Ford Model 40 DeLuxe photo

1934 Ford Model 40 DeLuxe

Ford had delayed the introduction of a replacement for the venerable Model F, and having learned their lesson, Ford wasted no time in bringing a new car to market to follow the popular Model A. On March 31st of 1932, the Ford Motor Company introduced the new Model 40 V8 which was largely a mild cosmetic redesign of the Model A. Its biggest advancement was technological and Ford's first-ever V-8 engine. It was aimed squarely at rival Chevrolet and a bit of one-upmanship to the brand which offered a mere six-cylinder engine.

V8 engines had been used for many years but they were expensive to produce and drove the cost of the vehicle into territory that only a few could afford. The cylinder block casting process was complicated. Ford, however, found a way to mass-produce the V8 engines making them the first low-priced V8 engines on the market. The cylinders were cast 'en block', meaning in one piece, which was a rather simple process resulting in inexpensive prices. The V8 engines went through their teething problems mainly because the engines were rushed into production. They were prone to over-heating, cracked blocks and piston, and bearing failures. Once these problems were corrected, the engines proved their potential and stayed in production for the next twenty years.

The monobloc eight-cylinder engine (ultimately known as the 'Flathead') displaced 221 cubic-inches, had mechanical valve lifters, three main bearings, a Stromberg two-barrel downdraft carburetor, and delivered 85 horsepower at 3,800 RPM and 150 lb-ft of torque at 2,200 RPM. The block was cast as a single unit which helped keep the cost-competitive, and used aluminum pistons and originally a single-barrel Stromberg carburetor. It was backed by a three-speed sliding gear transmission with a single dry plate clutch and floor shift controls. Mechanical internal expanding brakes were located at all four wheels. The 17-inch wheels had welded spoke drop center rims.

Ford produced vehicles that weighed less than a ton, meaning that with the V8 engine underneath, these vehicles were quicker than most anything else on the road. The V-8 symbol adorned the radiator grille and the hubcaps. From 1932 through 1934, the styling of the vehicle changed very little. In 1933 Ford added angled side hood louvers. The 1934 roadster was similar to 1932 except the shield-shaped grille that first appeared in 1933 was straightened and given bolder (and fewer) bars, and there were new hub caps, smaller headlamps and cowl lamps, and a revised V-8 ornament. The sleek, long-hood styling with its graduated hood side vents was complimented by the Veed and raked back grille and windshield. All contribute to the 1934 Ford's harmonious concept and execution. The skirted fenders in front and rear, a first for Ford, concealed most of the frame and added another modern element to the design.

Mechanical changes comprised a new two-barrel Stromberg carburetor, replacing the previous single-throat Detroit Lubricator component, and a redesigned air cleaner, with horsepower growing by ten.

Both four- and eight-cylinder body styles were identical, with the four-cylinder versions priced $50 lower than the V8s. The engines were backed by a three-speed sliding gear manual transmission with a single dry plate clutch and floor shift controls. Its wheelbase measured 112-inches (six-inches longer than the 1932 Ford), had an overall length of 182.9-inches, and rode on 5.50 x 17 tires with welded spoke drop center rims. A solid axle was in the front and a live axle with transverse semi-elliptic leaf springs in the rear. Four-wheel mechanical drum brakes provided the stopping power.

The styling was courtesy of Henry Ford's son, Edsel, and was often compared to its senior, the Lincoln. Edsel Ford, President of Ford Motor Company from 1925 until his death in 1943, personally influenced design considerably. A true car enthusiast, Edsel was an accomplished artist with a passionate interest in design and styling, a skill that his father did not possess.

Edsel established Ford's first styling group, and in 1932 he chose E.T. 'Bob' Gregorie to head a small design staff. Gregorie, who had worked briefly under Harley Earl at General Motors, was himself an accomplished sketch artist and had a talent for translating Edsel's visions into reality. While the stylistic changes for 1934 were relatively minor, the attractive design of 1933 was further refined, making the 1934 Ford models one of the most highly sought-after and beloved classic cars today.

