Bringing a classic back to life

 Posted on Wednesday, July 9, 2014 at 10:36 am

Pat Mesker of Elsberry in his 1931 Ford Model A at the Annual Missouri Valley Region Model A Restorers Club Start-Up Party. The Ford was started in 41 minutes.

Pat Mesker of Elsberry in his 1931 Ford Model A at the Annual Missouri Valley Region Model A Restorers Club Start-Up Party. The Ford was started in 41 minutes.

The Ford Model A first appeared as a prototype on March 27, 1927 as a replacement for the Model T.

Henry Ford was reluctant to replace the Model T, believing that it provided more than adequately for the transportation needs of the average American.

Ford proved to be behind the times, however, as average Americans began looking to Chevrolet and Chrysler to satisfy their desire for increased speed, convenience and safety.

Thus, Ford was forced to reconsider things in order to keep pace with a changing and ever more competitive car market.

The new Model A that Ford unveiled in the late 1920s offered a three-speed, lever-operated sliding gear unit complete with a clutch.

It also made use of a Kettering-type battery-and-coil system and had brakes on all four wheels.

As if that wasn’t enough, consumers were also treated to safety glass in the windshield as opposed to plate glass and the car utilized a water pump to circulate coolant through the engine, in contrast to the thermosyphon phenomena that the Model T had relied on.

The Model A maintained its popularity for approximately three years, during which time 3.25 million were produced.

Unlike other types of antique cars that have all but disappeared, there are hundreds of thousands of Model As still in existence today.

One of them is owned by Elsberry resident Pat Mesker.
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