Tag: 1932

The Rearview Mirror: One-Upping Chevy; the 1932 Ford V-8 – Larry Printz @TheDetroitBureau

The Rearview Mirror: One-Upping Chevy; the 1932 Ford V-8 – Larry Printz @TheDetroitBureau

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Chevrolet was eating Ford’s lunch. But Henry had a better idea.

It’s 1932, the height of the Great Depression. Nearly a quarter of all Americans are out of work. What money is being earned buys less, as a 1931 dollar is worth 90 cents in 1932.

The President, Herbert Hoover, is a pariah — so much so that during his re-election campaign, Detroit’s mounted police are called to protect the president from jobless auto workers chanting “Hang Hoover.”

Of course, things aren’t going well for automakers either.

The previous year, 1931, Ford sold 395,000 Model As, down significantly from the million-plus vehicles sold in 1929. But the whole industry is down, having sold 1.1 million units, down from 4.5 million in 1929. 

But the slump in sales hadn’t deterred Henry Ford’s plan to beat Chevrolet: build a Ford with a V-8 engine. Unheard of in a mainstream car, it was introduced 90 years ago this week, at the height of the Great Depression.

Henry Ford, above, developed an affordable 8-cylinder engine that could be mass-produced cheaply in a single casting.

A wild idea to top Chevy

Whereas Ford once commanded 50% of the car market with his Model T, his refusal to change it gave competitors a chance to catch up, offering more power, more comfort, more amenities and colors other than black. And it wasn’t just Chevrolet. Mid-priced brands like Oldsmobile, Nash, Dodge, Hudson and others nibbled away at his dominance. While Ford still had the industry’s largest market share, it was sliding. By 1926, it stood at 36 percent.

By 1932, Chevrolet topped Ford with more style and more cylinders, as seen on this the 1932 Chevrolet BA Confederate Deluxe Phaeton . Photo Credit: RM Auctions.

The Model T was losing its luster.

So Ford shut down his factories as he developed his next car, the Model A. It would be a sea change from the Model T, with markedly better performance, thanks to its 200.5 cubic-inch 4 cylinder that produced 40 horsepower, double that of the Model T. It boasted a far more modern design and employed a 3-speed manual transmission, rather than the T’s planetary gearbox. 

But while Ford’s factory shutdown cost him the lead in sales, it would reverse itself in 1928, with the arrival of the Model A. By mid-1929, Ford sold 2 million of them.

While Ford thought the car was good enough to last a decade, Chevrolet one-upped him, introducing its 60-horsepower “Stovebolt Six” and overtaking Ford. 

Something had to be done. 

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Hemi Powered 1932 Fords!!! – Garage Full Of New York Drag Racing History – @IronTrapGarage

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One of our viewers Ed emailed us many months ago about the 1932 Fords that were owned by his father, both with New York drag racing history. Ray Stillwall purchased the 1932 Ford Roadster in 1948 and built the car in stages over the next 10 years. The roadster was raced at many local tracks, and even at the Allentown Fairgrounds back in 1955! Ed’s father was able to purchase the car back in 1970 and after a few other owners it ended back in the hands of Ed. The blue 1932 Ford Tudor was owned by Ed’s father and was also raced all over. This one stayed in the family and Ed continues to drive and race the car today. We enjoyed spending time with Ed and hearing all of the stories of the two 1932 Ford’s in his shop. Thanks for watching

Sisters, ages 20 and 18, youngest winners of The Great Race – Larry Edsall @ClassicCars.com

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Sisters Olivia Gentry, 20, and Genna Gentry, 18, of Newnan, Georgia, became the youngest winners of The Great Race, winning the 9-day, 2,300-mile cross-country competition for vintage vehicles. The 2021 time-distance rally, which began in San Antonio, Texas, ended June 27 in Greenville, South Carolina. 

The sisters, competing for the fourth time, earned $50,000 for their performance in a 1932 Ford 5-window coupe. Olivia drove and Genna navigated. They had finished seventh overall in 2019. 

