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Ford Model A
1903 Ford Model A
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Also called Fordmobile
Ford Model AC
Production 1903–1904
1700 produced
Predecessor Ford Quadricycle
Successor Ford Model B
Ford Model C
Body style(s) 2-seat runabout
rear-entry 4-seat tonneau
Engine(s) Flat-2
Transmission(s) 2-speed planetary
Wheelbase 72 in (1.8 m)
Curb weight 1,240 lb (562 kg)
Designer Henry Ford

The original Ford Model A is the first car produced by Ford Motor Company, beginning production in 1903. 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 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 at the 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 US$750 (equivalent to $18300 today). 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.

The company had spent almost its entire $28,000 initial investment funds with only $223.65 left in its bank account when the first Model A was sold. The success of this car model generated a profit for the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford's first successful business.

Although Ford advertised the Model A as the "most reliable machine in the world", it suffered from many problems common to vehicles of the era, including overheating and slipping transmission bands. The Model A was sold only in red by the factory, though some were later re-painted in other colors.

Model AC

Some 1904 Model A cars were equipped with the larger, more powerful engine of the Model C and were sold as the Model AC.


  • David L. Lewis (2005). 100 Years of Ford. Publications International, 16–17. ISBN 0-7853-7988-6. 
  • "Early Ford". Retrieved on February 11, 2010.

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