Ford Motor Company sells its first car, the Model A, to a person named Ernest Pfenning of Chicago.
Who bought the first 1903 Model A Ford?
Dr. E Pfennig of Chicago, Illinois is often credited with buying the first vehicle sold by the Ford Motor Company. In truth, the story is a bit more complicated than that. Dr. Phening actually received Model A #11, and the rod Motor Company's accounts receivable indicate that Model A #11 was actually sold on July 28, 1903.
What about the Model As before 11? There were a number of them that are recorded in FMC's accounting records. The oldest Model A sale and the one with he lowest serial number was #4. This car was sold to Dr. H.W. Yates of Detroit Michigan on July 20, 1903.
Car #5 was sold to the Ohio Motor Car Company or Cleveland, OH on July 23, 1903. That same day car #7 sold to H.M. Jewett of Detroit, MI. That car was equipped with a tonneau.
Car #8 was also sold on July 28 to the Kentucky Automobile Company of Louisville, KY. An addition 4 Model As were sold that same day. #9 was sold to the Indiana Automobile Company of Indianapolis, IN. Car #10 was sold to A.C. Barker of Chicago, IL. As already mentioned, Dr. Pfennig's #11 was sold that day as well. The last car confirmed as sold on that day was #13, which went to the Northwestern Motor Vehicle Company of Minneapolis, MN.
There is no record of what became of car #12.
Car #6 was sold to Canada Cycle & Motor Company, Limited, of Toronto, Canada, on August 1, 1903. This is most likely the Ford Motor Company's first export sale.
The first repeat sale was to A.C. Barker. Car # 17 was sent to Chicago on or about July 31, 1903.
Ford sales were brisk during all of August 1903 with the last recorded sale being car #123 on August 31, 1903. In addition, after the first week of August, the majority of e Model As sold were equipped with tonneaus, which added $100 to the cost of the car.
The above information was recovered from the 1903-04 accounts receivable books which are in the collections of the Benson Ford Research Center, at The Henry Ford.
Trent B, Have I missed something so many times I have read of the early sales on the model A Fords?
What do you know of the H M Jewett of Detroit MI, buyer of Ford car #7? Harry Mulford Jewett became president of Paige Detroit Motor Car Company about 1910. I have read quite a bit about Harry Jewett's life. He had some early interest in automobiles as most wealthy men did at that time. But I have never seen any significant information on his automobile interests before he helped finance Paige. He was also president of Lozier for a few years.
I would find it very surprising if this could be the same H M Jewett that bought one of the first Ford cars. Still, it would be an interesting twist.
this may have been posted somewhere here before, but do we know what the lowest number surviving Ford A car is?
David: #30 is still around, but there are rumours about a single digit Model A also being in a collection in Allen Park, MI: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/309968.html?1346930081
At our antique car show in Nampa, Idaho we had a 1901 Model A factory prototype on display. I think the prototype was a replica but I never found that out for certain. It also had a photo on it of the Ford Model A factory prototype 1901. It looks smaller than the photos of the Model A's in this discussion.
Marvin - Henry Ford designed and built a number of cars and tried to found two car companies before Ford Motor Company in 1903, so a 1901 Ford could have been a Ford prototype, but not a Ford Motor Company factory prototype.
The 1901 Ford racer "Sweepstakes" is at the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn.
(Message edited by Roger K on July 24, 2017)
I stand corrected Roger and thank you. That is correct. I was trying to communicate too early in the morning. The prototype that was there had what looked like bicycle wheels and tires. I think the heading on it was it was a factory prototype, Not Ford Motor company. It had a steering wheel and bows and a top on it. It was small.