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]

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 : Other Pinto 1973 Ford Pinto Coupe Original Offered By Gas Monkey Garage No ReserveFord : Other Coe 1947 Ford Coe Cab Over Truck 1940 Car Hauler Survivor Original 239 FlatheadFord : Other 1932 Ford Model 18 3 Window CoupeFord : Model A Roaster Deluxe With Rumble Seat 1931 Ford Model A Roadster Deluxe Rumble Seat Trog Hot Rod Gow Henry SteelFord : Model A 1930 Model A Av 8 Flathead V 8 Scta Traditional HotrodFord : Model A 1934 Ford Model A Pickup TruckFord : Other F-1 1949 Ford Pickup F 1 Hot Rat Street Rod Shop TruckFord : Mustang Mach-1 1969 Mach 1 No Reserve M Code 4 SpeedFord : Torino Gran Sport 1972 Ford Gran Torino Sport Fastback Q Code 351 Cobra Jet A CFord : Mustang Also Available 1969 Mustang R-code 428scj 4 Speed 1969 Mustang 302 Fastback 4 Speed Console Wood Grain Mach 1 Style Flip SeatsFord : Mustang Gt 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback Pro Touring Resto Mod 400 Hp 351 W 4 V 5 Spd No ReserveFord : Thunderbird 2-door 1957 Thunderbird ConvertibleFord : Mustang Fastback Project Car 1965 Mustang Fastback Project CarFord : Other 429 4v V8 1970 Ford Country Squire 10 Pass S W Very Rare 429 4 V Vintage Trailer PullerFord : Mustang Fastback Fastback, Mustang, 1968, 1967,Ford : Other Pickups 5 Window Pickup 1961 Ford Econoline 5 Window Pickup Rat Rod Patina Shop TruckFord : Thunderbird Base Convertible 2-door 1955 Ford Thunderbird Base Convertible 2 Door 4.8 LFord : Mustang Mach 1 Awesome 1969 Candy Apple Red Ford Mustang Mach 1 351 A/t New Paint & InteriorFord : Mustang 1969 Ford Mustang Q CodeFord : Thunderbird Convertible 1956 Ford Thunderbird 56 Rare One Owner Family Estate Sale Barn Restored 55 57Ford : Bronco Original First Year 1966 Ford Bronco 4x4 Barn Find Project Runs No Reserve !!Ford : Falcon Gt Xb 1975 Ford Falcon Xb Gt 351 CFord : Mustang 1969 Mustang 428scj. Good Reserve. Tach Dash 1969 Ford Mustang 4 Speed R Code 428 Scj 100 000 Nada Value Free 428 CjFord : Model A 1930 Ford Chopped 50 S Style HotrodFord : Mustang 1966 Mustang A Code Fastback Manual Trans Solid Az Project Car No ReserveFord : Other None 1932 Ford 3 Window Coupe Hot Rod Street Rod 1933 1934 1940 Deuce 32 Sedan GibbonFord : Other 5 Window American Graffiti 1932 32 Ford 5 Window Deuce Coupe Beautiful No Reserve 33 1934Ford : F-250 Xlt 1977 Ford F 250 Ranger Xlt 4 X 4 Very Clean A Must See With Air OptionFord : Model A 1930 Ford Model A Truck All OriginalFord : Other Super Deluxe 1938 Ford Business Coupe Super Deluxe Not 1940Ford : Mustang Fastback 1966 Mustang Fastback C Code 289 Automatic Gt 350 Clone 1965 1967 1968 1969Ford : Mustang Base 1970 Mustang FastbackFord : Bronco Xlt 1978 Ford Bronco Xlt 4 X 4 Factory Engine 4 Speed Low Miles 67 K No ReserveFord : Mustang Gta 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback GtaFord : F-100 1949 Ford F 1 Pickup Streetrod Hot Rat Rod Project Truck No ReserveFord : Model A Rumble Seat Roadster 1930 Ford Model A Roadster Same Family Owned For 40 Years No ReserveFord : Mustang 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 351 Shaker Hood 4 Speed Elite Marti ReportFord : Mustang Base 1965 Ford Mustang Mint Original One Owner Ca Car 289 V 8 3 SpeedFord : Mustang Gt500 Eleanor Super Snake # 301 428 4 Speed 1968 1967 Shelby Gt 500 Eleanor Super Snake Fastback S Code 428 Cobra Jet 4 Speed 1968Ford : Model A 5 Window Coupe 1931 Ford 5 Window Coupe Rat RodFord : Other Pickups Fully Restored Show Truck Simply Mint Fully Restored 1950 Ford F-1 Pick Up Done To Show Condition Musr SeeFord : Fairlane Skyliner Grandpaws 1958 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner Retractable HardtopFord : Mustang C-code Pony Interior Beautiful 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible 289 4-speed, Pony Interior, Show And Go!Ford : Mustang 2+2 Base 1966 Mustang Fastback 2 2 Four Speed Low MilesFord : F-100 Custom Standard Cab Pickup 2-door 1975 Ford F 100 Custom Long Bed 4 X 4 TruckFord : Other Original Henry Ford 1932 Roadster (full Fendered)Ford : Mustang Fastback 1965 Ford Mustang FastbackFord : Mustang Base 1965 Ford Mustang Coupe V 8 289 C Code Daily Driver Worldwide No Reserve Must SeeFord : Ranchero Truck Muscle Ranchero Falcon Elcamino Rare V8 No Reserve 1965 Ford Ranchero Gt 289 V8 Numbers Matching True Gt Rare Barn FindFord : Mustang Mach I Fastback 1969 Ford Mustang S CodeFord : Galaxie * Galaxie 500 / Ltd Fastback * 7-litre 1966 Extremely Rare 7 Litre 428 FordFord : Model T Ford 1927 Model T Hot Rod Street Rod Rat RodFord : Bronco Wagon 4x4 Suv 4wd Hd Uncut Freshly Restored 1973 Bronco U153 302 Hd Wagon 4x4 Dana Model 20 100 Pics!Ford : Model A 1931 Ford Model A Pickup Truck All Steel Black 350 Chevy Motor 32 Style HoodFord : E-series Van 1973 Tan Patina Ford Econoline Van Hot Rod Rat Rod Old School Other Camper VanFord : F-100 Big Window Stepside 1956 Ford Project TruckFord : Other No Reserve 1936 Ford 3 Window Coupe Flathead V 8 Original Henry Steel Survivor Hot Rat RodFord : F-100 F 100 1961 Ford F 100 Unibody V 8 8 Ft Bed LookFord : Fairlane Victoria 1957 Ford Fairlne 500 2 Dr HardtopFord : F-100 Custom Cab 1954 Ford F 100 Truck