Dec. 26, 2012
-- In October of 2012, the executive chairman of the Ford Motor Company, Bill Ford Jr., purchased a 1903 Ford Model A Rear Entry Tonneau at RM Auctions in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The news, revealed at a Ford company event launching a year-long celebration of the 150th anniversary of Henry Ford’s birth, was greeted with great enthusiasm by the Ford family, including dealerships such as Lake Shore Ford, a premier Ford dealer in Burns Harbor, Indiana.
The vehicle, believed to be the oldest Ford automobile in existence, was acquired for the hefty sum of $264,000. It is only fitting that this earliest example of the legendary Ford Model A should find its way back to the Ford Company, especially as they begin celebrations to mark this important anniversary in the long history of one of America’s most iconic automakers.
The Model A was in fact the first production automobile offered by the Ford Motor Company. After several years of failing to produce a commercially viable car, and with a bank account that had dwindled to less than $250, Henry Ford still believed his fledgling company could produce a vehicle that would be successful in the early days of the automobile industry. With a revised design that featured a 2-cylinder 8 hp engine, capable of achieving up to 30 mph, a wheelbase of 72 inches, and a 2-speed gearbox, Ford thought he had the right vehicle.
And he was right, approximately 1,800 Model A’s were sold during its production run. The Model A purchased by Bill Ford Jr., which will now hold a place of honor in the company’s permanent collection, was the third that rolled out of the Ford plant in 1903. The whereabouts of the first two is unknown.
The significance of this acquisition is immeasurable. As the earliest documented Ford automobile, it is an important artifact in the history of the Ford Company, the auto industry, and the nation.
Henry Ford believed that cars should be “reasonably priced, reliable, and efficient”, a goal that has remained at the core of the Ford Motor Company’s mission. Special events are planned for the year-long celebration of Henry Ford’s 150th birthday. To get more information, and to check out what Ford has to offer today, visit Lake Shore Ford at 244 Melton Road, US 20 at I-94, exit 22A, in Burns Harbor, Indiana. Click here for hours and directions. http://www.lakeshoreford.com/hours-directions