The Oldest Surviving Ford Production Car

By Cole Q.

There is so much rich history connected to the Ford family and the Ford Motor Company, and we’re approaching quite a milestone: The 150th anniversary of the birth of company founder Henry Ford! But how do you kick off that year-long celebration? What has enough oomph to start things with a bang?

How about a 1903 Ford Model A? Not just any vintage Ford car, though. This 1903 Model A Rear Entry Tonneau is one of three vehicles that were the first sold by Henry Ford as the Ford Motor Company. The company’s cash balance stood at less than $250. A much-needed cash infusion arrived on July 13, 1903 – One full payment and two deposits totaling $1,320 for three Model A cars – that kept Ford Motor Company afloat. This specific car is believed to be car No. 3, chassis No. 30, and the lone survivor of the group of three Model A cars sold on that day.

“Since it was one of the first Ford cars built, it is very likely that Henry Ford himself had a hand in building it,” said Executive Chairman Bill Ford.

Bill Ford purchased the vehicle at the RM Auction in October, and he unveiled the car to employees at Ford World Headquarters on December 11, 2012, to start the 150th anniversary celebration of the birth of his great grandfather, Henry Ford.

Henry Ford’s legacy will be celebrated in 2013 through a variety of events. Some of these include:
  • Coming Together: A Celebration of Henry Ford – July 27, 2013, The Henry Ford Estate Fair Lane, Dearborn, Mich. This free community event will bring Henry Ford to “life” and feature many of his little-known interests and contributions.

  • Maker Faire – July 27-28, The Henry Ford, Dearborn, Mich. A two-day, family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness. This year’s celebration of the Maker movement will include a special program to recognize innovators.

  • Discovering Henry Ford shows at The Henry Ford – April-December. A presenter-facilitated multimedia program using a large touch screen monitor to access digital assets (movies, photos) in themed 20-minute shows (Henry Ford the Tinkerer, Henry Ford and the Model T).

  • Henry’s T – Dramatic presentation at Greenfield Village– May-August. Visitors will meet Henry Ford in this interactive 15-minute play and hear how he was inspired to build the world’s universal car. Guests also will find out why the Model T was so revolutionary and how Henry Ford’s visionary thinking and hard work enabled him to put the world on wheels.

Visit to see an interactive timeline of Henry Ford’s life, tours and a calendar of 2013 events to celebrate the 150th anniversary of his birthday.
Tammie B 12/14/2012
DWMiner 12/13/2012
This historic car has been returned to its best possible home. It is the luckiest car on earth!
Frank L 12/13/2012
Any plans for celebrations in cities where assembly plants are located? The Kansas City area builds Ford's most popular vehicle--the F150 pickup.
June B 12/13/2012
I can only say one thing~~We are so Proud to be a part of the Ford Family for over 43 years now. Ford has been very good to us, giving my husband a job he was very proud of at the Rouge Plant. Now Retired, we still are Ford Family and that will never change. Thank you so much, Bill Ford for all you have done to keep Ford strong and stable for the future. We send our Love and wish you and your own Ford Family Many Blessings this Christmas Season, and of course, a very profitable New Year!!
Ardeen J 12/13/2012
also had a 1934 ford pickup,it had a cover on the back and we all went in it to church.
4 speed stick and 4 speed transmission no automatic.
imagine that, also not equipped with a heater or radio, power steering
Ardeen J 12/13/2012
also liked fords since dad had a ford tractor in the 40s and a ford coupe also. goes way back
Kishan S 12/13/2012
"150th anniversary" what a day to celebrate...!! wish i could test drive this model A. :)
Werdon M 12/12/2012
My life's passion, has always been old vintage Ford Products. The 1903 Ford Model A speaks loud and clear, it is here to stay. I always drove Ford Trucks personally, and professional on the job. I drove a F-350 11.5 GVW Wrecker for 29 years, for the Detroit Police Dept. And the trucks always could handle loads, and could flat tow vehicles over the weight limit.
Olivia T 12/12/2012
It's always easy to be the critic......Keep doing it and going further....I am going further with you....It will be done in time. Have Ford fun...having fun yet...Merry Christmas is that Santa's sleigh? Ho ho ho tis the season to be jolly.
Olivia T 12/12/2012
It's always easy to be the critic......Keep doing it and going further....I am going further with you....It will be done in time. Have Ford fun...having fun yet...Merry Christmas is that Santa's sleigh? Ho ho ho tis the season to be jolly.
Looking back in time. Think it would have been great to be a part of thif history. LOVE this car!!!!
Lance N 12/12/2012
Henry Ford was the most pivotal person in Americas present day.
Lindell R 12/12/2012
I love this pic, I think it would be fun to be able to drive a 1903 Ford Model A and experience the what it was like when this came out. I would love to own an older Ford truck.......1950-1960!
Ed R 12/12/2012
What a beauty. Now take a look at the new Fusion and see how far we've come; style-wise!
Hamad 12/12/2012
That survivor saved the first classic look of Ford.
Olivia T 12/12/2012
Happy 150th year long birthday Grandpa Henry Ford RIP!!!!!! Thanks for leaving US a future in the automotive industry.
Olivia T 12/12/2012
Very nice...thanks very encouraging.
It is time well spent to revisit a history so rich and a tradition so relevant. Some things serve to guide and inspire because the ideas behind them are timeless. Thanks to the Ford family and the corporate culture and all the hard work of dedicated workers to include so many in the benefits of Henry Fords' vision and success! Todd Busick, sales Bob Maxey Ford of Howell.