Model A Ford Garage

Model C Engine Myth?

For years I've heard people talk about the Ford "Model C" engine, while others have adamantly denied its existence!

Actually, both views are correct when taken in proper context.

The Myth:

When the term "Model C" is raised, people in the US tend to associate that name with a newer or improved Model B engine/car. In that context Ford never made a Model C. The terminology is in the popular culture, but not in the Ford literature.

The sources of this Model C myth seem to derive from a couple of facts at least. First, the 1932 to 1934 B-6050 Model B cylinder head was marked with a large letter "C" cast onto the top center.

The apparent real purpose of this marking was to help dealer stock men easily identify the head from the other similar heads, though this head also used a distinguishing three bolt water pump mounting.

The stock 1928-31 Model A Ford A-6050-A engine cylinder head was unmarked and used the four bolt waterpump.

The 1931 Model A Ford A-6050-B high compression cylinder head ('police head') was marked with a large letter "B" cast onto the top center (part number suffix) and also used the four bolt waterpump.

The 1932-1934 Model B Ford B-6050-A cylinder head was marked with a large letter "C" cast onto the top center (for easy identification?) and used the three bolt waterpump (both 'short' and 'long' styles).

Additionally, the crankshaft of the Model B engine was modified in November of 1932 by the addition of integrally forged counterweights. This change at the end of the year and the fact that "C" is a handy acronym for "counterweighted" seems to play a part in some people's beliefs.

There are others who attribute the Model C designation to 1933-1934 Model B engines which had a number of additional differences compared to a 1932 Model B.

The 1933-1934 four cylinder cars (quite rare) were called Model 40, the commercials were Model 46, and the trucks were Model BB-4. None were called a Model C by Ford.

The distinguishing feature of the 1933-1934 Model 40 four cylinder engines was the use of the "short" three bolt waterpump, four blade fan, special generator, crankshaft pulley, and unique timing cover which allowed the fan to be positioned rearward and the radiator leaned back (to accommodate the 1933-1934 hood and grille styling). Essentially everything else was Model B. The relative rarity of those engines also helps fuel the Model C myth.

The Reality:

Pictured above is the cover of the Ford parts catalog of the mythical Model C.

Technically speaking, Ford did make a car they referred to as a Model C from 1934 to 1937, however it shared only a family resemblance to the 1928 to 1934 Model A's and B's we are so familiar with. Virtually no parts were physically interchangeable.

The Model C was a product of Ford Motor Company, Limited, of England. It was more commonly known as the 10 HP Ford "Deluxe" Model C. This was introduced to complement its smaller sibling, the 1932 to 1937 Ford 8hp "Popular" Model Y.

The 1934 to 1937 Ford Model C was a right hand drive car produced in England and sold throughout the British Empire, including Australia and New Zealand. It had a flathead four cylinder engine.

And here it is, the elusive 1934 Ford Model C engine!

More related information on Ford Garage:

  1. For more Model A & B related information, use the Site Search box at the top or bottom of this page.
  2. Model A & B US, British, & Canadian Engine Serial Numbers (VIN Decoder)      
  3. 1932 Model Y Ford 8hp "Popular" Sales Brochure  
  4. 1928-40 Model A & B Ford England Vehicle Models Chart  
  5. Model A & B 'Diamond' Block and Date Code Engine Markings  
  6. Model A Assembly Plant Body Number Decoder    
  7. 1930 Model A Ford Assembly Branch Locations  
  8. Model A, B, & Early V8 Ford Patent Plate & Patent Numbers  
  9. Model A & AA US Body Style Numbers & Body Builders Chart  

February 2006