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Lot 150

1932 Ford V8 Station Wagon

  • Chassis no. 18113291

Sold for $165,000


A Dearborn Award-winning example, one of just 351 V8-powered woodies for 1932



Model 18. 65 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: 106"



On March 31,1932 Henry Ford announced that his new V8 automobile was ready. At once, months of public speculation, building since Model A production had halted the previous August, ended, and people thronged to see the new car. In the beginning, Ford had not wanted a V8. His dream was an eight in an “X” configuration, but experiments were discouraging – the lower cylinders fouled easily and power output was disappointing. Chevrolet had moved from a four to a six in 1929, then surpassed Ford in production during 1931. The principle of one-upmanship demanded that Henry go them one better – or two in this case. The X-8 laid to rest, a low-cost V8 was the next project.



Design and development had actually begun in 1930, working directly from sketches to casting patterns. It took a while to get the lubrication right, and cooling was problematic because the exhaust ports crossed through block casting between the cylinder bores. Henry Ford dictated many of its design points, like location of the fuel pump and the front-mounted distributor. He would have preferred a simple thermosyphon cooling system, but the heat buildup simply wouldn’t allow it. In the end, two water pumps were used, one on each bank.



Rumors about the V8 had been rampant since Model A assembly had been interrupted, the result of overstocks of unsold cars. On-again, off-again Model A production only fuelled the rumors, and announcement of a new four-cylinder car, the Model B, did nothing to quell them. All the while the V8 development was going on, an updated body was prepared, overseen by Edsel Ford and “Sheet Metal Joe” Galamb. The actual stylist for the “Deuce” is not known, but most feel the design originated at body supplier Briggs Manufacturing Company, whose staff included a number of “name” designers like Ralph Roberts and John Tjaarda. A smoother, more sophisticated Model A, the Deuce quickly won hearts and minds. Its subtly rounded grille shell has become an icon for 1932, an influential but difficult year for the motor industry as a whole.



In the end, due to the slow demise of the Model A, the Model B and the new V8, designated Model 18, went into production at the same time. Because of the rush to get new models out the door, it was late April before the first station wagons were built, in the Model B four-cylinder configuration. The first V8 wagon was assembled in Chester, Pennsylvania, in May. For the short, ten-month model year, Model B wagons out-produced V8s, 1,032 to 351.



This “Deuce” Ford woodie has had an interesting life. During the 1960s it belonged to the caretaker of a Redlands, California, estate. Having tried to sell it, without success, he decided to break it up and burn the wood. At this point, it came to the attention of Verne Kasper, a teacher at Redlands High School. One of Kasper’s students told him of the car, and, not wishing to see such a significant car destroyed, Kasper went to visit the owner. He ended up buying the car, along with a cache of spare parts that the caretaker had accumulated.



The Kaspers, however, did not have the money to restore the woodie, so it sat for several years in the garage of their Redlands home. The Kaspers moved to Yucaipa, taking the woodie with them, but still it languished until the 1980s. Bob Everts, a Ford collector from Chandler, Arizona, learned of the woodie. Everts, who specializes in 1932 Fords, did not have this model and was very keen to get it. The Kaspers were reticent, however, traveling to Arizona to see the Everts collection before agreeing to sell. On February 13, 1984, the sale was consummated; Verne Kasper passed away in 1985.



Acquired by Nick Alexander in January 1998, the Deuce woodie was subjected to a complete, though straightforward, restoration. It received a Dearborn Award from the Early Ford V8 Club at Pismo Beach in 2001, judged at 978 points out of 1,000. It also participated in Deuce Day at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles in March 2002. It has been exceptionally well maintained, and is still in concours condition. In fact, Nick’s ‘32 was featured in a book entitled “Deuce: 75 Years of the 32 Ford”, by Robert Genat.



The wood body has been continually maintained, with only minimal weathering evident under the excellent varnish. Only close examination reveals that it is, in fact, original, more than 75 years old. All doors have even gaps and shut well. All the car’s sheet metal is straight and true, and the Winterleaf Brown paint is flawless. The roof is covered in new black artificial leather. The brightwork is generally very good, showing slight surface scratching on the headlights, and a few pits under the chrome. The windshield glass is excellent; weather protection on the rest of the car consists of side curtains, which appear new. The car has new running board rubber.



The dashboard is painted in body color, while the instruments are contained in a cluster with damascened background, a treatment unique to the 1932 models. The instruments have been restored, although the King-Seeley vapor pressure temperature gauge exhibits some staining. The odometer currently reads less than 63,000 miles. The steering wheel is in excellent condition. The seats are upholstered in original style black artificial leather, and the front is furnished with lap belts for two. The rear floor mat is new, in black rubber; the front is brown rubber and shows some staining.



The chassis and underbody are painted in gloss black, and are clean throughout. The engine is clean, painted in Ford green with aluminum intake manifold. It shows very slight staining from use, since, like all Mr. Alexander’s cars, it is driven regularly. The engine runs perfectly, and the detailing is correct but not overdone. The car is fitted with 5.50-18 blackwall Firestone tires, new in 2000. The spare is in the right front fender. It is currently registered and bears California year-of-manufacture plates 1A5087, which go with the car.



Among the rarest of Ford woodies, one of 351 built in 1932 with the V8 engine, this is an exceptionally desirable automobile. It is ready to drive, to show, to enjoy.

Addendum

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Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more