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Old 07-27-2021, 07:14 AM   #21
77Birdman
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Default Re: Model A Town Car

Does anyone know the total production of the town car? I have seen a few restored examples in print and there may have been a link or 2 on here regarding one in very rough condition that needed restored. I have yet to see one in person I think. Very neat, attractive auto. I suppose it was marketed for the executive that didnt want to seem to ostentatious.
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Old 07-27-2021, 07:41 AM   #22
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I believe a little over 1000 were sold and they were sold on Lincoln lots only........

this was Edsels baby.
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Old 07-27-2021, 09:39 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by 77Birdman View Post
Does anyone know the total production of the town car? I have seen a few restored examples in print and there may have been a link or 2 on here regarding one in very rough condition that needed restored. I have yet to see one in person I think. Very neat, attractive auto. I suppose it was marketed for the executive that didn't want to seem to ostentatious.
1928 - 89
1929 - 1013
1930 - 96
Total of 1198

The initial prototype town car was bodied by Lebaron, one of those survives today in original condition (minus a 70's era repaint).

The cars were marketed as a mid-price luxury vehicle and most of the advertising that Ford did for the Town Car was aimed at women. The cars did not sell very well. Before the stock market crash most people probably looked down on it as "just a Ford" and after the crash the town car body style quickly fell out of favor as it seemed to be an extravagant show of wealth in a tough time. There are stories of dealers who had these cars forced onto them constructing a roof above the driver and removing the partition as it was easier to sell as a Fordor than a chauffeur driven car.

Town Cars were sold at Ford Dealers as well as in Lincoln showrooms alongside those cars.

Due to low sales Ford cancelled the contract it had with Briggs for bodies and refused to take delivery of already completed bodies. Some pictures exist of these unused Briggs bodies repurposed onto other makes' chassis, I believe the photos I saw were on a Chrysler chassis.

The 1930 Town Cars were just '29 bodies adapted to fit a '30 cowl and doors and were really just trying to use up the bodies Ford had on hand.

This image shows how far a Town Car could fall in 4 short years. The image, dated 1933, shows a rough and beaten Town car that looks to have been converted to a delivery vehicle.

DW-1933-12-30-138-02-X3.jpg

Capture.jpg
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Old 07-27-2021, 10:09 AM   #24
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Minor / Major correction Tim, Briggs made the Town car bodies.

Interesting production item, it appears that all the Briggs wood subframes where the same for the '28 Fordor, '29 Cabriolet & '29 Town Car.

Creative, those guys at Briggs Body company.
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Old 07-27-2021, 01:17 PM   #25
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Is the body, from the cowl back, made of aluminum? Had a friend who in the late 60's found one but didn't buy it cause it was all steel. He thought it was a reworked sedan.
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Old 07-27-2021, 01:24 PM   #26
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WTS- having read that these were only sold on Lincoln lots- what is your source indicating they were also sold on Ford lots?

thanks
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:06 PM   #27
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WTS- having read that these were only sold on Lincoln lots- what is your source indicating they were also sold on Ford lots?

thanks
I've heard and read the same but I've also heard other versions of it. That it was a Lincoln exclusive at first but then poor sales (and gripes from Lincoln) lead to Ford moving them into Ford showrooms.

In The Ford Model A As Henry Built It they state

"The original sales policy was to sell the Town Car through Lincoln dealers only, but in February, 1929, it was changed to include select Ford Dealers"

It further explains that due to lagging sales in April 1929 the home sales office in Dearborn sent a strong letter to dealers chastising them for poor sales.

Newspaper articles at the time seem to indicate that in February and March of 1929 there was a travelling Lincoln Salon showcasing all the new Lincoln cars and that the Ford Town Car was displayed alongside them at these shows. But there are also pictures and newspaper ads for Ford dealers displaying the Town Car alongside other Model A options around the same time.

As far as I know there is at least one image of a Model A Town Car on display at a Lincoln dealer.

Attached is a newspaper photo from the Dade Motor Company in Miami alongside other 1929 Model A's including a tudor, roadster, phaeton, and possible a fordor.

-Tim
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ryan-motor_showroom.jpg (80.4 KB, 39 views)
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Old 07-27-2021, 02:07 PM   #28
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Model A Town Cars were initially sold at Lincoln dealers for $1400.00. In Feb 1929 certain Ford dealers also sold the Town Cars. Initial order in 1928 was for Briggs to build 2500 Town Cars. Briggs expected to produce 1500 bodies by April 1929. By Sep 1929 the sales were so bad that Ford cancelled the order. Late in 1929 Ford dropped the price to $1200. There were 1198 Model A Town Cars produced. 89 in 1928, 1013 in 1929 and 96 in 1930. Of all the known Town Cars none appear to have been made after April 1929. The 1930 Town Cars were made from leftover 1929 Town Car bodies. The hood, cowl and front doors were replaced with reworked parts from 1930 Fodors (Town Sedans). There was some aluminum body pieces used in the Town Cars. The front doors had pillars of aluminum and the rear corners of the body were capped with an aluminum cap. The rest of the body was steel.



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Old 07-27-2021, 02:30 PM   #29
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One theory has it that all the Town car bodies where built between Nov. '28 thru February '29 and stored until needed. These build dates are backed up by the gas tank dates.

Initially all the bodies where painted black. If a Town Car was ordered in a color, it was simple to paint the lower sides & top of the hood in color. (January1929 Service Bulletins)
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Old 07-28-2021, 12:59 AM   #30
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I can not find in the January service bulletins where it says "Initially all the bodies where painted black. If a Town Car was ordered in a color, it was simple to paint the lower sides & top of the hood in color." Page 310 lists the color combinations but does not say anything about the bodies initially painted black.


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Old 07-28-2021, 04:31 AM   #31
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It looks like they were trying to make this one into a Hearse?
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Old 07-28-2021, 06:37 AM   #32
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Great info! thanks Tim and Bob. always like reading more about these.....

Ill take that hearse and raise you a hearse! Looks like it was used in a logging camp!
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Old 07-28-2021, 07:02 AM   #33
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Bob,

Consider the Town Car production from the point of view of Briggs. Ford's order was small (based on Brigg's capacity) and production was done in batches over four months. Fastest & easiest method would be to paint all the bodies black. Notice that on painted bodies that the interior door jams, interior & exterior cowl, and upper body remained black.

Examine a Briggs built Bronson Yellow Cabriolet. It actually starts as a Seal Brown body inside & out, later having the sides painted yellow. Making a profit from Ford required streamlining production methods.

The January 1929 Service Bulletin is significant as it describes the paint color layout. Some time in the late 1970's a Town Car was painted with the top of the gas tank & hood black to appease the owner's taste but is not Ford / Briggs correct.

Briggs production records are long lost, the paint considerations are from Tim Kelly's research.
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Old 07-28-2021, 08:47 AM   #34
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It looks like they were trying to make this one into a Hearse?
The notes with the picture state it was being used by a plumbing company.
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Old 07-28-2021, 01:05 PM   #35
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Default Re: Model A Town Car

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One theory has it that all the Town car bodies where built between Nov. '28 thru February '29 and stored until needed. These build dates are backed up by the gas tank dates.

Initially all the bodies where painted black. If a Town Car was ordered in a color, it was simple to paint the lower sides & top of the hood in color. (January1929 Service Bulletins)
Interesting information JB. That explains why the one we're working on has a Jan 22, 1929 fuel tank date stamp and is a July '29 Town Car.
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Old 07-29-2021, 04:51 PM   #36
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Thank you so much for the great photos of this very unique and rare Model A. I am very proud Ford Motor Company sold these great vehicles.
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