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Old 07-29-2019, 09:37 AM   #1
dean from bozeman
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Default How much better was the last Model A than the first?

For a couple days now I have been getting A495 ready for Dearborn. Freed from its trailer, I enjoy sitting next to it each night and reminiscing about the folks who have helped along the way. I think about the places I found all those very rare parts.

Then I thought, this Phaeton has many, many parts and features that were changed to improve the Model A. Side by side how would A495 theoretically "compete" with one of the last Model A's built? Over 4.8 million Model A's were made. The Service Bulletins are full of changes.

My question for this thread is...How much better was the last Model A than the first?
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:49 AM   #2
Jim Brierley
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Default Re: How much better was the last Model A than the first?

The Auzzies call the 30-31's "the improved Model A". Clutch and motor mounts are the most obvious improvements over early ones. The bigger radiator, to me, is the best improvement.
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Old 07-29-2019, 11:51 AM   #3
Jeff/Illinois
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Default Re: How much better was the last Model A than the first?

My wife's grandfather drove nothing but Model A Fords from new up into the early 50's. He owned Model A's from each year, and always said that the 1930 Models were by far the best Model A Fords produced. Those are the ones he'd seek out to own.

----Stainless Steel for bright work vs. nickel plate
----Single disc clutch vs '28's multiple disc
----19" wheels and tires gave the car a stronger stance and better handling
----2 tooth steering sector
----Style. The swooping fenders, smoothed over cowl, belt reveals the entire
length of the car, taller radiator and hood transferred into the
1932 Ford, and those things are so sought after for their beauty it is
unreal and the prices are sky high
----'Beefier' feeling steering wheel
----improved selection of colors
----wider doors on the Roadsters
----folding w/s on the Dlx. Roadsters
----fender welled spare from the factory on Dlx. models

and numerous running improvements. Ford kept the quality high and higher with the best materials available, and continued to hold the line on price.

Good thread I'm anxious to hear what others say Of course I do love them all, not to take away from the '28-'29's I liked our '29 Tudor it was a great car.
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Old 07-29-2019, 12:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: How much better was the last Model A than the first?

31 slant windshield fordor is the best Model A built IMHO
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Old 07-29-2019, 12:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: How much better was the last Model A than the first?

'31 Budd Closed Cab PivUps
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Old 07-29-2019, 12:22 PM   #6
Chuck Dempsey
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Default Re: How much better was the last Model A than the first?

I believe the early 1928 Pheatons did NOT have outside door handles. An obvious improvement.....
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Old 07-29-2019, 01:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: How much better was the last Model A than the first?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Dempsey View Post
I believe the early 1928 Pheatons did NOT have outside door handles. An obvious improvement.....
Roadsters too until late 28.
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Old 07-29-2019, 01:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: How much better was the last Model A than the first?

I think the braking system is a big one, independent vs dependent emergency brakes.
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Old 07-29-2019, 02:17 PM   #9
Don Turley
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Default Re: How much better was the last Model A than the first?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldbluoval View Post
31 slant windshield fordor is the best Model A built IMHO

I agree.
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Old 07-29-2019, 06:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: How much better was the last Model A than the first?

Ford reduced forgings and cheapened the car through production time cuts from 28 to 31,some things got better,as mentioned above..But they held the true advancements till 1932.
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Old 07-29-2019, 06:50 PM   #11
dean from bozeman
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Default Re: How much better was the last Model A than the first?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrs1961815 View Post
I think the braking system is a big one, independent vs dependent emergency brakes.
I agree. The braking system change within the first half year of '28 was perhaps the biggest change of all mechanically. At first I didn't understand what the big deal was, that is until an old timer related to me a story of when his emergency lever ratcheted into the engaged position as he went down a bumpy hill. When the four wheels locked on him they made him spin around through an intersection. Sounds like a Laurel and hardy episode.

It would be interesting to find out how diligent, or if, Ford would have addressed the problem if Pennsylvania and other states did not object to the dependent emergency brake.
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:28 PM   #12
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Default Re: How much better was the last Model A than the first?

Having driven all the years and various models from roadsters to fordors, it is hard to beat a slant window fordor for comfort and road ability. My friends original low mileage 1932 tudor drives just a little better than my restored slant window town sedan.
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:51 PM   #13
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Default Re: How much better was the last Model A than the first?

Reinforcing ribs added and modified in the block, flywheel housing, banjo. As time progressed they learned where the vehicles on the road developed cracks.
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Old 07-29-2019, 08:18 PM   #14
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Default Re: How much better was the last Model A than the first?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldbluoval View Post
31 slant windshield fordor is the best Model A built IMHO
spot on !!!!
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:18 AM   #15
Gary Karr
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Default Re: How much better was the last Model A than the first?

After just finishing a sever year restoration on a very early '28, I can say that there were certainly many places for improvements to the early cars. I believe that changes were made to increase quality and strength of parts, improve serviceability, and reduce time and costs of assembly. There were also many changes made to reduce the costs of manufacturing.
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Old 07-30-2019, 10:39 AM   #16
Roger Green
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Default Re: How much better was the last Model A than the first?

I have 3 Townsedans: '29, '30 & '31 slant windshield, indented firewall; of the 3, I like the '31 the best. This not objective, just my feelings.
Random ROG
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Old 07-30-2019, 05:22 PM   #17
dean from bozeman
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Default Re: How much better was the last Model A than the first?

Many of the differences were incremental but overall was there a performance difference. I'm not asking what body style or what year you like the best but was there any noticeable difference in how they performed?

Did the later vehicles cool better because they had a larger radiator? Did a change in the differential ratio make a difference? Or was it a 4 year run for a relatively unchanged vehicle?
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Old 07-30-2019, 05:44 PM   #18
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Default Re: How much better was the last Model A than the first?

28 to feb29 roadster, phaeton did not have outside door handles. (1st outside handles started appearing in late 28)
28 thru 29 open cab pickups did not have outside door handles.


I do not see the big deal about reaching inside to open the door on an open car, I mean it's right there, not that difficult.
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Old 07-30-2019, 06:01 PM   #19
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Default Re: How much better was the last Model A than the first?

The early 1928 cars may have had a higher top speed than later models, with a 3.70 rear axle, taller tires, 4.3/1 compression versus the 1930-31 head with 4.1/1 compression. Your mileage may vary.
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Old 07-30-2019, 06:22 PM   #20
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Default Re: How much better was the last Model A than the first?

Hello I agree with the S/W 1931 Sedan were the nicest looking of all ,Bonnie and Clyde even stole one!!
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