1932 Ford Pickup Flathead V8 Specifications

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    • Since its inception in 1903, the Ford Motor Company has constantly innovated new technologies in both the automobile and the production of automobiles. The Ford flathead V8 engine was introduced in 1932 and was the first company-designed motor to be mass-produced. This engine would eventually become one of Ford's most important developments.


    • The Ford flathead V8 featured a single piece block, giving it durability on top of performance and reliability. The single-barrel carburated engine was 221 cubic inches in size. In its first year of production, this motor had a 3.0625-inch bore and 3.75-inch stroke. Also in 1932, the flathead produced about 65 horsepower, as tested and advertised by the Ford Motor Company. The exhaust system out of the block was the most complex feature of the engine itself, because the space needed for exhaust flow was somewhat limiting. In addition to a tight exhaust area, the cylinder walls were thin. This was due, in part, to the shifting of cores during the casting of metals.


    • The Ford flathead V8 was commonly used in both passenger cars and trucks in 1932. Only slight variations separated the design and functionality of the engine applications in both types of vehicles. A crossover pipe on the left side of the manifold exhausted gas between the first and second cylinders in trucks. The exhausted gas from the intake manifold flowed out and through a single pipe in the rear of the vehicle because of this basic setup. Considering the flathead's ease of access in trucks, consumers could easily block the exhaust to the right, forward the manifold, and route the left side to an entirely new pipe. Doing this would result in a dual exhaust system, increasing performance and flow of the exhaust.

    Modern Adaptation

    • The 221-cubic-inch flathead common to 1932 Ford trucks was manufactured until 1942, whereas the production of all flathead V8 sizes lasted until 1954 in the United States. Similar engines were designed by non-Ford companies until 1973, giving this style engine an extensive life. The 221-cubic-inch flathead received several performance modifications throughout its history and quickly became a favorite of car enthusiasts and hot rodders at the time. Hobbyists still use the flathead V8 engines in both recreational and professional sport environments. A special flathead class is designated in salt flat racing and record holdings, where cars achieve top speeds using the same design set forth by Henry Ford in the early 1930s.

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