I saw a picture of Dan Treace's gorgeous '27 touring in another thread and it made me wonder why Ford chose not to carry over this body style when they started making the Model A. In fact, the styling of the '26-27 touring reminds me a lot of a Model A.
We all know that the touring body style accounted for nearly half of all Model T's made 1909-1927. And it was the most popular body style, outselling all others up to 1926.
I'm sure this is well documented and understood amongst Model A community, but wondering if someone here could enlighten me.
They did make them, but called them "Phaetons". Guess they wanted to get way from the past and its drawbacks. The Model A was totally new concept.
And they are very desirable!!
I believe that they did. Rather being called a touring it was called a phaeton.
Right, well I feel like a dummy! However, it appears that the production numbers for the Phaeton were very low. I wonder why this style fell out of favor with the public so quickly? It appears like it was the most reasonably priced out of all the models.
I replaced the entire sub-rail assembly on a 29 Phaeton a few years ago. I wouldn't wish that job on anyone. They are beautiful looking cars but when all the body panels are removed, they look pretty boney.
Here is a picture of a 1931 Model A Phaeton which I owned from 1957 till 1973. I accidentally sold it for $3,000. At the time I didn't think anyone would pay that much for a Model A. I asked what I thought was a very high price for it and someone actually paid that much for it !
Ford continued making phaetons throughout most of the 1930s.
I'm betting that people were getting to the point that closed cars just seemed like a better (Warmer and drier) idea.
I think closed bodies were preferable for comfort reasons even before the Model A came along, but the extra weight is quite a burden on a Model T. Once they produced an engine that would handle the weight, that probably made owning a closed car that much more attractive.
I was told years ago that all the open Model A cars with four doors was a Touring. The open Model A's with two front doors and a back seat were called Phaetons. The Model A crowd like to think they have a four door Phaetons, but in reality it is a touring; so I have been told.
I have a 28 AR Phaeton. The emergency brake handle is located on left hand side like a T. The steering wheel is red. The car has the multi-disc clutch. The foot brake only worked the front brakes. Mid way into the first year they changed to a single disc clutch and front and rear braking with your foot. The emergency brake handle was relocated next to the gear shift. I need a complete top for mine.
I believe the open Model A with two front doors and a back seat you are referring to is the A-400, which is referred to as a convertible sedan. This is a very rare and desirable body style for Model A's.
The four door open cars were Phaeton's, and two door open cars were roadsters. No Model A was referred to as a touring.
I think all 4 wheels had service brakes in the early Model A's, the problem is some states required separate parking brakes, that's why the braking system was redesigned.
There was a 2 door phaeton, the A400 was a different body style.
I'm thinking the early A's (AR's?) had 4 wheel brakes, but they had a complicated mechanical equalizer system that ensures equal braking at all four corners, which was abandoned for the simpler 4 wheel brake system seen on the later
As owner of a 28 AR (but we're now supposed to call them E28) I am worried for the man who thinks his foot brake only works the front brakes. The hand and foot brakes work the same linkage to all 4 wheels, hence there is no separate emergency brake. This was illegal in some US states and some countries back then so Ford redesigned the whole system in mid 28 to have separate rods and shoes for the handbrake to operate on the rear wheels only. In fact my car is illegal in the UK, so don't tell anyone I told you, OK.
Pennsylvania required a separate set of shoes for the emergency brake, so Henry redesigned the A. Even though the T brakes were inferior, they were legal. As a kid in the forties, it was my duty to brick one or more wheels, when our 31 coupe was parked on a slope even though it had an emergency brake.---Len
Kevin -- As I understand it, the 4-door ones were called Phaetons, and the 2-door ones were Deluxe Phaetons. The A-400 Jeff mentioned was a different body, with fixed frames around the windows and a convertible top between the window frames.
I'm sorry for my thread re brakes. Yes, all four brakes are activated by the foot pedal.
At a quick glance, our late 1928 Model "A" Phaeton looks a little like a dolled-up 1926-27 Model "T" Touring, doesn't it?
P.S. I've since removed those ugly step plates from the running boards.
I had an early 1928 Phaeton as well as a '28 AR Roadster. They are easy to spot because the early ones have no exterior door handles. You have to reach inside just like the Model T's to open the doors.
Ken in Texas
Ken is right. Most 1928 open Ford cars had the inside door latch design, like Model T's. In December, 1928, (in some assembly plants), the last of the 1928 Phaetons and Roadsters on the line received the new 1929 outside door handle system, which required a different latch. My December, 1928 Phaeton still had the multiple disk clutch and Powerhouse generator when I got it, but the new outside handles. Ford actually offered a conversion kit in 1929 for the earlier doors because they were such a PIA to open, especially with side curtains in place. 'Guess it didn't bother Model "T" people.
O.K. Back to "T" stuff...
The A400 was a convertible sedan .
In mid 1930 there was a two door phaeton.
They were rare.
