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Ford Model A (1903–04)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ford Model A
Also calledFordmobile
Ford Model AC
DesignerHenry Ford
Body and chassis
Body style2-seat runabout
rear-entry 4-seat tonneau
EngineFlat-2 1668 cc (101.788 cu in) 8 hp[1][2]
Transmission2-speed planetary
Wheelbase72 in (1.8 m)[3]
Curb weight1,240 lb (562 kg)
PredecessorFord Quadricycle
SuccessorFord Model B
Ford Model C

The original Ford Model A is the first car produced by the Ford Motor Company, beginning production in 1903. Ernest Pfennig, a Chicago dentist, became the first owner of a Model A on July 23, 1903;[4] 1,750 cars were made from 1903 through 1904 during Ford's occupancy of its first facility: the Ford Mack Avenue Plant, a modest rented wood-frame building on Detroit's East Side. The Model A was replaced by the Ford Model C during 1904 with some sales overlap.

Ad for the Model A from a December 15, 1903 newspaper
Ad for the Model A from a December 15, 1903 newspaper

The car came as a two-seater runabout for $800 or the $900 [5] four-seater tonneau model with an option to add a top. The horizontal-mounted flat-2, situated 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 28 mph (45 km/h). It had a 72-inch (1.8 m) wheelbase and sold for a base price of US$750. Options included a rear tonneau with two seats and a rear door for $100, a rubber roof for $30 or a leather roof for $50. Band brakes were used on the rear wheels.[1] However, it was $150 more than its most direct competitor, the Oldsmobile Curved Dash, so did not sell as well.[4]

The company had spent almost its entire $28,000 initial investment funds with only $223.65 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.[6]

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 repainted in other colors.[7]

Ford Model AC

1904 Model A cars were equipped with the larger, 10-horsepower engine of the Model C and were sold as the Model AC.[1] The Model AC can be visually distinguished from the Model A by its larger six-by-three-bar radiator.[8]


  1. ^ a b c Kimes & Clark, Jr. (1989), pp. 547–548.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Lacey, Robert (1986). Ford: The Men and the Machine. Little, Brown and company. ISBN 0-316-51166-8.
  5. ^ ad in Automobile Review magazine, Chicago, Dec. 15, 1903, p. 10
  6. ^ "Early Ford". Retrieved February 11, 2010.
  7. ^ Auto Museum Online - 1903 Ford Model A
  8. ^ "1904 Ford Model 'AC' 10hp Four Seater Rear Entrance Tonneau: Engine No. 982". Bonhams. May 2014. Archived from the original on April 26, 2016. Retrieved August 29, 2017.


See also

This page was last edited on 27 July 2020, at 17:39
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