Shown in this article is a masterfully restored 1930 Ford Model A Roadster. The Ford Model A's replaced the Model T's and this car is an excellent representative of the entire line of Model A's. This particular 1930 Model A is probably one of the best restored models you'll find anywhere.
The Ford Model A was offered in many different styles. These included a coupe, sports coupe, roadster, convertible, towncar, fordor, truck, station wagon and taxicab. When the Ford Model A was first introduced in 1928 it came with a price that could be anywhere from $395 to $1,000. A lot depended on the exact style and model plus any options. The lower price range made the Ford Model A available to working people. Ford's famously efficient assembly line and mass production kept certain Ford models well in reach of the average car buyer.
The year 1930, shortly after the stock market crash of 1929, ushered in a new era of financial challenges for both automaker and car buyer. Price point became more important than ever before.
Changes from 1929
The 1930 Model A had several changes compared to the 1929 model. This included wider fenders, elimination of the cowl stanchion and a deeper radiator shell were a few. Options available for 1930 included an external sun-visor, a rear luggage rack, a spare tire lock and for a bit of better safety a rear-view mirror.
The Ford Model A's replaced the famous Model T's. Although Model T sales had been down trending in the 1920's, it took a bit of persuasion to talk Henry Ford to come out with a new car model. This was a characteristic of the old automaker. Ford had a habit of not wanting to tinker with what he thought was a good car. Competitive pressures made Ford agree to changes that he didn't feel were necessary. A good example were the Ford brake systems that remained mechanical for a period after General Motors came out with a hydraulic system.
The Ford Model A's were manufactured through 1931. After that the Model B's were introduced. By the time the Ford Model A production ended nearly five million total units had been produced since their introduction in 1927.
1930 Ford Model A Specs
The 1930 Ford Model A came with a four cylinder 205 cid, 3.3 liter engine putting out 40 HP. The wheelbase was 103.5 inches. The car's transmission was a three speed manual. Vehicle weight was between 2,155 and 2,495 pounds. New vehicle price ranged from $450 to $650 which reflected the slow economy that year.
As mentioned above, the last year of the Ford Model A was 1931. The Ford Model A overall was a big hit as was Ford's previous Model T. The Ford Model B which was sold through 1934 took things a step further. The Model B essentially took the Model A and improved it.
The Ford Model B engine offered a four cylinder 201 cid engine delivering 50 horsepower. Ford also brought out their Model 18 which had an eight cylinder engine. Some referred to the car as simply the Ford V-8. The new V-8 produced 65 horsepower. The car in essence was a Ford Model B except with a V-8 engine. The Model 18 was the first mass produced V-8 in the nation.
Due mostly to Ford's innovative assembly line, the Model 18 was also a relatively low priced V-8. One of the most significant changes with the Ford Model B was it's lengthened wheelbase of 112 inches. This represented a 6 inch increase.
Ford Model A's are popular collectors cars. Two reasons the Model B's retained their popularity was that they were quite advanced over the previous Model T's and not as many of them were produced. The 1930's were produced during the onset of the Great Depression and production of course was affected.
(Photos from author's private collection)