The worlds oldest Ford vehicle has returned home to kick off the Henry Ford 150th Celebration in 2013
A key part of Ford Motor Company’s heritage returned home as a Model A built in 1903 is again with the Ford family, kicking off the yearlong celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of company founder Henry Ford.
Considered the oldest surviving Ford vehicle, the 1903 Model A was unveiled on December 11th to Ford Motor Company employees by Executive Chairman Bill Ford, who purchased the vehicle at an auction in October.
“The timing was perfect to bring this key part of Ford heritage back to the family as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of my great-grandfather’s birth and his vision to improve people’s lives by making cars affordable for the average family,” said Bill Ford. “His vision to build cars that are reasonably priced, reliable and efficient still resonates and defines our vision today as well.”
MotorCities National Heritage Area and the Henry Ford Heritage Association teamed up with more than 30 Henry Ford-related collaborators to coordinate the yearlong celebration of events. These activities, highlighting Ford’s legacy, contributions and influence, include tours, educational programming, dramatic re-enactments, lectures, integration and special events at auto shows and more.
A dedicated website, www.henryford150.com, also launched the same day that includes an interactive timeline of Ford’s life, tours, a calendar of 2013 events and information about efforts to preserve Henry Ford’s heritage.
The role of the Model A
The Model A that returned home played a pivotal role in Ford Motor Company history.
In July 1903, Henry Ford faced a daunting situation: The Company’s cash balance stood at less than $250. A much-needed cash infusion arrived on July 13, 1903: One full payment and two deposits totaling $1,320 for three Model A cars kept Ford Motor Company afloat.
The car revealed on December 11th is a red 1903 Model A Rear Entry Tonneau. It is believed to be car No. 3, chassis No. 30, and the lone survivor of the group of three Model A cars sold on that day. The vehicle was auctioned through RM Auctions in October in Hershey, Pa.
“The Model A helped keep our company going during a difficult time and enabled my great-grandfather to continue pursuing his vision of putting the world on wheels,” said Bill Ford. “We look forward to carrying that same spirit of innovation forward as we develop new technologies for safer, cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles.”