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Old 08-28-2012, 01:38 PM   #1
Popeye31
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Default Where are the Model A concept cars?

Did ford build a concept car for the Model A . there are alot of guys that get fussy about building an Av8 did ford make a Av8 concept car . I know the Flat head v8 wasn't just pulled out of thin air there had to be testing and what vehicals did he put it in for the testing . are there any concept vehicals still out there and if there are what would it have looked like?
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: Where are the Model A concept cars?

Unfortunately I think most (all) of the 1927 and older Model A prototype vehicles were destroyed. I've read that the first 200 cars were produced for testing and promotional purposes. After that, it seems they were returned to Ford and either reworked or scrapped (it seems, eventually, mostly scrapped). This is/was pretty common practice as manufacturers do not want underdeveloped, untested, and unproven parts and cars in circulation. During the 1920's Ford did experiment with some concept engines, and I think some of those exist at the Henry Ford Museum. There are some later prototype Model A bodies out there, though. I know there is a town car and I've heard of a 1930 three-window coupe.

There has been some discussion on Model A production engine #1. I recall reading this was installed in a Tudor for testing, but later installed in a phaeton that was given to Thomas Edison. I recall that car now resides at the Henry Ford Museum. However, there is a lot of uncertainty in this "history" and folklore.

Don't take my work for it. Others may have better information.
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Where are the Model A concept cars?

On the A-V8 or flathead prototypes, I think I read somewhere that some of the several generations of flathead prototypes were tested in modified Model A chassis. I think I would class such vehicles as test mules rather than as prototypes...they were just tools used to give the engines a run, not meant in any way to suggest the next generation vehicle concept. X8s were I think tested it T's!
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Where are the Model A concept cars?

Here is a Straight Windshield 3 Window



A Slant Windshield 3 Window





There was also some pictures of a prototype Taxi.

Here is an early '28 Prototype Town Car.


-Tim
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: Where are the Model A concept cars?

The proposed 3 window coupes look surprisingly like a Chevy coupe of the same vintage.
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Where are the Model A concept cars?

I saw an article about a prototype in the Literary Digest Magazine somewhere in the changeover time from T to A. The article said two guys in the car stopped for lunch at some country-type restaurant and someone took a photo of the car parked outside while the men were inside. The article was captioned something like 'Is This The New Ford Car?". Surely similar photos/articles appeared in newspapers during that time frame.
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: Where are the Model A concept cars?

Did they post it on Facebook?
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Where are the Model A concept cars?

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V8 wheels?
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Where are the Model A concept cars?

I had read in a Model A book that the first few hundred bodies made were scrapped because they had lots of problems with the stampings fitting together. Apparently, this slowed the release of completed cars to the dealers and they had no cars to display to potential customers considering ordering one. I wonder if some of the prototypes were ordered scrapped by Henry for similar reasons?
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:46 AM   #10
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Default Re: Where are the Model A concept cars?

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Originally Posted by modeleh View Post
I had read in a Model A book that the first few hundred bodies made were scrapped because they had lots of problems with the stampings fitting together. Apparently, this slowed the release of completed cars to the dealers and they had no cars to display to potential customers considering ordering one. I wonder if some of the prototypes were ordered scrapped by Henry for similar reasons?
Sounds like one of the old stories [ which Model A book?] but there would have been many engine, gearbox & chassis problems to overcome plus all new tooling for a new model production. Ford had virtually unlimited funds & resourses to overcome them all in a reasonable time for the era. Also, a big setback for Ford was having to redesign the factory layouts for Model A production whch was planned on a one level assembly system as opposed to Model T which was multi level assembly.
Mr D.. Person, that surviving 3W coupe has many changes done over the years ; it had a B engine, so B wheels would be usual. Had horrible bumper guards on it too, but it must have been the one used by Edsel in '31.
My 2c worth.
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:23 AM   #11
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Default Re: Where are the Model A concept cars?

I think Chevy actually had a v8 before Ford. I was at a museum and saw an engine described as a Chevy v8. Seems like it was a 29. This was when I was a small child. I think I read about it a few years later.
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:52 AM   #12
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Default Re: Where are the Model A concept cars?

I might be wrong, but didn't Ford have a ohv v8 in 1917. Seems I remember reading about one. Probably a prototype.

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Old 09-01-2012, 07:56 AM   #13
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Default Re: Where are the Model A concept cars?

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Originally Posted by sturgis 39 View Post
I think Chevy actually had a v8 before Ford. I was at a museum and saw an engine described as a Chevy v8. Seems like it was a 29. This was when I was a small child. I think I read about it a few years later.
Chevy had a V8 in 1917, an air cooled in 1923, and the famous stove bolt 6 in 1929.
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:08 AM   #14
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Default Re: Where are the Model A concept cars?

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Sounds like one of the old stories [ which Model A book?] but there would have been many engine, gearbox & chassis problems to overcome plus all new tooling for a new model production. Ford had virtually unlimited funds & resourses to overcome them all in a reasonable time for the era. Also, a big setback for Ford was having to redesign the factory layouts for Model A production whch was planned on a one level assembly system as opposed to Model T which was multi level assembly.
Mr D.. Person, that surviving 3W coupe has many changes done over the years ; it had a B engine, so B wheels would be usual. Had horrible bumper guards on it too, but it must have been the one used by Edsel in '31.
My 2c worth.
Tudortomnz, the book is titled "Ford the complete history" published 1990, page 81.
Here is how is reads, I won't lose any sleep if you aren't convinced. All books are just "old stories" as you say, and unless you were there you have a right not to believe them I suppose.

