Founded by Henry Ford in 1903, the Ford Motor Company was America’s first superpower car manufacturer. In addition to pioneering assembly-line manufacturing techniques, Ford has produced more cars that collectors covet over the years—from Model Ts to Mustangs, plus a lot in between—than just about any other carmaker.

In 1903, Ford released its first run of Model A cars. It only manufactured this initial version of the Model A for two years, and these early Ford vehicles are nearly impossible for collectors to find.

The next few years were formative for the company. In 1907, Ford built its last car with the steering wheel on the right side, the Model S. A year later Ford introduced the Model T (though it was considered a 1909 model), which changed car manufacturing forever. The Model T, or "Tin Lizzie," as it was often called, is one of the most collected antique cars ever made, and is the anchor for dozens of collectors groups around the United States and the world.

It is unclear how many vintage Model Ts still exist, but estimates range from 50,000 to 150,000.

Though they were extremely popular and remain so today, some collectors do not enjoy Model Ts as much as later Model As, mainly because the Model T cannot realistically be driven on modern highways. It was built with a belt transmission that only allows the car to go 25-30 MPH, and the brakes are essentially useless.

As is the case with all vintage cars, collectors enjoy restoring Model Ts, and some even collect Model T parts such as generators and steering wheels.

The Model T was also the first car Ford built on an assembly line. Ford needed a means to streamline production to meet the high demand for the car, and the assembly line, which ...

Model Ts remained the most popular American car model for almost two decades before it fell out of favor with the public. Out of Ford’s need to adjust to a changing market, the new Model A was born.

Although the second run of Model As only lasted from 1927 to 1931, they remain one of the most highly collected vintage Ford models. The Model A possessed a regular transmission, which allowed drivers to reach speeds of 45 MPH—at 40 horses, it had double the power of the Model T.

There were various versions of Model As: two-seater coupes, roadsters with retractable tops, two-door sedans, and four-door sedans, to name a few. All are sought after today, though the Roadster, which ironically was the most modestly priced Model A, and the Cabriolet (a convertible with windows) are the most collected.

In 1932, Ford came out with the Model B and the Model 18, which is commonly referred to as the Ford V-8 because of its engine. Other than the number of cylinders under the hood, the two models are virtually identical.

Many collectors, especially those who like to drive their vintage cars, enjoy the various models of the Ford V-8. Because of the more powerful engine, vintage V-8s can reach speeds of 50 MPH or more.

Ford continued pumping out cars through the first half of the 20th century, but it was not until the 1950s that it released car lines that attracted cult followings like its earlier Model Ts and Model As.

For example, in 1955, Ford came out with its first run of Thunderbirds. T-Birds, as they are called for short, have been a collecting niche ever since. Ford produced 13 generations of Thunderbirds until it stopped producing the car in 2005.

Considered the first personal luxury car, the Thunderbird came in a number of different models, including convertible. There are hundreds of collectors in the United States who are dedicated to just T-Birds, which means that the earlier generation models are, not surprisingly, more desired.

A year after releasing its first Thunderbird, Ford debuted its initial Fairlane model, which it would continue to sell in the U.S. until 1971 and in Australia until 2007. Early Fairlanes—whose name derives from Henry Ford’s estate—were considered full-size cars, but from 1962 on they were mid-sized.

In 1960, another collectible car rolled off the Ford assembly line, the Galaxie. This was a full-size family sedan, but it was also a high-performance vehicle and is considered by many to be a predecessor of the muscle car.

While all of these cars are popular among collectors, the undisputed most collectible Ford is the Mustang, which debuted in 1964. The Mustang is the only car that trumps the collectability of the earlier Model Ts and Model As.

This “pony car,” which is still manufactured today, was designed to feature a long hood and a short rear deck.

Other carmakers such as Chevrolet and Plymouth tried to imitate the appeal of the early Mustang, with the Camaro and Barracuda respectively, but no company was able to replicate the Mustang. The car became a cultural icon, appearing in James Bond movies and on the covers of countless magazines.

Early generation Mustangs from the 1960s and ’70s are most collectible. Some Mustangs released between 1965 and 1970, known as Shelby Mustangs, are especially popular.

Other collectible Ford models include the Lotus Cortina, the Consul, and the Capri.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Jersey Vintage Ford Collectibles

Jersey Vintage Ford Collectibles

Sam Baker's excellent collection of vintage Ford porcelain and neon signs and related memorabilia from the 1920s an… [read review or visit site]

The Ford Cortina Web Site

The Ford Cortina Web Site

‘Drives Like Fun, Saves Like Crazy’ was the Ford Cortina marketing slogan, and this site certainly lives up to … [read review or visit site]

1957Ford.com

1957Ford.com

The new model year Fords are in, and its 1957! Looking at a Fairlane, Tudor Sedan, Ranchero or Country Squire Wagon… [read review or visit site]

