Ford celebrating 120th birthday


EATON — On July 23, 1903, The first Ford automobile was sold.

The original Ford Model A is the first car produced by the Ford Motor Company, beginning production in 1903. Ernest Pfennig, a Chicago dentist, became the first owner of a Model A on July 23, 1903; 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 four-seater tonneau model with an option to add a top.

The company had spent almost its entire $28,000 initial investment funds ($911,970 in 2022 dollars) 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.

Five years later Ford introduced the hugely influential Model T.

You can see the Preble County Historical Society’s Model A in person at the Downtown Eaton Inc. Downtown Saturday Night Car Show on Aug. 26 It will be there in person to celebrate 120 years.

“These cars are extremely rare and we are so lucky to own one at PCHS. We treasure the Model A and cannot wait to celebrate its birthday at the DEI event,” said Lisa White, Executive Director at PCHS.

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