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Ford's Model A

July 21, 2010 by  

A revolution in transportation began on July 23, 1903, when Henry Ford sold his first automobile. The two-cylinder Model A, which cost all of $750, was delivered to Dr. Ernst Pfenning of Chicago.

Unlike later versions of his famous assembly-line vehicles, which came in “any color you want, as long as it’s black,” the first Model A was a bright shiny red. The car weighed 1,240 pounds and could reach a top speed of 45 miles per hour. 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. In his first year of production Ford sold 1,750 versions of the Model A.

The Ford Motor Company had spent virtually all of its original investment funds when Dr. Pfenning picked up his car. The company had only $223.65 left in the bank at the time. But the rest, as they say, is history.

—Chip Wood

Chip Wood

is the geopolitical editor of PersonalLiberty.com. He is the founder of Soundview Publications, in Atlanta, where he was also the host of an award-winning radio talk show for many years. He was the publisher of several bestselling books, including Crisis Investing by Doug Casey, None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen and Larry Abraham and The War on Gold by Anthony Sutton. Chip is well known on the investment conference circuit where he has served as Master of Ceremonies for FreedomFest, The New Orleans Investment Conference, Sovereign Society, and The Atlanta Investment Conference.

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  • s c

    1903 was a time when the dollar was in good condition (pre-Fed). $750 was a lot of money for most people. Lenin’s labor unions were still struggling to gain a foothold in the US.
    Now, $750 might get you a new paint job on your vehicle (maybe). The dollar is a piece of paper
    that’s very close to being no more valuable as a piece of toilet paper (thanks to the Fed). Unions are in bed with the government, and our government doesn’t see why having plenty of jobs serves a practical purpose. What price “progress,” eh?

  • airdaleusn

    Chip I believe the model T was ford’s first car

  • sheldon

    In 1903 $750 represented TWO years salary for the average US teacher and it was most of the annual salary for average postal worker. It’s no surprise that the first sale was to a doctor.

    for the stats quoted see: http://www.skidmore.edu/centennial/1903_statistics.htm

  • John Shepherd

    Chip,

    As the above comment stated, the Model T was the actual product not the Model A that was the turning point for Ford.

    Another note of interest. Henry Ford who was a real tyrant of his time and a carpet bagger of the era endorsed labor. He paid his employees more than the prevailing wage in order for them to afford the very products that they produced. It was economic balance. Today the top 1% call for more for themselves and as a result, are eliminating the middle class and the mechanism of their wealth. It is like killing the golden goose, so to speak.

    So, Chip, if you plan to quote historical events, please don’t re-write it. You continue to provide an interesting perspective.

  • Bob Hayden

    This Model A was not Henry Ford’s first car nor was Ford Motor Company Henry Ford’s first automobile company. The immediately previous company was, I think, the Henry Ford Company. But HF had a falling out with his backers. He wanted to use an inexpensive engine of his own design while the backers wanted to use a precision design by Henry Leland. The backers won, Ford left and found Ford Motor Company to produce the car his way. The backers hired Leland to produce the car using his engine. They could not very well continue to call it the Henry Ford Company so they called it Cadillac! That first Cadillac was a major step forward in precision engineering. The original Ford A was not anything special but it did give HF some money of his own to produce the revolutionary Model T in 1908.

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