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Model A Instruction Books

By Rick Black
Medford Oregon

US Manuals | US Reprints | Non-US Manuals


US Versions

There were at least 13 different versions of the Ford Model A Instruction Book published for US-built cars and trucks: 5 in 1928, 2 in 1929, 4 in 1930, and 2 in 1931. The following paragraphs outline the differences in the manuals so that owners of Model A Fords looking for a manual that matches the production date of their vehicles can identify which version might have been supplied with the vehicle when new.

The first and easiest way to identify the manuals is to look for the copyright date, which was always printed on the first or second page of the manual (although the first 4-5 pages were unnumbered.) Once you have identified the correct year, the version can be ascertained by noting the pictures in the manuals.

Consult the MAFCA/MARC Restoration Guidelines and Judging Standards, Area 17 - Tools, for additional information.

1928192919301931

1928 - Five versions - Copyright Date is 1928 on page 2.
Refer to Page 7 Figure 2 - Instruments and Control Levers
        and Page 15 Figure 6 - Transmission and Clutch

Version 1

  • Figure 2 - emergency brake to the left of the driver's compartment
  • Figure 2 - a round gear shift knob

Version 2

  • Figure 2 - emergency brake to the left of the driver's compartment
  • Figure 2 - a mushroom gear shift knob.

Version 3

  • Figure 2 - emergency brake in front of the shift lever
  • Figure 2 - squeeze grip emergency brake handle
  • Figure 6 - the multiple disk clutch

Version 4 - View Photo Figure 2 - emergency brake in front of the shift lever

  • Figure 2 - squeeze grip emergency brake handle and mushroom shift knob
  • Figure 6 - shows the single disk clutch

Version 5 Figure 2 - emergency brake in front of the shift lever

  • Figure 2 - push button emergency brake handle and round gear shift knob
  • Figure 6 - shows the single disk clutch

1929 - Two versions - Copyright Date is 1929 on page 2.
Refer to Page 7 - Figure 2 - Instruments and Control Levers

Version 1

  • Figure 2 - emergency brake is forward of the gear shift lever

Version 2

  • Figure 2 - emergency brake is to the right of the gear shift lever

1930 - Two versions - Copyright Date is 1930 on page 2.
Refer to Page 7 Figure 2 - Instruments and Control Levers

Version 1

Figure 2 - Instrument panel has oval speedometer

Version 2

Figure 2 - Instrument panel has round speedometer

There were two other versions were printed that included AA information that was not in the first versions.

 

1931 - Two original versions (See "Reprints" below) - Copyright Date is 1931 on page 1.
Refer to Page 20, Figure 11 - Fuel System
        and Page 22, Figure 12 - Carburetor

Version 1 (early 1931)

  • Figure 11 - Gas Tank/engine - Fuel Shutoff Valve on passenger side of the firewall under the gas tank and sediment bowl attached to firewall. - Photo
  • Figure 12 - Carburetor - no sediment bowl. - Photo

Version 2 (Late 1931)

  • Figure 11 - Gas Tank/Engine - Fuel Shutoff Valve on indented firewall - Photo
  • Figure 12 - Filter bowl is attached to carburetor - Photo


Firewall Comparison
Click to Enlarge








Carburetor Comparison
Click to Enlarge

US Reprints

1928 Reprint Original 1931 Book 1931 Reprint


1928 Reprint (Version 3)
1929 Reprint (Version 2)

1930 Reprint (Version 2)

1931 Reprint (Version 2)

Title page has year of the manual in large type
Copyright page has "Reproduced under license of Ford Motor Company 1994" in small print

Ford Logo and Ford Script are the original size.
Paper used on this reprint is semi-glossy like the originals.
These are very hard to tell from an original except for the differences noted above.
Distributed by Keith Johnson, Duluth, MN


1928 Reprint (Version 4) Reprinted by Lincoln Publishing, Lockport NY.
1928 Reprint (Version 5) Reprinted by Polyprints, San Francisco CA
1928 Reprint (Version 5) - Reprinted by Polyprints, San Francisco CA


1931 Version 2 (Late) manual - Reprinted by Polyprints, San Francisco, CA
1931 Version 2 (Late) manual - No evidence of name of reprinter.

Non-US Versions

Thanks to Xavier in France for these scans of French, Chilean, and Australian books.



FRANCE
(LEFT)
The manual on the left is has a copyright date of November 1928. A note by the printer indicates that only 2000 copies where printed.

(RIGHT)
Figure 2 - notice the left hand emergency brake that many consider to be a feature of "AR" cars.
(LEFT)
The French Parts and Accessories book has a January 1930 copyright. On the last page, together with the print date, it notes that 15,000 copies where printed. The List of Prices attached with this book also indicates that 15,000 copies where printed.

(RIGHT) The inside front cover shows the dealer's stamp in the upper left corner


(LEFT)
The original French marketing brochure is from May 1928 introducing the Ford Model A.

(RIGHT)
The Chilean list of parts from April 1931 (in Spanish) doesn't have a cover like other manuals.



AUSTRALIA
(LEFT)
The original Australian Instruction Book is copyrighted September 1929 and was printed in Canada. The cover is the brownish version.



(RIGHT)
Figure 2 shows the controls - notice the squeeze emergency brake in front of the gear shift.

Thanks to Joe Biller of Coupeville, WA
for these scans of Dutch, English, and Canadian manuals:



(LEFT)
The manual from Holland has no copyright date in it...
but the photo on page 7 looks like a 1928 with push
button emergency brake and the oval dip stick shown
on page 6.

(RIGHT)
The London manual is a right hand drive and
has a 28/29/early 30 instrument panel but no copyright.
this cover has a light green tinge to it.

(LEFT)
The French Canadian (Modeles A et AA) has a 1930 copyright.... it has the same cover as an original US manual.

(RIGHT)
The Canadian Lefthand Drive is copyrighted 1931 and has a blue tinge colored cover.. I do not think the scan shows it very well.


The Danish version.











Thanks to Paul Smith of Pukekohe, Auckland, New Zealand
for these scans of New Zealand Instruction Books.
04/05/05

(LEFT)
1928 Cover features the words "Printed in New Zealand", but inside still shows US LHD photo details.

(RIGHT)
1928 Manual back cover lists New Zealand dealers

(LEFT)
1929 cover features the words "Right Hand Drive", inside details printed in Canada copyright 1929. Two different colours are known, brownish and greenish covers.

(RIGHT)
1929 RHD, shows the photo from inside of the Right Hand Drive mechanisms used in New Zealand


(LEFT)
1930 cover shows the words "Right Hand Drive" and the Ford motor Company of Canada Logo. Copyright 1930.


There were no 1931 Model A's imported into New Zealand


Last Updated: 01/14/2013
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