Ford History

Henry Ford, 1863-1947, built his first vehicle, the Quadricycle, in 1896 at the age of 32. His first car was a simple frame with a gas-powered engine and four bicycle wheels mounted on it. The invention of the Quadricycle marks an important innovation as a proto-automobile that would lay the foundation for the future, with more practical designs to follow. The success of the little vehicle led to the founding of the Henry Ford Company and then later the Ford Motor Company in 1903.

 picture The Ford Motor Company's first vehicle was called the Model A, introduced in 1903 and produced for two years. Dr. Ernst Pfenning of Chicago, Illinois became the first owner of a Model A on July 23, 1903. 1,750 cars were made from 1903 through 1904. The Model A was replaced by the Ford Model C during 1904. Henry kept refining and experimenting with different vehicles, naming each after a letter of the alphabet.

See Ritz Ford Site. Holland for a discussion of the early Ford Models

The Beginnings of the Model A Ford (1928-1931)

Ford produced the last Model T in May 1927 and shut down production after more than 15,000,000 Model Ts were built in order to tool up for the new model. The very first Model A engine was completed at the Rouge plant in October, 1927 and was placed in a 1928 Tudor Sedan, which Henry Ford gave to his close friend Thomas Edison.

Ford was very secretive during this time; there was no news about the new Ford model until the day before the car was introduced on December 2, 1927.

Advertisements ran in newspapers all across the country showing the pictures of the 6 new models: the Tudor, Fordor, Roadster, Coupe, Sport Coupe, and Phaeton.

Prices ranged from $385 for the Roadster to $570 for the Fordor Sedan.

Millions of people flooded Ford showrooms to get a glimpse of the New Ford. Very few cars were actually available at that time. As of January 1, 1928, only 5275 engines had been produced, and not all of them had been installed in a chassis and shipped to a dealer.

When Model A production ended in March, 1932, there had been 4,849,340 Model As made in all styles. Its successor was the 1932 Model B, which featured an updated 4-cylinder engine, and the 1932 Model 18, which introduced Ford's new V8 engine.

Related Sites

Last Updated: 01/05/2020