They had a wood framed body.
They were called deluxe phaetons. I forget the model number
To Kevin Holland - having been raised by "the Model A crowd," and owning 3 myself, I can tell you that 4-door Model A convertibles were called "phaetons" and the 2-door models were called "deluxe phaetons." Ford dropped the term "touring car" with the Model A. Deluxe Phaetons command premium prices today - but the crown jewels of Model A convertibles are the Convertible Sedans (aka A-400s). For additional information, see "The Model A Ford - As Henry Built It" by George DeAngelis, Edward P. Francis and Leslie R. Henry.
I am aware of the early (AR?) model as as having brakes that are not an independent service system with an independent emergency or parking system. They are illegal in some states (and countries apparently). That is why I do not like the common Rocky Mountain system put onto many model Ts. Same problem, only worse. It is not two independent systems, just a single braking system activated by two different means. The use of the transmission drum brake as a backup may technically qualify it as an independent system, but it is an adjustment nightmare and prone to failure. The AR system may be a technical violation, but the system as a whole is not likely to fail.
My boat-tail and my coupe both have two independent braking systems that work well (for two wheel brakes).
A drum that perhaps I beat a little too often? I like my cars to be era correct, but reasonably safe to drive.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
While some consider the "A-400" (Convertible Sedan) the "crown jewel" of Model As, actually the smaller production run body style is the '29 2-window metalBlindback Fordor) with plain seat panels and plain trim; The '30 "Blindback" was offered as a deluxe car, with piped seats and other "upscale" features. Also, the '30 Sport Coupe is fairly rare too, although nowhere as "rare" with only 50,000 built.
Leave the body untouched, for the most part, slide a "real" suspension and powerhouse under it and it becomes fun to drive.
"Leave the body untouched, for the most part, slide a "real" suspension and powerhouse under it and it becomes fun to drive."
Then it's not a real Model A any more, just a wannabe.
FWIW, I haven't heard any mention of the Model a roadster pickup on this thread.
About 50 years ago, I was in Monterey Mexico and there was a whole fleet of Model A phaeton taxis that came out at night for the night crowd.
More of a "Didn't wannabe."
Ive seen a couple in Varadaro. Well, the body and chassis. Drivetrain likely Toyota diesel
Ken is probably on a fishing expedition, but, having driven an A for thousands of miles, including some long multiple day trips, once from California to Kentucky, I think the car is pretty comfortable and reliable, even by today's standards--true, it doesn't like 60 MPH+, but it will run at 55 all day long. Some of that time the A WAS my "everyday car." OTOH, none of those were Tudors, and those seats appear to be a bit less comfortable.
Deluxe phaeton:150A, and convertible sedan:400A. Lots like to say A400, but I guess it's OK
Deluxe Phaeton body style number = 180A.
Marshall, early 1931 and late 1931 Deluxe Phaetons
Here's a pic of my 28 Phaeton. Inside door handles. This car goes down the road easily at 55 even towing my boat, and this is straight Model A, no overdrive. Kinda makes me laugh, why would you go to the trouble of putting a modern chassis under one of these. If you want the performance and modern suspension, why not just go out and buy yourself a Mustang and save yourself all the work
I fell in love when Monogram came out with their 1930 Model kit. (early 60's) I thought it was "Phantom". Whenever I see one it takes my mind off of Model T's for a few minutes. Great cars.
The only thing a Model A needs is a three speed planetary transmission, then it would be perfect (ok, a bit overweight compared to the T..)
Thank you Marshall: -Sorry about that, typing faster than the memory works. -Getting the "sometimers syndrome". VBR
You are 100% correct! At one time I knew most of the body model number, gone now. I do know my sport coupe is a 50B! (assembled in the SF assembly plant, with many early '30 features still in use in June when it was assembled (I forget how I figured that out, as it's a March engine and now I wonder how accurate I was in the figuring! I do know at one time there was an unrestored 50B in Eureka a few 100 assembly plant numbers after mine and had the same "wrong" stuff on the chassis). But now we're getting into A documentation stuff, and this IS the T site!
I dont know about all As but the 28s I have seen are dated on the firewall. Mine is dated June 28.
That June 28 was when the gas tank was tested.
What date does the frame/engine number show? That would be the assemble date for the running gear.
Ford started stamping tanks in June of 28 ended
sometime in 29. Not all tanks were stamped. This information was gotten from talk on Fordbarn.
Mark,the garage I have it in is still buried in snow, so it will be awhile before I can check the numbers. Thanks for the date info.
Engines were stamped as they were finished. The engine number was stamped on the frame when it was put in the frame. Cars assembled at Assembly plants have quite a gap from engine assembly date to chassis assembly date. The Assembly plant numbers, stamped in the bodies would perhaps give us a date of assembly, but no records seem to have survived. A few folks have tried to develop number data bases so the dates could be perhaps interpreted, but I don't know of any success so far.