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How to Identify 1932, 1933, 1934 Ford Frames

by Floyd Drake III

Ford frames from 1932 to 1933 are desirable due to their association with the "Deuce Coupe" and are used in many hot rod applications. A frame numbering system which matched the engine number cast onto the bell housing was used by Ford from 1932 to 1942. This sequential frame number system is found in three frame locations, the front, center and rear of the frame. The forward number is the only one visible with the body mounted to the frame. These sequential production numbers may be matched to the engine bell housing number to ensure a numbers-matched vehicle.

Locate the Ford frame serial number. According to the Western New York Early Ford V-8 Club, it is found on the top of the left-hand, or driver's side, frame rail in the front, center and rear. A wire brush with cleaning solvent may be needed to clean the area to view the number.

Identify the frame serial number. The number begins with "18" for 1932, 1933 and 1934 models. Other numbers follow sequentially for every vehicle manufactured in that particular year.

Decode the serial number. According to the listings found on both the Western New York Early Ford V-8 Club and the Van Pelt Sales site, the numbering system began in 1932 with "18-1" and ended with "18-203,126." 1933 models began with "18-203,127" and ended with "18-457,477." Frames from 1934 began with "18-457,478" and ended with "18-1,234,356." (see References 1 and 3)

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About the Author

A native of New Haven, Conn., Floyd Drake III began writing in 1984. His work has appeared in the "New Haven Register," Medford's "Mail-Tribune" and the "Ashland Daily Tidings." Drake studied journalism at Southern Connecticut State University. After working as a reporter in Oregon, he is now based back home in New Haven.

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  • vintage ford image by charles taylor from