The First Model A Laid a Foundation for the Future

In July 1903, only a few weeks after the fledgling Ford Motor Company was incorporated, a Chicago dentist, Dr. Ernst Pfennig, became the first person to buy a Ford Model A for $850, although Pfennig’s Ford was the eighth one shipped to customers. 

After Pfennig, a steady stream of purchase offers flowed in, and within a month, $20,000 worth of cars had been sold. At the end of 9 1/2 months, 658 Ford Model A’s had been purchased for a net profit of $98,851.

The Beginning of It All

Ford’s first Model A (as opposed to the one that emerged late in the Roaring Twenties) was the first vehicle mass-produced by Ford Motor Company. It was a two-cylinder, eight-horsepower car that reached maximum speeds of about 30 miles per hour. At the price of $850, it was the first of a long line of reliable, affordable automobiles.

The Ford Model A was also known as the "Fordmobile." Ads touted it under the heading, "Boss of the Road: The Latest and Best."

Although legal problems lay ahead for Henry Ford and his company—a long patent battle that he eventually won—the Model A was the beginning of a successful automotive company, and it was an important chapter in the legendary life of Henry Ford.