On The Square

Ford Brings its "A" Game

By Brett Morris

Feb 25,2017 | 08:00 EST

By the mid 1920s Henry Ford was looking to follow up on the massive success he’d enjoyed with the Model T. First produced on 1908, the Model T was considered the first affordable automobile, had been the first car ever produced on an assembly line, and opened up travel to the burgeoning American middle class. With over 16 million units sold, it would eventually be voted the most influential car of all time.

Time for snazzy suits! Henry Ford and son Edsel at the launch of the Model A in December, 1927

And yet sales, once so robust, were beginning to flag. Competitors, led by General Motors, had started closing in, offering more powerful engines, new convenience features, and cosmetic customization. Developments Ford considered unnecessary, like electric starters, had shifted in the publics perception from luxuries to essentials. Despite his initial resistance, the Ts sagging market share forced Ford to finally admit what those around him had been preaching for a while - that a replacement was clearly needed. 

Ford released the Model A to much fanfare on December 2, 1927, and it soon established itself as the manufacturer’s second great success. This was the first Ford to use the standard set of driver controls with conventional clutch and brake pedals, throttle, and gearshift. Henry Ford felt the public wanted options, and by March 1930, when Model A sales hit three million, there were nine different body styles available to the public. 

On Saturday, March 11, Cowans Auctions offers bidders the chance to tap into this golden age in American automotive history when they offer Lot 234 in their Fine and Decorative Art: Live Salesroom Auction. Selling in very good condition, this Ford 1930 Model A Deluxe Roadster features an all steel body in Washington blue with black fenders, a 201 cubic inch four cylinder engine with a three speed manual transmission with reverse, and mechanical drum brakes. Standard features include a fully upholstered rumble seat, flip down windshield, dual side mounted spare tires, boot and side curtains. With this kind of bygone elegance, can you think of a better way to take your family on a Sunday afternoon picnic?