This characteristic mid-1930s car marked the end of Henry Ford’s love affair with the sturdy four-cylinder engine that had served the company so well for so long, and the triumphal confirmation of a new long-term partner.
Ford’s robust new V8 power plant would henceforth be in every car and truck the company manufactured.
The Model 48 continued the evolution that followed the relatively static Model T years, a process that would continue with new models in 1937 and a complete revamp of the line in 1941. This rapid development and continuous introduction of new models was a necessity to grab sales during the Great Depression, when car-buying dollars had to be tempted from cautious pockets.
The Model 48 was itself a major advance style wise, with the grille pushed forward and made more prominent by smaller mudguards. There was also an integrated boot on trunk back saloons, more room inside and the comfortable new ‘Center-Poise’ seating arrangement. The overall effect was pleasingly modern to 1930s eyes – and today is much appreciated by those who like to be seen cutting a dash in affordable classics.
As usual, Ford offered many options within the range. The selection included a basic roadster (always the cheapest choice), convertible sedan, three-window coupe, five-window coupe, Tudor and Fordor saloons in trunkback or flatback and an imposing ‘woodie’ station wagon with birch or maple bodywork. There was also the new Model 51 truck. Within the general range two trim levels were offered, Standard and DeLuxe, and coupes came with or without rumble seats. For 1936 a cabriolet was introduced and the convertible sedan was uprated to trunkback. The Model 48 confirmed Ford’s long commercial rehabilitation from the dark days of the late 1920s, briefly seizing market leadership from deadly rival Chevrolet.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
1935 (until 1936)
3.6 I (221 cid) V8
Top speed of up to 85 mph (137 km/h)
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Despite finally going with the V8 engine, Henry Ford again showed stubborn conservatism by sticking to the old-fashioned suspension system inherited from the Model T, together with mechanical brakes, throughout the 1930s – again allowing the competition to gain a technical advantage.