What Is the Difference Between a 1934 Ford 3-Window & 5-Window Coupe?by Rob Wagner
The 1934 Ford Model B three-window and five-window coupes had different body styles, but shared identical mechanical and chassis components. The 1934 coupes belonged to the immensely popular 1932 to 1934 Model B 40 Series V-8 coupes that sparked the hot-rod phenomenon in early postwar North America. Although the five-window coupes were better sellers in 1934, the original three-window versions are extremely rare and highly sought by collectors.
The 1934 three- and five-window two-door coupes featured virtually the same body lengths and sat on the same frame. The three-window model featured two door windows and the rear window, for three windows. The five-window versions came with two door windows, two quarter panel windows behind the pillar and the rear window, for five windows. The three-window versions were equipped with rear-hinged doors, commonly referred to as suicide doors. The five-window coupe came with conventional front-hinged doors. Both 1934 coupes differed little from the 1932 and 1933 versions. Ford had added angled side hood louvers in 1933. The automaker also altered the grille slightly on the 1934 models to feature fewer grille bars.
The three- and five-window coupes came in Standard and Deluxe trim levels. The Standard model was equipped with an adjustable seat, driver's side sun visor, rear roll-down window, interior light and glove box. The standard coupe featured Thorn Brown Mohair or Tan Pinstripe with leather upholstery. Options on the Standard coupes included a cigar lighter, ashtray and rumble seat. The Deluxe trim featured all the standard appointments, plus a chrome windshield frame, dual horns, dual taillamps, twin sun visors, cowl light, driver's side armrest, cigar lighter and ashtray. Buyers could choose the upholstery in Rose Beige Mohair, Brown Stripe Broadcloth, Brown Bedford Cord or leather. Exterior paint colors were the same for both coupes: Cordoba Gray, Coach Maroon, Vineyard Green and Dearborn Blue. (See References 2-3)
Under the Hood
Both coupes featured the same engine: A 221-cubic-inch flat-head V-8 engine with a 3.0625-inch bore and 3.75-inch stroke. The engine had aluminum heads, a new intake manifold, cast-alloy steel crankshaft, dual downdraft Stromberg carburetors and a 6.3-to-1 compression ratio to generate 90 horsepower. A three-speed manual transmission matched the V-8. There were no other engine options.
The two coupes also shared the same chassis. The wheelbase measured 112 inches with a front track width of 55.1 and a rear track width of 56 inches. The rear axle was a three-quarter floating type with spiral bevel differential and 4.11-to-1 final gear ratio. Front and rear transverse leaf springs cushioned the coupes on the road and 12-inch mechanical brakes provided the stopping power. They rode on 5.5-by-17inch tires.
For the 1934 model year, Ford sold 28,492 Standard three-window coupes and 27,956 Deluxe three-window coupes. The Standard five-window coupe was the best seller with 49,524 units sold, while the Deluxe version numbered 27,027.
Rob Wagner is a journalist with over 35 years experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines. His experience ranges from legal affairs reporting to covering the Middle East. He served stints as a newspaper and magazine editor in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Wagner attended California State University, Los Angeles, and has a degree in journalism.