Hey Pop, whats with all the T's, A's and B's, they all look the same to me!!! Part 1
Well here we are the age old question, what in the world is a Model T, Model A, and Model B. This will be part 2 of Part 1, 2, and 3. You maybe asking yourself, why did you start with part 2 before part 1. Well Because I wanted to, and shouldn't A go before before T? Okay maybe not, but we are starting with the Model A anyways, Mr. Henry Ford can answer that question for us one day. To make matters worse, he developed some cars prior to 1908 and called them the Model K. So here we go....
I been doing this for some time now, and I have learned a lot through the years, some by studying vehicles, some by mistake, but usually I learn from vehicles I have bought in the past, and experienced first hand, by owning, and driving them. You learn a lot from owning, and working on a lot of different models.
"You may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile", bonus points for those of you who know that song. Anyways, I learned from experience and when I first saw cars from the early 1900's, I thought they were all the same when I was a kid, until you look close. Most people who don't know classic cars at all, when they see cars of this vintage, they will automatically ask, is that a Model T? The model T is very well known vehicle around the world.
So here is what a Model T Looks like, so you can do a small comparison, above is a 1926, toward the end of production. They look similar, but scroll back and forth, and you can see the difference of the Gray, and Black one in the lead photo. It is hard with Model T's by the way because production versions go from 1908 to 1927, and change some for sure, it was a 20 year run. The biggest difference is the Transmission in a Model T, vs, a Model A when it comes to mechanicals, but we will get into terms like Hogshead, Ruxtel, Rocky Mountian etc, later in Part 1.
By the way, this 1926 T above will be for sale very soon, and the 1931 Model A in lead photo with red wheels, check my website out, both nice cars.
This is a very early 1911 Ford Model T that I am getting ready to send to Ireland. A big difference from 1911-1926, as you saw above. It is very rare to find a 1908-1910 Model T. The early cars, from 1913 and back have the most value, considered the Brass Era cars earlier the better when it comes to value.
So back to the Ford Model A. They built the Ford Model A, from 1928-1931, so basically a 4 year run. The 1928-29, was basically the same design, and 1930-31 was similar as well. We will get into a little detail, but not major stuff like the difference between a 28 and 29 emergency brake, or headlight lens etc etc. I want you to be able to go to a Car show, and impress your friends and say, yep that is a 1928 Roadster or a 1931 Vicky. Especially when your buddy opens up his month trying to be cool and says, "hey Jim Bob, look at that Model T" and its a 1930 Plymouth, lol.
The first thing you do, if you don't know, keep quite, and look for the badge, it will tell you at least the Make, is it a Ford Logo, Dodge Brothers, etc etc. Then if you see its a Ford, then you can look at some differences.
Wait, a pickup Ford made a Model A Pickup??? Yep they did, they made a Model AA one ton truck as well. But I chose this photo here because what we are really looking at here, is the Cowl, the area behind the folding hood, and the windshield and door frame. You see that horizontal seam, the 1928-29 Ford Model had that seam, the 1930-31 had a completely different cowl. The Model T especially from the early 20's to 1927, look similar but there is no seam, so that is one way to tell a Model A vs Model T.
Above is a 1928-29 Style Cowl a closer look at the cowl, see that swooping down seam, from frame to the hood. Next picture shows a 1930-31.
See the difference between the 2, this one is a 1930-31. You can see how the belt line, goes from the door into the cowl and continues through the hood. 1930-31, and continues back into the door. Also notice between the door and the cowl. On the 1927-28 there is about another 4" section between cowl and door. Where the 1930-31, it is one section from door edge to hood, not 2 pieces. Also notice the difference, how the hood looks flatter and the cowl top is flatter, not as swoopy looking as the 1928-29. Also if you look at Model T's they are pretty swoop as well.
Lets look at another quick way to tell the difference between an early Model A and later Model A,
The Radiator on a 28-29 vs 30-31. Above you can see this is a 1928-29, notice it is not as tall as the one below. Below is the 1930-31 style. I would say the actual radiator is probably 3" longer. You can also notice diffrences in the grill shell.
