Wednesday, December 24, 2014

1931 Ford Model A DeLuxe Phaeton

"When you buy the Ford, you buy enduring beauty. As you drive it from the showrooms for the first time you will have a feeling of pride in the glistening sheen of its body finish and the bright silvery luster of its exposed metal parts. With reasonable care you can maintain that good appearance for a long period. Months of constant service will put many of thousands of miles on the speedometer, yet you will not think of it as an old car, nor will your friends. And when the time comes to trade it in, you will find that the lasting beauty of its finish is a factor in re-sale value."

Could it get much better? There are some exceptional cars around in Cuba, yet this one outshines them all. We doubt that you'll find a better looking car of this vintage anywhere on the island. It's definitely not easy to keep a car in such an impeccable condition in Cuba, but a tech-savvy owner, enough financial backup and relatives in Miami sure help to accomplish the job. 

And the Ford's owner sure knows its business: a look under the bonnet reveals concourse quality even on engine and mechanicals. "You'll find spare parts of Ford's Model A aplenty in Cuba, but most are terribly worn out. Thus, it's better to get them sent from relatives in Miami. Bueno, such a Ford is easy to maintain anyway. To me, there is much beauty in its simple construction."

An utmost simple and durable construction had been the strong selling point of the legendary Ford Model T, built for almost two decades between 1908 and 1927. Henry Ford certainly would have kept on producing the "Tin Lizzie" to infinity, but the competition began to outrun Ford with stronger engines and technical features in the 1920s. On top of that, arch-rival Chevrolet came up with very stylish looking new models in the latter 1920s. Their design was developed under the lead of newly contracted west-coast boy Harley Earl, and soon the mechanically superior Fords would have a hard stand against the aesthetically greater Chevrolets. Ford needed to react, and came up with the Model A in late 1927. In many respects, the new car was a big improvement over the previous Model T, but most notably, it finally was a stylish Ford — for Ford conditions.

Henry Ford's son Edsel was largely responsible for the looks of the new Ford. While his father had a general disdain for styling, Edsel had developed a fine sense for aesthetics and took great interest in car styling, as later Fords and Mercury models would manifest. In characteristic high-handed manner, however, Henry Ford took all credits for the design of the new Fords as soon as he realized how successful they were ...

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