford roadster from the Hagerty ‘library’ – Larry Edsall @ClassicCars.com


We borrow the ’32 Ford roadster from the Hagerty ‘library’

Lately, they’ve taken to referring to the garage where Hagerty keeps its collector cars, maintains those vehicles, and even involves its employees in hands-on restoration projects, as “the library.” That’s because it’s gone beyond a storage facility and mechanical workshop to become a storehouse of knowledge, a place to visit and to learn, to study the evolution of the automobile.

Tommy Fitzgerald, “of most modest means,” reportedly spent a decade or longer collecting genuine parts for the creation in the early 1970s of his ’32 roadster, which was built around an original ’32 Ford frame and roadster body and a 255cid flathead Ford V8 engine.  Many other parts date to that era as well. 

The build also included a genuine S.C. o T. supercharger (made in Italy specifically for American hot rodders), two-speed Columbia rear end, twin chrome Stromberg 97 carburetors, a beehive oil filter, Eddie Meyer aluminum heads, Stellings & Hellings air filters (with the original decals still affixed), the 3-speed transmission from a 1937 Ford with Lincoln Zephyr gears, Stewart Warner gauges with early convex dome glass covers, a Banjo steering wheel, 1937 Ford tail lamps, 1940 Ford brakes, 1932 I-beam front axle stretched by Ed “Axle” Stewart, 1940 Ford hubcaps, 1946-48 Ford 15-inch wheels, and the list goes on. 

Read the article here

We borrow the ’32 Ford roadster from the Hagerty ‘library’

Related – Lew Thompson’s 1932 Ford – from Kustomrama

Deuce grabbed public’s imagination – Pedro Arrais @Times Colonist


Today’s Deuces are less about speed and performance than an expression of vision and personal taste, such as this yellow 32 Ford Roadster. No two cars are alike.

Deuces started off as hotrods, vehicles typically from the 1930s modified for greater speed. The genre originated in the period after the Second World War and continued into the 1960s on a large scale.

Read the rest of the article here



This is the 1932 Ford that made hot rods famous is heading for auction with Mecum on January 12, 2019 – Calum Brown @Autoclassics


The world’s most iconic hot rod – the ’32 Ford Roadster originally owned by Tom McMullen – is heading for auction with Mecum on January 12, 2019

Read the rest of Calum’s article on the history of this wonderful car here