Ford’s Model A years spanned 1927 through 1931. These were the cars that replaced the hugely successful Ford Model T sometimes referred to as the Universal Car.
Ford Motor Company sold about 2 million Model A's by 1929 and 3 million by 1930. By the time that Model A production was halted in March of 1932 some 4.8 million Ford Model A's had been produced. Some say that a lot the inspiration for Ford's Model A was actually General Motors. GM had caught up with Ford's assembly line advantage by the mid 1920's and this sent a simple message to Henry Ford. It was time for a change. Henry Ford had a reputation for liking the status quo and as a result some of his competitors were not only duplicating his production capability but also offering car buyers many more choices.
The 1931 Ford Four Door Sedan
Ford Model A's were designed by both Henry Ford and Edsel Ford. When you look at the 1930 and 31 Model A's they look like the 1928 and 29 models except they were quite different in detail. These included wider and lower fenders and a higher hood. Instead of the nickel plated radiator the 1931 model has one from stainless steel. Also the latter models had smaller diameter wheels.
The Ford Model A's were also considered quite a good value. There was quite a lot of car priced into a relatively low new car price. The Ford Model A came with a modern electrical system and a three speed gear box. The Model A also had four wheel mechanical brakes versus the old two wheel only. The Model A's reportedly could do 65 MPH and some said even more. These new features and a low price were a big reason why Ford outsold Chevrolet in both 1929 and 1930.
The 1931 Ford Model A is an automobile that today you'll see in fine restoration with plenty of originality. You may also happen to see this Ford model converted into a street rod with plenty of conversions. Either way, the 1931 Ford Model A is an excellent collector automobile as well as a piece of history about the Ford Motor Company.
The 1931 Ford Fordor Town Sedan featured in this article is a good representation of the progress Ford made since the discontinuance of the Model T. Shown here is the rare Murray Body Fordor Three Window Town Sedan with a luggage trunk.
This vehicle also serves as a milestone car since 1931 was the last year that Ford produced the Model A. The year 1931 was also the a year where Ford offered more different models than at anytime in their history to date.
Murray Body Company
John William Murray along with his son, John R. Murray, formed the J.W. Murray Mfg. Co. to manufacture stamped sheet metal parts for the automobile industry. a deal whereby the C.R. Wilson Body Co., J.W. Murray Mfg. Co., Towson Body Co., and J.C. Widman & Co. would merge, forming the Murray Body Corporation under the leadership of Murray’s John W. Murray. Murray Body’s new combined operations included over a million square feet of floor space.
1931 Ford Fordor Specifications
The 1931 Ford Fordor came out of the factory with a 201 cubic inch L-head four cylinder engine.
The car's transmission was a conventional 3-speed sliding gear manual unsynchronised unit with a single speed reverse.
Brakes on the 1931 Ford Model A were four wheel mechanical.
The 1931 Ford Fordor had a wheelbase of 103 .5 inches, an overall length of 165.0 inches, and a width of 67.0 inches. Vehicle weight was about 2,300 lbs.
Total 1931 Ford production was 615,455 vehicles. The largest seller was the Two Door Sedan at nearly 150,000 vehicles. Only 499 Town Sedans were produced making these pretty rare automobiles today.
Ford Model A new car prices had a wide range depending on the model. A car buyer might have paid around $400 for a roadster and probably well over $1,000 for the top of the line Town Car.
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An excellent book about the Ford Model A is...Legendary Model A Ford: The Complete History of America's Favorite Car by author Peter Winnewisser. You may also be interested in Collector's Originality Guide Ford Model A by Jim Schild.
The 1931 Ford Collector Car
All automobiles from this period are highly collectible. The 1931 Ford Fordor Town Sedan featured in this article with the Murray styled body is rare with under 500 produced.
The 1931 Ford has been one of the more popular collector car for many years and there are several large automobile clubs that support the model. There's also a good supply of parts available including a good many reproduced parts.
Originality is very important to car value. The Ford Model A's have a history of being overly restored in a lot of instances. Because of this and the indifference of many restorations, a highly original Model A will certainly command the higher values. Although in general the Model A is a lower priced collector car which makes it affordable for many.
Collector car price ranges for these models will be wide because of the different restorations. That being said, the 1931 models represented the last year of the Model A's and this will add milestone value. The 1931 Ford Model A Town Sedan in fine showroom condition will likely be priced from $17,000 to $35,000 depending on degree of originality and restoration.
(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)