When people think about automobiles, they might think about the Ford Model T as being the one that started it all. That's true, but the one that really changed the face of the automotive industry is another vehicle made by Ford, the Model A. This particular vehicle was the answer to a lot of competition that came Ford’s way after the invention of the Model T. As such, there are many things about it that were dramatically improved over its predecessor. That is precisely why it's so important. It helped shape the face of the automotive industry because of the many innovations used in its design.
Attention to Detail
One of the things that Ford was known for at the time was paying intense attention to detail. Every little thing was carefully thought-out. If something wasn't exactly right, the company would go back and do it again until it met their expectations. As a result, the Ford Model A was not something that had merely been thrown together in an attempt to outsell the competition that came along since the Model T had become so popular. It was exquisite. Everything about it made people want to own one, even those who initially expressed little interest in the idea of owning an automobile.
The Ford Model T, which had been produced for almost 20 years by the time the Model A came along, had been successful but it didn't work well for people who drove other makes of automobiles by the time the Model A came along. This is largely because it was difficult to start and the controls were completely foreign to anyone who wasn't driving a Ford Model T. Ford changed this when the Model A came alone, putting the controls where they were on other models. People could easily find the clutch and the brake, not to mention the gear shift. It made it much easier for drivers because they didn't have to learn something that was completely foreign to them in order to drive the car.
Even though this car was produced in the 1920s, it had an innovation that had never before been introduced to the public on an automobile- safety glass. That's right, the same type of glass that is in the windshield of your current automobile first showed up on the Ford Model A. It definitely enhanced the overall safety of the vehicle, not to mention making the cab more secure. In fact, it was such a solid invention that the new modern day version of it is used in current automobiles.
One of the truly innovative things that the Ford Model A incorporated was the ability to control the climate inside the cab. It was sold as an add-on feature, but customers could purchase a cab enclosure , along with a cast-iron manifold they delivered heat directly into the cab. There was even an adjustable door on the enclosure that allowed drivers to adjust the amount of warm air inside. This was something that had never even been thought of in the past, much less incorporated. It became very popular among drivers in colder climates because they didn't have to expose themselves to the elements every time they went for a drive.
Different Body Styles
In addition to all of these features, the Ford Model A also came in a number of different body styles. As previously mentioned, people could purchase it as either an open cab or an enclosed cab automobile. In addition, it could be purchased as a coupe or the sedan model, with many different trim packages available for each. It provided drivers with a level of variety that had never before been seen in the automotive industry. It also provided drivers with the chance to purchase an automobile that was well-suited to the particular area in which they spent the majority of their time. For example, it wouldn't make much sense to purchase an open cab vehicle if you lived in an area where it snowed eight or nine months out of the year. The Ford Model A, complete with all of its variations, gave customers an opportunity to tailor the vehicle they purchased to their own needs and wants. This was a huge step up in the automotive market, especially considering that most of the other vehicles on the road at the time were more of a cookie-cutter design that offered few, if any, opportunities to customize the vehicle in any capacity.
Vehicles for Commercial Use
The Ford Model A was so versatile that it was even sold as both a pickup truck and a taxi cab. In the case of the pickup truck, the truck body was added to the same chassis that the sedan was on, making it an easy transition. This marks the first time that the same chassis could be used for cars that were used for both personal and commercial use. It also marked the first time that an identical chassis was used for both cars and trucks. This proved to be an extremely versatile option for Ford and it also saved the company a great deal of money because they weren't forced to design a new chassis every time they wanted to change body styles. This in turn made the Ford Model A more affordable for the public because the company wasn't spending as much money on research and development.
At the end of the day, it's interesting to note that many of the same features that were incorporated on the Ford Model A are in some capacity still used on vehicles that are being driven today. That goes to show how much vision and Innovation was put into this particular vehicle. When you consider the time at which it was introduced, it's absolutely astounding to realize how many innovations were included on the Ford Model A. This alone makes it a game-changer in the automotive industry.
Written by Benjamin Smith
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