March 31, 1932 – Ford introduces the V8 to the masses

The V8 engine was first patented in 1902 by French industrialist Léon Levavasseur, who outfitted his 24 hp gasoline injected engine to speed boats and early aircraft. The V8 was soon finding its way onto automobiles including a small sampling of Rolls-Royce automobiles in 1905 and 1906. In 1907 Hewitt Motor Company became the first American automaker to equip a production vehicle with a V8. Cadillac was the first company to mass produce an automobile with a V8, selling more than 13,000 in 1914, its first year of production. But the V8 engine remained out of the hands of most consumers, as it was a high cost engine to produce. All that changed on this day in 1932 when Henry Ford introduced his affordable “en block” V8 to the masses. The compact flathead, fitted with a down draft carburetor, had a cubic inch displacement of 221 and produced 65 horsepower. By 1935 minor adjustments increased horsepower to 85. 1932 Ford V8. By Joe Ross CC2.0 Ford V8 Cabriolet by Riley CC2.0

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