Sunday, May 1, 2016

Model A

Saturday headed out for an afternoon appointment, Bubba in the elevator:

Until reading of Fr. Berrigan’s death, this morning’s blogpost was to be about Model A Fords. Probably in my growing up years I rode in many, because they would have been routine in use and on the road in those days. But the one I remember was later in life, riding in Nick’s step-grandfather’s Model A Ford in Dexter, Michigan. I don’t remember it except it was an open car. It may have been a touring car, so-called “phaeton” to add an air of elegance, more likely a roadster. I was treated to a ride round Dexter one day while we were there for a family event, wedding or graduation. 

The Model A succeeded the Model T, which closed out with year 1927, then the ultra-modern Model A, supposedly revolutionary but actually only for Ford. From the Model T planetary transmission in production from 1909 (08?), controlled by foot pedals, parking brake, and alert sleight of hand, the Model A embraced the three-speed transmission that was ordinary for American cars, stick shift on the floor, three forward gears and one reverse, clutch pedal, brake, accelerator. I’ve never driven a Model A, but one Model T, a memorable Sunday afternoon experience, not to say life-changing.

Anyway, after the Model T the Model A was an all new design for Ford, four-cylinder engine, offered for model years 1928 through 1931. Year 1932 brought the Model B with a somewhat new body style, slightly improved 4-cylinder engine, and the first V8, a flathead engine called the Model 18, with Ford moving rapidly after that to the ever popular Ford V8. It was a flat-head engine through 1953, when the OHV V8 was introduced for 1954 and later models.

Model A Fords are prized collector items anymore but still affordable. 

I might love to have one, except I’d want air condition, power steering, power brakes. I can deal with the gear shifting and I don’t care about the crank windows. 

My favorite body style is the pickup truck, tudor sedan a close second. Fordor sedan comes in third. 


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