Ford Model A is First Produced
The original Ford Model A was the first car produced by Ford Motor Company, beginning production in 1903.
Dr. Ernst Pfenning of Chicago, Illinois became the first owner of a Model A on July 23, 1903. 1,750 cars were made from 1903 through 1904. The Model A was replaced by the Ford Model C during 1904 with some sales overlap.
The car came as a two-seater runabout or four-seater tonneau model with an option to add a top. The horizontal-mounted flat-2, situated at the amidships of the car, produced 8 hp (6 kW). A planetary transmission was fitted with two forward speeds and reverse, a Ford signature later seen on the Ford Model T. The car weighed 1,240 lb (562 kg) and could reach a top speed of 45 mph (72 km/h). It had a 72 in (1.8 m) wheelbase and sold for a base price of US$750 (equivalent to $17.7 thousand today). Options included a rear tonneau with two seats and a rear door for $100 (equivalent to $2.36 thousand today), a rubber roof for $30 (equivalent to $700 today) or a leather roof for $50 (equivalent to $1.18 thousand today).
The company had spent almost its entire $28,000 (equivalent to $662 thousand today) initial investment funds with only $223.65 (equivalent to $5.29 thousand today) left in its bank account when the first Model A was sold. The success of this car model generated a profit for the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford's first successful business.
Although Ford advertised the Model A as the "most reliable machine in the world", it suffered from many problems common to vehicles of the era, including overheating and slipping transmission bands. The Model A was sold only in red by the factory, though some were later re-painted in other colors.
The Ford Model A brought a large changer over for Ford in 1928, pending a six month idle in production while the factory changed over from the Model T to the Model A. With an introductory price of $450.00 in 1928, the Model A brought great changes and made a huge impact on the history of the automobile.
The Henry Ford car, also known affectionatley as "Henry Ford's Lady," was produced for just four model years, 1928, 1929, 1930, and 1931. Henry Ford and company conducted one of the most successful product launches ever with the 1928 Model A Ford. Well coordinated "spontaneous" demonstrations took place across the USA as the much awaited new Model A Ford was rolled out and introduced.
In New York City, the mounted police had to be called out for crowd control, for estimated 200,000 people. Henry Ford had worked hard to develop a sense of curiousity and anticaption about the all new Model A Ford and it worked! Advertisements were placed in thousands of daily newspapers across the Country for five days leading up to the unveiling of this new Ford.
Standard equipment on "Henry's Lady" included mechanical brakes on all four wheels, an electric starter, a speedometer, dash lights, hydraulic shocks, a gas gauge, a tool kit, and a safety laminated glass windshield. Bumpers were initially offered as a $15.00 option. After more than 4 million units of this historic Ford were manufactured, production ended in March 1932. Seventy Five plus years later and Model A Ford 's continue to be dragged out of old barns and start the restoration process. The Ford Model A, to this day, represents one of the all time favorite cars for street rodders, and restoration purists as well.