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The Ford Model A (1927–1931) was the second huge success for the Ford Motor Company, after its predecessor, the Model T. First produced on October 20, 1927, but not sold until December 2, it replaced the venerable Model T, which had been produced for 18 years. This new Model A (a previous model had used the Model A name back in 1903–1904) was designated as a 1927 model and was available in four standard colors, but not black.

The Model A was produced through 1931. When production ended in March, 1932, there were 4,849,340 Model A's made in all styles. Its successor was the Model B, which featured an updated 4-cylinder engine, followed by the Model 18 which introduced Ford's new V8 engine.

Features

Prices for the Model A ranged from US$385 for a roadster to $1400 for the top-of-the-line Town Car. The engine was a water-cooled L-head 4-cylinder with a displacement of 201 cubic inches (3.3 L). This engine gave the car . Typical fuel consumption was between 25 and 30 mpg (U.S.) (8 to 12 kilometres per litre or 8-9 L/100 km) using a Zenith one-barrel up-draft carburetor, with a top speed of around 65 mph (104 km/h). It had a 103.5 in (2629 mm) wheelbase with a final drive ratio of 3.77:1. The transmission was a 3-speed sliding gear unit with a 1-speed reverse. The Model A had 4-wheel mechanical drum brakes. The 1930 and 1931 editions came with stainless steel radiator cowling and headlamp housings.

The Model A came in a wide variety of styles: Coupe (Standard and Deluxe), Business Coupe, Sport Coupe, Roadster Coupe (Standard and Deluxe[339901]), Convertible Cabriolet, Convertible Sedan, Phaeton (Standard and Deluxe), Tudor (Standard and Deluxe[339902]), Town Car, Fordor (2-window) (Standard and Deluxe), Fordor (3-window) (Standard and Deluxe), Victoria, Station Wagon, Taxicab, Truck, and Commercial.

The Model A was the first Ford to use the standard set of driver controls, with conventional clutch and brake pedals, throttle and gearshift; previous Ford models used controls that had become out of date and uncommon to drivers of other makes. The Model A's fuel tank was located in the cowl, between the engine compartment's fire wall and the dash panel. It had an optic fuel gauge and the fuel was distributed to the carburetor by gravity. In cooler climates, owners could purchase an aftermarket cast iron unit to place over the engine's exhaust manifold to bring heated air into the cab. A small door could be opened or closed to adjust the amount of hot air entering the cab. Model A was the first car to have safety glass in the windshield.

The Sovietmarker company GAZmarker, which started as a cooperation between Ford and the Soviet Unionmarker, made a licensed version of the Model A from 1932-36. This itself was the basis for the FAI and BA-20 armored car, which saw significant use as scout vehicles in the early stages of World War II.

In addition to the United Statesmarker, Ford made the Model A in plants in Canadamarker, Francemarker, Germanymarker and the United Kingdommarker.

In Europe, where cars were taxed according to engine size, Ford equipped the Ford Model A with a 2,033 cc motor providing a claimed output of just 40 hp. However, the engine size was still large enough to equate to a fiscal horsepower rating of 24 hp and attracted a punitive annual car tax levy of £24 in the UK and similar penalties in other principal European markets, leaving the car unable to compete in the newly developing mass market. It therefore was expensive to own and too heavy and thirsty to achieve volume sales, but also too crude to compete as a luxury product. European manufactured Model As failed to achieve the sales success in Europe that would greet their smaller successor on the assembly lines in England and Germany.

Film and media

The Ford Model A. was well represented in media of the era since it was one of the most common cars. In modern times, it has reappeared, most notably in the remake of the film King Kong as taxi cabs and police cars. Students asked to build models of cars from the 1920s and 1930s will also find that models of these cars are still available from hobby shops in the 2000s, as stock cars or modified hot rods.

Several Model A's have obtained particular notoriety. The Ramblin' Wreck, a 1930 Sport Coupe, is the official mascot of the student body at the Georgia Institute of Technologymarker and appears at sporting events and student body functions. Ala Kart, a customized 1929 roadster pickup built by George Barris won two straight "America's Most Beautiful Roadster" awards at the Oakland Roadster Show before making numerous film and television appearances. Between October 1992 to December 1994, Hector Quevedo, along with his son Hugo, drove a 1928 Model A 22,000 miles (35,000 km) from his home in Punta Arenasmarker, Chilemarker to the Ford Motor Company headquarters in Dearborn, Michiganmarker. The car required minimal service including a flat tire and transmission work in Nicaraguamarker and is now housed in the Henry Ford Museummarker.

Gallery

Image:1928-ford-archives.jpg|1928 Model A Business CoupeImage:1931 Ford Model A Deluxe Coupe.jpg|1931 Model A Deluxe CoupeImage:1931 Ford Model A Deluxe Tudor.jpg|1931 Model A Deluxe Tudor SedanImage:Ford model A at brooklands.jpg|Model A at Brooklands Museum, WeybridgeImage:Ford_A_de_Luxe_Roadster_blue_vrd.jpg|1930 or 1931 Deluxe RoadsterImage:1931_Ford_Model_A_roadster_engine.JPG|1931 Model A (with after-market air filter)Image:1929_Ford_Model_AA_Truck_DGO099.jpg|1929 Model AA Heavy-duty truck variant of the Model AImage:1928 Ford Model A 76A Open Cab.jpg|1928 Model A Open-Cab Pickup

References



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