The 1932 Ford was obviously introduced to the world during the Great Depression. As such, there was a lot of pressure to keep car prices as low as possible and at the same time make a profit. Ford’s answer to this challenge was to introduce both the Model 18 eight cylinder car and the four cylinder Model B.
The Early 1930′s Were a Challenge to the Automakers
The 1932 Ford automobiles were selling new at a price range of about $500 to $650. Ford’s were mass produced for volume and as such they were essentially targeted to the middle and/or working classes. The high end cars during the early 1930′s either sold at high prices to those who could afford them or they didn’t sell at all. This is why the 1930′s shook out many of the higher priced automakers and caused a good many mergers between them.
The 1932 Ford Victoria
The 1932 Ford cars were Model 18′s and Model B’s. These of course replaced Model A’s which themselves replaced the long running Ford Model T.
The 1932 Ford Victoria was designed by Edsel Ford. This car that was designed as a five passenger coupe could also be called a two door sedan. It was a very popular car and became one of the cars of choice for street and hot rodders starting in the late 1940′s and 1950′s. One could argue that the 1932 Ford was the most popular early street rod of any car. If you attend car shows or cruise-in events it’s almost a sure thing you’ve viewed a 1932 Ford. The 1932 Ford cars were nicknamed “Deuces” for the number two in their model year. You might be reminded of the popular 1960′s Beach Boys song, “Little deuce Coupe“.
Ford’s New V-8 in 1932
The Ford Motor Company brought out a low cost V-8 during 1932 which was to breathe some life into a tight economic environment. Henry Ford’s idea was to build a mass produced V-8 much the same way his assembly line earlier would mass produce Model T’s for the common man. Many might say that the introduction of the low cost V-8 Model 18 in 1932 was as significant to Ford as the Model T was.
Ford was able to execute it’s plan since over 200,000 Model 18 V-8′s were built in 1932. At the same time Ford did offer the four cylinder Model B in 1932. Initially there were some casting problems with the V-8′s in 1932 and this resulted in more four cylinder Model B’s being built. Interestingly enough, the eight cylinder engine was priced only about $50 more than the six cylinder engine. The four cylinder engines were essentially the same as those from prior years. Ford Motor eventually dropped the four cylinder engine altogether in 1933.
Probably the most significant thing about Ford’s 1932 Model 18′s was not that it was a V-8 but that it was a low priced V-8 automobile. V-8′s were not new by any means but a low priced one was. Ford Motor was doing all it could to address the realities of the Depression. The biggest problem was that if someone was unemployed they most likely couldn’t afford even the four cylinder model.
The 1932 Ford Victoria was built with an all steel body and 1932 Ford styling was considered attractive. The cars had good lines and the Model 18 V-8′s only added to the aura.
The Model 18′s in 1932 were offered to the pubic in some eighteen different body styles. These styles included the 2 door cabriolet, the 2 door roadster, 4 door phaeton, two and four door sedans, four door ‘Woodie’ station wagon, two door Convertible Sedan, two door Victoria, Panel and Sedan Deliveries, 5-window coupe, and the 3-window Deluxe Coupe.That was a huge choice given the economic environment.
1932 Ford Victoria Specifications
The 1932 Ford Victoria Model 18 came with a 65 hp, 3.6 liter, 221 cu. in. L-head eight-cylinder engine. This was the low cost V-8 that Henry Ford and his engineers worked on for years.
The car’s transmission was a three three-speed manual sliding gear design.
1932 Ford suspension was live axle with transverse leaf springs.
The braking systems on the 1932 Ford Victoria were four wheel mechanically actuated drum brakes.
The 1932 Ford Victoria was built with a wheelbase of 106 0 inches and a weight of about 2,300 lbs.
The links below to additional AutoMuseumOnline articles will allow you to compare the 1932 Ford to other automobiles of the 1930′s…
1932 Ford’s Collector Car Values
The 1932 Ford’s are popular collector cars for several reasons. The model year represented an historical milestone for Ford Motor Company since they introduced their low cost V-8 engine with the Model 18 at the same time they came out with the redesigned successor to the Model A.
Secondly, the cars, as noted above, have been and really still are a classic hot rod car. This doesn’t mean you won’t run across some finely restored 1932 Fords including Victoria models but the car known as the “Deuce” has a solid place in automobile history. Typically, this might mean that 1931 Ford values should hold up well.
Asking prices for the 1932 Ford’s will be at a wide range. There’s many models and some are hot rods and some are not. A 1932 finely restored Ford Victoria will most likely come in at around $50,000. A convertible sedan might be asking north of $100,000. Other models might be anywhere from about $17,000 to $85,000 to $90,000. You might find a Deluxe Fordor Sedan at around $20,000 and another Fordor Sedan at $28,000. What is true about the 1932 Ford cars is that they do keep good value compared to comparable cars of the early 1930′s.
(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)