1932 Ford Ardun V8 Roadster SOLD
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Estimate: $165,000-$195,000 US

AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $143,000

Specifications: Ardun-Ford overhead valve V8 engine, 1939 Ford three-speed manual transmission, torque-tube drive to ’ 40 Ford rear end, hydraulic four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 106"

Once upon a time, Henry Ford ’ s famous flathead ruled the earth. It dominated pre and postwar automobile competitions in Stock Cars, Roadsters, Drag Racing and on the Dry Lakes. When Chevrolet ’ s new six, advertised as “ a six for the price of a four ” , outsold Ford by 100,000 units in 1931, Henry knew that the writing was on the wall for his four-cylinder cars. Drastic measures were needed and he delivered in spades!

The “ Flathead ” engine, after a little early R & D, proved to be a durable device, powering the majority of Ford cars and trucks for some 22 years. In racing, Henry ’ s V8 managed to remain competitive even longer, aided by the postwar emergence of a large aftermarket speed parts industry. Adding multiple carburetion, finned high- compression aluminum heads, full race camshafts, special ignitions and fabricated tubular exhaust manifolds could easily double the horsepower of Henry ’ s flathead. With supercharging and other exotic modifications, even more was available and by the early fifties, flathead-powered “ Belly-Tanks ” were exceeding 175 miles per hour at Bonneville.

However, racers are a fickle lot, easily seduced by the promise of more power and thus, when modern lightweight overhead valve V8s were introduced by Oldsmobile and Cadillac in 1949, Henry ’ s old flatheads were often unceremoniously yanked in favor of these units. When Chrysler ’ s 331 cubic inch “ Hemi ” Fire Power V8 was announced in 1951, it became the engine ‘ flavor of the year ’ , although many rodders had to make do with their old “ Flatties ” until Hemis became commonly available in wrecking yards. And besides, for those still faithful to their Flathead V8s, help was on the way!

ZORA ARKUS-DUNTOV AND THE ARDUN OHV V8 ENGINE German born Zora Arkus-Duntov, racing driver, designer and engineer, joined GM ’ s Corvette Engineering staff in 1953 and became instrumental in saving and transforming the marque into a real sports car, for which he has been named “ The Godfather of the Corvette ” . Prior to that he had raced Porsches and Allards in Europe as well as designing and producing flathead Ford speed parts sold through the UK-based Allard Motor Company. A true visionary, he could see that the rumored overhead valve V8s from American majors would sound the death knell for Henry ’ s cast-iron L-head engine.

Duntov designed a complete set of hemispherical combustion chamber aluminum heads featuring short intake and long exhaust rocker arms that bolted directly onto a stock V8 Ford block. Duntov ’ s brilliant design was similar to that of the 1951 Chrysler but preceded the latter by four years as his “ Ardun ” heads were in production by 1947! The ARDUN name was of course, a simple contraction of Zora ’ s double last name – Arkus-Duntov. The original sales brochure lists a horsepower figure of 175hp @ 5200 RPM when installed on a stock V8 block – a healthy doubling of the standard 85hp. With the improved intake systems, which Duntov ’ s “ heavy breather ” heads absolutely cried out for, even more impressive figures, fully competitive with those of the new OHV V8s, were easily achieved. In 1954, the Reed Brothers ’ Bonneville “ Tank ” hit 215.58 mph using an Ardun Ford V8 with a Hillborn fuel injection set-up. And the complete self-contained Ardun head kit, which fit all 24 stud Ford and Mercury blocks, cost considerably less than the purchase of a low mileage OHV or Hemi engine unit out of the local wrecking yard. In creating the legendary Ardun head conversion, Duntov had spotted a marketing opportunity and capitalized upon it, thus effectively delaying the demise of Hank ’ s old V8 for a few more years.

THE HOT ROD AS A BLANK CANVAS – “ CHAMP OR CHUMP! ” The American hot rod is a wonderful postwar expression of the creativity of an individual. The builders were basically unfettered by existing standards, rules and regulations. By general definition, a hot rod is any prewar American car modified to provide more speed and a better appearance. However as with any applied “ folk art ” , the results varied widely from the gas jockey ’ s homely jalopy to a superb looking “ designed ” Hi-Boy built by a professional fabricator using all the best in parts and materials. Hot rods are hot these days and with major collectors adding them to their portfolios, it is important to closely assess a potential purchase in terms of its looks (does it have the stance?), period correctness, and standard of construction and accessories. In this author ’ s opinion, perhaps only 50 roadsters out of the thousands built in the last 60 years have the “ it factor ” , which qualifies it for greatness on every count. In historic Hi-Boys, the Doane Spencer Roadster undoubtedly leads the pack and in the “ traditional but recently constructed class ” , the Ken Gross-created blown Deuce Hi-Boy is likely the unchallenged champ. BLUE BOY – STYLE AND EXECUTION All period correct Hi-Boy Roadsters sport a 1928-1932 steel body mounted on “ deuce ” rails and use an extremely limited selection of windshields, head and tail lamps, suspension systems and wheels/tires. And yet, as in an army platoon, certain hot rod heroes stand tall, existing heads and shoulders above their similarly uniformed brethren. Blue Boy falls in this category. A quick design analysis is likely in order. The rake and “ stance ” of our Hi-Boy is perfect due to its frame fabrication, suspension set-up and tire combination. The main and unifying design aspect of this car is a triple “ Flying-V ” theme offered by the front spreader-bar, V ’ ed deuce grille shell and the custom Duvall-style windshield frame. Many collectors prefer the 1929 body style in a Hi-Boy since it has a sensual and three dimensional “ Coke bottle ” line between the cowl and hood sides, a design aspect not found in the 1932 body. In a proper Hi-Boy, details make the difference and this car has them in abundance. Check out the Guide headlamps, a genuine Moredrop axle, Ardun V8 engine with gorgeous “ lakes-pipe ” exhaust headers, ’ 31 Chrysler dashboard, B-17 Bomber seats and the custom leather and alloy interior. Blue Boy was conceived and carefully built for the current owner over a two year period by Florida based Longley Restorations – the father and son team of Chuck and Mike Longley, who are well known as specialists in the immediate postwar traditional hot rod genre. (Their famous Pete Henderson Hi-Boy, restored by them, has been invited to this year ’ s Pebble Beach concours display). Now ready to be shown nationally and sure to generate major magazine features as a result, our perfect “ A/V8 ” Roadster deserves serious purchase consideration from a collector who craves superior style and execution in a Hi-Boy hot rod.

Reference Number 11648

as of 7/24/2007

Car 1932 Ford Ardun V8 Roadster
VIN 18165765 
Exterior / Interior Color      Black 
Configuration Left Hand Drive (LHD) 
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