It is interesting today, in our modern cars, the grill is the cosmetic covering up the actual radiator. The Radiator is actually a cosmetic part of the vehicle. Something you don't see on the Fords after 1931 Model A. After this period, there was the radiator, and the Grill cover. The problem with leaving the radiator exposed, is that a rock comes up and hits it, very bad, so even though a grill is cosmetic, it is functionable.
Another thing you will notice is the Bumpers, the 1930-31 is more straight, and the 1928-29, gets swoopy on the ends.
So how many configurations of the Model A were there. Well look below, I won't go through every year, but just showing different body styles.
This is a 1930 Model A Roadster, that I owned a few years ago, well maybe 9 years ago, boy how time has flown, our son Mason hanging out thinking whats up with the sun dad. This is called a Model A Roadster. A roadster is a convertible, but it does not have any side windows, people would install side curtains, much like you would see on a military jeep. You can also see on the Roadster that window is able to be tilted back if you wanted.
Here is a 1930-31 Model A Roadster, with the top up.
As we go though the next pictures don't look at the year, look at the car, and what you learned today, see if you can identify it being a 28-29 or 30-31.
1930-31 Ford Model A Cabriolet. This is a convertible as well, but you will see that the windshield frame is fixed, does not tilt back, and the top does fold down, but it has side windows, and you can see the door frame goes around the side windows. So when you put the top down, you still see the window frames.
1929 Ford Model A Sports Coupe, looks like the car above, but this is a coupe that is made to look like a convertible, or cabriolet. It has as soft top, but it does not come down, just made to look like one. Funny, this was popular in the 80's and 90's, remember some Cadillac's that looked like a drop top but were not. They also built one of these with a Oval type window were the non functionable scrolls were mounted.
This is probably the most popular body for Ford Model A's when it comes to the Hot Rod and Rat Rod world, the Roadster is just as popular depends if you are a open or closed roof type of collector. Very heavily customized back in the 1950's and even today. Some people call these a 5 window coupe, not really a correct term, all the Model A coupes were 5 windows. Later in 1932 and up, there was a 3 window Coupe, and a 5 window, so that is were most people will refer to 5 of 3. Those windows would include the door glass 2, 2 quarter windows, and rear window, 5 window, they do not include the windshield. The 3 window, is door glass 2, no quarter windows, and rear window, 3 windows.
1931 Model A, great example of Traditional Hot Rod Style, like they would have built in teh lat 50's, 4-5" chop, 3 Dueces on top of a Mopar early Hemi, this is awesome. Looks to have a poplar upgrade of a 1932 Ford Grill.
This is a 1928 Ford Tudor Sedan, it is a 2dr model. Interesting to note, that by 1929, there were over 1 million Model A's built in 2 years. By the end of 1931, the 4 year run, almost 5 million Model A's were built in many different styles. Notice the top of the Roof, it is a cloth, I don't believe until the late 30's did Ford make a solid steel roof.
1931 Ford Model A Fordor, pretty cool looking lots of room, the rear doors are suicide doors, meaning they open at the front.
1929 Ford Model A Phaeton Fordor, 4door Roadster, not a cabriolet, so they do not have any side windows, they might have put side curtains on them.
1931 Ford Model Phaeton with side Curtians.
1931 Ford Model A Phaeton 2dr, these are very collectible and hard to find.
These are pretty unique 1928-29 Ford Model A pickup, notice the squared off cab. If you ever see a 1928 pickup with a round cab, it is not correct, what someone did at some point of time, was take a Tudor Sedan body, and cut it down and make it into a pickup. Looks like the RED BARON, Airplane Rides!!!!
1930-31 Ford Model A pickup, notice the difference in the cab. One of my favorite little trucks of all time. Very classy looking.
This is not photo shopped, this is a 1931 Ford Pickup Model AA 1 1/2 ton. I would love to cruise this thing around!!
Surfs up, this is a neat one, 1931 Ford Model A Woody Wagon, I am actually in the process of getting one of these.