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Old 09-27-2019, 06:07 PM   #1
FrankWest
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Default 1931 model A performance

Let's say it's 1931 and I am buying a new model A. What type of typical driving
speed would I be looking at?
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Old 09-27-2019, 06:56 PM   #2
Bob C
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Default Re: 1931 model A performance

Ford said this at the announcement of the new Ford. "The new Ford will ride comfortably at fifty and sixty miles an hour. It has actually done sixty-five miles an hour in road test."



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Old 09-27-2019, 07:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1931 model A performance

Typically 45 to 50 is a comfortable speed. Watch this thread... you'll have people declaring that 65 - 85 is what they do, ALL DAY. Yeah right. Just the aerodynamics alone make that stupid.
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Old 09-27-2019, 08:26 PM   #4
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: 1931 model A performance

You would probably accept the verbiage that was printed in the sales brochure. If you were hesitant to believe that claim, your salesman would proudly demonstrate this to you..
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Old 09-27-2019, 09:54 PM   #5
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Re: 1931 model A performance

I like back roads and 40 to 45 for cruising around. If I want to go faster, then I'll add a 3.27 ratio ring and pinion, plus a 5.5 compression head.
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Old 09-27-2019, 10:01 PM   #6
Mike V. Florida
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Default Re: 1931 model A performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by eagle View Post
Typically 45 to 50 is a comfortable speed. .

The sweet spot for my A seemed to be about that.
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Old 09-27-2019, 10:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1931 model A performance

Don't forget the question under consideration here: "Let's say it's 1931 and....". So how we drive our A's today is not the point! It's how they were used and driven in 1931! The A was not a hobbyist's toy back then. It was more a tool, almost a necessity, to get from point A to point B as quickly and efficiently as possible during the week (on Sunday you could slow down and smell the flowers). So if the road was good enough to allow for 60-65 MPH, I'm sure A's were often going 60-65 MPH. Those were Depression years, so you didn't toodle aimlessly down back roads in your A.
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Old 09-27-2019, 10:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1931 model A performance

With a 3:54 rear end and a Mitchell 26% overdrive on 600 X 16 tires and hydraulic brakes, I find I can stand a long day doing 55 MPH on the freeways here in Calif. I have driven from Danville (SF Bay area) to Chula Vista in one day and also the return in one day. Was a long 14 hr. Day each way. A tad over 600 down and 550 back, Hwy 1, Vs Hwy 101, with a couple of side trips to view sea and lakes. Car will do it all day and night, I, at 83 years of age, can't.
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Old 09-27-2019, 10:17 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1931 model A performance

How fast to go isn't nearly as relevant as how fast can one stop given the Model A's mechanical brakes compared to the ubiquitous disc brakes on all the other cars on the road. Think about it.
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Old 09-27-2019, 10:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1931 model A performance

Given that there were no freeways in those days, plus lots of older, much slower cars, even though a Model A could go 65, I tend to doubt that was seen much in every day driving.
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Old 09-27-2019, 10:37 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1931 model A performance

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Given that there were no freeways in those days, plus lots of older, much slower cars, even though a Model A could go 65, I tend to doubt that was seen much in every day driving.
I think it should also be remembered that there were still plenty of horses on the roads then.
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Old 09-27-2019, 11:24 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1931 model A performance

My car loves 40mph. 45 and over it starts to complain, and I haven’t tried to get her above 55. Then again I daily in Chicago city traffic, and rarely get over 20 anyway!
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Old 09-27-2019, 11:29 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1931 model A performance

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Given that there were no freeways in those days, plus lots of older, much slower cars, even though a Model A could go 65, I tend to doubt that was seen much in every day driving.
Maybe after the bank job!
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Old 09-28-2019, 12:17 AM   #14
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: 1931 model A performance

A lot of the customers that I have worked on their mercedes have told me they had a model a in college, that they drove in the 55-65 range "all the time"---but the average time was low because they had to stop for oil every 100 miles---used oil

my own experience is that a bad rebuilt engine had trouble with 55,poor fuel mileage (15 mpg) rebuilt closer to original specifications I found that 65 all day was possible, along with good fuel mileage ---over 20 mpg at those speeds with stock head and rear ratio
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Old 09-28-2019, 03:33 AM   #15
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: 1931 model A performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by RB_Nielsen View Post
How fast to go isn't nearly as relevant as how fast can one stop given the Model A's mechanical brakes compared to the ubiquitous disc brakes on all the other cars on the road. Think about it.

So let me get this straight, ...you are trying to convince us/me that in 1931 all other cars on the road had disc brakes? I say that is total BS ...just like the BS about having a Mitchell overdrive in 1931, -or horses everywhere on the roads in 1931.
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Old 09-28-2019, 05:53 AM   #16
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Default Re: 1931 model A performance

Someone at a car show last night asked me how fast 0 to 60. I replied "Oh, maybe 4 to 5 - days!" "Seriously, I don't know, I've never driven my "A" at 60 MPH."
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Old 09-28-2019, 07:24 AM   #17
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Default Re: 1931 model A performance

An old mechanic that worked on my first car, a 1934 Ford Tudor, back in the 50's gave me a word of advice. "Up to 60mph you are driving the car, above 60 you are aiming it". Probably trying to save the life of another reckless teenager.
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Old 09-28-2019, 08:12 AM   #18
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Default Re: 1931 model A performance

I have several photos my friend gave me of his grandfathers coupe he dilivered Mail with. He is axle deep in many of them with a shovel sticking in the muck in front of the car. I found one photo of the Blue Ridge Parkway being constructed in 1936 and just over the hill my dad (now passed) was two years old in the shack he grew up in. You can clearly see what is the main road through that area now. I would describe it as a decent logging road. Very very little 60 mph stuff happening in this area back then. But it wouldn't be long until moonshine needed to get moved pretty fast.
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Old 09-28-2019, 11:00 AM   #19
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Default Re: 1931 model A performance

There was very little 60 mph driving in the 30s. The roads weren't up to it. A salesman driving one on probably the only paved road in the town he was trying to sell the car in was taken to 60 just to show the prospective buyer it would go that fast.
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Old 09-28-2019, 11:03 AM   #20
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Default Re: 1931 model A performance

I agree .
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