1932 Ford Roadster Model B is a Ford automobile produced between 1932 and 1934. It is a much updated version of the Model A and was replaced by the Model 18. The Model B had an improved four-cylinder Model A engine of 201 cubic inches producing 50 horsepower. Ford also produced a similar car with its new flat-head engine (V-8), marketed as the Model 18, and commonly simply called the Ford V 8; other than the engine, it was virtually indistinguishable from the Model B.
Although sharing a common platform, Model Bs and Model 18s came in a large variety of body styles: two-door roadster, two-door cabriolet, four-door phaeton, two-door and four-door sedans, four-door ‘woodie” station wagon, two-door Victoria, two-door convertible sedan, panel and sedan deliveries, five-window coupe, a sport coupe (stationary softtop), the three-window Deluxe Coupé, and pickup.
Prices ranged from $495 for the 1932 Ford Roadster, $490 for the coupés, and $650 for the convertible sedan. Production totals numbered from 12,597 for the roadster to 124,101 for the two-door sedan. Ford sold 298,647 V8-powered 18s in 1932, and except for the fact Ford could not keep up with demand, the essentially identical four-cylinder B would have been a sales disaster: dealers switched customers to them from the V8, and even then sold only 133,539, in part because the V8 cost just $10 more.
The Model 18 was the first low-priced, mass-marketed car to have a V8 engine, an important milestone in American automotive history. The 221 cubic inch V8 was rated at 65 hp when introduced, but power increased significantly with improvements to the carburetor and ignition in later years. This engine choice was more popular than the four-cylinder, which was essentially a variant of the Model A engine with improvements to balancing and lubrication. In both models the fuel tank was located in the lower rear of the car, as is typical in modern cars, rather than in the cowl as in the Model A and late Model T, requiring Ford to include an engine-driven fuel pump rather than rely on gravity feed.
Today, the 1932 Ford Roadster Model B is highly collectible car and people will pay many thousands of dollars to restore one to original specification. During the period after WWII, Model Bs and 18s were frequently altered into hot rods. This continued into the 1960s on a large scale. Today, the 1932 Ford Roadster and coupé are the most sought after body styles, as these were popular for street rods and hot rods; unmodified examples have become very rare. Since the 1970s, 1932 bodies and frames have been reproduced either in fiberglass or lately in steel, which has helped resolve sheet metal shortages, and increased the number of rods being created or restored. These are often very expensive, and a typical show-quality car may sell for $100,000 or more.