- Hero image by: Chris Breeden, all other photos courtesy of: Hemmings Motor News. Text, art and errors by: Chris Breeden

The top 5 classic Fords

The most significant models produced by Ford prior to WW2

Prior to World War 2, Ford made some of the best selling and best looking automobiles in the United States. The automaker was able to transition from early automobile design to the more streamlined designs of the early 1930s better than other manufacturers and they recognized the need to change what they were selling as often as they could.

Lets take a look at the five most influential Fords of the pre World War 2 era.


While the 1939 Ford could be on this list for its looks alone, the reason it appears is down to a mechanical feature. In '39 Ford finally dropped the "Steel from foot to wheel" slogan and incorporated hydraulic brakes on their cars. Ford was a little late to the party as far as other manufactures were concerned, Chevy introduced juice brakes in 1935. Ford did their brakes in a way that was actually beneficial to earlier Ford cars and trucks. The new brakes were designed to be a sort of retro fit for the 1939 model year. As a result, the brake system can be fitted to earlier Fords with very little work.

4. THE MODEL A (1928-1931)

The Model A is on this list for two very easy to understand reasons. Firstly, despite Henry's objections to producing a new car, the company went ahead with its production and put the company on the path to modernizing it's offerings. In other words, they were able to recognize a need to change, so as to remain relevant in the car world. The second reason is for the introduction of, even today, easily recognizable driving controls. This was in an effort to make driving easier for the consumer and to appeal to an even wider audience. Both of these factors are incredibly important for Fords continued success.

3. THE MODEL T (1908-1927)

I'm not sure I can shed any more light on the importance of the Model T to the automotive world. I will say that the reason it appears on this list is because it brought driving to the people. It was a cheap to operate and purchase car that was both durable and easy to repair when it did breakdown. Consumers fell in love with it and solidified Ford's place in history.

2. THE 1932 FORD

The Deuce is on this list for the reason you may think it is. That beautiful flathead V8 engine! The US fell in love with the V8 because of this car. We have to thank the flathead V8 for the big 1950s barges, our modern understanding of the Hot Rod and the horsepower wars of the 1960s. That's a pretty sweet legacy for a very simple engine.


Yes, a truck is in the number one place. The reason is pretty apparent when you think about just how important the truck has been to the average American. These simple machines, intended for work, have worked out very well. In fact, they worked their way into many a suburban driveway. While those suburban warriors may never require their trucks to do anything remotely resembling manual labor, its important to know they could if needed. That's how important the truck is and has been to regular Americans.

Keep on Cruisin'!

Art by: Chris Breeden

Art by: Chris Breeden

About the Author:

"Chris Breeden is a Social Media content creator for Custom & Hot Rod Life on DRIVETRIBE, YouTube and Facebook. After spending 5 years in Southern California, a.k.a. Hot Rod Heaven, while serving as a jet engine mechanic in the United States Marine Corps, he moved back home to Tennessee with an even greater love for Hot Rodded Vintage Tin. Since then he has worked in retail sales and the transportation and logistics industry. In 2018, seeing a gap in Hot Rod and Custom Car coverage on DRIVETRIBE, Chris began advocating for their inclusion on the platform. During the summer months, he can be found all over the Tennessee region covering car shows, meets, and cruise-ins. During the winter months, he can be found in the garage working on his custom 1949 Ford two-door sedan and 1954 F100 truck."

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Comments (7)

  • The '32 really is the ultimate base for a rod. Would love one. Great article... and I would add, Ford didn't just make the best looking cars in America pre-war, they were the best in the world I think.

      1 year ago
  • Fair enough

      1 year ago
  • Interesting but what about only doing cars post 1950

      1 year ago
  • Great list, great article. Thanks for posting.

      1 year ago