Oldest Ford Model A For Sale Again

Peter Anderson | Sep 10, 2012

The oldest surviving Ford, a Model A, is up for sale. Again.

This car, in a red hue typical of original A, had just three owners between 1903 and 2001 but in the last few years has been put up for sale three times.

This is one of the first-run Model As; not to be confused with the second edition which ran from 1927 to 1931.

Herbert L McNary purchased the Model A in the town of Britt, Iowa for $850. Chassis number 30 was a four-seater with a 72-inch wheelbase and a 100 cubic inch (1.6 litre) 6kW motor.

The car stayed in the McNary family until the 1950s, selling for $400. The buyer, Harry E. Burd, restored it and sold it on in 1961 to a Swiss Ford dealer.

Number 30 remained in Switzerland until 2001 when it was returned to the US by an anonymous buyer.

The last time it was successfully sold was in 2007 for the princely sum of $693,000. Litigation lawyer John O'Quinn was the buyer.

In 2009, O'Quinn died in a car accident and the Model A was offered for sale by his estate in 2010. The car was passed in at auction, with bidding reaching just $325,000, obviously well below reserve.

The first-run Model A was produced from July 1903 with sales ceasing in 1904 when it was replaced by the Model C.

The two cylinder boxer was mid-mounted and mated to a planetary gearbox with two forward speeds and one reverse.

The 1240kg car could eventually reach a top speed of 45km/h. The band brakes took a long time to slow the car back to zero and were only on the rear wheels.

The base price of $750 was $150 more than its competitor, the Oldsmobile Curved Dash.

Options on the A included rear tonneau and seat ($100), rubber roof for $30 or leather roof for $50.

Every one of the 1750 cars produced left the factory with red paintwork, although owners were known to repaint them to their own taste.

Once again, the Model A is being offered by O'Quinn's estate, perhaps spurred by recent high prices achieved at Pebble Beach events.

Cast iron investment value, you would think. Even in these post-GFC times the $630,000 mark may yet be breached.

Filed under: News, vintage, ford, historic, ford history, ford model a, model a, peter anderson

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