January 25th, 2000
1932, and the first V8 arrives
IT was in 1932 that Henry Ford stunned the automotive world by launching a mass-produced, affordable car fitted with a 65 horsepower V8 engine.
Ford Australia released the same model a few months later on August 25. The Model B was already available with a 4-cylinder engine so the new car was called the Model 18.
Priced from 327 pounds, the car was an enormous improvement over the 4 and 6-cylinder models available at the time.
However, its launch coincided with the start of the Great Depression and sales were affected badly by the economic crash.
Ford sold only 740 in 1932 and 608 in 1933 before the launch of the Model 40, which boosted sales by a further 1229 in that year.
Sales literature boasted of 65 horsepower and 65 miles an hour performance. Prospective buyers were urged to "watch the Ford V8 surge to the front in traffic" and wonder at its "flashing acceleration to gain the lead and the endurance to hold it".
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