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By Robert Tate, Automotive Historian and Researcher
Images Courtesy of Ford Motor Company Archives
Published 7.13.2022

1928 Ford Model A Sedan 1 

When the Ford Motor Company introduced the popular Model A in 1928, it soon became a symbol for progress within the consumer market. The Ford Model A’s advertising campaign featuring wonderful automotive illustrations proved to be very effective.

It all began inside Henry Ford’s experimental room, where the company’s new standard gear shift design began. Automotive historians have stated that Henry Ford spent much time in this room developing the Model A.

1928 Ford Model A 21928 Ford Model A

The Ford Model A went on sale to the public on December 2, 1927, replacing the popular Model T, which had been manufactured for 18 years. The Model A became an instant hit and very profitable for Ford in 1928.

Why was the Model A so successful? It was a completely different automobile. Safety glass was standard all around, and five basic body styles were available.

1928 Ford Model A 31928 Ford Model A 

The Model A’s advertising illustrations were very colorful. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Ford’s marketing campaigns were structured around three categories of automobiles: luxury, middle class and mass production vehicles. The advertising targeted individuals based on their income as central messaging and highlighted the growing number of women as new drivers. Women in the advertising illustrations were pictured at social gatherings, standing outside their vehicle or sometimes driving to their own business.

Ford Model A illustration 4Ford Model A illustration

Today, these Ford Model A advertising illustrations have become a great way to look back at automotive history and how women were beginning to be targeted as car buyers. The ads were also great works of art. Before the auto companies relied on photographs to promote their products, beautiful artwork was created for sales brochures and advertising. However, many of the early automotive illustrators went uncredited for their work and their contributions to the auto industry. Besides the beautiful automotive brochures for the Model A, the great advertising illustrations appeared in many magazines like Ladies Home Journal, the Saturday Evening Post and many others.

Ford Model A illustration 5Ford Model A magazine ad

The Model A’s automotive styling was generally decided by the Ford President Edsel Ford and engineer Joe Galamb. Galamb was actually the technical director for the Model A project. Calendar year production for the 1928 Model A was 633,594 units.

Ford Model A illustration 6Ford Model A illustration

In 1929, despite the stock market crash, Ford returned to first place in the automotive industry. The last Model A was introduced in 1931 and still created a favorable impression among consumers. Today, many of the 1928-1931 Ford automotive illustrations are popular among collectors.

1930 Ford Model A Sport Coupe Ad RESIZED 71930 Ford Model A Sport Coupe Ad

For more information on the popular Ford Model A models between 1928 and 1931, please contact the Model A Ford Club of America at The club is dedicated to the restoration, preservation and enjoyment of the Ford Model A and AA cars and trucks.

1930 Ford Model A Roadster ad RESIZED 81930 Ford Model A Roadster ad art

In conclusion, the Ford Model A and their popular advertising illustrations will always be a part of our automotive hertage.


Reilly, Mike. “Illustrating the Automobile.” AACA Library Research Center.

Dammann, George H. “Illustrated History of Ford 1903-1970.” Crestline Publishing, 1970.

Sorensen, Lorin. “The American Ford from the Fordiana Series.” Silverado Publishing Company.

Kimes, Beverly Rae & Clark Jr., Henry Austin. “Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942.” Krause Publications.