Alongside the ground-breaking, world-changing Model T passenger cars that Henry Ford built by the millions, he simultaneously changed the scope of the the commercial truck market with the Model TT. The medium-duty TT was built in smaller numbers (approximately 1.4 million to the 15 million Model T cars) yet still in massive quantities and at a much cheaper price compared to its competition, allowing many businesses to motorize their operations for the first time. Based upon the standard Model T passenger car, the TT was enhanced for a 1-ton capacity and heavy-duty service. It proved popular with bus builders, local delivery businesses and construction companies. But as the Model T reached the end of its production, competitive trucks were becoming ever more car-like and easy to operate, something that was never the TT's strong point. With the introduction of the vastly refined Model A in 1927, Ford replaced the Model TT with the fully revised AA truck. Like its predecessor, the AA shared its engine, main body, and basic layout with its lighter duty sibling. The AA featured an all new frame built to handle the rigors of work, as well as oversized four-wheel drum brakes and heavy-duty wheels. Power came from the same 3.3 liter, 201 cubic inch four-cylinder engine as the passenger car but was fitted with a larger radiator and backed by a new four-speed gearbox with substantially lower ratios and a reverse lockout. The suspension was much like the A up front, with a transverse leaf spring on a solid beam axle. In the rear, early trucks got a worm-drive rear axle and heavy-duty leaf springs, with later trucks gaining a ring-and-pinion axle. The AA was a work truck first and foremost, but was simple to operate and easy to service as so many parts were in common with the standard Model A. �It also shared much of the body work with the A, making it a rather good looking machine as well. The Ford factory and countless aftermarket suppliers offered a variety of commercial bodies from ambulances to dump trucks to tankers. The AA was a global success for Ford, with Model AA trucks serving in military and civilian duty around the world for many years to come. This wonderful 1931 Ford Model AA is a desirable late production model benefitting from many of the running changes made over the course of Model A production. It is presented in fabulous condition, with a period appropriate and authentically presented Gilmore Gasoline tanker body finished in the famous Gilmore "Red Lion" red and yellow livery. It was formerly part of the Pat Phinny collection of Carmel California where it was often displayed at Pat's Baja Cantina restaurant; a sort of mecca for gearheads - loaded to the gills with genuine motoring memorabilia. This Model AA is a beautifully restored truck, with distinct red cab and hood accented with black fenders, a yellow swage line and a yellow tanker body. The base paint quality is excellent, and the body is very straight with factory-appropriate panel fit and fine detailing. Gilmore livery on the doors, tank, and roof-mounted placard has all been painstakingly and beautifully hand-painted. The truck is equipped with the optional dual-rear wheel axle, and the factory correct Budd wheels are finished in black and wrapped in Firestone blackwall tires as would have been appropriate when new. A single side-mount spare wheel can be fitted front or rear, and the truck features an interesting recess in the driver's door to clear the oversized spare wheel. The tanker body appears to be an authentic piece, and is of course beautifully restored and presented with correct-type fenders, fittings, gorgeous hand-painted signage and a heavy-duty rear bumper. Inside is essentially standard fare for anyone familiar with the Model A passenger car, but the AA's were obviously very basic in specification. Like the rest of the truck, it has been restored to a correct and good-quality standard with correct-type upholstery material on the seat and door cards, a hard-wearing rubber mat for commercial duty and very basic controls. The shift lever retains the correct reverse lockout for the four-speed gearbox and the original steering wheel is in excellent condition. Ford's small but mighty four-cylinder engine presents very well with mainly correct detailing and paint finishes. It runs well, starting easily and pulling the big AA truck along admirably, thanks to the low gearing in the four-speed transmission. While speeding will not be much of a concern, it is no doubt a delightful thing to drive, relying on the easy, low-revving and torquey nature of the engine, and of course turning heads with those stunning looks. With its high quality presentation and well-executed restoration in period correct livery, this charming and attractive Ford AA Tanker would be most welcome at casual shows, used in business promotion or simply to cruise to your favorite local. Regardless of how it gets enjoyed, it is certain to be a conversation piece wherever it goes.
The Pick of the Day is a 1930 Model A restored as a police ‘paddy wagon’ that seems accurate for the era
Founded in 1973, Rootlieb Manufacturing produces metal hoods and other panels for the collector car restoration industry. The Pick of the Day is a 1928 Ford Model A Rootlieb Speedster.
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‘I’m a Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech and a hell of an engineer…”
Often a popular car to turn into a classic hot rod, the 1930 Ford Model A was created to help Ford maintain a strong presence in the market during a time when other cars began to be more affordable and practical.
“Dry lake” means something different in Southern California than it does in the rest of the world. Speed-obsessed hot rodders since the late 1940s have viewed the flat, dusty expanses of prehistoric lake beds as perfect places to go fast.
The Monterey Peninsula isn’t the only place the automobile and its role in American life is being celebrated this weekend. In the Detroit area, it’s Woodward Dream Cruise weekend.