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This 1932 Model 18 Roadster helped mark 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 it housed Ford’s new flathead V8 engine in contrast to the Model B’s four-cylinder. These days, the Model 18 is commonly referred to 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, and as such it’s a key milestone in the American automotive industry. The Roadster was priced at $460 new.
Oddly enough for a promotion, ads for Ford’s new 3.6-Liter flathead V8 understated what the engine could actually do. While it was 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
- Advertised As 65 HP, But Actually Developed About 70 HP At 3,400 RPM
- 3.06-Inch Bore And 3.75-Inch Stroke
- 106-Inch Wheelbase
- Four-Wheel Mechanical Drum Brakes
- Live Front And Rear Axles with Transverse Leaf Springs
- Sliding Gear Three Speeds Forward, One Reverse, Manual Transmission