Welcome to 365 Days of Motoring

An Everyday Journey Through Motoring History, Facts & Trivia

Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.

On This Day


Wednesday 15th July 1903

116 years ago

Henry Ford accepted his first order from Chicago Dentist Ernst Pfenning for an $850 two-cylinder Model A automobile. 1,750 cars were made from 1903 through 1904 during Ford's occupancy of its first facility: the Ford Mack Avenue Plant, a modest rented wood frame building on Detroit's East Side. The Model A was replaced by the Ford Model C during 1904 with some sales overlap.The car came as a two-seater runabout for $800 or the $900 [4] four-seater tonneau model with an option to add a top. The horizontal-mounted flat-2, situated amidships of the car, produced 8 hp (6 kW). A planetary transmission was fitted with two forward speeds and reverse, a Ford signature later seen on the Ford Model T. The car weighed 1,240 lb (562 kg) and could reach a top speed of 28 mph (45 km/h). It had a 72 inch (1.8 m) wheelbase and sold for a base price of US$750. Options included a rear tonneau with two seats and a rear door for $100, a rubber roof for $30 or a leather roof for $50. Band brakes were used on the rear wheels.[1] However, it was $150 more than its most direct competitor, the Oldsmobile Curved Dash, and so did not sell as well. The company had spent almost its entire $28,000 initial investment funds with only $223.65 left in its bank account when the first Model A was sold. The success of this car model generated a profit for the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford's first successful business.Although Ford advertised the Model A as the "most reliable machine in the world", it suffered from many problems common to vehicles of the era, including overheating and slipping transmission bands. The Model A was sold only in red by the factory, though some were later repainted in other colors. The vehicle, which was part of Ford's third attempt at manufacturing cars, was produced at his plant on Mack Street in Detroit, Michigan. The selling point for Ford was the eight horsepower engine, which could reach speeds of 30 miles per hour. The company had spent almost its entire $28,000 initial investment funds with only $223.65 left in its bank account when the first Model A was sold. The success of this car model generated a profit for the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford's first successful business. Within months, Ford had sold hundreds of automobiles. However, it wasn't until Ford came out with the Model T in 1908 that the company really took off.

Advertisment for the Model A from a December 15, 1903 newspaper

Advertisment for the Model A from a December 15, 1903 newspaper

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