Henry the Truck - Issue 9
Last updated 4/26/2016 at 6:16am
Vol. 63, No. 9 Borrego Springs, California April 24, 2014
HENRY the Truck
The Model A
Henry Ford’s next generation automobile was the Model A. It was a much more sophisticated car than the Model T. It had a lot of refinements over and above the Ts. Four wheel (mechanical) drum brakes, better lights, a normal clutch, brake pedal and a foot feed pedal. They also had a choice of four standard colors to pick from. The Model As went from 1928 through 1931. The ’28 and ’29 were the same to look at, and the ’30 and ’31 had different front fenders and a taller cowl that sported a stainless trim, with cowl lights. All four years had a similar look that let you know they were Fords. This generation of Fords also began the ‘standard’ and ‘deluxe’ model of vehicles. The deluxe models would have things like two tail lights, two wipers, two horns, etc.
By now other car companies had mastered Ford’s production methods. GM’s Chevrolet was giving Ford a run for the money with more horse power, more colors of paint and other ‘vanity’ items Henry Ford deemed unnecessary.
Times were changing, and Ford (on into the thirties) would have to make the ‘vanity’ changes to compete. There were more than fourteen different body styles, from a sport coupe, to a station wagon. Many of these body styles can be seen today in restored and hot rod versions. From the early ’40s to today the Model A is a popular car to hotrod and customize. Friday Cruise Night in Escondido is a great place to see Henry’s Model A in stock and custom attire from April through September. I can be found there also!
A feature found on some of the early Model As was that after you got into third gear, you could pull up on the (floor) shift lever and lay it against the steering column to give more room for a center passenger. Forty, or so years ago a person Denny knew had purchased a restored 1928 Model A. He insisted that Denny go for a ride with him to show off his purchase. This guy knew nothing of mechanics, or much of anything about cars. So as he was driving Denny around, he reached down and placed the shift lever against the steering column when the driver wasn’t looking. Upon discovery of his ‘broken’ shift lever, the driver had a hissy fit that his car was broken and how would he shift now. So before he gave birth to a cow, Denny showed him how to work Henry’s feature. He was so relieved his car wasn’t broken, he forgot to be mad at Denny for the trick he played on him – bad Denny! Hey, I just haul him around, I can’t be responsible for him!