This reproduction Ford Model A supplied by Shay Motors in 1980, is one of the 500 Ford Model A Super Deluxe Roadster Replicas . Finished in the iconic Ford Model A green with a black leather interior, this car is a highly respected vintage car. We can even make a story with the car, because this model tells so much about its history.
HISTORY OF Shay Motors
Harry J. Shay founded the Model A & Model T Motor Car Reproduction Corporation in the spring of 1978 (that name was changed to Shay Motors Corporation in November 1980). Harry Shay had worked out a lot with Ford. The plan was to send at least one car to every Ford dealer throughout the U.S. Ford received publicity and attracted customers to its showrooms, and Shay was given access to an extraordinary distribution network. One dealer in New-Jersey even said he had people lining up for his dealership (shades of December 1927!). Other dealers reported floor traffic of 200 to 600 people in one day when they first saw a Shay in their showroom. A Californian dealer said he hadn’t seen such a reaction since the introduction of the Mustang almost 15 years earlier.
The cars were advertised in glossy color brochures from the end of 1978: A “Golden” Birthday Model A / Last of the Model A’s / Limited production / Sold by Ford dealers, factory built, guaranteed by Ford Motor Company”. This was perhaps the only time a major car manufacturer participated in the reproduction of a famous car from its past. Ford waived design patents for its Model A so that the Shay Roadster could be built.
Ford supplied the platform, Shay produced the cars and Ford, Mercury and Lincoln dealers sold them. Nationally advertised on CNN, the Today Show, Price Is Right, Hollywood Squares, in the New York Times, Forbes magazine, Old Car News, Motor Trend Car & Driver and other car magazines that praised them as highly successful and more reliable than the Model A, with the modern conveniences of today’s car. Advertisements said there have been orders for the last twenty years or so.
A limit of 10,000 units was set on production, because the car above this level should have adhered more strictly to the US. Federal design and safety standards. Shay was exempted from the following federal vehicle safety standards: #103 (windscreen defrosting and demisting), #104 (windscreen swept area), #108 (markers and reflectors at the front), #109 & 110 (tyre and rim widths) and, more specifically, the following with respect to collisions: #201 (interior), #202 (head) safety belts), #203 & 204 (steering column & rearward displacement), #207 (seating system), #210 (seat belt anchorage points), #212 & 219 (windscreen & bonnet zone intrusion), #214 (side door intrusion and #301 (fuel system integrity).
HISTORY OF THE FORD MODEL A
When the New Ford was unveiled in December 1927, riots took place in a few cities. 25,000,000 Americans literally attack Ford showrooms in space of only a week!A fresh perky look, sparkling performance, easy driving and a low price all contribute to half a million sale on the spot!
Ford easily takes first place in sales, but will lost it in 1931 at the hand of Chevrolet. Compared to the T model, the technical improvements were numerous, although certain anachronisms persisted. For example, the conestoga trolley at right angles to the semi-extra-liptic suspension is kept. On the other hand, a water pump, an oil pump and hydraulic shock absorbers are added. The 2-speed transmission is replaced by a modern 3-speed gearbox. But because it is not synchronised, the driver now has to use the double clutch technology.The engine is a 4-cylinder case of 200.5 cubic inches, producing 40 horsepower. A comfortable cruise speed is 40-45 miles per hour and a top speed of 65 miles per hour can be reached. The compression ratio has been kept explicitly low (4:22/1). Of course, this low ratio reduces the horse’s power and speed, but, on the other hand, allows the use of inferior fuels even if the decarbonization of the cylinder heads is not carried out regularly. Durability, reliability and simplicity was more important to Ford than imagination. Wheelbase is 103.5 inches. Track is 56 inches. Weight ranges from 2,050 to 2,386 pounds, depending on the model. In 1930 the appearance of the Model A was refurbished. The grill is higher, as is the bonnet line. The front and fender bend is more graceful. Wheel diameter is reduced from 21 inches to 19 inches. At the end of the Second World War, model A becomes the undisputed queen of the oldtimer world. This brief moment in the history of the car (1928-1931) will generate the greatest collection of enthusiasm around a single model that no other model has. Since then nothing can be done about it. Two gigantic clubs and an entire parts industry see the light of day. The abundance and ease with which technical information and new or remanufactured parts can be found have made Model A the easiest vintage car to buy, understand and maintain. One could even be able to assemble a completely new Model A out of all the new parts that can be found on the market today!