1932 Ford= The Great Depression Buster of Steel Valley
We’ve bragged on the ’32 Ford being a moonshot in the car world before: Being the first mass-produced, entry level V8 automobile is a big deal, and Henry knew he needed something big to follow up the massive success of the 5 Million Model A’s Ford sold between 1928 – 1931. Henry knew he needed a car that would pass Chevrolet by and put Ford back solidly in the lead… The only problem was making an entirely new car cost a significant amount of money and resources, taking a large amount of time just to retool everything, and overall it was a gamble. If the 1932 Ford was a failure it would be a major setback for the company. There was another problem… America was in the grips of the Great Depression, and Henry’s labor force had dwindled of 70% in those four years. As the hourglass ran low, the last Model A was built in March 1932, a full 7 months after the other Detroit manufacturers had introduced their models for that year, leaving the all new 1932 Ford to finally be introduced that April.
In the words of Henry Ford III: ” Less than a month after the devastating Ford Hunger March, the 1932 Ford V8 was released to the public, signifying that Ford would not be beaten down by the Great Depression and that it would do everything in its power to continue building cars, while keeping as many people as possible employed. That the 1932 Ford V8 was born out of such a desolate time is as much a testament to its iconic status as is the fact that it remains, to this day, one of the most popular hot rods around. A prime example of Ford innovation, it not only had the world’s first mass-produced V8 engine but also had the distinction of being the world’s first low-cost, high-performance vehicle—extending the joys of driving a high-end automobile to the masses. Powerful but affordable, versatile yet simplistic, it was and is the quintessential car that appeals to all.”
The very car that defines the ‘hot rod roadster’ for many was born out of those dire times, forged in the fires of economic chaos, and punching a hole through the status quo.