The competition drew 120 entries in the time-distance rally that precludes the use of modern navigation or electronic devices while competing in various stages at precise time and speed averages. Teams can use only a map, stopwatches and “old-fashioned reckoning,” event organizers note.

“We are thrilled that the Gentry sisters won the race after several impressive showings over the past few years,” Wade Kawasaki, president and chief executive of event owner Legendary Companies, was quoted in the post-event news release.

“These young ladies and their beautiful ‘32 Ford have shown that the spirit of competition, a drive to compete and excellent math and navigational skills live on in the youngest generation.

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Uniquely American: THE ONGOING STORY OF THE 1932 FORD “LITTLE DEUCE COUPE” – Jack R. Nerad @JDPower

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Not only were songs written about the car, most famously by the Beach Boys, but the ’32 Ford became the basis of a cultural phenomenon (hot-rodding) that spawned a movement (the Youth Culture of the 1960s). And that demonstrates the remarkable “staying power” of this car because even in the early Sixties, it was an antique car enjoying a new life as the emblematic hot rod. Who would guess that the popularity of the ’32 Ford Coupe would still be going strong more than five decades later? 

How popular is it? Evidence of that is as clear and direct as the value NADA Guides lists for a ’32 Ford Coupe today. The car that sold new for $485 in 1932 now commands a retail price as high as $54,000, which turns the term “retained value” on its head. 

From Model T to ’32 Ford Coupe

The story of the 1932 Ford Coupe started in the mid-1920s when uber-industrialist Henry Ford decided that his company would have to replace the Model T, the car that put America on wheels. It was a bold decision because, in 1924, Ford would not only sell its 10 millionth car (in June), but by the time October rolled around, it would sell its 11 millionth, representing an unheard-of sales rate. 

Commanding a solid 50% of the American car market, Ford Motor Company was riding high as its Model T “Tin Lizzy” outsold everything else that moved. Yet Henry Ford could see that the competition was gaining ground rapidly as the company’s signature and only car model became more and more antiquated. The contemporary Chevrolet offered a more powerful 4-cylinder engine with a more modern drivetrain and better chassis than Ford’s rapidly aging Model T, and more expensive mid-priced brands like Nash, Dodge, and Buick were selling cars that were even more refined yet within the price range of middle-class Americans. 

These facts weren’t lost on the public either. In 1926 Ford’s market share plummeted to just 36%. So, even though it had successfully sold nearly 15 million Model Ts, Ford began to develop a new model. 

Since they were starting all over again, Ford decided to call the new car the Model A. As development continued, Henry Ford’s son, Edsel, became the driving force behind the car. He insisted that it have a conventional three-speed, sliding-gear transmission instead of the Model T’s planetary gearset. He pushed for substantially improved engine performance. And he closely directed the chassis and body design to make sure the new car wasn’t just better than the old one but more attractive, too. 

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McKeel Hagerty on driving, daughters, and becoming one with the Deuce @Hagerty

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There is always one person or fictional character that kids identify with. Mine was James Bond. I liked him because he could, quite literally, do everything. Ski off a cliff, then pop open a Union Jack parachute and glide to safety? Check. Tilt a car up on two wheels to escape down a narrow alleyway? Check. Leap crocodiles? Jump a speedboat? Get the girl? Check, check, and check.

I didn’t know the term at the time, but Bond was a Renaissance Man, and that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up—someone who could do just about anything. I haven’t reached that point yet, but I’ve tried, and along the way, I’ve come to believe that life is about adding tools (read: skills) to your toolbox, both mental and physical.

Which brings me to the subject of daughters, driving, and what we car lovers pass on to the next generation

I’m blessed with three daughters, all of whom share (or possibly just tolerate) their dad’s life-is-learning philosophy and are thus good-natured about me teaching them things. This summer’s project was driving a manual. My middle daughter, Sophia, learned to drive an automatic last year, but as a member of a car family, she understands that driving a modern automatic car isn’t a full driving experience. Real driving is about feeling like you and the car are one. It’s about mastery of a mechanical object. And freedom. And being in control. And tight corners. And long straightaways. And a whole bunch of other things, as well.

