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 : Mustang K Code 1965 K Code Mustang Fast Back 4 Speed 289 Hi PoFord : Other Standard 1932 Ford Roadster Henry Ford Steel Flathead 8 Ba 3 Speed Od Scta Hot Street RodFord : Mustang Gt 1968 Mustang Fastback Original 147 K C Code 289 A C P S Bullitt Eleanor ShelbyFord : Model A Street Rod 1930 Hot Rod The Chadly CoupeFord : Other Deluxe 1934 Ford Deluxe Three Window CoupeFord : Model A Hot Rod 1929 Ford Model A Hot Rod Rat Rod Street Rod 1928 1930 1931 Hotrod RatrodFord : Mustang Gt 1966 Mustang Gt Fastback 4 Speed Running Driving A Code And No ReserveFord : Mustang Fastback 1969 Ford Mustang Fastback Mach 1 Big Block 1970 1965 1966 1967 1968Ford : F-100 Short Bed 1966 Ford F 100 Custom Cab Swb Hot Rod TruckFord : Model A Coupe 1930 Ford Model A Coupe Ratrod Hotrod Patina Real Deal Steel Stroker SbcFord : F-150 Ranger Xlt 1976 Ford Ranger Xlt 4 X 4 California Rust Free OriginalFord : Model A Roadster Barn Find Survivor Hot Rod Originally Built In 1950's 1930 1931 1932 1936 1934Ford : Mustang R-code 1970 Mustang R Code 428 Cobra Jet 1 Of 1 Black Black Extensive RestorationFord : Other Sta Wgn 1958 Edsel Ford Mercury Burmuda Station Wagon Rare One Of 892 ProducedFord : Falcon Deluxe 1962 Ford Falcon 302 V 8Ford : Other Street Rod Real Deal Steel 32 Ford 5 Window Coupe Street Rod No $ Spared Not 1933,1934,1940Ford : Mustang Mach 1 "s" Code 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 S CodeFord : Torino R 428cj 1969 Ford Torino 428 4 V Cobra Jet R Code Sportsroof Bucket Seats FairlaneFord : Bronco Xl 1973 Ford Bronco Original Uncut 302 V 8 Automatic TransmissionFord : Mustang Base Fastback 2-door 1968 Ford Mustang Base Fastback 2 Door 4.7 LFord : Other Deluxe 1940 Ford ConvertibleFord : Mustang 1965 Ford Mustang Gt 350 Hertz Free Shipping 289 5 Speed 4 Wpdb Ac 2 2 CloneFord : Other Custom 1932 Ford Tudor Sedan Original Henry Ford Steel Street RodFord : Ranchero Base 1957 Ford Ranchero Base 4.8 LFord : Other Pickups Pu 1932 Ford Pickup Traditional Un Chopped Top Henry Steel Hot Rod ProjectFord : Mustang Gt Fastback Sport Roof 1969 Ford Mustang Gt Sport Roof 428 Ci Cobra Jet R Code Super RareFord : Falcon Falcon Deluxe Wagon 1966 Ford Falcon 4 Door Deluxe Wagon 289 V 8 Runs And Drives A C CarFord : Mustang Convertible 1965 Mustang Convertible Dynasty Green Metallic Beautiful Deep Turquoise ColorFord : Other Street Rod 1934 Ford Coupe Hot Rod W Corvette SuspensionFord : Ranchero Falcon 1965 Ford Falcon Ranchero 289 V 8 Automatic Honey GoldFord : Other Custom 2d Gorgeous 1950 Ford Custom 2-door SedanFord : Falcon Futura 1963 Falcon Futura Convertible Rare Factory 4 Spd Been Garaged For YearsFord : Mustang Mach 1 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 460 Big BlockFord : Galaxie Hard Top 1964 Ford Galaxy 2 Door Hard TopFord : Model A 1929 Ford Hot Rod Dry Lakes Track RoadsterFord : Galaxie Original 1967 Ford Galaxie FastbackFord : Other Crestline 1953 Ford Sunliner ConvertibleFord : F-100 None 1953 Ford F 100 Pick Up Rat Rod Hot Rod Big BlockFord : Ranchero Classic 1957 Ford RancheroFord : Other Hot Rod 1949 Ford F 1 Panel Delivery Truck Hot Rod Nice Florida CarFord : Model A Sedan 1930 Ford Model A Original Owner Original Bill Of SaleFord : Mustang Coupe Boss 302 Tribute Simply Amazing Fully Restored 1969 Ford Mustang Loaded A/c MintFord : Other 1940 Coupe 1940 Ford Deluxe CoupeFord : Fairlane Cntry Sedan Beautiful Rare 1956 Ford Fairlane Country Sedan Wagon Optional 292 V8 Nice !!Ford : Model A N/a 1930 Ford Model A Coupe Hot RodFord : Mustang Base Coupe 2-door 1965 Ford Mustang 5.0 L Efi Restomod Power Steering Power BrakesFord : Other Pickups Pickup Truck 1938 Ford Pickup TruckFord : Torino Gt 1968 Ford Torino GtFord : Other Pickups 5 Star Cab 1951 Ford F 1 Flathead V 8Ford : Bronco Bronco 1969 Ford Bronco 302 4 X 4 Only 38 000 Original MilesFord : F-250 Custom 4x4 1977 Ford F 250 4 X 4 HighboyFord : Fairlane Sunliner 1957 Ford Sunliner Custom Street Rod ConvertibleFord : Other None 1941 Ford Panel Delivery Truck Hot Rod 1932 Street Rod Deuce Halibrand 1933 1934Ford : Other Standard 1938 Ford Flathead V 8 Tudor Standard Sedan Classic CarFord : Other Woody 1951 Ford Country Squire WoodyFord : Falcon Futura 1965 Ford Falcon Falconstein Gasser All Fresh All New 100 Turnkey Show WinnerFord : Galaxie 500xk 500 Xl Sportroof Fastback 1964 Galaxie 500 Xl Amazing Super Nice Original Condition With Quality RepaintFord : Other Custom 1950 Ford CoupeFord : Bronco Ranger 1977 Ford Bronco RangerFord : Other Na 1934 Ford Henry Ford Steel Coupe Roadster