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1929 FORD MODEL A STANDARD PHAETON

The dictionary defines “phaeton” as a light, four-wheeled open carriage, usually drawn by a pair of horses. Henry Ford expanded the definition to include some extra horsepower and a folding top when he introduced the sporty Model A Phaeton at the end of 1927.

This 4-door, 5-passenger Standard Phaeton has an L-head engine, 24 rhp, 3 main bearings, water pump cooling system, splash gravity lubrication, 10 gallon fuel tank, steel spoke wheels made by Ford, balloon tires and a 103 ½” wheelbase. The Phaeton weighs 2150 pounds, original cost was $395, and there were 47, 276 produced in 1928.

Typical gas mileage was between 20 and 30 mpg, using a one barrel Zenith carburetor – top speed was around 65 mph. Standard equipment included a starter, spoke wheels, dashlight mirror, oil gauge, gasoline gauge, rear and stop light, speedometer, tool and pressure gauge, and grease gun lubricator. Ford offered the car with a choice of seven exterior color schemes, very unusual for a low-priced car at that time.

And, there was more. Side curtains, trunk, motometer (engine temperature gauge) on the radiator cap, nickel-finished radiator shell and lamps, and turn signals.

Original Phaetons were also fitted with manually operated windshield wipers until May 1928, when vacuum wipers became standard.

The top and matching side curtains were fabricated from “long-short” grained black rubber coated fabric. Although foldable, the top assembly was permanently fastened to the rear of the body and not removable from the car. The curtains, however, could be removed and stored in a special metal container under the floor.

A rear-mounted spare tire was standard but special fenders with wheel wells and tire carriers were available as a service item in 1928. Windwings, also obtainable as a dealer accessory in 1928, were standard on the 1929 Phaeton.

The Model A contained over 6,500 parts and the Model T had “about 5,000”.

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