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Flathead V8: 1932 Ford Model 18 Tudor

It amazes us to see how well prewar American cars were built, take this 1932 Ford Model 18 Tudor for example. We’ve seen countless cars half this age that are rusted to the point of not being identifiable, yet this 80 year old Ford is still solid and likely still wearing the original paint. This car would be a great starting point for everything from a full restore to a customized rod. If you’ve been looking for a great ’32 Ford V8 this car is currently being offered on eBay with an optimistic starting bid of $35,000.

This Ford Tudor is powered by the iconic flathead V8 and this is believed to be the car’s original engine. Sadly, its the area that suffered the most exposure to the elements and is now seized up. These engines were well built, so we would try pouring some Marvel Mystery oil in the cylinders to see if it will break lose. This engine is what made these cars so popular as hot rods and gassers in the 1950s. It also is why its hard to come across one that hasn’t already been modified.

The interior is rough, but for a car that’s been sitting for the past 63 years in storage, it’s surprisingly intact. The upholstery will obviously need a complete redo and it’s hard to tell what else will need to be redone, but thankfully there isn’t much to these old cars. Hopefully some of the old parts can be reused and some of that great aged look can be preserved.

What’s truly amazing about this barn find is the fact that the original manual is still with the car. It’s hard to find a ten year old car with the original manuals, more less one that’s 80 years old. Having the manual doesn’t really add much resell value, but its still amazing none the less.

Hopefully who ever ends up buying this car will leave the exterior of the car original. Most of these cars end up either being completely restored or turned into rat rods, and while they look great either way, it would be awesome to keep the car just as it was the day it was pulled from the barn. The seller’s asking price seems a bit high to us, but if the engine ends up being salvageable it might be worth the investment. What do you guys think? Is the seller dreaming or is their asking price right in the ball park? Also, what would you guys do with this Ford V8? Leave it alone or hot rod it?

Source: eBay


  1. Anonymous

    When I was growing up, there was a car like this one at the back two acres of land. When I was 5, I thought about fixing it up. As time went on, more parts disappeared, until ther was nothing left. When I first saw the car it was on it’s back with all four wheels in the air.(complete) I’m glad someone found this prospective beaty.

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  2. Pat

    Get it running, make it drivable. And enjoy it just like it is. There are some cars you restore, some cars you can chop up. But an Original untouched car, leave it like it is.

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  3. Greg

    This car reminds me of that TV show the “Waltons” If it were mine I’d detail the exterior completely and leave it exactly as is. The interior you could have some real fun with. Not sure about the EBay price but when it comes to classic cars there doesn’t seem to be any end to the line of buyers who will throw down large sums of money. Thanks for posting!

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  4. Craig Bolton

    That ain’t “patina”, it’s “rust”. Even Neil Young recognized that it never sleeps. What is it with you guys that love rusty cars? Are you too cheap for a paint job and some upholstery work? Sure, I like a paint job that’s been lovingly rubbed through and some cracking of a leather seat. After a point, it’s just deterioration. Or maybe I’m behind the times…

    Like 2
  5. Rosco

    Hot rod it!

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  6. David G

    It’s PATINA after this many years (and on such a rolling icon of American automobilia), hello! My vote’s with those who respect that such a condition is hard to duplicate and super neato-burrito to go public with, especially since this example could be made entirely functional and presentable. Lots of folks can throw a bank-wad into a ‘beautiful restoration’ but almost unfortunately, few hold respect for and fewer yet allow this sortof un-violated patina to have survivor-ship into the future. “Go ahead, do the scientific dating process on it; It’s period Rouge plant black!” It would be different if she needed a bunch of bodywork otherwise since then said overall patina package couldn’t be maintained. I say get ‘er running and safe as is and re-do the upholstery and *still* win 9 out of 10 best original awards out there!

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  7. J. Pickett

    Too much money, I see it as a slightly cleaned up driver.

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  8. Alex


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  9. Dave

    The asking price is ( let’s see high ) even it the engine wasn’t seized. You have to remember how many of these were built. But this thing is really cool.

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  10. Menmojo

    It will never sell at this price…….
    It doesn’t really matter what we think because it’s going nowhere!

    (Maybe the seller had a sticky key board and added an extra Zero?)

    Like 0
  11. junkman Member

    I’m fairly sure there are just about none of these cars in this good a condition that any of us will see any time soon. 35k may seem high, but you just never see them this original,and remember kids “they’re only original once” If I had The Money,you know the story.

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    • GAB

      I have this car. My father bought for $50 in 1958. Last June barn find but now running and cleaned up all original.

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  12. Chris in WNC

    make it mechanically sound and drive it as is!
    I am at the national Model A meet this week in Oshkosh, there’s a 31 Deluxe Tudor in similar condition that a kid in his twenties is preserving and driving.

    the price? I think they’re dreaming- the kid mentioned above only paid $7500 for the 31.
    what say you, V8 guys- is this a $15K car or more?

