Go Back   The Ford Barn > General Discussion > Early V8 (1932-53)

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-30-2013, 08:51 AM   #1
Admiral
Senior Member
 
Admiral's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Oakland County, Michigan
Posts: 506
Default The Ford Ad-V8-antage

Question for all of you old-timers, or at least those who are old at heart, like me. How much of an advantage was the flathead V8 back in the day? Was it a huge plus for Ford? Was it something buyers were climbing over each other to obtain? From a performance standpoint was it that much better than Chevrolet and Plymouth’s contemporary offerings? I’ve read anecdotal reports on other websites that the popularly priced three were all pretty close in performance with the Ford engine perhaps being a little less reliable. Additionally, I’ve read “Ford in the Thirties” by Paul R. Woudenberg and he touches on some of the differences between these cars but doesn’t really comment too much on performance. Do any of you guys have first-hand experience with these vehicles?
Admiral is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2013, 10:21 AM   #2
2tudors
Member
 
2tudors's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Edenwold Sask Can
Posts: 64
Default Re: The Ford Ad-V8-antage

Ask Bonnie and Clyde....I suppose they would have a good reason to drive fords!
2tudors is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 04-30-2013, 10:30 AM   #3
Seth Swoboda
Senior Member
 
Seth Swoboda's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Southern Illinois
Posts: 2,805
Default Re: The Ford Ad-V8-antage

I may opine here and say the flathead V8 was a huge advantage. The power of the V8 combined with the pricing of the ford cars and trucks & the reliability were big. Simplicity in design and the ruggedness of the ford car and truck all were reasons why ford outsold all other manufactures for many years. There are many more early fords driving around today as compared to other makes because of these reasons. My opinion. Now I'm only 32 years old. The fellas that actually drove these cars during the 30's, 40's and 50's will chime in soon with first hand knowledge/experiences.
Seth Swoboda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2013, 10:32 AM   #4
Cool Kat with Hot Car
Senior Member
 
Cool Kat with Hot Car's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: NorCal
Posts: 191
Default Re: The Ford Ad-V8-antage

The Fords with the V-8 were light, quick, extremely durable, and handled well compared to their contemporaries. Not many cars of any price range could out perform a V-8 in the thirties. One can look at the success of the Ford roadsters verses all others in the early stock car races such as Mines Field or Elgin for an example. The V-8 could easily be modified for more horsepower and obviously became the engine and car of choice for the hotrodders of the 30's, 40's and early 50's.
Cool Kat with Hot Car is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2013, 10:35 AM   #5
Admiral
Senior Member
 
Admiral's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Oakland County, Michigan
Posts: 506
Default Re: The Ford Ad-V8-antage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Swoboda View Post
I may opine here and say the flathead V8 was a huge advantage. The power of the V8 combined with the pricing of the ford cars and trucks & the reliability were big. Simplicity in design and the ruggedness of the ford car and truck all were reasons why ford outsold all other manufactures for many years. There are many more early fords driving around today as compared to other makes because of these reasons. My opinion. Now I'm only 32 years old. The fellas that actually drove these cars during the 30's, 40's and 50's will chime in soon with first hand knowledge/experiences.
Yeah, that's one thing I always notice, the number of old Fords with their original powertrains. It's relatively easy to find running and driving cars with flathead V8s under the hood, but when's the last time you saw a Chevy powered by an original babbitt-pounder, or a Plymouth with a straight six? Honestly, I can't even remember.
Admiral is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2013, 10:46 AM   #6
jerry grayson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Atlanta area
Posts: 833
Default Re: The Ford Ad-V8-antage

The Chevrolet and Plymouth were good family cars and had good reliability, but if you wanted a car that would "get out of its shadow" quicky you chose Ford.

Ford was in second place most of the v8 years except in 1935. No one make had a huge advantage over the others in this time period for lots of reasons and personal preference was one reason. Style had lots to do with which car a person chose and Ford was more "sporty" to some customers. Young people liked the open cars that Ford offered and the company offered more models than the other two. JMO
jerry grayson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2013, 11:58 AM   #7
2tudors
Member
 
2tudors's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Edenwold Sask Can
Posts: 64
Default Re: The Ford Ad-V8-antage

I watched a neat youtube vid on the FBI actually testing guns till they found bullets that would actually pierce a Fords skin....Best getaway car of the time!
2tudors is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2013, 12:44 PM   #8
fomocoloco
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 150
Default Re: The Ford Ad-V8-antage

