1932 Ford Roadster

“Maybellene, why can’t you be true?” Looking at this car one can’t help but be reminded of Chuck Berry’s classic rock and roll song.  Many consider Chuck Berry to be the king of rock and roll and the 1932 Roadster has to be considered the king of early automobiles.  This specific 1932 Ford Roadster, which has been fully customized, epitomizes the hot rod culture that engulfed Southern California beginning in the late 1930s.  The ’32 Roadster’s proper name is the Ford Model B.  The Model B was an updated version of the Ford Model A.  The Model B was also available with a V-8 engine.  This Model of Ford was the Ford V-8.  It was loved by everyone from musicians to bank robbers.  The infamous outlaw Clyde Barrow famously wrote a letter to Henry Ford expressing his adoration for Ford V-8′s ability to outrun the authorities.  As hot rod culture swept across Southern California in the late 1930s the Model B was a popular choice for modification not only because of its affordability but also because it often came equipped with a V-8 engine.  As hot rod culture continued to grow, modified Model B’s were featured in magazines and popular culture.  By the time Chuck Berry idolized the car in “Maybellene” it had already become a piece of Americana, representing America’s love affair with the road and their automobiles.

Much like Chuck Berry’s dream machine in “Maybellene”, this 1932 Ford contains a V-8 engine.  Once upon a time bootleggers, with cars full of booze, needed the powerful engine to outrun the G-Men.  Hopefully you use the powerful V-8 to cruise the freeway on a sunny day instead of dodging Johnny Law. Its orange paint job and chrome exterior are loud and sure to turn heads as it cruises through town.  This specific model, which is fully restored, carries a price tag of $39,500.  Pricey, yes, but it is a remarkable piece of American history,  harkening back to an age when American manufacturing was unmatched.  The beige bench seats are reminiscent of the age of prohibition, when mobsters like Al Capone cruised the streets.  Unlike Capone, the extra seating capacity will now likely be used to seat a family instead of bodyguards and hired guns.  If you are interested in purchasing a 1932 Roadster a good place to start is cars-on-line.com.  They have a large database advertising 1932 Roadsters for sale, averaging around $30,000.  Other sites worth looking at are hotrodhotline.com, americandreamcars.com and classiccars.com which has Roadster ranging from $14,000 to $225,000.

The Ford Model B has influenced and inspired creativity since it first rolled off the line in 1932.  Its idolization in film, music and popular culture made it one of the most sought after automobiles ever built.  This specific car, which currently resides in Arlington, Texas, represents a prime opportunity to fulfill the hot rod dreams of your youth.  You don’t have to be chasing Maybellene in her Cadillac Coup De Ville to make driving this car exciting.  This is a car for people who love to drive.  No radio. No distractions. Just you, the open road, and a fine American made automobile.  Imagine cruising towards the horizon with the engine humming, the top down and the wind in your face. Just out for a drive, cruising like the outlaws and rock stars of years past.

My Take
My senior year of college I took a class on the history of the automobile in American culture.  The class fascinated me and although several years have passed I have retained an appreciation for the automobiles of the early twentieth century.  The quality of their construction, as well as their over the top style, perfectly accentuated the extravagance of America during the 1920s.  Even as the Great Depression cast its dark shadow over the auto industry during the late ’20s and early ’30s, companies like Ford and GM continued to produce high quality cars for the American people.  The hot rod industry opened up creative avenues for American youth that had never before existed.  Cars became an extension of one’s self both mechanically and physically.  This 1932 Ford Roadster is a unique piece of American automotive history and the best part about it is that it does not belong in a museum.  Whomever is lucky enough to purchase this fine piece of Americana will continue a tradition that has existed in America for over seventy years.  This hot rod is the type of attention grabbing car that I would love to own.  I can see myself now, cruising with the top down and no particular place to go.

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