• This was the first year of production for the Ford Motor Company.
  • Henry Ford accomplished his goal with this car to build an inexpensive automobile.
  • It was an immediate success with its affordable price tag of $850.



In 1903, automobiles were out of reach for most Americans.  They were prohibitive in cost and needed constant mechanical attention.  Building an automobile was only half of Henry Ford’s idea.  Building it inexpensively was the other half.

In 1899, Ford left his employment with Thomas Edison to help organize the Detroit Automobile Company.  Ford left this endeavor in 1903 to establish his own automobile company.  He acquired financial backing, remodeled an old carpenter’s shop into an automobile factory, hired a few employees, and purchased what machinery he could afford.  In a few weeks, the first Ford automobile rolled out the factory door.  Within a few months, there was a steady stream of orders for Henry’s 1903 Model A.  His automobile had become an immediate success and it was affordable with a price tag of $850.

Production of the 1903 Ford Model A (a model designation that would be repeated in 1928) numbered 1,708.  There were several colors to choose from and the vehicle was not difficult to operate.  The tonneau, or back seat attachment, could be removed by its owner, giving the advantage of owning one vehicle with three body styles: a roadster, utility vehicle and family car.  Passengers entered the rear compartment through a back door and could either sit facing forward or to the side.  Model A production continued into early 1904 when work started on the Model B.



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