The Model B Ford came into existence in 1932 as the successor to the Model A. It was a time of simple product names and lines. Even though the production run only lasted three years the model was an enormous success.
While most Bs used an upgraded four-cylinder engine from the Model A., 1932 was also the year Ford introduced the equally iconic Flathead V8. Ford placed the flathead in the B and called it the Model 18. The 18 model number referred to the first V8. Today the 18 is simply referred to as the Ford V8.
The 1932 Model B featured a very upright rounded rectangular grille and along with the ’34 developed a life that has become almost immortal. The ’32 Coupe is often referred to as the Duece Coupe (the Deuce making reference to the 2 in 32) and has been popularised in song and film – the most notable being George Lucas’ American Graffiti.
1933 saw a major revision to the Model B with a 153 mm stretch to the wheelbase and a new racked grille, which is the most distinguishing feature between the ’32 and ’34.
The only visual difference between a basic ’33 and ’34 is the set of upright louvres on the bonnet of the ’34, however it is the ’34 that has the more revered name in rodding circles and popular culture. The ’34 also received an uprated V8 with 63 kW of power.
The B was built with a wide range of body styles including;
- 2 door sedans,
- 4 door sedans
- 2 door roadster
- 2 door cabriolet
- 4 door phaeton
- 4 door '”Woodie" station wagon
- 2 door Victoria,
- two door Sedan Deliveries,
- 2 door 5-window
- 2 door 3-window Deluxe Coupe
Around 4.3 million Model Bs’ were produced – a substantial number even by todays’ standards. The success of the design and the popularity of the ’34 in the rodding community has spawned a substantial industry in fiberglass and even full steel reproductions.
Post-WW2 saw a certain period of rebellion and the availability of old cars such as the Model B spawned a new culture known as hot rodders. The rodding culture has never died and indeed has now moved quite mainstream. Recently hot rods were featured at the Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance.
Hot rodding has gone through many phases and has numerous sub-categories such as Pro Street, Show, Trad, Hi-boys, Lo-boys and the currently popular Rat Rods – a return to the rebellious past. It probably won’t be long before we start to see hybrid hot rods as the very nature of rodding is about personailsation, re-use and technology.
Throughout all the phases of rodding the ’34 stands alongside the 32’ and T as the all-time favorites.
Check out our extensive gallery of original and custom ’34 images.