Hemmings Auto Blogs

Hemmings Auto Blogs

This great (and frequently updated) blog from the folks at Hemmings Motor News is a visual feast of old and new pho… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Ford : F-100 F100 Swb 1967 Ford F 100 Swb Patina Project Offered By Gas Monkey Garage No ReserveFord : Other Deluxe 1934 Ford Deluxe Three Window Coupe 3233 MilesFord : Mustang 2 Door 1966 Mustang Fastback K CodeFord : Other Pickups F-6 1951 Ford F 6 Cabover Truck Coe Flatbed Dually 1 Ton F 6 Pickup Vintage PatinaFord : E-series Van 1974 Ford Econoline 300 Super Van High Top Combi Wagon Camper Montana SurvivorFord : Other 4 Door Convertible 1938 Ford 4 Door Convertible Rare Barn Find Low Miles OrigionalFord : Model A Cool 1931 Ford Model A Rat Hot Rod 401 Buick Nailhead Pin Up Race Drag Bomber Car 1Ford : Model A Coupe 1930 Ford Model A Hot RodFord : Mustang Pony Car...no Reserve 1966 Mustang Convertible No Reserve WowFord : Model A 1930 Model A Pickup Truck All Steel BodyFord : Other Pickups 1940 Ford TruckFord : Mustang No Reserve Fastback 2+2 No Reserve 1966 Ford Mustang 2 + 2 Fastback Stunning Frame Off Restoration WowFord : Other Deluxe 1936 Ford Five Window Coupe Hot RodFord : Other Pickups Chrome 1950 Ford F 1 Shop Truck Project Rat Rod Air Ride F 100 Pick Up TruckFord : Bronco 1968 Ford Bronco 4 Wheel Drive 3 On The TreeFord : Other 1960 Ford Starliner ProjectFord : F-250 Xlt 1976 Ford F 250 4 X 4 Highboy Ranger Xlt Best Truck On Ebay For The DollarFord : Model A None 1928 Ford Model A Coupe 29 30 31 32 Y Block Hot Rat RodFord : Mustang Mach 1 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 428 Cobra JetFord : Falcon Futura Sprint 1964 Ford Falcon Sprint GasserFord : Galaxie Starliner 1961 Ford Galaxie Starliner 6.4 LFord : Other 2 Door 1936 Ford 5 Window CoupeFord : Mustang Boss 427 Convertible 1970 Boss 427 Convertible Roush Stage Ii Shelby Custom Export Ok See VideosFord : Other Roadster 1930 Ford Roadster Hot RodFord : Fairlane 500 1970 Ford Fairlane Torino Non CobrajetFord : Other 1932 Ford Summit Racing Quadradeuce 406 Cu In 594 Hp 450 Ft Lbs Torque AwdFord : F-100 Custom 1956 Ford F 100 Street RodFord : Model A 1931 Ford Coupe Traditional Hot RodFord : Model A Coupe 1930 Ford Model A Coupe Solid Older Restoration Runs WellFord : Other 1932 Ford RoadsterFord : Other Deluxe 1934 Ford Deluxe Three Window Coupe 32 33 MilesFord : F-100 Custom 1968 Ford F 100 Seams Removed Custom Trim Lowered G Machine Restoration CleanFord : F-250 F250 Ranger Xlt 4wd Original Highboy 390 V8 1976 Ford F 250 Ranger Xlt Highboy 4 Wd 390 V 8 Frame Up Restore NewFord : Model T Custom 1923 Ford Model T Speedster Vintage Race Car 2sp Rearend 30 32 34 36 40Ford : Fairlane 500 Gta 2-door Hardtop Coupe 1966 Ford Fairlane 500 Gta Hardtop S Code 390 CidFord : Other Pickups F250 4x4 1965 Ford F 250 4 X 4 Extremely Rare And Original V 8 Working 4 X 4 All OriginalFord : Other Grabber 1971 Ford Maverick GrabberFord : Galaxie 500 1963 1 2 Ford Galaxie 500 Factory 390 S Matching 2 Nd Owner California Car L KFord : Fairlane Gta 1966 Ford Fairlane Gta Running 390 C 6Ford : F-100 Big Window 1956 Ford F 100 Big Window Street Rod RestoredFord : Other Base 1932 Ford Model B Rat Rod With 350 Cubic Inch Chevy Motor Automatic TransmissionFord : Thunderbird Street Rod 1955 Thunderbird Hot Street Rod Restomod Black 302 With Overdrive AutomaticFord : Mustang 1968 Ford Mustang 2 2 Fastback 302 Auto Ps Pb Air Condition Great DriverFord : Thunderbird Base Convertible 2-door 1957 Ford Thunderbird Project Car For Restoration Or PartsFord : Model A Convertible Roadster 1928 Ford Model A Deluxe Rumble Seat RoadsterFord : Other Deluxe Coupe 1938 Ford Deluxe CoupeFord : Other Original , Handles, Bumpers 1935 Ford CoupeFord : Other 1933 Ford Tudor Sedan Henry Ford Steel Hotrod 1934 1932 Rat Rod Street Rod 1940Ford : Bronco Ranger 1975 Ford BroncoFord : Mustang 1967 Ford Mustang FastbackFord : Mustang Fastback 2 + 2 1966 Ford Mustang Fastback 2 2 True Barn Find 41 K Original MilesFord : Bronco N/a 1973 Ford BroncoFord : Mustang Fastback 1969 Mustang Fastback S Code 390 Big Block Matching Total Restoration AwesomeFord : Other 1952 Ford F 2 Marmon Harrington All Wheel Drive Truck V 8 Flathead Hot Rod ShowFord : Mustang Base 1968 Ford Mustang Coupe 289 3 SpeedFord : F-100 F100 Big Window 1956 Ford Big WindowFord : Other Hot Rod. Flathead V8! 5 Speed! 1932 Ford Roadster Hot Rod Flathead V 8 5 SpeedFord : Mustang Beautiful Original And Documented 67 Fastback 1967 Fastback Mustang All Original A Code CarFord : Torino Gt Fastback 4 Speed Big Block S Code 1969 Ford Torino Gt Fastback 390 4 Speed S CodeFord : Mustang Shelby Gt500 1969 Ford Mustang Shelby Gt 500