Some people are Ford Model T fans and others prefer the Model A. I'm one of the latter although I have great respect for the Model T, having been an honoured guest of the Ford Motor Company at the 100th anniversary celebration in Richmond, Indiana. Nevertheless I prefer the more contemporary styling and technology of the Model A. And that's why I was pleased to note that an all-new Model A Ford Museum, proposed as a 12,000-square-foot re-creation of a vintage Ford dealership, is slated to open next summer on the Gilmore Car Museum campus. When completed, it will become the world's largest public museum dedicated solely to the Model A Ford.
The all-new Model A Ford was greeted with such tremendous enthusiasm when launched that it became an instant success and nearly 5 million were sold during its four-year production. In fact, an article in The Literary Digest published before the car was unveiled revealed that 400,000 Model A Fords had "been sold sight unseen." The Model A featured twice the horsepower of the T, a simpler and less confusing three-speed transmission, and was available in 20 body styles and a wide variety of colors. Visitors to the museum will see a collection of automobiles, display engines, and artifacts including factory photos, blueprints and research materials, displayed as a journey through the Model A years — the end of the Roaring ’20s, the stock market crash in ’29, and the birth of Mickey Mouse.
I can't imagine a better place for this than the Gilmore Car Museum campus, for it is truly without equal. Built on 90 acres of farm land midway between Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Battle Creek, and Lansing, MI, the site includes eight historic barns, a re-created 1930s service station, a small town train station, and nearly three miles of paved roads. It isn’t uncommon for guest to catch a glimpse of one of the vintage cars or the authentic London double-decker bus in motion. Besides its own collection, the ever-expanding campus also serves as the home of the Classic Car Club of America Museum; the Pierce-Arrow Museum; the Franklin Collection at Hickory Corners; as well as the Midwest Miniatures Museum and the Tucker Historical Collection and Library. Kudos to the national and regional Model A Ford clubs who are working to make this happen and personally I think the idea of building it in a replicated vintage Ford dealership is brilliant.