Vintage vehicles, Automotive history and stories from motoring's past. 

1932 Ford - the "Little Deuce Coupe"

1932 would usher in what was to become Ford Motor Company's greatest legend of any cars it has produced then, or since! Of all the body styles they offered in 1932 the two door coupe that didn't have ¼ windows came to be called the deuce coupe. The coupe that had the ¼ windows was known as the 5 window coupe. The Beach Boys song called “Little Deuce Coupe” is almost as iconic as the coupe itself. The Model B was the cars that came with a four cylinder motor.  This model was also the two-window coupe that became known as the “deuce coupe”.

The other thing that the '32 Fords had to offer was a V8 motor.  This motor was revolutionary  for its time. It had 221 cubic inches and produced 65 horse power. This was way above the four and six cylinder motors offered by the other car makers of that era.  You had to go to a Cadillac, or a Packard to get into a car that had a V8 motor.  Not to mention a lot more money than what you could buy the Ford for. Ford still used the mechanical brake system. They would use this system through 1938.  Ford finally went to hydraulic brakes in 1939.

The V8 motor was used by Ford from 1932 through 1953. These motors went from the original 65 hp in '32 to 85hp to 100 hp to the final three years of 110 hp.  The main design flaw of the Flathead motor was the exhaust was routed through the water jacket to the exhaust manifold.  This caused Fords to be prone to overheating on hotter days. 

Once you boiled over it was a common occurrence for the block to crack. This could be one to six or more cracks. This could cause the motor to miss if the crack was big enough.  If you owned a Ford for any length of time, you had a cracked block! 

Rather than tear the motor down and have the cracks welded (expensive) you would add a quart or so of sodium silicate known as “egg keep” from your local pharmacy into the radiator. This would seal the cracks once the motor got up to operating temperature. Many a Ford motor was kept running by this method. I will be sharing other “tricks” used to keep these motors running in coming articles about the early Fords----Happy motoring---Henry


Denny DuVall

I spent the 1st 33 years of life in Borego Valley. The rest in and around San Diego County. I compose music and play piano, write stories and articles. Check it out! I've put off becoming an adult for 69 years, think I'll just play it out 'till the end. Love, Life, and Laughter is my goal and my quest.