Mountain climbing with early Fords

Ford’s Model T famously motored to the top of U.K.’s highest mountain – Ben Nevis – back in 1911. At the wheel was Henry Alexander, an Edinburgh car dealer, and his achievement made Model T front page news.

Less well known is that Henry repeated the feat in 1928, only this time driving a Ford Model A tourer. It took him just 9.5 hours to ascend to the summit, and the following day just two hours to retrace the route. Just as before, the achievement was publicity gold for Alexander and Ford.

Launched in 1928, the Model A heralded a new era in automotive transport. It introduced four-wheel drum brakes, hydraulic shock absorbers and a laminated safety windscreen – the first car ever to do so. Customers could choose from seven body types and four colours. It was also the first Ford equipped with a conventional clutch and brake pedals, throttle, and gearshift.

By the time production of the Model A ceased in March 1932, almost 5 million had been manufactured at 16 facilities in eight countries.

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