1932 Ford Phaeton Street Rod

Phaeton was an open automobile style that was derived from the phaeton horseless carriage. The phaeton carriage was an open carriage or buggy. There were many things connected with horseless carriages that carried over to the new automobile world. A phaeton automobile body had no protection whatever from the elements.  Many automakers designated their open air styles as phaetons. This included Cadillac, Ford, VW, Buick and others.

1932 ford phaeton street rod

1932 Ford Phaeton street rod

Finally during the latter 1930′s when true convertibles were offered the phaeton fell out of favor. Closed bodies and convertibles took over which really was a natural progression of coachbuilding. Not surprising however, the pillarless hardtops and convertibles were still often marketed as phaetons.

The 1932 modified Ford Phaeton featured in this article was a Ford Model B. The 1932 Ford Phaeton, like the one shown here, is an attractive street rod and many have been modified into these. Hot rods and street rods come in many forms and the one overriding attribute is that just about every one is a bit different from the other.

Replica Ford Phaeton Bodies

Today you’ll find original 1932 Ford Phaetons although they’re rare finds. One company that has manufactured 1932 Ford Roadster bodies for over thirty years is Westcott’s Auto. This company also offers parts and fenders for street rods. The Ford bodies they cover a range from 1926 to 1940.

1932 ford model 18

1932 Ford

Another company, Timeless Rods and Customs, offers 1932 Ford fiberglass bodies among several other replica bodies.

Original Specifications 1932 Ford Phaeton V-8

Ford’s Model B which came out in 1932 continued to offer 200 cubic inch the four cylinder engine. For Ford this kept costs down. A Ford V-8 also came out in 1932 which was on the phaeton and was designated the Model 18. The Model 18 was considered the very first V-8 put in mass production. The Model 18′s engine was a 221 cubic inch V-8 delivering 65 horsepower. The engine’s output was increased later with improved carburetors.

It should also be noted that the mass produced V-8 Model 18 was considered an affordable V-8. This is saying a lot as 1932 sales were experiencing the effects of the Great Depression.

1932 ford model 18

1932 Ford Phaeton Model 18

Transmission on the 1932 Ford Phaeton was a three speed floor shift sliding gear manual.

Brakes were four wheel mechanical.

The 1932 Ford Phaeton’s wheelbase was 106.0 inches (same as the Model B) and overall length was 165.5 inches. . This would crease by six inches in 1933. Vehicle weight came in a bit under 2,400 lbs.

Estimates are that there were about 2,000 Ford Phaetons built for the 1932 model year. This number includes all Ford Phaetons, both four and eight cylinder. Ford Model 18′s were built in a variety of body styles including a Tudor and Fordor. A total of about 265,000 1932 Ford Models were built. Out of this number about 192,000 were Model B’s and 73,000 Model 18′s. In addition to these Ford Motor produced about 17,000 vehicles in Canada, about 10,000 of those being Model B’s.

You may also enjoy viewing our AutoMuseumOnlne articles on the links below…

The 1931 Dodge Coupe

The 1936 Chrysler Convertible Sedan

The 1930 Oldsmobile Deluxe

modified 1932 ford street rod

Modified 1932 Ford street rod

1932 Ford Phaeton Collector Car

I believe most collectors will tell you that out of the 1930′s the largest segment of vintage automobiles in demand are the open air cars such as the phaetons and woody wagons.

If you can find a 1932 V-8 model, which won’t be easy, the car in a way is a milestone vehicle. As mentioned above, the 1932 Ford Model 18 was the first V-8 set up for mass production. The 1932 Ford V-8 was also introduced to surpass Chevrolet’s V-6.

Ford’s V-8 leapfrogged Chevy’s V-6. Most auto history books will tell you that Henry Ford quickly put into production his 1932 V-8 because of Chevy’s V-6 offering. By doing this he did one-up on Chevy. Deveopment of Ford’s V-8 was undertaken at the company’s Dearborn Engineering Laboratory.

ford model 18 street rod

Ford Model B sleek styling

All early 1930′s cars are highly collectible. In regards to the 1932 Ford Phaeton, the plus is it’s popularity among collectors and it’s rarity. The car however can be over restored. It’s not difficult to over spend on this vehicle. Some might also say that the car can be overpriced. It’s a fine line as to how much is enough to restore or modify the car. Originality will generally help with value but you’ll find a lot of beautifully modified Ford Phaetons with impressive asking prices.

Ford automobiles of the late twenties and through the thirties have excellent auto clubs around the country which can be a big resource whether you’re restoring an original or putting together a Ford street rod.

ford phaeton dash

1932 Ford street rod modified dashboard

When researching Ford serial numbers¬† a collector will a also want to know that some of these 1932 Ford Phaeton models that were originally built as Model B’s with the four cylinder engine were modified into V-8′s.

1932 Ford Phaeton prices cover a wide range depending on the originality and modifications. Four cylinder replicas can be priced at around $20,000. As of this writing look for prices for “original” 1932 Ford Model 18′s in the $65,000 to $75,000 plus range.