Or so I see it.

So, we decided her classrooms would be a 1930 Deluxe Model A roadster and a 1932 Ford hi-boy roadster hot rod. (Access to cool, old cars is a perk around here.)

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The Famous Horse Beating 1932 Ford “Pete Henderson” Roadster Sold for $192,500 at RM Sotheby’s Hershey Auction

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As the story goes, back in 1944, a guy with a quick quarter horse won countless bets challenging hot cars to a race. This roadster, however, had a reputation as the quickest car in the San Fernando Valley. With Pete Henderson behind the wheel, in a specially staged race held in La Habra, and witnessed by a large crowd, including speed equipment gurus Vic Edelbrock Sr., Ed Winfield, and Phil Weiand, this deuce was the only car that ever won. Ernie McAfee took a famous grainy photo showing the roadster edging out the horse. Noted hot rod racer Ak Miller and writer Gray Baskerville always said they could trace the origins of ¼-mile drag racing to that famous contest.

The full listing can be found here

Detroit’s Greatest Barn Find: 1932 Ford Drag Car From The ’50s Reappears –

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© Chuck Vranas 002-SURVIVOR-RACE-CAR-FROM-AUTORAMA

When the first legal drag race in the Detroit area took place in Livonia in 1953, the Michigan Hot Rod Association began making plans for the construction of a drag strip. MHRA was started as a partnership of local hot rod clubs. As part of their fundraising strategy for the strip, they put on a hot rod show, the Detroit Autorama, in an arena at the University of Detroit.

Dave and Al Tarkanyi belonged to the Downriver Modified Car Club, one of the clubs making up the MHRA. The brothers drove a chopped and channeled 1932 Ford three-window coupe with a hopped-up Flathead engine. The car was at the 1953 Livonia race. Five years later, when the Motor City Dragway in New Baltimore held its first race, the car was there too. It also continued to show up at the annual Detroit Autorama

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Converting Your Model “A” to a Deuce Style Tank – @TanksInc

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The easiest type of conversion does not utilize the ‘32 frame horn covers or the ’32 bumper. Simply assemble the tank, the frame horns, the spreader bar and your fabricated crossmember into a “unit” and jack it up into place to achieve the look you want… then fabricate the connecting members up to your frame,

If you are using the ’32 frame horn covers to complete the “Deuce look” they will be the key determining factor in locating the tank.  The frame horn covers bolt into the same holes as the spreader bar, and they also bolt onto the inside edge of the “32 fenders. The “A” fenders do not have bolting flanges, so most rodders merely move the “unit” forward until the covers sit slightly ahead of the fenders and create the illusion that they are bolted together. You can also modify the covers for a perfect fit to the fenders… or even add a flange to the “A“ fenders… It’s up to you. After all, Model A’s never came with ‘32-style tanks, so you can use your imagination!

Missing: the most advanced vehicle that Harry A. Miller ever built – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings

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The 2020 edition of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will feature Indianapolis 500-winning Miller race cars and other noteworthy competition vehicles in its recently announced class dedicated to the cars of Harry A. Miller. However, it likely won’t include Miller’s one attempt at building the ne plus ultra of passenger cars, the four-wheel-drive V-16 Miller-Burden of 1932.

Miller, a former race mechanic for Oldsmobile, made a sizeable fortune a hundred years ago in Los Angeles with his carburetor business – a fortune that he leveraged to build some of the most successful racing machines of the Twenties and Thirties, powered by a series of Peugeot-inspired dual-overhead camshaft four- and eight-cylinder engines.

Auto historian Griffith Borgeson has described Miller as “the greatest creative figure in the history of the American racing car,” but others have described him as more of an artist or perhaps the world’s best salesman, and much of the genius behind Miller’s success came from draftsman Leo Goossen and machinist Fred Offenhauser.

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