1931 Ford Model A DeLuxe Delivery
Chassis no. A4381388
Ford made a giant leap forward in November 1927 with the introduction of the Model A. Begrudgingly created at the urging of Edsel Ford and against the wishes of Henry, who felt the Model T wasn't broken so why bother fixing it, the new Model A followed the rubric that had become commonplace in the motoring universe and firmly cemented Ford as a continued force with which to be reckoned. As with the Model T, a massive array of bodies was offered, encompassing both passenger and commercial uses.
From the very start, the commercial market was appeased with an open and closed pickup and a panel delivery. By 1931, the lineup had expanded to include a DeLuxe Delivery (with both standard and drop floor), a Special Delivery with wood siding akin to the Station Wagon (see lot 458
), and a Town Car Delivery with an open drivers compartment. Most of these body styles were offered in both A (½ ton) and AA (1½ ton) guises.
This Model A was ordered with the more expensive and rarer DeLuxe Delivery (standard floor) body, style 130B. While a typical Panel Delivery was a squared off workhorse, unadorned and simple, the DeLuxe Delivery had all the brightwork you'd expect to find on a similar passenger car including chromed radiator surround, bumpers, headlights, and mirrors. The body also featured more graceful curves and single, large rear door.
The unique and rare delivery caught the eye of the famed collector William Harrah, who bought and restored the car to its present condition. Featured in the 1985 sale, the vendor saw it offered there but did not manage to purchase it until many years later. As with most vehicles from the Harrah Collection, it was restored from a solid, original example and the restoration has held up very well thanks in part to the quality of the work and the continued maintenance throughout the years.
As a commercial vehicle, survival rates are low. Most were used extensively, literally until their wheels fell off, so finding one is tough...and finding a DeLuxe example even harder. Combine that with the Harrah restoration and provenance, and it is a difficult car to beatthe perfect combination of style, fun, and practicality.
- Please note that this vehicle is titled under its engine number A4381388.