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Sunday, December 2, 2012

The New Ford

Edsel Ford with a very early '28 Roadster in front of the Ford Engineering Building.
On this day in 1927 the New Ford Model A was introduced to the public. Replacing the Model T and under hushed rumors for months the car was met with huge crowds at debuts in most large cities. In New York City, the local Ford branch rented Madison Square Garden just to be able to handle the large crowds.

Cars were in such demand many dealers were forced to make do with large posters, speeches about the new car, copious amounts of literature, but no actual car! It would be a couple months before every dealer had at least one car for demonstration purposes.

The Model A was a major change from the Model T, instead of the planetary transmission so well known in the T, the Model A featured a sliding gear transmission modeled after the higher priced Lincoln. Enterprising dealers offered driving classes to former owners of Model T's.

A wide array of body colors was offered, unheard of on a low priced car, same for the Houdaille Shock Absorbers which were put on at Henry Ford's insistence.

The model A also holds the honor of being the first car produced at the mighty Ford Rouge Plant in Dearborn. Prior Detroit assembly line operations was at Highland Park.

Model A showed what Henry & Edsel could do when they worked together as a team. Edsel was responsible for the body and other cosmetic things while Henry worked on the chassis with his staff of engineers.

Production of the Model A ceased in early 1932 after a short 4 year run.

The Model A Ford remains one of the most popular collector cars out there today. They were known for being a fine car when new and that still holds true today. Model A's are one of the very cars from the 20s & early 1930s that can be driven anywhere and parts are still easily obtained. I own a few of them myself and wouldn't trade them for any price.