"Henry often made up for his technical and educational shortcomings by overwhelming a problem with men and machines. Theodore Gehle recalls how this even rubbed off on Henry's chief lieutenant. Gehle worked in Ford's Pressed Steel Department as the first Model A bodies painfully took shape in mid 1927: "Mr.Sorensen said, 'Now you go down and you just live there until you get the first bodies out. When you see daylight for the first bodies, why, you just let me know' The quarter panel was what was holding up the bodies most, and fenders were second." As one of the company's experienced production experts, Gehle worked virtually around the clock trying to straighten out the kinks. At last he reported to Sorensen that while he wasn't having much luck, he did have an idea: "I suggest you order Pressed Steel to run off 100 sets of stampings, the best they can make. Some of these are going to be horrible. Then order the Body Plant to build 100 bodies with these sets of stampings. They will probably have to be scrapped, but it will give them knowledge. By relaying information back and forth between departments maybe out of the next 100 bodies you will get a good one." Gehle was amazed that the headstrong Sorensen went along with it: "These first 100 bodies were assembled and scrapped. On the next 100 bodies we saved about 10. From there we started Model A production, the bodies having been the bottleneck." "
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: Where are the Model A concept cars?

Since 1920 Henry try to development a revolutionary car with a x8 engine to replace the model T.
The model A was your intermediate plan...
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:43 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by modeleh View Post
Tudortomnz, the book is titled "Ford the complete history" published 1990, page 81.
Here is how is reads, I won't lose any sleep if you aren't convinced. All books are just "old stories" as you say, and unless you were there you have a right not to believe them I suppose.

"Henry often made up for his technical and educational shortcomings by overwhelming a problem with men and machines. Theodore Gehle recalls how this even rubbed off on Henry's chief lieutenant. Gehle worked in Ford's Pressed Steel Department as the first Model A bodies painfully took shape in mid 1927: "Mr.Sorensen said, 'Now you go down and you just live there until you get the first bodies out. When you see daylight for the first bodies, why, you just let me know' The quarter panel was what was holding up the bodies most, and fenders were second." As one of the company's experienced production experts, Gehle worked virtually around the clock trying to straighten out the kinks. At last he reported to Sorensen that while he wasn't having much luck, he did have an idea: "I suggest you order Pressed Steel to run off 100 sets of stampings, the best they can make. Some of these are going to be horrible. Then order the Body Plant to build 100 bodies with these sets of stampings. They will probably have to be scrapped, but it will give them knowledge. By relaying information back and forth between departments maybe out of the next 100 bodies you will get a good one." Gehle was amazed that the headstrong Sorensen went along with it: "These first 100 bodies were assembled and scrapped. On the next 100 bodies we saved about 10. From there we started Model A production, the bodies having been the bottleneck." "
I'm sure there were problems in production, But this strikes me a bit odd for a couple of reasons-

1) Ford bought Keim Mills in the early days of the company mainly because the technology and tooling they owned could produce deep drawn metal stampings which were a serious bottleneck on Model T's. (The Model T oil pan is one large piece that covered the bottom of the motor and the transmission).

2) I would think the fenders would be more of a problem than the body. The Model A used front fenders stamped from one piece of steel, compared to the Model T which the front fenders were made from multiple pieces of steel then crimped and riveted together.

I'm sure the above was taken from Gehle's Reminisces on file at the Ford Archives. One thing to keep in mind, these reminisces were taken in the 1950s, and while they do provide a fascinating insight to things behind the scenes at Ford Motor, they can't be considered gospel due to the amount of time between the actual event and the time each person was interviewed.

Ironically, these interviews took place in Henry & Clara Ford's bedroom at Fair Lane when it was converted to the Ford Archives in the early 1950s.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:11 PM   #17
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Default Re: Where are the Model A concept cars?

Man I was talking to a guy in mississippi the other day when i went to pick up a cowl and he was talking about a guy that had a 3 window coupe in a field somwhere close to him said it was prity rusty and the guy wanted $300 for it. I told him it was probably a home build . Im going to have to go back and see if its still there. thanks for the info
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:37 PM   #19
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Default Re: Where are the Model A concept cars?

Perhaps Henry tried too hard to create a car so radical that was lost in the attempt, the time passed and soon realized that Model T had become obsolete by then.
In his attempt to achieve his dream tried several configurations, perhaps the most popular was the X-8. He was attracted to short crankshafts, and he was afraid of long crankshafts used by the inline 6-cylinder engines.
With the invention of this revolutionary car Henry planned to produce the same or a greater impact than the Model T when it was released, a huge success that none of its competitors could beat.
By the end of 1926 Edsel and some executives of the Ford Motor Company tried to convince Ford that's the model T was lost popularity.
Ford said "" Now, we do not want to abandon the X-8
engine. That's something for the future. But now we've got to design a car for the market, a four cylinder one "
Now the engineers work in the development of the model A Ford.
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:51 PM   #20
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