PERSPECTIVE 2000: Ford unveils Edsel's Model A
It was one of Edsel's few victories over his father. It was clear the Model T had to go. Buyers wanted something new and modern. More importantly, Chevrolet sales were growing, although Chevy was not really a threat. Ford's plants closed at the end of May 1927, and the first Model A was assembled Oct. 20.
The Dec. 1, 1927, issue was the "Model A issue" of Automotive Daily News. Every facet and feature of the car was examined in detail. It was, after all, the most important product story for an industry that was reshaping American life.
On Dec. 5, Automotive Daily News reported, "Mobs storm new Ford 'A' exhibitions in New York, Detroit and all of U.S." The crowd in New York was put at 50,000, and the welcome was compared with "the stir made by the return to America of Col. Charles A. Lindbergh last June" after Lindbergh's solo trans-Atlantic flight. The Detroit turnout was estimated at 125,000 at Convention Hall and nearly 50,000 more at the Highland Park plant and at dealerships.
Prices of the 1928 Model A ranged from $385 to $570, just $35 or less above the Model T.
The Model A was on the market in the 1928-31 model years. Chevy topped the sales chart in 1928, but Ford regained its lead in 1929-30 before Chevrolet moved ahead in 1931. The Model A marked the beginning of product development at Ford, and that is its greatest legacy. It brought Ford into the modern automobile world.