1 of 845 Built: 1932 Ford Model B400

In 1932, the Ford Model A was succeeded by the Model B of which the B400 was a special, low production edition. This was a sedan/convertible combination that was targeted at foreign diplomats, ambassadors, and others with deeper pockets. Most of the 845 copies made were shipped overseas. This one found its way to Denmark at first, and later back to California. It runs and drives and has been kept as close to original as possible. Located in Lake Elsinore, it’s available here on eBay where the bidding has reached $75,600, but the reserve is still waiting to kick in.

Perhaps the rarest Ford from this era is the B400, a 2-door Cabrio coach/convertible coupe with fixed side window frames. It was powered by Ford’s flathead V8 engine, unlike other Model B’s. Because its target audience was the upper crust and it was built at the height of the Great Depression, its sales volume was weak, and the model was soon discontinued.

This edition was painted in Washington Blue and finished with a leather interior, both of which are original to the car after nearly 90 years. The fenders, however, may have been touched up at some point, and remnants of pinstriping along the body are still visible in places. There is no mention of rust other than surface and, of course, it wears its patina well. The luggage rack has survived nicely, and the seller has documents that provide its ownership timeline.

The seller has replaced some parts and components and strived to stay as stock as possible. It has new Excelsior ties and tubes and side glass. We’re told that several other items are period-correct, which says to me they have been replaced, like the generator, air cleaner, carburetor, water and fuel pumps, and engine heads. The motor block and transmission are both original to the car. The seller says it runs and drives, but I wouldn’t chance a long trip on such a vintage, elegant automobile. Calculating the market value of a low-volume car like this is hard to do. Suffice it to say it will be worth exactly what someone is willing to pay for it.

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Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Just don’t see these every day. Think I saw a picture of advertising for one years ago. Don’t think even Harrah had one in his Reno museum. Rare car in running condition… get out the big check for this one.

    Like 8
  2. angliagt angliagt Member

    My Dad had a ’32 B Cabriolet covertible,in this same
    color combination.Bought it in 1972 for $2500,& sold it
    about 25 years later for $24,500.
    The sad part was that he only drove it twice that I know
    of,& that was just around the block.

    Like 11
  3. Doug from MD.

    Finally a car were the price doesn’t make me want to run screaming. The rarity of this car will dictate the price not greed. What a great piece of history.

    Like 16
  4. Chester in NY

    I would chop the top, put in a Wankel and enjoy.

    Like 8
  5. Joe Haska

    Absolutely the Holly Grail of 32 Ford’s, no question. I have only seen a few, in all my years chasing 32’s, and that was always at major events, and they weren’t for sale. These cars are generally bought and sold behind the scenes by the very serious few, they don’t turn up in the classifieds “Cars For Sale”. It is correct “What it sells for, is what it is worth”.

    Like 3
    • stillrunners stillrunners Member

      VanDerBrink auctions has a 1932 builder coming up next month.

      Like 1
  6. Kurt Member

    It will look show worthy with a bit of TLC and paint.

    Like 1
  7. geomechs geomechs Member

    It seems to me that this body style was available with the V8 Only. Personally I’d rather have a cabriolet, a roadster, or a pickup, or my ultimate favorite, a Victoria. But I sure wouldn’t kick this one off my driveway. I hope it goes to a good home and gets its due exercise…

    Like 8
  8. John C.

    I have a feeling that the reserve is 100k and I think it will get there too. nice rare car.

  9. Johnny C.

    SO cool… I hope someone with very deep pockets gets this beauty. It’s overall condition would be an excellent candidate for a museum quality restoration.

    Like 1
  10. 86_Vette_Convertible

    This is one I’d love to be behind the wheel on for a couple of days. This is one I’d enjoy every moment I could have with it.

    Like 1
  11. Danny V. Johnson

    When they say, “Rarer then hen’s teeth,” this what they’re talking about. The only other ’32 cabriolet like this, that I’ve ever seen, was in Vale, South Dakota about thirty-five years ago. Mrs. Evers wouldn’t sell it. I did all but get down on my knees and beg her. Vale was almost a ghost town, at the time and she owned most of the houses and old closed businesses in town. She had vintage cars stashed in all of the garages and sheds.

    I’m still a little confused about the “B” designation. I thought that the ’32 “Model B” Fords were the four cylinder cars and pick-up trucks.

    The one good thing abut the recent bid of $75k+ is, I doubt that anyone will turn it into a hotrod. I have nothing against hotrods but, some cars just shouldn’t be messed with and this is one of them. I suspect, like many rare cars, it will end up in a museum and never see the road again.

    Like 8
  12. C P Murray

    Was the B400 a continuation of the A400?

  13. DRV

    Best body on my favorite year of almost any brand!
    How is this configuration differ from the Vicky?

    Like 1
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Quite different. The Vicky was enclosed and had a bustle back. It was always a favorite of mine…

      Like 4
  14. Steve Thompson

    Two windshield wipers with what looks like a motor drive – what luxury in 1932. I’d like to know who all rode in this car over the years.

    Like 3
    • Dennis6605

      @Steve Thompson I doubt that anyone famous rode in this. With the tag in the door jam [FRA Vacuum Oil Company] I would think that the “Rider” was just over payed, not famous.

  15. Mike

    This is NOT a Model B Ford. It is a Model 18 because it has a V8. The 18 signifies that it is the first (1) V8 (8) thus it is a Model 18. All Model B’s have a 4 cylinder counterbalanced engine.

    Like 2
  16. Jim Chapin

    Same model as in the famous photos of Bonnie and Clyde. They stole theirs

    • Barney

      Not correct. The B & C death car was a 34 Ford deluxe four door sedan

      Like 2
      • Fireman DK

        but it is the same ( I believe ) as the one he is referring too in the staged Photo with Bonnie with the cigar in her mouth and Clyde with the guns in the grill of the car .

    • Danny V. Johnson

      Jim Chapin, True, the car in the photo, is a ’32 Ford. As you say, they stole a lot of cars. However, as previously noted, The Bonnie and Clyde “Death Car” is a ’34 Ford Deluxe “Fordoor.”

  17. Fireman DK

    Definitely not the “Death Car” of B & C…. Just read the book written off of the unpublished diary of Blanche Barrow, Bucks wife who lived into her 80’s , followed by the book written first by the same author “Running with Bonnie and Clyde” ( Ralph Fults) , the other “Gang member ” who lived to a ripe old age with out dying by the gun at some time in his life . Lord, they stole everything including a Model T at one point to get away , But Clyde sure liked the Fords ( and no, he did not send a letter to Henry Ford, that has been proven to be a fake). Fascinating read that shows how screwed up and sad their life’s were and what drove a 20 something Clyde to a life of hard crime and revenge … Reading the books just to hear about the get aways and car crashes they were in was worth it …. how they did not die in some of those wrecks I’ll never understand…… That is one beautiful Ford there ….good thing They never got that one !

    Like 4
      • Fireman DK

        That’s a great version of that one …clear and large ! The back story their is they staged that , Bonnie did not smoke cigars and actually had a fear of guns from a childhood accident …though one of her co-criminals said she was the best reloader ever ! All her life she took pictures, it was her mother’s camera or one they found in a stolen car she used ( can’t remember which camera they said that time) . The camera was left behind with undeveloped film when they got in a gun battle with the law at a rented apartment. Any who, great picture , beautiful car , sad back story on why Clyde became the person he was and Bonnie was loyal to the end …..

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