The Model A Ford Car
One of my favorite memories as a child was getting to take a ride in my neighbors Ford Model A car. I remember sitting in the rumble seat and feeling the fresh air on my face as we cruised through the streets of Hayward, Ca. Now, some 40 plus years later, the Model A Ford car not only brings back nostalgic memories for me, but it has also captured the hearts of many others around the world. Produced in 1927, the Model A still remains a car collectors favorite, with many of them now being turned into "street" hot rods by car enthusiasts.
Model An engine and tire photosClick thumbnail to view full-size
History of the Model A Ford car
After the huge success of Henry Fords Model T car, an order was given to start the design of a new car for the Ford company on July 20,1926. The new car didn't even have a name yet when the car was slated to be made, but nevertheless it is said that Henry Ford spent $100,000,000 (100 Million Dollars) on the new car design and also for retooling of the Ford Rouge plant to build the car.
The new car, now named the "Model A", rolled off the production line on Oct. 20,1927 but the public did not see the car until Dec.2,1927.
With the new design, there were many improvements made over it's predecessor, the Model T, with some of the most notable changes being:
- A new 3-speed transmission
- Hydraulic shock absorbers
- Four-wheel mechanical brakes
- An electric starter
- Water pump
- Gas gauge
The introduction of Triplex safety glass
The style and design of the Model A brought Ford into the modern era with a vehicle that looked more like a car and less like a horseless carriage. A media frenzy was also stirred when the Model A came out, and shortly after it's release, demand for the car was exceeding the supply. By June 1930 the Ford car plant was making around 9,200 cars a day.
The Model A "tool kit"
A tool kit came with each Model A car and it had the following items in it:
- an adjustable wrench
- 2 open end wrenches
- 2 tire irons
- a jack
- a pair of pliers
- a screwdriver
- a tire pump
- a grease gun
- a combination spark plug wrench
- a head bolt wrench
- an Instruction book which all fit into a snap pouch.
Model A photosClick thumbnail to view full-size
Cost of the Ford Model A car in the early 1900s
After 4 years in production of "Henry's Lady", the Model A Ford, production was stopped on the car. In it's place came a new design for a stronger V8 Ford.The 4 year production was a big success for the Ford Motor Company. And what was the cost of these awesome beauties back then?
The brand new Model A Tudor Sedan sold for $495. The Fordor cost $570 in Detroit. The Roadster sold for $385 and the beautiful Phaeton could be purchased for $395.
The hot seller was the Sport Coupe which cost $550 and it came with a standard rumble seat.
Ford Model A car body and truck styles
During it's 4 year production run, the Model A passenger car came in various body styles and colors. Body styles for 1928 included the:
- Standard Phaeton
- Standard Roadster
- Standard Coupe
- Special Coupe
- Sport Coupe
- Business Coupe
- Tudor Sedan
- Town Car
- Leatherback Ford or Sedan
In addition to the passenger cars in 1928 that Ford produced, Ford also offered his new design in a truck body:
- Open Cab Pickup
- Closed Cab Pickup
- Pickup (box)
- “A” Panel Delivery
- “AA” Panel Delivery
- Deluxe Delivery
During the periods of 1929 till 1931 when the production of the Model A ended, Ford also added the following body styles to the Model A line:
- Steelback Fordor
- Station Wagon
- Murray and Briggs versions of the Town Sedan
- Murray and Briggs versions of the Standard Fordor
- Standard Fordor
- Deluxe Phaeton
- Deluxe Roadster
- Deluxe Coupe
- Deluxe Fordor
- Deluxe Delivery truck
- Panel Delivery truck
- Special Delivery truck
- Town Car Delivery Truck
- “AA” Deluxe Delivery.truck
- Deluxe Tudor
- Slant Window Cabriolet
- Slant Window Standard Fordor
- Slant Window Town Sedan
- Slant Window Deluxe Fordor
- Convertible Sedan
- Deluxe Pickup
- Wide bed Pickup
Ford Model A "Street Rods"Click thumbnail to view full-size
Model A Ford cars today - prices and car clubs
Today there are an estimated 280 plus Model A car club chapters around the world (most of them being in the United States) The photos I took here of the original Model A's are from cars that belong to a local club called the "Acorn Model A Club" located in the San Francisco Bay area, California.
In addition to a loyal following of Model A car clubs, the Model A is also a popular car today to be turned into a "street rod". Many of these street rods are modified but the charm of the Model A body style is kept intact. For more information on Model A car clubs in your area, you can check this link for Model A Car Clubs of America.
Prices of Model A's today can run 100 times the cost of what they were brand new!
Trivia: What famous person drove a Model A?
Clyde Barrow of "Bonnie and Clyde" fame with a Ford Model A car
Model A Ford car trivia
Some fun trivia about the Model A Ford car:
- It is said that the famous Clyde Barrow of Bonnie and Clyde fame drove a Model A in some of his getaways. It is also said that after using the car for a getaway that Clyde sent a nice letter to Henry Ford complementing him on his fine new Ford V8 as the best car he had ever driven (some people say the letter part was not true and was simply a marketing ploy by the Ford people) Barrow and some of his gang were found in photos however with a Model A car (so the part about driving a Model A was apparently true) When I was a kid I did see the real Model A Ford car that Bonnie and Clyde were supposedly killed in (it was at the Calgary Stampede back in the 60's)
- Art Tatum who was probably the greatest Jazz piano player ever had a Model A. He was nearly blind and had a driver, but was known to yield to the temptation to drive it himself.
- There were no Phillips head screws on an original Model A.
- Mr. L.T. Birch was the first person to ever receive a speeding ticket in a Model A on January 10, 1928. It was in a roadster and happened in Central Park, New York.
- The 3 stooges had a Model A in one of their movies.