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Old 08-16-2019, 08:58 PM   #1
evobuilder
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Default 1932 serial number starts with D5

I just bought a very hot rodded 32 Roadster with a serial that starts with "D5". The frame does not look like a standard 32 (see my other thread where I realized I have something different).

So.... now I am being told the "D" frames are super rare (too late, this one has been boxed and modded), but I am trying to understand the D frames over the 18- frames.

I did search, I did hunt, and I found a ton of information, but noting related to the "D" serial number.

This is my first 32, so I have a lot to learn, but the "D" is throwing me.
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:52 PM   #2
Charlie Stephens
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Default Re: 1932 serial number starts with D5

I have had my '32 since 1969 and am a trivia nut. I have never heard of a D frame. Any chance you could post a picture of the serial number? Where is it located?

Charlie Stephens

Last edited by Charlie Stephens; 08-16-2019 at 11:42 PM.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1932 serial number starts with D5

I think the 'D' is for "Dons's Hot Rods" . . . just kidding . . . I have no clue.

But I have seen many creative serial numbers on custom builds - somehow they have managed to get past the local DMVs.
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Old 08-16-2019, 11:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1932 serial number starts with D5

The surviving engine production figures in the Benson Ford Research Center for the '32 model year are among the most detailed for any pre-WWII model year. The entries in the Rouge engine log are in many instances daily. There are AB, ABF, B, and BF prefix entries for the fours and 18 and 18F prefix entries for the eights. All of which were the prefixes of '32 model U.S. VINs and those of U.S. exports. (An additional B was added to the fours' prefixes when the engine was destined for a big truck and BB was added to V8s' prefixes for that purpose.)

The first batch of Canadian fours' full prefix was either CBG and CBGF; the second and last batch prefixes were CBQ and CBQF. The letter D does show up in the prefixes of the first batch of Canadian V8s, but not at the beginning. Rather those prefixes were C18D and C18DF (the second and last batch were prefixed C18R and C18RF).

Could a Canadian frame have the first two letters missing from the prefix? It's a possibility, although a real long shot. Even if that were the case, the frame would be a mid-year run-of-the-mill version and have nothing unique about it other than missing a letter and two numbers in the engine number (VIN) prefix, given the delay in Job #1 on the south side of the Detroit River compared to Job #1 on the north side of the river in Dearborn.

You should satisfy yourself and visit the Benson Ford Research Center. What they have in Ford's archives regarding '32 engine production and serialization is not available on line.
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Old 08-16-2019, 11:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1932 serial number starts with D5

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You should satisfy yourself and visit the Benson Ford Research Center.
The absolutely most fascinating library I have ever visited.
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Old 08-17-2019, 01:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1932 serial number starts with D5

a hot rod shop up the street by me also has a title with a D serial for a 32 Ford. So it's not just me.
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Old 08-17-2019, 05:22 AM   #7
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Default Re: 1932 serial number starts with D5

Unless you can share some photos as to why your frame and that of your neighbor are somehow unique, my guess is that somewhere along the way the VINs were re-issued by the State of California or some other jurisdiction when an engine was replaced, not a rare occurrence. The VIN prefixes per se do not prove the frame(s) are unique. Also, "very hot rodded" cars tend not to be a reliable source for original vehicle configurations. For example, the car in your avatar appears to be missing the back 10 % of its original frame.


Another alternative is that 87 years of aging has obliterated enough of what was originally a B to appear to be a D. The full four cylinder numbers were AB or B followed by a seven digit number commencing in 5.

Last edited by DavidG; 08-17-2019 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 08-17-2019, 07:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: 1932 serial number starts with D5

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Originally Posted by evobuilder View Post
a hot rod shop up the street by me also has a title with a D serial for a 32 Ford. So it's not just me.
How about a little more of the number, replacing the last three digits with "XXX" if you are concerned? Asking again, where are you finding this number and how about a picture, again blanking out the last three digits if you are concerned?

