Ford A Double Phaeton from 1929

Prices for the Model A ranged from US$385 for a roadster to US$1,400 for the top-of-the-line town car. The engine was a water-cooled L-head inline four with a displacement of 201 cu in (3.3 L). This engine provided 40 hp (30 kW; 41 PS).

Top speed was around 65 mph (105 km/h).

The Model A had a 103.5 in (2,630 mm) wheelbase with a final drive ratio of 3.77:1. The transmission was a conventional unsynchronized three-speed sliding-gear manual with a single speed reverse. The Model A had four-wheel mechanical drum brakes.

The 1930 and 1931 models were available with stainless steel radiator cowlings and headlamp housings.

The Model A came in a wide variety of styles including coupes (standard and deluxe), business coupe, sport coupe, roadster coupes (standard and deluxe), convertible cabriolet, convertible sedan, phaetons (standard and deluxe), Tudor sedans (standard and deluxe), town car, Fordors (five-window standard, three-window deluxe), Victoria, town sedan, station wagon, taxicab, truck, and commercial. The very rare special coupe started production around March 1928 and ended mid-1929.

The Model A was the first Ford to use the standard set of driver controls with conventional clutch and brake pedals, throttle, and gearshift. Previous Fords used controls that had become uncommon to drivers of other makes. The Model A’s fuel tank was situated in the cowl, between the engine compartment’s fire wall and the dash panel. It had a visual fuel gauge, and the fuel flowed to the carburetor by gravity. A rear-view mirror was optional.

In cooler climates, owners could purchase an aftermarket cast iron unit to place over the exhaust manifold to provide heat to the cab. A small door provided adjustment of the amount of hot air entering the cab. The Model A was the first car to have safety glass in the windshield.

The Soviet company GAZ, which started as a joint venture between Ford and the Soviet Union, made a licensed version from 1932–1936.

This served as the basis for the FAI and BA-20 armored cars which saw use as Soviet scout vehicles in the early stages of World War II.

In addition to the United States, Ford made the Model A in plants in Argentina, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom.

In Europe, where in some countries cars were taxed according to engine size, Ford in the UK manufactured the Model A with a smaller displacement engine of 2,043 cc (124.7 cu in), providing a claimed output of 28 hp (21 kW; 28 PS).

However, this equated to a British fiscal horsepower of 14.9 hp (11.1 kW; 15.1 PS) (compared to the 24 hp (18 kW; 24 PS) of the larger engine) and attracted a punitive annual car tax levy of £1 per fiscal hp in the UK. It therefore was expensive to own and too heavy and uneconomical to achieve volume sales, and so unable to compete in the newly developing mass market, while also too crude to compete as a luxury product. European manufactured Model As failed to achieve the sales success in Europe that would greet their smaller successor in Britain and Germany.

Read more: Technologies, transport and equipment ...