Happy Friday afternoon folks! We are going to talk about an artifact that seems to go largely unnoticed in our historic White Hangar! Get ready! You’ve seen it on old television shows such as the “Waltons”, but if you ever get a chance to come to the museum, you will get to see it in person. That’s right. It is the Ford Victoria (Model A).
By the mid -1920s, the Ford Motor Company’s monopoly on automobiles was coming to a close. While in the early twentieth century the Model T was seen as a mass-produced, inexpensive marvel to the American public, by the Roaring Twenties, Americans were thinking less of their pocketbook, and more of their style. Thus, companies such as General Motors, which produced better looking vehicles than Ford’s “Tin Lizzie”, slowly crept up the sales ladder giving Henry Ford a run for his money. But Ford was stubborn. He believed that a penny saved was a penny earned, and that style did not matter, it was economy and efficiency that counted. However, after watching his Model T sales plummet, he was finally convinced that a change had to be made. He put his son Edsel Ford in charge of a development team to create a new Ford model. In preparation for this change, Ford shut down its plant, and for six months did not produce a single car. Finally in late 1927, the Ford Motor Company unveiled their new car-the Model A. It quickly became the most popular car in America with people standing in line for hours just to get a glimpse of Ford’s new marvel. This Model A came in several different sizes and shapes including, the Model A Roadster, Model A Coupe, Model A Sports Coupe, the Model A Sedan, and the Model A Victoria like ours on display here. Cars such as our Model A Victoria boasted a four-cylinder engine that could produce roughly forty-horse power. This car came in four colors, could drive up to speeds of 65 miles per hour, and was the first Ford automobile to have standard gears.
Interestingly, the Ford Victoria was only produced for one year (1931) before the company transitioned to other models. This car is not only a rare gem in the automobile world, but it is also a testimony to the tenacity and resilience of the Ford Motor Company.