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Old 08-17-2019, 09:59 AM   #9
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Default Re: 1932 serial number starts with D5

With two similar frames in close proximity of each other that are out of the norms gives a feeling that there may be a local interrelation of these units. There have been a lot of frames fabricated from American Stamping Corporation rails as well as others. The possibility of private fabrication outside of Ford Motor Co & affiliates is there plus the possibility of state issued identification numbers is also there.

The popularity of the 1932 Fords is such that there are a lot of known clones out there since the originals are all finite in number and harder to source for sale these days. The popularity reflects the asking prices of these cars when they are for sale so they can be an expensive investment. Laws have been relaxed somewhat to allow for cloning as long as the rules are followed for each state affected.
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Old 08-17-2019, 10:38 AM   #10
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Default Re: 1932 serial number starts with D5

If it is an original frame, stamped by Henry's men, the numbers will be of a distinctive type face. (font).

A pic of the frame and the numbers would help. Just cover over the last few digits if you like.
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1932 serial number starts with D5

funny thing is.... the two frames are in close proximity now, but mine came from Indiana, the other is in So Cal.
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:33 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1932 serial number starts with D5

Quote:
Originally Posted by evobuilder View Post
funny thing is.... the two frames are in close proximity now, but mine came from Indiana, the other is in So Cal.
Attachment 404452
Is the number stamped into the actual frame and can you post a photo and give the location where it is stamped or is it just on the paperwork? How about a photo of the whole vehicle? It is beginning to look like you have a number assigned by a state DMV. That old California pink slip takes me back in time. When you register it (I assume you haven't yet), assuming that is the pink you plan to use, some DMV people will try to charge for back registration, there is a way around it but it don't know the details. Keep looking for a DMV clerk that knows how to waive the back fees (or call Sacramento for help).

Charlie Stephens

Last edited by Charlie Stephens; 08-17-2019 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 08-17-2019, 01:24 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1932 serial number starts with D5

Any chance that number could be from a factory rebuilt engine? There are
Model A engines starting with RF=Richmond Ford or LB= Long Beach.


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Old 08-17-2019, 01:42 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1932 serial number starts with D5

Whats with the body type" LGHTDL" ?
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Old 08-17-2019, 03:44 PM   #15
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Default Re: 1932 serial number starts with D5

I'm not familiar with California titles but the model "LGHTDL" could signify light delivery. The DR in the VIN # could mean its an assigned # from the Department of Registrations in the state of California.
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Old 08-17-2019, 03:50 PM   #16
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Default Re: 1932 serial number starts with D5

I have had a couple vehicles and trailers with Calif. assigned VINs and they all started with CA.
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:49 AM   #17
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Default Re: 1932 serial number starts with D5

There are possibly more reproduction frame rails out there today than there are originals.
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:21 AM   #18
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Default Re: 1932 serial number starts with D5

That's a 1958 registration so no telling what that number comes from. It's listed at 4-cylinder which would have been a B or AB motor. B motors were used as industrial engines just like the A engines were but I have no idea what the numbers were assigned to industrial and agricultural applications by Ford Motor Co.

DavidG knows more about these models than most any one else on the board and he literally wrote the 1932 book available from the EFV8 club. It's definitely not a normal frame number as he describes. If there was some special number set up by Ford, I think he would know about it after all the research at Benson Ford and years of 1932 experience.
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:49 AM   #19
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Default Re: 1932 serial number starts with D5

The class being "AE" might be assembled early or something like that which would be a clue.
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Old 08-18-2019, 01:21 PM   #20
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Default Re: 1932 serial number starts with D5

Mike,

With respect, I seriously doubt AE stands for assembled early. How would the State of California know that, even if it were true? In fact, no four-cylinder passenger cars were produced until more than a month after the vehicle Job #1 of the 1932 model year on March 10th, despite more than 40,000 four-cylinder engine-transmission assemblies having already been manufactured. It was all about the new V8 and everything was put on hold until production versions of it became available commencing on March 7th.
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