Among the list of body styles was the phaeton, originally applied to close-coupled and luxuriously appointed carriages and derived from classical Greek mythology. The name re-emerged during the 1920s and used by a number of automobile manufacturers and applied to majestic open cars with dual cowls, dual windscreens, elaborate accouterments, and simple side curtains for weather protection.

Ford offered a dozen body style choices for 1934, with identical bodies for both the four- and eight-cylinder line. The eight-cylinder models were priced at $510 to $660 and the four-cylinder counterparts were $50 less. Among them, available Ford models ranged from basic coupes, roadsters, and two-door sedans to more luxurious and well-appointed cabriolets, convertible sedans, and four-door sedans.

The name 'phaeton' gained an image of mystique while the 'touring car' name began to carry an image of low-cost impracticality that was increasingly difficult to sell. So Ford began adopting the name to restore some allure to their open four-door cars. While the concept remained the same, Ford's own revival of the phaeton name represented a paradigm shift that exuded an aura of class and style.

The Cabriolet (all-weather convertible) was one of the upscale body styles and came with roll-up windows, a snug cloth top, and a base price of $590. It combined comfort and complete appointments with the performance benefits of Ford's steadily refined 85-horsepower V-8 engine and sturdy yet lightweight construction.

The coupe and roadster cost less than the convertible, making them accessible to buyers, and weighed nearly 100 pounds less, giving it the best 'performance per dollar' value in the Ford lineup. By 1934, fully enclosed vehicles had made serious inroads into the market for roadsters and convertibles, and the Deluxe Tudor Sedan was gaining popularity, selling 121,696 units at $575 each in 1934.

Ford's first station wagon was built in 1928. A prototype on the Model A chassis, it was created for Edsel Ford's personal use at his summer home, 'Skylands' in Seal Harbor, Maine. The station wagon was conceived for exactly the purpose its name implies, to transport luggage from the railroad station, where Edsel and his contemporaries typically arrived with their families in private railroad cars, to their estates. The large cargo capacity of the station wagon made them ideal for transporting the many trunks full of clothing for the multi-outfit lifestyle of the day's elite society. The 1934 Ford Station Wagon was the most expensive body style, selling for $660 with the V8.

Early on, independent builders recognized the commercial opportunity and the adaptability of the Ford chassis. They were instrumental in the station wagon's development with companies like J.T. Cantrell in Huntington, Long Island thriving on the production of depot hacks. Edsel Ford recognized the potential for Ford's own factory line of similar vehicles and enlisted his friend and former teacher Clarence W. Avery at Murray Corporation, one of Ford's outside bodybuilders, to provide the detailed design and the custom metal stampings needed for the basis of wood-bodied wagons. Murray, in turn, farmed out the elaborate woodwork to Mengel Body company in Louisville, Kentucky, and assembly to Baker-Raulang, formerly builders of electric cars and the Owen Magnetic, starting in 1930.

The early station wagons were utilitarian with seats easily removed to maximize carrying capacity and side windows were rollup fabric curtains with flexible glazing. Typically, they were sparsely equipped, their appeal owed less to design and style than to the inherent elegance of tastefully integrated form and function. Station wagons worked for a living, constructed by talented craftsmen who used the natural beauty of the old-growth hardwood from Ford's Iron Mountain forests.

Along with the station wagon, Deluxe Roadster, phaeton, Deluxe Phaeton, and cabriolet, Ford also offered a 3- and 5-window coupe, a two-door Tudor and a four-door Fordor (in standard and Deluxe guise), and a victoria.

The V8 Ford was a tremendous value for the money and continued to power Fords for the next 21 years, as well as forming the basis of hot rods for years to come. It helped 'ordinary' Americans purchase high-quality automobiles with rock-solid reliability at low prices.

