of 1937 Henry Ford did something some people thought they
would never see him do. Soon after producing his 15,000,000th
Model T, Henry Ford ordered production ceased
and he shut down all of his plants to retool for his new Model
A. Though some had hoped this shutdown would only last a couple
of months, to their chagrin it would take almost 6 months
before Henry thought his Model A was ready for to be introduced
to the public on December 2, 1927.
buyers the only Model A pickup available, at least at first,
was an Open Cab type. It featured a new styled body provided
to Ford by Briggs Manufacturing. It also used a soft top that
was non-retractable that used side curtains of canvas and
mica to keep out the elements.
these cabs were new the pickup boxes used were carryover from
the Model T. These trucks didn't just look new, they were
new. They featured
new body, new engine, new transmission, new frames and new wheels.
Their new 4 cylinder engines displaced some 200 cubic inches
and produced some 40 horsepower at 2200 RPM. Backing up these
new engines were new three speed manual transmissions that used
a standard "H" shifting pattern. There were a lot
easier to use than the
off lines and small rear window of this Closed Cab pickup
identify it as an early 1928 or 1929 Model A. (Photo Paul
pedal planetary transmissions that were used in all the Model
equipment on these new Model A's included a 6 volt starting
system, left fender mounted spare tire, a 4 wheel mechanical
braking system, tool kit, hand-operated windshield wiper and
a comfortable seat covered in artificial leather.
of 1928 the Closed Cab version of the pickup was released
to the public. This truck featured an all steel cab with roll-up
windows in its doors. Both vehicles were available in a Black
or Rock Moss Green color. Fenders, running boards, wheels,
headlight buckets and the radiator grille surround were painted
black on these vehicles.
produced some 26,171 pickups in 1928 before the model year
February of 1929 Ford released their 1929 Model A pickups with
minor changes over their 1928 counterparts. One of those changes
involved adding exterior door handles to Open Cab models while
the other change had Ford offering more exterior color choices
to pickup buyers this year. All of these changes appealed to
buyers as Ford's Model A pickup production this year jumped
to 77,900 units.
model, 1928-1929, Open Cab Model A Pickup has been dressed
up by using a car type nickel-plated grille surround and headlights.
The red wheels and while wall tires also add a nice touch.
(Photo: Paul McLaughlin)
1930 model year saw Ford redesigning all their Model A's including
the pickups. This redesign involved smoothing out cowl panels,
restyled fenders, raising the hood line and using a taller,
thinner radiator. Closed Cab pickup models got a sun visor mounted
over the windshield, a windshield that could be pivoted out
from the bottom for cab ventilation, a new soft roof panel and
a cab that featured more rounded corners on its backside. Open
Cab variants got a new top that could be removed and once removed
the windshield could be laid down flat on top of the cowl. In
addition to these changes Ford even offered more color choices
this year but all these changes couldn't keep pickup production
from dropping to 48,378 model units in this Depression year.
1931, the last year of Model A production, Ford offered a larger
pickup box (22.2 cubic feet versus 16.8) and even more exterior
color choices to buyers. They also offered a limited production
pickup for people who wanted
special. This pickup was called the Model A Deluxe Pickup and
it featured a unique, slab-sided pickup box that bolted to the
back of a Closed Cab making the two separate pieces look like
one. Chrome plated brass rails were added to the top of the
bed sides to provide a distinctive look to these trucks. In
addition all the nickel plated trim
Closed Cab Model A Pickup shows its redesigned cowl panel,
sun visor, and rounded corner cab backside in this side profile
shot. The truck was also dressed up by using a nickel plated
grille surround and headlights as used on the Model A car.
Apple Green painted wheels added a nice contrast. (Photo:
found on the Deluxe Model A cars were also used on these trucks.
Most of them were painted white with black fenders and top
panel. Only 293 of them were produced and about 100 of them
were used by General Electric technicians who worked on refrigerators.
Ford also offered a Canopy Top (Type 65-A) Option for their
pickups for those people who wanted a covered pickup to use
in their businesses.
produced 29,545 pickups before they stopped production of
their 1931 Model A trucks in March of 1932. That brought to
a close the Model A Era which saw Ford produce some of their
most popular vehicles build during the past century. Vehicles
that had such an impact they are still popular today almost
70 years after the last one was produced in the United States.