Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Heart of America Model A Club celebrates the history of one of America's great cars at Kansas City's City Market
When the Model A was introduced in 1927, it had unbelievably large shoes to fill. This was the car destined to replace the Model T, the car that almost singlehandedly put America on wheels. In order to follow an act like that, the Model A had to be exceptional.
And it was. For an average of $500, customers could choose from more than 15 body styles and a multitude of colors throughout the A’s five-year run.
Some of that may be due to the brilliant simplicity that was engineered into these cars from day one. Anyone with a screw driver and a socket set can work on a Model A, and there is so much aftermarket support that you could practically build a whole car from a catalog.
In fact, the Model A is a common platform for hot rod builders. George Barris’ famous Ala Kart show truck was built from a Model A, and the well-known song Hot Rod Lincoln is actually about a Model A hot rod with a Lincoln engine. Go to almost any car show (or just look through some of the slideshows here on HMC), and you’ll see plenty of modified and customized A’s, fixed up in both traditional and modern styles.
This is a pretty formidable club, with a membership of more than 130 families, a monthly newsletter, and a history that dates back to 1962. These folks have some great cars, too. Just the sample at the City Market ranged from a wood-bodied wagon to a roadster pickup, and a two-door Victoria to a four-door sedan. Many of them were decked out with period accessories like motor meter radiator toppers and custom luggage compartments. They really were fun to look at.
As usual, I am leaving you with several pictures from the Model A Club’s “Art of the Machine” appearance at the City Market. You’re looking at cars that have been on the road for some 80 years. That’s an amazing history, and an incredible testament to one of the best-built cars ever to roll on America’s highways.