Today In Ford History — Nov. 20
On Nov. 20, 1935, Ford Motor Company announced that a heater would be standard equipment on all 1936 Ford automobiles. “The heater, heretofore an accessory added as an afterthought, is designed to be an integral part of the modern Ford V-8 motor car,” said the Ford announcement, which added that the redesigned heater was being shipped to dealers “in car-load lots.”
The earlier “accessory” heaters were installed under the instrument panel, where they took up space and their controls were not easy to reach. The new high-flow heater, however, was designed so it didn’t intrude in the passenger compartment. And its controls were conveniently located on the instrument panel, matching in size and color the other controls to appear “as part of the original equipment.”
In the new unit, fresh air was driven by the engine fan into the heater, where it passed over “500 square inches of seamless copper flues” heated by the engine exhaust. A double-header design prevented exhaust fumes from mixing with the heated air, which was delivered to the cabin by a new duct system “free from vibration or exhaust noises.”
That duct work eliminated the grill covering of the heater outlet required by the earlier under-dash accessory unit. That feature increased the warm air delivered at low engine speeds to the passenger compartment by 40 percent.