Why do media outlets compile lists, like Edmund’s 100 Greatest Cars of all Time List that came out a couple of days ago? So that suckers like me would blog it, and give them the exposure they don’t deserve with this one. Come on; the Citroen DS doesn’t even make the list?? The ’32 Ford certainly belongs on it, but at the top? Here’s how they justify it:
The first performance car a working man could afford, with looks swiped straight from Duesenberg. This car has defined American automotive culture for nearly 80 years.
The styling of the ’32 was a slightly warmed over Model A; handsome, but most today would have a hard time telling it from a ’32 Chevy or Plymouth, and hardly “swiped straight from a Duesenberg”. Mechanical brakes, model T suspension, and a troublesome and notoriously overheating engine…ok; I’m being a bit harsh. Certainly, the ’32 became the iconic hot rod, but that had more to do with the fact that Ford components were well made, light, and very interchangeable. My time on the soapbox is up, for now. But stay tuned next week.
I definitely agree on the styling — if anything, the ’32 Ford (and the Model A) looked like contemporary Lincolns, which I assume was intentional.
A few weeks ago, I spent a couple of days editing a bunch of Model A photos (1929, 1930, and 1931 models), then did a ’32 Ford 2/4 coupe from the same show (externally stock except for the color). It really drove home how evolutionary the Model 18 was from a design perspective (something that is particularly clear with the 1932 Model B, which had a revised version of the Model A’s big four) — the big distinction was really the flathead V8 itself.
It would probably qualify as the first V8 car a blue collar buyer could afford, but looking at the power-to-weight ratios of its contemporaries, it didn’t have any really decisive advantage. A ’32 Terraplane would probably outrun it, at least without resorting to aftermarket hop-up parts. (On the other hand, people still talk about ’32 Fords, and when was the last time you even heard the word Terraplane?)
For hotrodders the ’32 Ford was a cheap hot rod starter kit. Too bad Edmunds is always talking out its behinderoo. The average commenter here at CC seems more knowledgeable than the entire Edmunds staff combined. 🙂
Other than the new V8 engine the 32 Ford has little going for it antiquated suspension and brakes the engine burned more oil than gas and overheated due to poor design the bodies cracked but it was fast for a cheap car Edmunds list ignore several cars that were groundbreaking best handling FWD chassis peugeot 306/CitroenZX NOT Honda Citroen traction Avant the DS it has far too many mediocre Japanese cars that really did nothing for the automotive world. The AE86 Corolla while it was a good performance car rally drivers had been going sideways for 50 years before its introduction Japan did NOT invent sliding cars around curves
I still don’t get all the love for the AE86. It wasn’t as great as lore has made it.
It handled well but it ran an 18.6 in the quarter showroom stock, an 85 Omni GLH non turbo ran 17.2 and more than likely could have out handled it, the GLH-T would have wasted it..
Japanese cars handle abysmally but the AE86 didnt it kinda broke the mould it went round corners well and 1/4 mile performance isnt very relevant to most of the world
Japanese cars handle abysmally? I will have to remember that when I drive either my Honda Fit or Acura TL. I always thought they handled rather well. They do have rather still rides, however.
The new ones are ok theyve improved over the years but we have a lot of JDM cars and the suspension setting is on mush for most of them including very narrow tyres great isolation booths just dont throw one into a corner
No Citroen DS, but there’s room for a Hummer.
1932 Ford V8 belongs in the top ten, but it was catching up with the market in many respects when it came out. I’d put the Mini at the top. Profoundly influential. 9/10 of the cars on today’s roads are transverse front-drive sedans.
No Corvair neither.
There barely room on the planet for the Hummer it was and is a waste of space and fuel and as is beibng discovered in Afganistan not really much use militarily either Massive FAIL.
Mini belongs some where but it was NOT the FWD blueprint used by all ,ONLY BMC put all the drivetrain in one oil bucket the usual system is motor and gearbox beside one another Id almost put the 2CV ahead of the Mini
No Riviera and they got particular models wrong. I’d say the 1958 Thunderbird was more important in the long run than the original 1955. And why include the original Corvette when we know it was such a let down.
And if we’re going to include plebeian sedans among the best, you have to include the blockbuster successful colonnade Cutlasses as “great” too.
Those lists always get me.. Just like the “worst ever” lists.
