This 1932 Model 18 Roadster established a new direction for Ford Motor Company. After a 19-year, 15-million-unit production run of the Model T, the vehicle that helped build Ford’s foundation and fortunes, it was time for a change. Enter the Model B and the Model 18. The Model 18 was similar to the B but housed Ford’s new, flathead V8 engine in contrast to the Model B’s four-cylinder. The Model 18 is commonly known today as the Ford V8.
In addition to a new engine, the Ford V8 also included some new interior design flourishes. The key and ignition switch were combined into a single anti-theft unit at the steering column bracket. With the ignition toggle “off” and the key removed, the steering gear locked the front wheels for parking. Instruments were grouped in a stylish, engine-turned, oval housing mounted in a mahogany-color panel. Fine wool, mohair, and leather upholstery were also offered.
The 1932 Ford is called “The Deuce” because of the “two” in 32. With the Model 18, the “1” stands for “first” and the “8” for the V8 engine.
The Model 18 was the first low-priced, mass-marketed automobile to have a V8 engine. As such, it’s a key milestone in the American automotive industry. The Roadster was priced at $460 new.
Oddly enough for a promotional campaign, ads for Ford’s new 3.6-liter, flathead V8 understated what the engine could actually do. While advertised at 65 horsepower, it actually developed about 70 hp on a compression ratio of 5.5:1.
1932 Model 18 Roadster Specs:
- 3.6-liter, L-head V8 engine
- 3.06-inch bore and 3.75-inch stroke
- Advertised as 65 hp, but actually developed about 70 hp at 3,400 rpm
- Sliding gear three speeds forward, one reverse, manual transmission
- Four-wheel mechanical drum brakes
- Live front and rear axles with transverse leaf springs
- 106-inch wheelbase