Bill Ford Jr. brings the oldest known driveable Ford back into Ford family. Soon, it will be 150 years since the birth of Henry Ford so his great grandson managed to return one of the first models of the car that his grandfather made, as the cherry on top of the joys of family in collaboration with MotorCities National Heritage and the Henry Ford Heritage Association. Bill Ford Jr., an executive chairman of the Dearborn automaker, was the winning bidder for an original 1903 Ford Model A Rear Entry Tonneau, at an RM Auction Hershey, Penn., in October, spending $264,000.
Henry Ford was a founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. Although Ford did not invent the automobile, he developed and manufactured the first automobile that many middle class Americans could afford to buy. As owner of the Ford Motor Company, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. He is credited with “Fordism”: mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers. Ford had a global vision, with consumerism as the key to peace.
This particular model is a number 3 car, chassis number 30. Before rejoining the Ford family, it had just five owners in its 109-year history. First, the Model A was sold to a butter maker from Iowa for the sum of $850, then in 1961, the same car was sold to a Swiss Ford dealer, who displayed it in the European Ford Center in Cologne, Germany until 2001, when it was finally sold to John O’Quinn in 2007, before Ford Jr. took possession this year. The original Ford Model A is the first car produced by Ford Motor Company, beginning production in 1903. Dr. Pfenning, a Chicago dentist, became the first owner of a Model A on July 23, 1903. Total of 1,750 cars were made from 1903 through 1904. The Model A was replaced by the Ford Model C during 1904 with some sales overlap.
The car came as a two-seater runabout or 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 $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, and so did not sell as well.