Lot 53
1931 Ford Model A DeLuxe Roadster


Selling on Wednesday

CHASSIS NO: A4429474

• Succeeded the Model T as Ford’s premier offering
• Impressive restoration
• Attractive green-on-black color scheme
• Last year for the Model A
• Highly desirable Roadster trim
• Foldable rear rumble seat

201 cid four-cylinder inline L-head engine, 40 HP, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle with transverse semi-elliptic leaf spring, live rear axle with transverse semi-elliptic leaf spring, four-wheel mechanical drum brakes; wheelbase: 103.5”

Upon conclusion of the Model T’s nearly 20-year production run, Ford introduced the Model A as the successor to the “Tin Lizzie.” Consumers, though still weary from the Crash of 1929, were undoubtedly ready for a change in Ford’s product lineup. Much thought was given into the heir to Ford’s vehicular throne. By reverting to the first letter of the alphabet, Ford was symbolizing and emphasizing the tremendous impact this vehicle would have on the company. Like the T before it, the A offered wide variety of options and trim levels, beginning with the Roadster at $385 and ending with the top-of-the-line Town Car at $1,400. Like its predecessor, the Model A had a four-cylinder L-head engine and semi-elliptic front and rear transverse springs. Aside from that, the Model A was comprised of over a thousand more additional parts and components than the T. For starters, the water-cooled side-valve engine of the Model A offered 40 horsepower, twice that of its precursor, and could attain a top speed of 65 miles per hour. The often difficult and fussy magneto starting system was replaced with a conventional battery ignition, and the planetary transmission gave way to a sliding gear three-speed unit. Model As also included a brand-new stopping system which included a brake on each wheel. While exterior features did maintain a link with those of the Model T, larger tires and a high belt line showed that obvious design influence from Lincoln was used in the A. Other new attributes included a wider variety of interesting color choices and competitively marked sales prices. Ford priced the its new machine at just $450, and over the next four years it would produce 4.8 million despite the prolonged economic issues hampering the U.S. economy. After its first two years in production the Model A received a face-lift for 1930. Additionally, wider tires were mounted to smaller-diameter 19-inch wheels and being mildly restyled with larger mudguards giving the car a lower, more modern look. The consumer response to these changes was evident on the sales floor, and Ford outsold Chevrolet two-to-one in 1929 and 1930 with more than 1.4 million cars sold.

This good-looking, Deluxe Rumble Seat Roadster represents the top-of-the-line offering for the Model A in the 1931 model year. Subject to a thorough restoration done to a high level in the late 1990s, it is finished in the lovely combination of green with Apple Green pinstripes and wheels, and black fenders. The chrome was also restored and shines brightly, and an auxiliary black luggage case is finished to a similar standard. Side-mounted spares adorn both the left and right fenders with all four wire wheels dressed in the appropriate whitewall tires. The brown leatherette interior syndicates perfectly with the green exterior while the fresh, clean, and crisp tan top finishes off the look of the quintessential early ‘30s motorcar. Originally sold in Pennsylvania, this A was purchased from its original owner around and first restored in 1960. Since then, it remained in the same family until another restoration in the late 1990s which has held up with astounding hardiness. With the quality of the exterior and interior restoration, it is likely to have been mechanically finished to a level equivalent to its cosmetics.

These cars are acknowledged as being easy and fun to drive, cheap to maintain, and are backed by numerous enthusiast clubs. Because of its influence and timelessness, Ford’s Model A continues to be one of the recurrent favorites of the classic car collecting hobby. Whether being acquired as a gateway purchase into the field of motoring or an addition to a collection, it's not easy to beat the style, design and value of the Ford Model A Deluxe Roadster.