After the Model T came Ford's Model A. The Model A introduced itself in 1927 as a replacement for the wildly successful Ford Model T. What were the differences between the two models?
First of all there were many different styles offered the buyer with the Ford model A. These included a coupe, sports coupe, roadster, convertible, towncar, fordor, truck, station wagon and taxicab.
Under the hood was a four cylinder engine providing 40 HP. Mileage was between 25 and 30 MPG which isn't too bad at all when you compare this to today's modern models. The transmissions on the Model A was a standard three speed with a manual sliding gear. The fuel tank was mounted under the cowl in front of the fire wall.
The Ford Model A shown in this article is a 1929 model Roadster with a rumble seat. The rumble seat was really best for passengers not minding braving the elements. As you can see, rumble seat passengers were not protected by the roof of the vehicle nor from the wind. The rumble seat addition really gave passengers the option of riding as a sedan or a convertible all in one car. While being quite sporty, the rumble seat never really caught on in a huge way and was discontinued by most manufacturers in about 1939.
As far as price went, when the Model A came out it could be purchased from anywhere from about $395 to $1,000 depending on the model. This was quite a good price for many working people when you consider that sporty cars such as the Stutz Bearcat back in 1914 could easily cost $2,000 or more.
Ford Motor Company really dominated the automotive industry, mainly because of their mass assembly system, right into the mid 1920's. By that time several of their competitors were catching up. The introduction of the new Ford Model A was in answer to this competition. Additionally, the mid twenties was a time that the old Model T needed to be replaced regardless of competition. Ford's goal for this new model was to create as much buzz with it as they enjoyed with the "Tin Lizzie".
According to numbers from the Ford Production Department, the total number of Ford Model T sales from 1909 to 1927, including all the various models, cars, trucks and ambulances was 14,689,520.
Some other sources may have slightly different figures. Between 1927 and 1931, about 4.9 million Ford Model A's were sold. There was an entirely different Model A built between 1903 and 1904 and 1,700 of those vehicles were sold. These were the first cars sold by the Ford Motor Company. Beginning in 1932, Ford produced a Model B. These were produced between 1932 and 1934 and really represented an update of the Ford Model A. Prices for the Model B ranged between $500 and $650. Today, the 1932 Ford Model B appears to be the most collectible model and many have been restored.
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Interestingly enough today, parts for the Ford Model A are relatively easy and quick to get a hold of. There are several suppliers and parts can be shipped quickly. In addition to this there are several restorer clubs located around the country that encourages vintage car enthusiasts to join them in restoring historic and classic automobiles. Ford Model A restoring clubs are located by region in the U.S. Among the many car museums where the Ford Model A can be seen is the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners Michigan, the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn Michigan and the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.
(Article and photos copyright AutoMuseumOnline)