Fords climbed hills.
fomocoloco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2013, 12:52 PM   #9
Bruce Lancaster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Madison, NJ
Posts: 5,230
Default Re: The Ford Ad-V8-antage

Ford killed stock-car racing in the Elgin Mines field period...someone started a stock series involving stock roadsters, slightly stripped, in '32-34. Engines were torn down and inspected for stockness, though I doubt that this was a very sophisticated inspection...but everything at least had to look right.
Every race was won by Fords, and apparently in some of the races all Fords finished ahead of whatever was next. It was a commercial disaster as there was no actual competition between makes...
At one of the better documented races, a course that was an oval on one side and more of a road course on the other, the winning 1933 Ford was timed at 100MPH on the straight and was lapping at 80.
This is more than a power story...I don't think anyone else had the handling to be driven flat out. Others did have better brakes in many cases...there is a Bugatti quote that would actually be applicable to Ford here!
Bruce Lancaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2013, 05:27 PM   #10
NYfatboy
Member
 
NYfatboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Greenwood lake,ny
Posts: 69
Default Re: The Ford Ad-V8-antage

there is a Bugatti quote that would actually be applicable to Ford here![/QUOTE]

Please tell!
__________________
As my dad used to say- Bah,MORE JUNK!
NYfatboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2013, 11:18 PM   #11
2tudors
Member
 
2tudors's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Edenwold Sask Can
Posts: 64
Default Re: The Ford Ad-V8-antage

I have a bone stock 35 chev sedan,You have to phone ahead and tell someone you are about to pass.
2tudors is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2013, 10:34 AM   #12
Bruce Lancaster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Madison, NJ
Posts: 5,230
Default Re: The Ford Ad-V8-antage

Approximate Bugatti quote, when someone complained about the wretched brakes:
"I make my cars to GO, not to Stop!"
Bruce Lancaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2013, 10:42 AM   #13
Ken Arms
Senior Member
 
Ken Arms's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Essex Vermont
Posts: 526
Default Re: The Ford Ad-V8-antage

As far as power, my tired 8rt in my f1 can smoke my buddies 52 chevy truck all day long!
Ken Arms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2013, 08:03 PM   #14
Brendan
Senior Member
 
Brendan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: At my kitchen table in Santa Rosa, Ca
Posts: 2,744
Default Re: The Ford Ad-V8-antage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Arms View Post
As far as power, my tired 8rt in my f1 can smoke my buddies 52 chevy truck all day long!

plus sound better, than a Babbitt Beater Six
__________________
If it would have been a snake it would have bit ya!

i can't spell my way out of a paper bag!
Brendan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2013, 09:05 PM   #15
Henry/Kokomo
Senior Member
 
Henry/Kokomo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Kokomo, Indiana
Posts: 1,731
Default Re: The Ford Ad-V8-antage

I know the early Chevy sixes had a nasty habit of loosening rods if you drove them "enthusiastically" for any extended period. I believe Ford's pressure oiling was a big asset and contributed materially to their longevity and toughness.
__________________
Henry
Henry/Kokomo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2013, 09:20 PM   #16
4t8v8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: NW Arkansas
Posts: 491
Default Re: The Ford Ad-V8-antage

I can still remember in the early 50's (yeah, I'm old) when the dirt track races were advertized as "Ford" and "non Ford races". 2tudors is right when he refers to Bonnie and Clyde. Read the letter Clyde wrote to Henry thanking him for making cars nobody else could catch.
4t8v8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2013, 09:24 AM   #17
Bruce Lancaster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Madison, NJ
Posts: 5,230
Default Re: The Ford Ad-V8-antage

Oiling system and stout lower end, check! I think for rodders and/or just motorists with heavy feet, the flathead was one of the first engines to have reasonable durability when run frequently at its limits and, like the SBC later on, enough strength to take major souping without major lower end work. That, and the suspension was good enough to allow those categories of people to have reasonable chances for survival!
Bruce Lancaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2013, 09:33 AM   #18
Admiral
Senior Member
 
Admiral's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Oakland County, Michigan
Posts: 506
Default Re: The Ford Ad-V8-antage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Lancaster View Post
Oiling system and stout lower end, check! I think for rodders and/or just motorists with heavy feet, the flathead was one of the first engines to have reasonable durability when run frequently at its limits and, like the SBC later on, enough strength to take major souping without major lower end work. That, and the suspension was good enough to allow those categories of people to have reasonable chances for survival!
That's a great point about durability. It's pretty amazing, without too much effort you can basically DOUBLE the output of the flathead V8. I don't think modern powerplants can handle that abuse!
Admiral is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:59 AM.