The Ford Model Y was produced by Ford Britain, Ford SAF and Ford Germany from 1932 to 1937. It was the first Ford specifically designed for markets outside the United States, replacing the Model A in Europe.
It was in production in England, where it is sometimes remembered as the "Ford Eight", reflecting its fiscal horsepower rating, from 1932 until September 1937.
The car was also produced in France (where it was known as the Ford 6 CV, despite actually falling within the 5CV French car tax band) from 1932 to 1934, and in Germany as the Ford Köln from 1933 to 1936.
Smaller numbers were assembled in Australia (where a coupé version was also produced), Japan, Latvia (branded as the Ford Junior) and in Spain nicknamed as the Ford Forito. Plans to build it in the U.S. were scrubbed when a cost accounting showed that it would only be slightly cheaper to build than the Ford Model B.
The car was powered by a 933 cc, 8 hp Ford Side-valve engine. The little Ford was available in two and four-door versions. In June 1935 a reduced specification two-door model was the only closed-body car ever to sell in Britain for just £100, a price it held until July 1937.
The suspension was by the traditional Ford transverse leaf springs front and rear and the engine drove the rear wheels through a three-speed gearbox which, right from the start, featured synchromesh between the top two ratios. The maximum speed was just under 60 mph (95 km/h) and fuel consumption was 32 miles per gallon (8.8 L/100 km).
Even by the standards of the time, the UK-built Ford 8, like its major competitor the Austin 7, was found noteworthy for its almost unbelievable lack of brakes!
For the first 14 months, the original model with a short radiator grille was produced, this is known as the "short rad". After this in October 1933 the "long rad" model, with its longer radiator grille and front bumper with the characteristic dip was produced. By gradually improving production efficiency and by simplifying the body design, the cost of a "Popular" Model Y was reduced to £100, making it the cheapest true 4-seater saloon ever, although most customers were persuaded to pay extra for a less austere version! Both 4-door (Fordor) and 2-door (Tudor) saloons were produced and these could be had either with a fixed roof, or the slightly more expensive sliding "sun" roof.
Also offered was an attractive 5 cwt van, which proved very popular with small businesses. Ford did not produce an open-top car because it was thought that the chassis was too flexible, but several specialist coach builders produced a range of Model Y tourers.
The car featured here was recently imported from U.K. by a local classic and vintage car enthusiast and collector. When imported, the car was in mostly original and running condition. Significantly, being a car that is some 75 years old, it has not been subjected to “butchering” or “modifications” unlike most local cars of that vintage. It was given only a mild touch-up paint job by the guys at “Next Gear”.
Ford Model Y Overview
Manufacturer Ford of Britain / Ford SAF / Ford Germany
Body and chassis
Body styles 2-door saloon / 4-door saloon / 2-door estate / 2-door van / 2-door pickup
Engine 0.9 L Straight-4
Wheelbase 78 in (1,981 mm)
Length 141 in (3,581 mm)
Width 55 in (1,397 mm)
Height 64 in (1,626 mm)
Curb weight 1,540 lb (700 kg)
Successor Ford 7Y