5 historic auction appearances by Ford’s Model A

It’s been 90 years this month since Ford Motor Company debuted the (second generation) Model A. It’s also exactly 86 years today (Dec. 7) since the last Model A came off the production line. 

The Model A’s arrival is something of legend, for certain. After revolutionizing personal transportation with the Model T, Ford came forward with an upgrade version in the Model A. The vehicle was named as such to commemorate the Ford Motor Company’s first car, the 1903 Model A.

The advertising campaign surrounding this new style of automobile played off the angle of being a more sleek, sporty, and smooth-running vehicle than its predecessor. Sleek, sporty and smooth? Who could resist? Apparently few people who could afford an automobile at that time chose to resist, according to information in the Smithsonian Institution’s ‘America on the Move’ exhibition. The report puts the initial number of orders for the Model A at more than 400,000 in the first two weeks of availability. 

The Model A is even the subject of the song “Henry Made a Lady Out of Lizzie” by Irving Kaufman. Take a listen….

Model A Auction Appearances

Ford’s second ‘gift’ of automotive ingenuity remains a favorite among classic car collectors the world over. There’s hardly a car show where one isn’t among the blue ribbon entries or showcase models. Here are five instances when the Model A captivated bidders at auction. 

Dillinger’s Darlin’ 

What’s a group of mobsters to do when they are hiding from the Feds in the Northwoods of Wisconsin and need a quick getaway? Turn to a Model A Coupe, of course. 

Such is the case surrounding the 1930 Ford Model A Coupe that sold for $165,000 during the Scottsdale 2010 auction presented by Barrett-Jackson. 

Photo courtesy Barrett-Jackson

Infamous John Dillinger and his comrades Hommer Van Meter and John Hamilton took the car to flea from their hideout in Little Bohemia, nestled in the Northwoods of Northern Wisconsin, when more than 15 FBI agents – led by Melvin Purvis – descended on the locale in April of 1934. There was a face-off with gunfire on the property before the three men fled in the 1930 Model A Coupe. 

Two-Cylinder, Two-Speed Treasure

RM Sotheby’s

A Model A automobile deemed the oldest surviving car sold by the Ford Motor Company, with only five owners since 1903, commanded $264,000 during RM Auctions’ Hershey 2012 auction. This particular model is the 1903 Ford Model A Rear Entry Tonneau. As mentioned earlier, the Model A would make a second generation appearance (1928 Model A) after production of the Model T wrapped in 1927. However, this Model A dates to the first round of Model A production. 

The 8-horsepower automobile originally cost $850 in 1903, according to information found at EarlyFordRegistry.com.

Sedan Spotlight

A restored Ford Model A Tudor Sedan from 1928 with classic two-tone green and black paint and a beige interior, featuring accented bright yellow wire wheels. The three-speed automobile sold for $15,000 during Mecum Auctions’ January 2016 Kissimmee Auction. 

Mecum Auctions

Prized Phaeton Model A

During Mecum Auctions’ 2016 Indy Auction a 1928 Ford Model A Phaeton, restored to original specifications, captivated bidder attention before selling for $15,000.

The car is all steel with nickel plating on the finish, and it boasts a 12-volt system.

Mecum Auctions

Wonderful Woody

Based on this restored 1931 Ford Model A, the Ford Motor Company knew woody wagons were the way to go long before the California surf crowd of the 1960s caught ‘Woody’ fever. 

This four-cylinder wagon features a maple and birch finish on the exterior, with chrome adding a nice accent. A pair of side curtains adds to the appeal of this automobile, which changed hands during Barrett-Jackson’s 2016 Las Vegas auction for $18,150.

Barrett-Jackson

Finally, may we extend a tip of the hat and a roar of the engine to the memory and innovation of Henry Ford and all the employees of the Ford Motor Company. 

 


Standard Catalog of Ford, 4th Ed.

 

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