There’s no way you can put a definitive list of the most “——” cars ever that’s going to be correct or agreeable in any way. It’s trolling in its highest form.
You might be able to do something like the top 100 cars that made a valuable/innovative contribution to the automotive world and get away with it. *Might*
Yeah but we fed the Troll
since when is the ford f100 a car?
Someday I’d love to build a deuce, much like this one.
Two flavours of Cobra, and two flavours of Corvette ZR-1, but no Citroen? Above all, no Mercedes 600? They had a 6.3, but no W100. Simply a badly written list, there’s no argue about it.
No Cisitalia 202
No 1966 Old Toronado
No Cord 812
Not a single Citroen
Not a single Tatra
They even mis-identified one of the Cobras. The caption said 427 but the photo was 289.
“Don’t know much about history”
I always thought that the 32 Ford V8 was more notable for manufacturing advances than for the car itself. As a car, the Ford V8 really didn’t hit its stride until about 1934, and even then suffered from several design compromises. The 32 had awful teething pains and a not all that impressive 65 hp (the engine was rated at 85 hp by 1934).
But the idea of a V8 engine block cast as a single piece – that was huge. Nobody had done this before. All V8 engines had blocks cast in multiple pieces and then assembled, and this was why they were only in expensive cars until the 32 Ford.
1985 Camaro IROC-Z?
1982 Mustang 5.0?
1973 Trans Am?
1992 Dodge Viper?
Not just one, but ‘two’ Cobras?
Besides the already mentioned Citroen DS and 1966 Toronado, these are ‘greater’ than:
1963 Studebaker Avanti
1953 Studebaker Starliner
1958 Ford Thunderbird
1963 Buick Riviera
For a much better list of this type, take a look at Automobile magazine’s 100 Coolest Cars. Frankly, this seems like Edmunds’ attempt at ripping-off that list and, in the process, fouled it up.
Wow guys, we aren’t being hard on Edmunds just for the sake of being hard on Edmunds, are we?
In the context of its time, I think people would have went nuts for the Ford V8. They apparently did. I don’t think it matters all that much that (on paper) it didn’t have much on other, non-V8 peers. IT HAD A V8! And you could get that, or a nasal-y sounding six. I know -I- would have bought the Ford just for the sound. Every single one I’ve ever heard gave me chills. They sound trashy, sloppy, tired, lazy..wonderful! People like V8s, period. Whereas people today are nostalgic for the V8s of yesteryear, the Ford V8 is about as yesteryear as it gets, at least for average schmucks. This car HAD to be hot shit back in the day. People want to ooh and ah about the Olds or Chevy or Cadillac V8s, but those didn’t show up until more than a decade after Ford was selling everyone who wanted a V8 a V8. Yeah, it was an antiquated flattie, but are you not paying attention? It was a V8!
I think people in 1932 would not have been nearly so shocked by its lack of cutting edge tech. Warranties? What warranties? Car buyers back then didn’t take their cars to the shop for every little thing-if you owned a car, you probably had more mechanical knowledge than 95% of any of the jerks you could randomly select off the street today. Mechanical brakes, if nothing else, means baling wire really might fix your brakes in a pinch. Try that with your fancy hydraulic master cylinders and your rusted steel brake lines and rotted rubber. Overheating? They had flat tires every 20 minutes back then, plenty of time for that puppy to chill out while you pop on that spare or patch the tube or whatever they did back then.
One of my grandfathers was a farmer in northwest Ohio. He bought a new 1935 Ford V8 sedan, which the family kept until 1951. The Ford then went to my oldest aunt and her new husband to replace a Model A that they were driving, and held them for a year until they traded it on a new 52 Ford Victoria hardtop.
My grandfather never owned a pickup, always just hooked a trailer onto the back of the Ford sedan. He was very mechanically inclined and kept that old Ford running and in great shape its whole life. My mother remembers the car fondly, almost as part of the family.
I learned long ago to equate these ‘lists’ with Letterman’s Top Ten List. Except Dave has the good taste to make sure you know his list is bogus.
Like the ones from Forbes, et al, these lists are just journo’s MM.
Someone further upstream posted that the commenters on here have more knowledge about this kind of thing. I’m inclined to think they are correct.
I’m surprised that nobody has blasted the author yet for including the Lambo SUV. While an interesting toy for the idle rich, I would consider it just a footnote in automotive history.