The Ford A model became the company’s most popular model after its famous predecessor, the Ford T.
By the second half of the 20s. The Ford T car, having appeared back in 1908, is already hopelessly outdated. And on May 1, 1927, its production was stopped. And on December 2, a completely new model, called Ford A, went into production.
She was superior to the “old man” in all respects. The power of the 4-cylinder engine (3285 cm3) has doubled – up to 40 hp. With. Instead of a two-stage planetary gearbox, a more advanced design appeared – a three-stage one, with sliding gears. The brakes were no longer installed on the two rear wheels, but on all four wheels. Shock absorbers appeared in the suspension on transverse semi-elliptic springs. And after an accident during testing, the car also received a shatterproof windshield. The maximum speed has increased from 70 – 80 km/h for the Ford T to 85 – 100 km/h, depending on the modification.
Ford A was destined for success. In the first 16 months of sales, more than a million people purchased it. In 1928, the car was offered with nine different types of bodies, and in 1929–30. – already since eighteen. Among them, in addition to passenger cars, were pickup trucks so beloved by Americans and small closed vans with a carrying capacity of about 500 kg.
In 1930, the model underwent restyling. In particular, the radiator with increased capacity has become noticeably taller. Production of Ford A cars ceased in the winter of 1931-1932. In total, no less than 3 million 837 thousand 503 cars were manufactured in the USA. And if we add here the products of Ford factories in England and Germany, then a figure emerges of about 4.5 million Ford type A cars.
On May 31, 1929, an agreement was concluded between the USSR and Ford on cooperation in the field of automobile manufacturing. For the American side, it could not have come at a better time, because a crisis was raging in the United States at that time. The Soviet Union also really needed an agreement, where they were going to take the path of mass motorization of the country.
Back in 1929, in Kharkov, at a small car assembly plant converted from a sugar factory, about 100 cars were assembled from overseas parts: most of them were one and a half ton Ford AA trucks and a dozen Ford A passenger cars. However, further development of production did not work out. The fact is that the top Soviet leadership decided to build in Kharkov not a large automobile and tractor plant, as was initially assumed, but a tractor plant (and also a tank plant).
Therefore, Ford A passenger cars, like Ford AA semi-trucks, were assembled from imported parts in Nizhny Novgorod and Moscow. But already in 1932, full-fledged production of similar models began at the newly built Nizhny Novgorod Automobile Plant: from January 28, GAZ-AA and from December 8, GAZ-A.
Until January 2, 1936, 41,917 passenger cars with a phaeton body were produced. Plus 5,265 GAZ-4 pickups based on them, designed for 500 kg of cargo. They also built several prototypes of the GAZ-6 – with a sedan body. FAI light armored vehicles were also produced – from 1933 on the Ford A base and from 1934 on the GAZ-A base. A total of 676 of them were collected.