Don’t think that Henry Ford and his son, Edsel, didn’t have big things in mind when they combined the mechanical ingenuity of the first mass-produced, affordable V-8 with a stylish and aerodynamic body to produce a family of Fords in 1932. They could never have imagined how big it would become.

2007 Grand National Roadster Show
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This year marks the 75th anniversary of the 1932 Ford, the iconic symbol of American hot rods. Ford Motor Company is launching the anniversary festivities in a huge way, with a display of the 75 most significant ’32 Ford hot rods of all time. The display will be part of the 58th annual Grand National Roadster Show, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious hot rod and custom car show, held in Pomona, Calif., Jan. 26-28, 2007.

The 75 most significant ’32 Ford hot rods were selected by a committee of automotive and hot rod experts who selected the 75 from a list of 474 nominees.

2007 Grand National Roadster Show
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The Deuce 75th Anniversary exhibit will be staged in its own 42,000 square-foot building on the grounds of the Los Angeles Fairplex. At least 60 of the 75 ’32 Fords will be on display in person. Eight from the list have not survived. The exhibit has been specially designed to allow show goers an unobstructed view of each of the display vehicles and all 75 cars will be honored with large-format placards featuring essays written by well-known authors and historians Pat Ganahl and Greg Sharp along with many rare photographs.

A special multi-media program featuring rare historic images and film will play on a large-format screen in the center of the building.

“The most significant thing that Ford has done in launching this initiative is that the process has spurred the discovery of many of these rare cars,” says Tony Thacker, executive director of Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, and member of the selection committee. “The fact that we found almost all of them is truly amazing.”

2007 Grand National Roadster Show
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The exhibit will also include several special displays. The hall’s foyer will feature an exhibit titled “Power, Style, Innovation,” that will introduce visitors to the 1932 Ford and its initial importance. Inside the hall, visitors can experience “Power to the People” showcasing the first Ford V-8 engine, known as the “flathead.” The V-8 display will feature a stock 1932 Ford V-8 and a state-of-the-art “hot rodded” version, along with the only surviving example of an early ’32 Ford chassis produced by Ford and used by dealerships to help promote sales of the car.

“The Deuces Designer” honors Edsel Ford, son of company founder Henry Ford and designer of the deuce. The display will feature Edsel’s two custom-made speedsters, one from 1932 and one from 1934, along with an un-restored ’32 Deluxe Roadster.

2007 Grand National Roadster Show
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An exclusive preview reception and dinner on Jan. 25, hosted by Edsel B. Ford II, is expected to draw car collectors, hot rod luminaries and many of the original builders.

The show also marks the first public appearance of all 10 Hot Rod Hero pedal cars. The one-of-a-kind masterpieces, designed by legendary designers such as Boyd Coddington, Chip Foose and Pete Champouris of the So Cal Speed Shop will be auctioned at The Monterey Sports and Classic Car Auction next Aug. 17 and 18, at the Portola Plaza Hotel on Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey, Calif. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Juveniles Diabetes Research Foundation and other charities.

Blas Nicusor
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