Ford Model A (1903–04)
|Ford Model A|
Ford Model AC
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-seat runabout
rear-entry 4-seat tonneau
|Engine||Flat-2 1668 cc (101.788 cu in) 8 hp|
|Wheelbase||72 in (1.8 m)|
|Curb weight||1,240 lb (562 kg)|
|Successor||Ford Model B
Ford Model C
The original Ford Model A is the first car produced by Ford, beginning production in 1903. Ernest Pfennig, a Chicago dentist, became the first owner of a Model A on July 23, 1903; 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.
The car came as a two-seater runabout for $800 or the $900  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. However, it was $150 more than its most direct competitor, the Oldsmobile Curved Dash, so did not sell as well.
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.
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.
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. The Model AC can be visually distinguished from the Model A by its larger six-by-three-bar radiator.
- Kimes & Clark, Jr. (1989), pp. 547–548.
- Lacey, Robert (1986). Ford: The Men and the Machine. Little, Brown and company. ISBN 0-316-51166-8.
- ad in Automobile Review magazine, Chicago, Dec. 15, 1903, p. 10
- "Early Ford". Retrieved February 11, 2010.
- Auto Museum Online - 1903 Ford Model A
- "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.
- Kimes, Beverly Rae; Clark, Jr., Henry Austin (1989). Standard Catalog of America Cars: 1805–1942 (2nd ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0-87341-111-0.
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