(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)

The 1972 Fiat 124 Sports Spider

The platform for the 124 Fiat Spider was the 124 Sedan. The 1972 Fiat 124 Spider such as the one featured in this article was styled by Pininfarina, a style seen on many Alfa Romeo’s as well. I think you’ll see a lot of similarities between the Fiat Spider and Alfa Romeo Spider.

1974 fiat spider

1974 Fiat Spider

The Fiat 124 also came as a coupe which was a bit longer ( 5.5 inches) than the Spider. The Fiat 124 Spider was first introduced in 1966 and they would go on to be the most successful of the Fiat sports cars.

When the first Spiders were imported into the U.S. the new safety law legislation did not exist. Starting in the 1970′s these new regulations, while covering all vehicles in the U.S., mandated changes for all cars imported into the U.S. The ball officially got rolling in 1970 with the creation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For the Fiat Spider this new law affected primarily safety bumpers. All small roadsters were affected by the new safety regulations, some more than others. Safety law modifications to the Fiat Spider were not nearly as extensive as those necessary to the MG.

fiat sport 124

1974 Fiat Sport 124

The Fiat Spider Racer

The Fiat 124 Spider started road rallying during the 1968-69 period after the creation of the Fiat Rally Service over the previous years. In 1967 the Fiat Rally service was greatly expanded which opened up the channel to overseas competition.

In 1971 an official Fiat factory team was entered in the National Rallies. In 1971 Fiat also bought out Abarth, a racing car maker from Turin Italy, which had been associated with Fiat since 1952. When Fiat completed this buyout they had their own official racing department. The Abarth name was used extensively by Fiat during the 1980′s with their performance car offerings. There are some similarities with Abarth and Fiat and the Shelby and Ford Motor Company association although Ford Motor never bought out Shelby’s business.

fiat spider 124 dash

1974 Fiat 124 Spider dashboard

Fiat Spider Dino

The Fiat Spider Dino has to be mentioned in any discussion of the Spider. The Fiat Spider Dino was a collaboration between Fiat and Ferrari. This partnership connected the famous Ferrari brand with Fiat and Ferrari gained the Fiat engine which allowed them to qualify for Formula Two competition. The Spider Dino was a mass production vehicle for Ferrari and a limited model for Fiat.

The Fiat Spider Dino came with a V-6 engine putting out 180 horsepower during the 1969 through 1973 model years. A smaller V-6 delivered 160 horsepower during the 1967 through 1968 model years. The Fiat Spider Dino was built as a two seat convertible and a four seat coupe.

Pros and Cons for the Fiat Spider Series

Fiat Spiders had great styling, good performance and relatively simple engineering. The car was not costly to buy and the trunk space was excellent. On the minus side the car was considered to be rust prone and the mechanics could at times be questionable.

1974 fiat sport spider

1974 Fiat Sport Spider

1974 Fiat 124 Spider Specifications

The 1974 Fiat 124 Spider was built with a Fiat designed 1.8 liter straight four cylinder engine delivering 116 horsepower. The car was officially rated with a top speed of 115 MPH. The original Fiat Spider engine from 1966 was a 1.4 liter design.

The transmission on the Fiat 124 was a four speed manual. A five speed manual would be added in later models.

Front suspension was independent coil springs with rear suspension of a longitudinal axle and coil springs. Brakes were disc.

Dimensions for the 1972 Fiat Spider included a 89.8 inch wheelbase, an overall length of 156.3 inches, a width of 63.4 inches and a height of 49.2 inches. The car’s weight average about 2,100 lbs.

You may want to compare the 1972 Fiat 124 Spider to the cars featured on our articles linked below…

1974 MG BGT V-8

1971 Mercedes 280 SL

1973 Porsche 911T

The 1972 Fiat Spider 124 Collector Car

The Fiat 124 Spider as well as the Alfa Romeo Spider are excellent cars for people desiring Italian classic cars. Both of these automobiles have excellent designs and for the most part are very reasonably priced. As mentioned above, performance was considered good and the cars were economical to operate. The Spider convertibles were also known to have a convenient top mechanism.

fiat spider 124 convertible

Fiat Spider 124

The Fiat Spider was manufactured from 1966 to 1985. During this production run there were about 200,000 of these models built. North America was Fiat’s largest market for the Spider where about three quarters of all produced were sent. Germany received the second largest amount of the Spiders. A small amount of right hand steering wheel Spiders were built for the United Kingdom and much more rarer there.

Values for Fiat 124 Spiders will vary a lot depending on overall condition, restoration, mileage and any degree of rust that may be on the vehicle. With that said, as of this writing the prices asked for 1974 Fiat 124 Spiders range from about $5,000 to the mid teens. You’ll likely find a good number priced at about $8,000 to $10,000. These kind of prices make this an excellent entry level car for those wanting to collect Italian sports cars with popular Pininfarina styling.

(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)