The Model A Saves Ford
Henry Ford Launched The Ford Motor Company on June 16, 1903, over 115 years ago. One month later Ford’s cash was down to $250. and he was in trouble. It’s only fitting that the Model “A” pulled Ford out of the funk and put The Ford Motor Company on the literal road to success.
In short, the company needed a doctor. Interestingly enough, Dr. E. Pfennig of Chicago was one of three customers who came to the rescue. A much-needed cash infusion of $1,320 arrived on July 13, 1903, keeping Ford Motor Company afloat. This amount included Dr. Pfennig’s full payment and deposits from the two other customers.
Dr. Pfennig’s Model A was shipped to him on July 28, 1903, from the plant on Mack Avenue. The 1903 Ford Model A had a two-cylinder engine producing 8 horsepower and displacing 100 cubic inches. It could reach 30 mph on smooth roads, which were rare.
Only one of the three Model A cars sold on July 13, 1903, remains. Executive Chairman Bill Ford recently purchased it at auction. The announcement of the purchase and its return to the Ford family kicked off the yearlong celebration in 2013 of the 150 th anniversary of the birth of Henry Ford.
Bill Ford’s 1903 Model A is a red Rear Entry Tonneau, car No. 3 and chassis No. 30. Prior to him acquiring it, the vehicle had only five previous owners in its 109-year existence. The car was bought initially by Herbert L. McNary, a butter maker from Britt, Iowa. Records show that McNary put down a $170 deposit on the $850 car.
Harry E. Burd, a collector, was the next owner. His research led him to believe this example was car No. 3 and chassis No. 30. He sold it in 1961 to a Swiss Ford dealer, who displayed the Model A in Cologne, Germany, at Ford’s European Center.
Burd then bought back the Model A in 2001. It was purchased by John O’Quinn, a Houston attorney and friend of Rick Duncan (Founder of MyclassicNews), in 2007, who was the final owner before Bill Ford. The 1903 Model A sits on a wheelbase of 72 inches and weighs about 1,250 pounds. About 1,700 were produced over 15 months.
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