Ford Model 18 V8

posted in: Ford | 0

It is one of the most iconic, American cars. Yes, – the Ford Model 18 was not the company’s first model. And it wasn’t Ford’s first mass-produced car, which of course was the Model T. But the Model 18 was the first powerful, yet not expensive, V8-powered car.

Just imagine, $300,000,000 was spent to develop and set up production of the 1932 Ford Model 18 V8. That’s a lot of money which would still be enough today to put a quality car into production. In the 1930s, $300 million was an astronomical sum. But Henry Ford saw that this car would pay off, because it gave Americans far more than the competition could offer. In ’32 alone, 224,000 of these cars were produced. By ’36, 930,000 Ford V8s had rolled off the assembly line.

They were very fast and strong cars. The pre-production tests even included jumps. The first number in the car’s name, 1, indicated the model, and the second number, 8, spoke of the number of cylinders. It was the number of cylinders, as well as the V-shaped layout became a distinctive feature of this Ford. At that time, budget car makers offered cars with four, or a maximum of six cylinders. Eight-cylinder engines were the prerogative of expensive cars such as Packard, or Cadillac. Although the latter had been making cars with V8s since 1914, they cost 10 times as much as the Model 18. Then Ford offered a lot of car for little money and Americans liked it.

Among the fans of the 1932 Ford Model 18 V8 was Clyde Barrow. According to one legend, Clyde even wrote a letter to Henry Ford. In which he expressed his admiration for the powerful, eight-cylinder car in which it was so easy to evade police chases. Whether this is true or not, we don’t know for sure. But the fact that Clyde and Bonnie were killed just in the Model 18 is the plain truth.

You might have seen the Ford Model 18 V8 in the movie “Chasing Bonnie and Clyde.” Where Woody Harrelson and Kevin Costner’s characters drove just such a Ford.

The cost of a Ford Model 18 V8.

In the ’30s, you could buy a Ford Model 18 V8 for $465 to $650. That’s the equivalent of $10,000 to $12,000 these days. Thanks to the large number of cars produced, it is still possible to buy such a Ford in the United States today. On the website such cars are sold for $60,000 – $70,000. It is possible to find a car in the range of $40,000. Thanks to the cars that are on sale, eight-cylinder Ford can be found not only in major museums, but also in the garages of car enthusiasts.
Interestingly, the new Ford V8 cost only $10 more than the base Model B with the four-cylinder engine. Not surprisingly, a car with a V8 was bought much more willingly. And I daresay it was the car that instilled in Americans a love of the V8.

Let’s take a look at some photos of the Ford Model 18 V8.
This Ford was produced in 14 different bodies. These were modifications of the four and two-door sedan, coupe, convertible and phaeton. The eight-cylinder Ford was also available as a work van. The latter could be equipped with a wood-paneled body. Wood-paneled bodywork was manufactured at the Ford Iron Mountain plant in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Today, cars with wood doors seem like something out of the 19th century. And for those who want to not only experience the first, mass-produced V8, but also touch a handmade vintage, Ford gives that opportunity.

In ’33, an upgrade was made. The updated V8s can be easily recognized by the radiator grille, its shape resembling a knight’s shield. The new grille is sloped, which had a positive impact on aerodynamics. By the way, Edsel, son of Henry Ford, worked on the design and proportions of this Ford.

In ’33 the wheelbase was also increased. It went from 106 inches (2692mm) to 112 inches (2845mm). Frame of this Ford is not connected by welding, and through cold and hot rivets. Thus, a special riveting machine presses cold rivets through the frame, with a force of 2,500 pounds per square inch.

The easiest way to visually distinguish the Ford V8 from the base Model B is by the V8 badges. Such designations are on the radiator grille, the wheel covers, which, in the manner of those years, are stamped. Diameter of the wheels is 18 inches.
The running boards on this car are very wide. They were the norm on cars of those years, but today such attributes look unusual.

The rear doors of the V8s open counterclockwise. The front doors on the ’32 cars opened traditionally, but in ’33 they began to open counterclockwise. Early cars had the dashboard in the middle, which was the norm on vintage cars. But after the ’33 modification, the dashboard was moved behind the steering wheel. The front fascia of this Ford is trimmed with wood. This hints at the expensive nature of the car, although the cost was not high.

The pedals on the Model 18 are not suspended, but stick out from the bottom of the floorboard. This seems unusual today, but in the 1930s, it was the norm.
The speedometer was originally graduated to 90 miles, but after an upgrade, the graduation was increased to 100 miles. There is also a symbol on the steering wheel, a V8. After the restyling, an ashtray was installed in the middle part of the front fascia in the form of a balloon, which rotates 360 degrees. The front side of the ball also has the V8 symbols.

To improve interior ventilation in summer, the lower edge of the windshield can be raised with a special lever in the center of the dash.
Roadsters and coupes were equipped with a seat in the rear of the car. This was the norm for cars of those years. There were no safety bars for those sitting in the back.

Engine and Specifications Ford Model 18 V8.

The Flathead engine at 3.1 inch (77.8mm) in bore and 3.8d (92.25mm) in stroke has a cubic capacity of 3.6 liters.

Power comes in at 65 horsepower / 3400 rpm.
Torque – 176NM / 1250 rpm.
Its compression ratio is 5.5:1.
Top speed – 76 miles (125 kilometers).
Acceleration to 60 miles ( to 100 kilometers) – 16.8 seconds.

For comparison, the Ford Model B four-cylinder engine had a displacement of 3.29 liters and produced 51 horsepower.
Both cast-iron blocks were cast in one piece with the engine tray. Four hundred Flathead V8 engines could be produced on the assembly line at one time. The power unit has a pinion timing drive. Which is superior in reliability to the chain and even more so to the belt drive. There are two engine heads, but one camshaft. The crankshaft is mounted on three supports. The Flathead engine is equipped with an engine-driven fuel pump. In the 30’s, for example on the famous Fiat Topolino, gasoline to the engine was fed by gravity.

After the restyling, the Ford Model 18 received changes in the carburetor and ignition system. Thanks to this, the power has increased to 85 horsepower. After the upgrade, the specs improved significantly. It was a very decent power engine for the 30’s. Unless you consider premium cars like Marmon, Cadillac, or Duesenberg.

The transmission on the Model 18 was a three speed manual. The brakes are mechanical, non-hydraulic, with drum mechanisms on all wheels.
The hood was of the aligator type, consisting of two wings, as is typical of the cars of those years. Each flap is secured by two latches.
There is a very thick, copper cooling radiator.
At first glance, 16.8 seconds to 100 kilometers per hour seems like a very long time. But thanks to the architecture of the engine, in which the stroke of the piston exceeds the diameter of the cylinder, it’s quite a pulling motor, which will have no problem pulling the passenger car on the hills.

Of course, the eight-cylinder engine is the main feature of this car. Although V – shaped, or inline eight produced for a long time, it was Henry Ford who installed a powerful, large unit on the car available to many Americans. It is a strong, powerful and comfortable car. Even today, many car enthusiasts want to buy it. And such a dream is quite realistic.

With a series of almost 1,000,000 cars, many V8s have survived to this day and today you can buy them. And the cost of these cars is very reasonable. The price of a Ford Model 18 could be around $40,000. Of course the cost will be determined by the condition of a particular instance. But this car gives a unique driving experience and great attention from all the people around. It is also worth remembering that the share of phaetons and roadsters in the overall series is quite significant, and they attract even more attention on the road.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *