Ford Model A (1903)

Ford Model A (1903)

Ford Motor Company was launched by Henry Ford on June 16, 1903. The first car offered for sale was the Model A. It was described as the most perfect machine on the market and so simple that a boy of 15 can run it. The 1903 Ford Model A had a two-cylinder engine displacing 100 cubic inches and producing 8 horsepower. It could reach 30 mph on smooth roads, which were quite rare at the time. The Ford Model A had a wheelbase of 72 inches and the car weighted about 1,250 pounds.

In July 1903 Henry Ford faced a difficult situation. No cars were yet sold and the company had spent almost all its funds. The company’s cash balance stood at $223 when a much-needed cash infusion arrived on July 13. One full payment and two deposits totaling $1,320 for three Model A cars kept Ford Motor Company afloat. The first sale was made to Dr. E. Pfennig from Chicago. Dr. Pfennig’s Model A was shipped to him on July 28, 1903, from the Ford’s plant on Mack Avenue.

Even though the original Model A was produced only for a short perioed of time, it turned out to be a success that helped the Ford Motor Company through its first years in business. During the production run of 15 months, about 1,700 Model A cars were built.

1903 Ford Model A specifications


  • Runabout or tonneau


  • 72 inches


  • 29 inches diameter with artillery pattern


  • 3-inch double tube


  • Two-cylinder


  • 100 cubic inches


  • 8 horsepower


  • Two speeds

Gasoline tank

  • 5-gallon capacity
  • Located under the seat