A Grand Christmas Gift

This wonderful Ford advertisement was published in time for Christmas of 1936, and the Ford flathead V8, which first appeared in 1932, was also a “grand gift” for the law enforcement family. Never before had so much horsepower been so affordable. By 1934, the Ford flathead had 85 hp, and this 1934 ad claimed Ford had the only V8 under $2500. (Note that it was way under with prices starting at only $515.)

Stories about bad guys doing horrible things like robbing banks and gunning down police officers were splashed all over the front pages of newspapers, so, as one Ford rep explained, “We are answering the challenges of gangsters by giving police these speedy, powerful cars.” In 1934, New York City added 85 shiny new Fords to its fleet. The cars were lined up fender to fender outside the Ford factory at Edgewater, NJ, and they almost completely spanned the 1500-foot-long car assembly building:

San Francisco received their new fleet of Fords in 1936:

These early successes earned a solid reputation and a loyal following that made Ford the police car of choice for decades until being knocked off its pedestal (temporarily) by Mopar in 1969.

And who could possibly disagree with the sentiment expressed by that 1936 advertisement? A Ford V8 WOULD make a grand Christmas gift!

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