The calendar year Ford production from 1934 was 563,921 units.

by Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2020

Related Reading : Ford Model 40 History

The Ford Model 40 V8 rode on a 112-inch wheelbase and rode on 17-inch wire spoke wheels. Power was from a 90-degree L-head V-8 engine that displaced 221 cubic-inches and produced 75 horsepower. The engine was mated to a three-speed sliding gear transmission with floor shift controls. They had an X-member double-drop frame and mechanical internal expanding brakes at all four corners. The design....
Continue Reading >>

1934 Vehicle Profiles

1934 Ford Model 40 DeLuxe vehicle information


Chassis Num: 181200882

Popular with cops and crooks alike, the 1934 Ford Deluxe Roadster holds a special place in automotive history. Particularly popular because of its power, it also marked a change in automotive design. The Ford Deluxe represented the shift from the tra....[continue reading]

1934 Ford Model 40 DeLuxe vehicle information


Chassis Num: 18-869674

This 1934 Ford DeLuxe Phaeton was given a concours-level restoration to very high standards. It is powered by a 221 cubic-inch L-head V8 engine offering 85 horsepower and mated to a three-speed manual sliding gear transmission. There are four-wheel....[continue reading]

1934 Ford Model 40 DeLuxe vehicle information

5 Window Coupe

Chassis Num: 18916227

This 1934 Ford Deluxe Five-Window Coupe is powered by an L-head V8 engine offering 85 horsepower. The odometer reads just 44,853 miles and it is painted in a brown exterior with ream colored wheels and a mohair interior. There is a wind-out windshi....[continue reading]

1934 Ford Model 40 DeLuxe vehicle information


Chassis Num: AZ223413

This 1934 Ford Deluxe Roadster was offered for sale at the 2007 RM Auctions held in Meadow Brook. It is powered by a 221 cubic-inch L-head V8 engine capable of producing 85 horsepower. The car has a three-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel mechanica....[continue reading]

1934 Ford Model 40 DeLuxe vehicle information


This 1934 Ford Phaeton Deluxe 4-door convertible is a four door open touring car with an unbroken line from front to back. Such a car might have a canvas top with side curtains instead of true convertible roll-up windows.....[continue reading]

1934 Ford Model 40 DeLuxe vehicle information

Touring Sedan
Coachwork: LeBaron

This 1934 Ford LeBaron custom body Ford sedan was one of only 165 produced by Ford Motor Co. in 1934. This car was displayed at the Ford Motor Company 100th Anniversary in Dearborn, MI.....[continue reading]

1934 Ford Model 40 DeLuxe vehicle information


Chassis Num: 18-1216955

Ford's first V-8 engine was introduced on March 31st of 1932 and it was offered in a low-price, mass-produced car. It was designed to compete with rival Chevrolet, which were powered by a six-cylinder engine. The Ford V8 engine design was attributed ....[continue reading]

Chassis #: 181200882 
Chassis #: 18-869674 
5 Window Coupe
Chassis #: 18916227 
Chassis #: AZ223413 
Touring Sedan by LeBaron
Chassis #: 18-1216955 

Concepts by Ford

Similarly Sized Vehicles
from 1934

Ford Monthly Sales Volume

February 2021
January 2021
November 2020
Additional Sales Volume Data

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1934 Model 40 DeLuxe
1934 Ford Model 40 DeLuxe Price Range: $530 - $660

Other 1934 Ford Models

Model 40

112.00 in.
8 cyl., 221.00 CID., 75.00hp
$475 - $640
112.00 in.
8 cyl., 221.00 CID., 85.00hp
$500 - $605
112.00 in.
8 cyl., 221.00 CID., 85.00hp
$530 - $660
122.00 in.
8 cyl., 239.00 CID., 120.00hp

Industry Production

1939Chevrolet (577,278)Ford (487,031)Plymouth (423,850)487,031
1938Chevrolet (465,158)Ford (410,263)Plymouth (285,704)410,263
1937Chevrolet (815,375)Ford (765,933)Plymouth (566,128)765,933
1936Ford (930,778)Chevrolet (918,278)Plymouth (520,025)930,778
1935Ford (820,253)Chevrolet (548,215)Plymouth (350,884)820,253
1934Ford (563,921)Chevrolet (551,191)Plymouth (321,171)563,921
1933Chevrolet (486,261)Ford (334,969)Plymouth (298,557)334,969
1932Chevrolet (313,404)Ford (210,824)Plymouth (186,106)210,824
1931Chevrolet (619,554)Ford (615,455)Buick (138,965)615,455
1930Ford (1,140,710)Chevrolet (640,980)Buick (181,743)1,140,710
1929Ford (1,507,132)Chevrolet (1,328,605)Buick (196,104)1,507,132

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