Monday, August 31
Ford Model A Roadster
A Short History of the Model-A Ford
Henry Ford made the last of the Model T's on May 26th, 1927 after building 19,000,000 over 19 years. Edsel Ford then made the dramatic announcement of the introduction of the all new stylish Model A. Even today aficionados love this good looking and popular roadster edition of the Model A. The Model A is still one of the most popular antique automobiles world wide and it’s level of restoration information and parts support 81 years after it first rolled off the assembly line is better than ever. There is no part for the Model A that is NOT available from parts suppliers.
Ford Motor Company spent over $100,000,000 on the new car design and for the retooling of the Rouge assembly plant to build the new Model A. Quite a sum in the 1920's! The car contained over 6800 parts whereas the Model T only contained about 5000.
The Model A with Serial No. 1 rolled off the production line on Oct. 20th, 1927; but the public didn’t see the car until Dec. 2nd, 1927. Unlike the Model T, the new Ford Model A came in seven body styles and an amazing four colors!
The Engine was an L-head 4-cylinder, 'cast in block' type. It had a 3-7/8" X 4-1/4" bore and stroke with a displacement of 200.5 cubic inches. SAE horsepower of 24.03 with brake horsepower rated at 40 at 2200 rpm. Typical gas mileage was between 20 and 30 mpg using a Zenith one barrel carburetor. Its 103.5" wheelbase rode on 4.50 x 21" tires with a gear ratio of 3.77:1. The transmission was a 3 speed sliding gear unit with 1 speed reverse. The Model A had 4 wheel mechanical brakes and Houdaille double action hydraulic shock absorbers with semi-elliptic front and rear transverse springs. Top Speed was around 65 mph. Standard equipment on all Models included a Starter, Five Steel Spoke Wheels, Dual Front Headlamps, Dash light, Rear View Mirror, Windshield Wiper, Oil Gauge, Gasoline Gauge, Rear Stop Light, Speedometer, Tools and Lubrication Pressure Grease Gun.
The Model A was the first Ford to use the standard set of driver controls, with conventional clutch and brake pedals, throttle and gearshift. The Model A's fuel tank was located in the cowl, between the engine compartment's fire wall and the dash panel. It had a visible dash mounted fuel gauge and the fuel was distributed to the carburetor by gravity. In cooler climates, owners could purchase an aftermarket cast iron unit to place over the engine's exhaust manifold to bring heated air into the cab. A small door could be opened or closed to adjust the amount of hot air entering the cab. Model A was the first car to have safety glass in the windshield.
The "Model A" Tool kit included with each car had the following items: Adjustable wrench, 2 open end wrenches, 2 tire irons, jack, pliers, screwdriver, tire pump, grease gun, combination spark plug wrench and head bolt wrench and Instruction book which all fit into Snap Pouch.
The new Model A Tudor Sedan sold for $495.00 with the Fordor bringing $570.00 F.O.B. Detroit. For $385.00 you could get a Roadster and $395.00 would get you a beautiful Phaeton. At $495.00, the new Ford Coupe was nice but for $550.00 the Sport Coupe with a standard Rumble Seat was a hot seller.
The Model A was produced through 1931. When production ended in March, 1932, there were 4,849,340 Model A's made in all styles. Its successor was the Model B, which featured an updated 4-cylinder engine, followed by the Model 18 which introduced Ford's new V8 engine.