‘National Hot Rod Day’ celebrates Ford’s 90th anniversary in 1932

The Petersen Museum in Los Angeles is going all out and with a new official day honoring “Deuce”

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The 1932 Ford is usually considered a classic hot rod, and in honor of its 90’sth birthday this year, it was the centerpiece of a star-studded gala at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The museum has also declared June 11 as National Hot Rod Day.

’32 became known as “the Deuce,” and weekend events will include the opening of the museum’s new exhibit, “Ford Fever: The Deuce Turns 90.” The gala will include live performances by hot-rod enthusiast Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top; while on Sunday, the museum will host the annual Deuce Day Cruise-In, which is expected this year to be the largest 1932 Ford gathering in southern California.

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The “deuce” was the third car in Henry Ford’s lineup of most popular models, after it debuted the Model T in late 1908 and later discontinued all of the company’s other automakers to concentrate on it. It was followed by the all-new Model A in 1928. Its new offering in 1932 was similar in style to the Model A, but the big news was under the hood: Ford’s first V8, at a time when direct competitors were offering the six-cylinder as their biggest engine.

While some drivers modified their cars with performance add-ons from the start, hot-rodding really persisted after the Second World War. The car owners stripped the unnecessary parts, put in a bigger engine, and took them racing on the dry lake. Ford is popular simply because the Model T, Model A, and 1932 have been sold in huge numbers, so there’s a lot around.

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Museum displays will include the 1932 McGee Roadster, which appeared in the film hot rod gang and an episode happy days, and features a “shaven” handle (doorknob is removed) and a grille on the hood. Doane Spencer’s 1932 Highboy was a show car in the 1940s, but Spencer later raced it at El Mirage and at the Carrera Panamericana race in Mexico. Other cars on display were made by Chip Foose and Ray Brown; and the one that appeared in Iron Man film.

“The 1932 Ford is a marquee vehicle synonymous with the origins of hot rodding, and deserves an extended celebration,” said Terry Karges, the museum’s executive director. “The exhibition, gala and cruise-in will pay homage to Ford’s legacy and how they continue to captivate automotive and hot-rodding enthusiasts ninety years after their debut on the market.”


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