Affordable Classic Cars – The Ford Model A
The Ford Model A was produced from 1928-1931 (there was also a Model A produced from 1903-1904). The sedan was the successor to the legendary Model T, the famous car known for being the first assembly line produced car and for bringing affordable cars to America’s middle class for the first time. At the time, the American public was practically foaming at the mouth to get a look at Ford’s new car. Within a week of its release, an estimated 20% of American adults had stopped by a Ford dealership to check them out.
The first day these cars went on sale was December 2, 1927. By February 1929, just over a year later, Ford had already sold one million Model A sedans. By July of that same year, the number had doubled to two million. Considering the population of the US was about 120 million back then, this is an astounding figure. By the end of production, Ford had manufactured nearly 5 million Model A sedans.
At its release, the Model A ranged from $385 to $1400, depending on the model. Adjusted for inflation, that equates to a range of roughly $5,000 to $20,000 This wide range of models and prices ensured that Ford had a car to meet almost any budget, which was a big reason Ford was able to sell so many of these vehicles.
Although Ford had initially dominated the market with the Model T, General Motors had become a fierce competitor. GM had begun making cars with more powerful engines and featured innovations like electric starters as standard options, which Henry Ford had always seen as a luxury as opposed to an essential feature. Ford finally realized that to stay relevant they would need to release an updated model, which was the foundation the Model A was built upon.
At 40hp, the Model A was able to achieve speeds of up to 65 mph, and averaged about 25 miles to the gallon. OEM Wheels were mounted on front and rear axles with a wheel base of 103.5 inches. A fairly conventional (at the time) three speed manual transmission featured a single speed reverse.
Sure, this antique car is a bit of a deviation from the muscle cars we have been profiling lately, but you can’t deny the cool factor. What makes these cars so cool to own?
- Featuring an engine exactly twice as large as its predecessor, the Model A is known to be able to handle modern roads pretty well. Though we wouldn’t recommend taking it on a freeway, a good condition Model A can cruise in the 45 mph area with no issues. The mechanical wheel brake system would certainly not win any safety awards today, but compared with the Model T’s mechanical transmission brakes, it’s a much safer alternative.
- It’s old enough to be an antique, but new enough to be simple to operate. The Model A was the first Ford to have controls that are standard in all vehicles today, such as gas pedals, traditional gear shift lever, etc. Unless you have experience driving a carriage, it would require a bit of research to drive older vehicles like the Model T.
- Replacement parts are as rare as you might think! Since the car was such a success, nearly 5 million were made. This has resulted in a good amount of spare parts being available considering the age of the vehicle. Since its popular among collectors, there are also a lot of 3rd party manufacturers reproducing replacement parts today.
- They’re affordable – which is how they got included in our Affordable Classic Car series to begin with. If you do some bargain searching, you can find a good decent Model A for under $10,000. Of course, rare models in good condition can fetch a lot, lot more.
- You’re owning a true piece of automobile history. Sure, you could say that about any classic car, but obviously the early years of Ford had profound effects on the automobile manufacturing industry.
Whether you’re buying your 10th classic car or restoring your grandfather’s old chevy, remember that Blackburn’s Wheels is your source for antique hubcaps. We also offer the best custom bumper rechroming services available. We love being a part of any restoration project, if you have some work you think we could help with please contact us!