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Old 04-30-2019, 02:27 PM   #1
Bob Bidonde
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Default Oldest Surviving Model "A"

Has the Model "A" with the Engine Number 189 been authenticated to be the oldest surviving Model "A" Ford?
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Old 04-30-2019, 05:30 PM   #2
rotorwrench
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Default Re: Oldest Surviving Model "A"

There are a fare amount of the first 200 early Model A cars still around. There are likely some with earlier numbers. The engines were stamped after they passed the bed in testing but the way the assembly line worked, they weren't built up in linear order. They just stamped the engine number on the frame after it was installed. Number 6 may have been followed by number 43 the way they worked things. Groups of engines were sent off to different assembly plants too.

To authenticate a number would require a better accounting or a complete unabridged register of existing model A cars and I don't think one exists. What I can say is that there is a 1 in 189 chances that it would be the oldest surviving Model A.
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Old 04-30-2019, 05:33 PM   #3
Jim Baskin III Pa.
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Default Re: Oldest Surviving Model "A"

Bob here is some info.


https://rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/H...oadster/293881
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Old 04-30-2019, 06:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: Oldest Surviving Model "A"

What about the Thomas Edison Car?
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Old 04-30-2019, 07:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: Oldest Surviving Model "A"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodge View Post
What about the Thomas Edison Car?
We've discussed this one at length here including its connection to "Engine No. 1" stamped in the iconic picture by Henry Ford himself.

THE Henry Ford (Ford Museum) says this much

https://www.thehenryford.org/collect...artifact/64736

Quote:
When Henry Ford introduced the Model A, his first all-new car in 19 years, he gave the first example to his close friend and mentor, inventor Thomas Edison. At Edison's request, the car was rebuilt with an open touring-style body, and Ford made further updates over the years. Edison used this Model A until his death in 1931.
IIRC the car was first provided to Edison as a Tudor - as this was the car of common choice and the keystone of the Model A line. Edison was flattered but asked if he could instead have a touring car as his "enclosed" car need was already being served by more expensive non-Ford cars. So Ford re-made the car as a touring.

It actually was updated by Ford, possibly more than once. The current touring car shows evidence of later production parts.

The connection to Engine No. 1 I'm less certain but IIRC it seems to be marked "No. 1" although the engine number boss does not conform to the earliest extant engines. Whether it is the same engine as in the iconic picture is questionable?

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Old 05-01-2019, 01:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: Oldest Surviving Model "A"

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Surely the guys that own the very early Model A's would know what still exists?
An earlier one could yet be found in Europe or somewhere outside US, just as A 189 spent most its life in Sweden. Some of the first cars were sent overseas to be put on public display to promote interest in Fords important foreign markets. Pictures exist of cars at the London Show [ Dec. '27] & other European countries
Re Model A engine no. 1, appears to be a Ford promotional creation & giving it to Edison would have been good advertising for Ford. It was supplied as a Phaeton & was not delivered until mid '28. Pictures of it in 1933 show 19"wheels; chrome windshield posts; non standard upholstery & paint, etc. Ford wanted it up dated for his great friend. Cheers - Tom in NZ.
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Old 05-01-2019, 01:15 AM   #7
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Default Re: Oldest Surviving Model "A"

It would be interesting to look at the frame number on the Edison car while it’s at the Gilmore museum. That would do it for me.
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Old 05-02-2019, 01:43 AM   #8
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Default Re: Oldest Surviving Model "A"

189 would be difficult to authenticate as the oldest surviving Model A.

For example. there were supposedly two 1927 Ford Model A's in Zimbabwe (formerly South Rhodesia) in the 1960's. One apparently went to Cape Town, South Africa and the other went to Johannesburg at some point. Anyone got any further information on those cars?

Maybe a FordBarner in South Africa would have more information to share with us about those early Model A's?

Here's the link to the list of 1927-1929 Ford Model A's in Rhodesia: https://www.classiccarsinrhodesia.co.za/Makes/Ford_A_1927-1929.html

The Rhodesian Ford Model A's from 1930-1932 are listed here: https://www.classiccarsinrhodesia.co.za/Makes/Ford_A_1930-1932.html

Brad in Maryland

PS: For those who are geographically disadvantaged, Zimbabwe (formerly South Rhodesia) is bordered to the south by South Africa and to the east by Mozambique, etc...

Last edited by Brad in Germany; 05-02-2019 at 01:49 AM.
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Old 05-02-2019, 02:37 AM   #9
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Default Re: Oldest Surviving Model "A"

Brad interesting piece. Neither one would be 1927 as official Canadian production did not commence until Feb 1, although I suspect that some may have been build earlier for testing purposes etc. I do know that Model As were displayed in Toronto on Dec 2 1927, whether these were built in Canada or the U.S. is unknown. CA1242 probably had many of the VE US. features. I remember reading of the first Model A on display in South Africa, and the fact that it had open end bumpers. This would indicate that it was a very early production vehicle.
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: Oldest Surviving Model "A"

Re Edison's Model "A," it is my understanding that the car given to him was a Phaeton, but he asked that it be changed to a sedan because of the cold weather in New Jersey. So Ford had a Tudor body put on the car.
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Old 05-02-2019, 11:15 AM   #11
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Default Re: Oldest Surviving Model "A"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Bidonde View Post
Re Edison's Model "A," it is my understanding that the car given to him was a Phaeton, but he asked that it be changed to a sedan because of the cold weather in New Jersey. So Ford had a Tudor body put on the car.
I would be willing to consider a clarification on this. I think exactly this has been discussed here on the board previously - with references from elsewhere.

Its been a while - perhaps 2012?

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Old 05-02-2019, 11:22 AM   #12
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Default Re: Oldest Surviving Model "A"

Edison's A as it is currently in the Gilmore. According to the sign in front of the "A" it was originally a Tudor then changed to a Phaeton, apparently at Edison's request.
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