Ford offered two coupes in 1932 -- the three-window coupe and the five-window coupe -- both famously known as the "Deuce Coupe." A hot- or street-rodder's vehicle of choice for customization, the 1932 Ford three-window coupe is found today with any number of customized engines, often not built by Ford. Installed with 350 four-bolt main Chevy engines or the well-known 327 engine, a Deuce Coupe is one place you will find Ford and Chevy working together.
Up until 1932, Ford produced vehicles with a version of the 4-cylinder Model A engine that first graced Ford's mass production of cars. In 1932, Ford introduced the "Model 18" engine, commonly referred to as the Ford V-8 or "Flathead." The coupe was available with either engine type.
The Flathead Ford V-8 engine enjoyed 221 cubic inches of displacement, 65-horsepower, a 21-stud head and bore and stroke of 3.0625 inches by 3.750 inches. With an engine compression ratio of 5.5 to 1, it's interesting to note that the water pump was found in the head instead of the body of the engine; the Flathead engine sported poured main bearings, no camshaft bearings and a cast-iron head.
In the 1940s the Deuce Coupe became a hit with hot-rodders, who cut the body style and removed excess parts for racing. With three windows, one on each side and one in the back, the three-window Ford had two "suicide" doors that open to the front of the vehicle instead of to the back. The vehicle also had a option for a rumble seat in the back. Equipped with a single-windshield wiper and a spare tire mounted on the rear, the Deuce Coupe included cowl-mounted lights, which look more like spotlights than headlights.
Design and Production
Edsel Ford, the son of Henry Ford, designed the three-window coupe with similar features to the Lincoln offered that year. With a 106.5-inch wheelbase, the three-window Ford didn't look much different from the Model A from a distance, according to ConceptCarz, but up close that changed. With a different nose design, a sleeker style and a chopped cabin the three-window Ford becomes easily distinguishable upon closer inspection. In 1932, 121,401 models were sold for a factory price of $490.
In 2009, a customization and rebuild of the three-window Deuce Coupe scored 1,000 judging points by the Early Ford V8 Club of America. The 1932 three-window Ford has also received the Dearborn award. This same car sold for a total bid of $165,000 in 2009.
According to ConceptCarz.com, "Combined production of the Fours and V8s totaled just a bit more than 250,000 cars. Ironically, what would become one of the most desired Fords ever was originally one of the lowest production models."
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