    Like 0

    OFFER WHAT ITS WORTH—$1500.00—–YOUR LOOKING AT AT LEAST $20.000 in todays market–to make this a presentable car—AND THATS LOW BALLIN IT—

    Like 0
  14. Bob W.

    My first car! Bought in Reedsburg, WI. in 1968 for $500.

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  15. Richard

    Keep it original! Given that you can now buy all-new ’32 Ford steel bodies for hotrodding purposes, there’s no longer a need to take an 80-year-old all-original car and mess with it (especially when you consider it still has its original owner’s manual!). Same logic applies to classic Mustang fastbacks, now that you can buy brand-new original bodies for the ’67-’70 models you don’t have to worry about finding an original GT, Boss, or Mach 1, you can just find a good Mustang parts catalog and with a fat credit card limit you can build one just the way you like it.

    Like 0
  16. JMM

    This car actually was shown in the Southern Ohio area a few times in the early 1980′s and I understand a couple of times over the 50′s to 70′s – and while the paint was chalking and it had minor rust on bumpers and already limited moth damage and wear, it was truly outstanding example of a surviving Ford and 100 times better than you see it now – it is criminal what has happened to it since I have seen it last. Note the rear tire cover – those are actually polished stainless beads that you are seeing on the edges of the canvas cover – very rare accessory.

    Like 1
  17. graham line

    That’s not patina on the interior, it’s mildew. Nice prop for ‘Grapes of Wrath’ but more usable with some sympathetic restoration and lots of mechanical work. There really is a difference between well-used and neglected.

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  18. Wayne Melhiser

    My first car was a 1932 “B” four banger. My Dad had it totally restored and man it looked like brand new. I drove this car for several months……in the winter, no heater!! We lost that beauty when lightning hit our garage and the car burned to the frame. This car should be kept in orginal format and drive it daily. I think the seller is asking way too much, but you never know and the seller can always come down a few thousand.

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  19. Mike

    If i would have seen it on time before it was off of ebay i would have bought it without hesitating. All you guys who think it is 15K and less, obviously don’t have a clue on “really” knowing about 32 Fords. If you can comprehend all of the pieces on this car, you know it is an opportunity to own something amazing. Yes you can buy a shiney restored car for the same amount. Those dont excite me.

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  20. Ebbo

    I can understand the delusion of sellers who build their restoration costs into the asking price, because at least they put some work into it. But what makes people ask astronomical amounts of money for cast-off things that they put no care or effort into at all? 3,500 seems reasonable for this.

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  21. Tara P

    A lovely peice of old machinery, i would get a rapid restoration and use it daily, but its too far away from me, so i will have to make do with just looking at it.

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  22. bob

    Once you start tinkering with this ’32 it could very well disintegrate in your hands. The engine and all it’s components are probably good for scrap metal at best. That said someone will pay big $$ for this rare find.

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  23. Skip

    In the mid-1950’s I bought a running ’32 5-window coupe for $125. I had the top chopped for $50, and the father (who was a professional welder) of a friend Zee’d the frame for free. With a hammer and chisel I removed the body mounts and channeled the body. Total drop: 4 inches chop, 6 inches Zee, and 6 inches channel, for a total of 16 inches. I ran out of money so I sold it for $200. Obviously, over those many years, I wish I had finished it and kept it.

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  24. Lion

    This ’32 does not have the original engine, but you do not restore a car that has survived for 83 years and to rod it should be illegal. This should be made road worthy and used…gently.
    There is a really good touring model T that is pushing its 100th birthday that was bought and stuck in a back yard near me where it has sat for the last two winters under a crab apple tree. now deteriorating fast. This is criminal.

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  25. Wayne

    How much did it sell for?

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  26. Mike Young

    Marvel not best. Use a good penetrant(even W-40) to Begin process. Then “Rock” in high gear… then you could add ATF or the like once It moves.

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  27. Stan

    Being the owner of this car during this time, I can answer a few questions. This car was and still is today,an untouched, original, and complete car just as it left the factory. There is no body rust anywhere, no cracks in the fenders, and only a couple tiny dings in the body!
    The original owner drove it until 1953, when it had a small mishap with the fan and radiator which caused him to park it and purchase a new car.
    I purchased it years later, and held on to it for a year. My main issue when we listed it was to convey how amazingly complete this car was! That was the primary reason for putting the high asking price in the ad. Although I am a hotrodder, I did not want this car dismembered.
    The person that bought it still has is just as you see it here. The engine was gone through by H&H Flatheads in LA, and they said it was the most complete, original 32 flathead they had ever seen. They used most everything from original when they reassembled it. The rings were stuck from the dried oil.
    I have seen pictures of Wayne Carini of Chasing Classic Cars posed with it at a major car show. The car is road worthy and looking just as you see it here!!
    That was my goal

    Like 3

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