Ford V8 Woodie Station Wagon

The success of Ford’s new V8 was immediate. More than 200,000 were sold in the introductory 1932 model year, as opposed to 185,000 Model B four-cylinder cars. For 1933 the Ford was given a new cruciform double-drop chassis frame, and its wheelbase stretched half a foot to 112 inches. Evolutionary upgrades were made to the engine: improved ignition and cooling systems, and new aluminum heads with 6.3 to 1 compression that raised horsepower to 75. The major change to Fords for 1933, however, concerned the body. Interestingly, the design had British origins.

The Ford Motor Company, Ltd, had been operating in Britain since 1911. The Model T proved popular there, achieving a market penetration in the 1920s approaching 50 percent. However, Herbert Austin’s tiny Austin Seven began making inroads from its introduction in 1922, aided in no small measure by the fact that its small bore 46 cubic inch engine was taxed at barely one third the rate for a Model T. The Model A, with larger bore yet, was even worse. A smaller bore engine was developed, the Model AF, but its performance was disappointing. Sir Percival Perry, Ford’s British managing director, began development of a small car with an eight-horsepower rating, competitive with the Austin Seven.

Industry sales for 1933 increased some 40 percent over dismal 1932. Ford’s increase, at 44 percent, bettered the average, and station wagon sales improved even more. What was dramatic, however, was the way the V8 engine took over. From a distinct minority of wagon production in 1932, the V8 commandeered more than 80 percent in 1933.

Part of the RM Auctions event in California in August, 2009 and for the Hershey event in October, 2012.

75 bhp, 221 cu. in. Flathead V8 engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle and live rear axle with transverse semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 112".

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel and Charles Uibel

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