The early 1920s were full of prosperity, and the celebration following the end of World War One, but the care-free attitudes would not last. By the time the year 1929 began, world economies were to show their flaws. The historic October day in 1929 on which the stock market crashed nearly brought the United States to its knees. The crash was the catalyst that plummeted the nation into a downward economic spiral known was the Great Depression, which would only find reprieve when the U.S. joined World War Two.
For Ford, 1929 had a different meaning; Ford was busy producing the Model A Phaeton. The car had first been introduced in 1927 and was a 4-door, 5 passenger vehicle. The original cost for this car, which had a 10-gallon fuel tank and could travel between 20 and 30 miles per gallon, was $395. Today, that would be in the neighborhood of $5000. Seven color options were available, and the car even came with side curtains. The 1929 Phaeton had a top speed of about 65 miles per hour. In 1928, vacuum window wipers became standard, which meant owners of that model year Phaeton and later could enjoy the fact that unlike pre- 1928 models, the car did not have manually operated wipers.
Although the Phaeton was only one of the many body styles available for the Ford Model A that were produced between 1929 and 1931, it certainly had its elements of charm. The economy, of course, would eventually improve, but it would also force auto companies to diversify their products. What would result was a complete redesign of models of all kinds, and emphasis would be placed on making the most unique, and eventually most powerful vehicle that money could buy.