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The original Ford Model A is the first car produced by Ford, beginning production in 1903. Ernest Pfennig, a Chicago dentist, became the first owner of a Model A on July 23, 1903. 1,750 cars were made from 1903 through 1904 during Ford's occupancy of its first facility: the Ford Mack Avenue Plant, a modest rented wood frame building on Detroit's East Side. The Model A was replaced by the Ford Model C during 1904 with some sales overlap.

Ford Model A
1903-ford-rc.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Ford
Also called Fordmobile
Ford Model AC
Production 1903–1904
Designer Henry Ford
Body and chassis
Body style 2-seat runabout
rear-entry 4-seat tonneau
Powertrain
Engine Flat-2 1668 cc (101.788 cu in) 8hp.
Transmission 2-speed planetary
Dimensions
Wheelbase 72 in (1.8 m)
Curb weight 1,240 lb (562 kg)
Chronology
Predecessor Ford Quadricycle
Successor Ford Model B
Ford Model C

The original Ford Model A is the first car produced by Ford, beginning production in 1903. Ernest Pfennig, a Chicago dentist, became the first owner of a Model A on July 23, 1903. 1,750 cars were made from 1903 through 1904 during Ford's occupancy of its first facility: the Ford Mack Avenue Plant, a modest rented wood frame building on Detroit's East Side. The Model A was replaced by the Ford Model C during 1904 with some sales overlap.

Ad for the Model A from a December 15, 1903 newspaper

The car came as a two-seater runabout for $800 or the $900 four-seater tonneau model with an option to add a top. The horizontal-mounted flat-2, situated amidships of the car, produced 8 hp (6 kW). A planetary transmission was fitted with two forward speeds and reverse, a Ford signature later seen on the Ford Model T. The car weighed 1,240 lb (562 kg) and could reach a top speed of 28 mph (45 km/h). It had a 72-inch (1.8 m) wheelbase and sold for a base price of US$750. Options included a rear tonneau with two seats and a rear door for $100, a rubber roof for $30 or a leather roof for $50. Band brakes were used on the rear wheels. However, it was $150 more than its most direct competitor, the Oldsmobile Curved Dash, and so did not sell as well.

The company had spent almost its entire $28,000 initial investment funds with only $223.65 left in its bank account when the first Model A was sold. The success of this car model generated a profit for the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford's first successful business.

Although Ford advertised the Model A as the "most reliable machine in the world", it suffered from many problems common to vehicles of the era, including overheating and slipping transmission bands. The Model A was sold only in red by the factory, though some were later repainted in other colors.