Get notified via text and email before this lot crosses the auction block.

Lot 41
1932 Ford V-8 Three-Window Coupe


Selling on Wednesday

From the Ron Thorne Collection

CHASSIS NO: 1821951

• Two owners since 1948
• Previous ownership includes Early Ford V-8 Times’ magazine contributor, Dave Cole
• Well-documented with known history
• Iconic first year styling for the Early Ford V-8

V-8 engine, 85 HP, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle and live rear axle with transverse semi-elliptic leaf spring suspension, four-wheel mechanical drum brakes, rear-wheel drive; wheelbase: 112”

On Friday, June 18th, 1948, Ford dealers across the country opened up their doors and people from all over rushed in to see the all-new 1949 Fords for themselves; they were unlike anything Ford had ever built before. Among the curious was 17-year-old Dave Cole of Santa Barbara, California who was fascinated with the idea of owning one, but knew it wasn’t financially possible, so he and his friends all decided to buy early Ford V-8s instead. It still seemed to be a seller’s market at the time and Dave had a limit on what he was able to spend, but after some luck at a DeSoto-Plymouth dealer, he came across a 1932 Ford Three-Window Coupe for $150 on October 12th, 1948. Dave said he will never forget what it looked like, “The car was filled with dents, half the rear bumper was missing, an army blanket covered the torn seats, and there was no way whoever had painted it was sober, but it ran just fine and that was good enough for me.” By 1949, Dave had already started changing out parts and sanded down the car and painted it yellow; that only lasted for two years until he painted it black lacquer, which is still on the car to this day. This Three-Window Coupe would go on to become his daily driver for the next 30 years, being there for him during some of life’s biggest moments, like driving him through college when he met his wife, using it as the chauffeur car in their wedding, bringing their first child home in it, and even being his son’s chauffeur car when he got married later on in life. By the time the ‘70s came around, Dave Cole had started to collect parts to return his ’32 Ford back to stock condition. Fast forward to 2005 and it was time to start putting it all back together, so Dave and a friend took the car to Utah to have Dave Ruesch and Ray Miller restore it. While there, Dave met Ron Thorne, the current owner, for the first time and could not have imagined the friendship that would come from that meeting.

Ron Thorne happened to have been looking for a ’32 Three-Window Coupe for over two years and Dave’s ’32, with its authentic interior and 55-year-old paint job, was just what he wanted for his collection. The car was finally completed in 2006 and Dave enjoyed it for one year then a deal was struck. Dave left the car in Mr. Thorne's collection for everyone to admire, and once he passed he had the title sent to Ron allowing him to be the new owner. Dave passed in 2008 and ownership of the vehicle was transferred.

Not wanting to the change anything that Dave Cole had done, it still wears its black lacquer paint from 1951 and all the stories that come with it. The car sits on Apple Green wire wheels with blackwall tires. The exterior features venting Ford Script safety glass front windshield, unique 1932 Ford European-style hood from Norway, cowl lights, rumble seat with brown fine grain faux leather, and rear-mounted spare tire with a Ford cover on it. The interior is finished in a clean tan Bedford Cord upholstery, while the roof liner is a matching Pyroxylin cloth insert. The 85-horsepower V-8 engine and pairing three-speed manual transmission are ready to take its next owner on a simple Sunday drive. Having been in the possession of two very well-known Ford collectors for the last 70 plus years, this ’32 Three-Window Coupe is ready to share its memories and make new ones with its next caretaker.

Ask a Question

Fill out the form below, email us at, or call us at (260) 925-6789 to get more information on this lot.