DEARBORN, Mich., June 10, 2002 – After more than 40 years of storage in a garage in northern Michigan, Ford Motor Company's 20 millionth vehicle, a 1931 Model A Fordor Town Sedan, has been found and fully restored.
The vehicle will be reintroduced to the public at the 30th annual Old Car Show and Swap Meet in Iola, Wis., July 12, 2002.
Both Henry Ford and Edsel Ford were present when the 20 millionth vehicle rolled off the Dearborn Assembly Plant line. A few days later, the car led a convoy of 20 new Model As on a nationwide publicity tour, where it visited Ford dealers and was greeted by governors, mayors, and other dignitaries — including Eleanor Roosevelt, who drove the vehicle.
While the vehicle was thought to have been destroyed in a museum warehouse fire in the late 1930s, along with several of the company's milestone vehicles, it was actually sold in the 1940s to an individual who took it to Michigan's upper peninsula. It had been stored it in a garage there until it was discovered in 2000.
Because of the vehicle's distinguished history, Ford agreed to finance the frame-off restoration with the agreement the company could use the vehicle for displays and exhibitions over the next ten years.
During the full restoration process, which was handled by an expert in vintage automobile restoration, the serial number A20, 000,000 was uncovered. Further proof of authenticity came when the paint was stripped off revealing evidence of the "twenty millionth" lettering that was originally on the car doors.
"This treasure of the company's legacy will not be lost again. We are thrilled to have it back for the company’s 100th anniversary in 2003 and the opportunity to share it once again with Ford and antique auto enthusiasts," said John Rintamaki, chief of staff, Ford Motor Company.
After the public unveiling in Iola, Wis., the 20 millionth vehicle will be displayed at the Model A Ford Club of America's national convention in Riverside, Calif. on July 21, 2002. The vehicle then will be used at various events, as part of the company's 100th anniversary in 2003.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is the world's second largest automaker with approximately 350,000 employees, and operating in more than 200 markets on six continents. Its automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Its automotive-related services include Ford Credit, Hertz and Quality Care. The company's world headquarters are in Dearborn, Michigan. Ford Motor Company will officially observe its 100th anniversary on June 16, 2003. Additional information can be found on the company’s web site at www.ford.com.