The History of Ford’s Model A


Henry Ford had a good run with his Model T Ford.  Built from 1908 until 1927, the Model T had provided America with practical, affordable transportation. Prized for its low cost, durability, versatility, and ease of maintenance, Ford Motor Company built over 15 million Model Ts and it was said that during the 1920s over 40% of cars sold in America were Model T Fords.

But times change and it was time for a new upgraded Ford automobile. No longer was Ford the only game in town. There were hundreds of other manufacturers making automobiles in the 1920s and early 30s and they were offering automobiles with more creature comforts and more modern styling.

In an unusual business move, Ford halted production of the Model T in May of 1927 and shut down the entire automotive production operation for 6 months.  This allowed engineers to work on the design and retooling of the new Model A Ford. Unlike its predecessor, the Model T, which was the result of an evolving process of design, the Model A was designed, completely from the ground up. Upgrades for the Model A Ford included four-wheel mechanical brakes, a 3-speed transmission, hydraulic shock absorbers, electric starter, water pump, speedometer and gas gauge. The styling of the Ford Model A, thanks to Ford’s son, Edsel, was elegant compared to the Model T. Finally, as Sheridan Ford of Wilmington, DE, a factory-authorized Ford dealer explained Ford had a vehicle that looked more like a car and less like a horseless carriage!

Shortly after the Ford Model A was made available to the public, orders for the new car far exceeded supply. Ford scrambled to increase production and by mid 1928, producing up to 4,000 cars per day, was still not meeting the demand. Ford steadily boosted production, peaking at around 9,200 cars per day by June of 1930.

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