An important part of Ford's heritage has returned home as a 1903 Model A has been reunited with the Ford family, beginning the yearlong celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Henry Ford.
This particular vehicle is considered the oldest surviving Ford, and it was shown to Ford employees by Executive Chairman Bill Ford, who purchased the vehicle at auction in October.
"The timing was perfect to bring this key part of Ford heritage back to the family as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of my great-grandfather's birth," said Bill Ford. "His vision to build cars that are reasonably priced, reliable and efficient still resonates and defines our vision today as well."
The Model A played a pivotal role in Ford Motor Company history. In July 1903, Henry Ford faced a daunting situation with the company's cash balance at less than $250. A much-needed cash infusion arrived on July 13, 1903 when one full payment and two deposits totaling $1320 was made for three Model A cars, and that kept the company afloat.
The car bought by Bill Ford is a 1903 Model A Rear Entry Tonneau. It is believed to be car No. 3, chassis No. 30, and the lone survivor of the group of the three Model As sold that day.
"The Model A helped keep our company going during a difficult time and enabled my great-grandfather to continue pursuing his vision of putting the world on wheels," said Bill Ford. "We look forward to carrying that same spirit of innovation forward as we develop new technologies for safer, cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles."
A dedicated website, www.henryford150.com, has been launched, with a timeline of Ford's life, tours, a calendar of 2013 events and information about efforts to preserve Henry Ford's heritage.