• Dec 2, 2011
The Ford Model A doesn't get the historical respect of its 15-million-unit predecessor, the Model T, nor is it as beloved as the 1932 Ford V8 which followed. But when the Model A went on sale on December 2, 1927, it was an important transitional model for Ford.

Following the unparalleled success of the Model T, Ford had been reluctant to develop a new model, or even upgrade the T with features that were increasingly driving customers to other brands. The Model A was the first Ford to feature modern controls, with clutch, brake and throttle pedals, and a gearshift lever sprouting out of the center of the front floorboards.

Selling for as little as $365, the Model A was a huge success. Ford built almost five million units over five years. Had it not unveiled the A when it did, the Blue Oval might have met the same fate as many auto manufacturers of the 1920s that didn't see the other side of the Great Depression.

Surprisingly enough, this 84-year-old car can actually provide somewhat serviceable transportation today, although with limitations. While its four-cylinder engine provides fuel economy in the high 20's, Interstate travel is a bit beyond its meager 40 horsepower output. Mechanical drum brakes are the weakest point in the A's specifications, with a lack of climate control rating a distant second.

For more on what it's like to drive an A everyday, check out the 365 Days of A blog.


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  • 15 Comments
      SloopJohnB
      • 3 Years Ago
      Oh, I don't know about that. Our A would do 55-60 on the highway and was pretty quick out of the hole. That three speed transmission was more than adequate and the ground clearance got us back in the woods 2 1/2 miles to the lake to fish. Horsepower isn't everything..that engine had torque up the ying-yang.
      JamesJ
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is why competition is good. Had we not have competition, we would still have the Model T.
      eljay001
      • 3 Years Ago
      Eighty-four years later and it feels like our speed limits are still essentially set up for the capabilities of this vehicle.
        BG
        • 3 Years Ago
        @eljay001
        Do you really want the typical American suburbanite driving faster?
      Acefighter
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Mechanical drum brakes are the weakest point in the A's specifications, with a lack of climate control rating a distant second." You can tell this guy doesn't live in the south. I would rather drive a car with NO brakes, much less drum brakes, than one without A/C during a Houston summer.
      • 3 Years Ago
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      • 3 Years Ago
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      Basil Exposition
      • 3 Years Ago
      Awesome blog. There goes my productivity for the rest of the day!
      d.gould
      • 3 Years Ago
      If this is the day the Model A went on sale 84 years ago it would have been a 1928 model. You are showing a 1931 model (Tudor Sedan), the final year of production. The amazing stat about the 5 million Model A s sold is that the car was produced for only 4 years. 1928 to 1931.
      haji
      • 3 Years Ago
      Black body color with red wheels! That's a 2011 trend!
      nitrostreet
      • 3 Years Ago
      Here's a guy that drove a 1930 A as his only vehicle last year. http://www.365daysofa.com/
      • 3 Years Ago
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      • 3 Years Ago
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