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 : Model A Rural Mail Delivery Cabriolet Convertible Coupe 1928 1929 1931 Roadster 1932 Phaeton 1933 Tudor 1934 Fordor 1935 Sedan 1936 1940Ford : Other Sedan 1932 Ford Rare Original Sedan All Henry All Steel Survivor Barn Find No RustFord : Other Pickups Econoline 100 1967 Ford Econoline Pickup TruckFord : Bronco Custom Ranger 1978 Ford Bronco Lifted Clean No Reserve Red And White Beast Classic RatFord : Model A 3100 Hot Rod Rat Street Apache F100 C10 Model A 1938 Dodge Bare Metal Hot Rod Patina Street Rat Chopped Pickup Truck Ford SctaFord : Model T Model T 1927 Ford Model T Roadster Channelled Traditional Hot Rat Street Rod FlatheadFord : Other Deluxe Business Coupe 1940 Ford Deluxe Business CoupeFord : Model A Roadster 1928 Model A Ford RoadsterFord : F-550 Hobbit House 1948 Ford Coe Cabover Tiny House Car W New 350 New Trans Ca RegistrationFord : F-100 F-100 1966 Ford F 100 Custom Cab Truck 352 Engine New Tires Runs Good No Leaks FordFord : Bronco Sport 1977 Ford Bronco Sport 4 X 4Ford : Thunderbird Thunderbird 1955 Ford Thunderbird V 8 Numbers Match Hot Rod Cruiser TbirdFord : Other Grabber 1971 Ford Maverick Base Sedan 2 Door 5.0 LFord : Other Wagon 1955 Ford Fairlane Country Sedan WagonFord : F-100 F-1 1950 Ford F 1 Pickup Hot Rod Or Rat RodFord : Mustang Gt Tribute 1966 Mustang Fastback Gt Tribute 289 Cu InFord : Model A Pickup 1931 Model A Ford PickupFord : Model T 2 Door Coupe 1924 Ford Model T Base 2.9 LFord : Other 1929 Ford All Cashed Out 350 350 Four Wheel Disc Brakes Rat Rod Must SeeFord : Other Pickups F6 Coe Car Hauler 1948 Ford F 6 Coe Car Hauler 12 V Cummins Turbo Diesel A C Heat Show StopperFord : Other Street Rod 1940 Ford Custom Coupe Street Rod Flathead Custom Interior All Steel LookFord : Other Pickups Coe Cab Over Engine 1955 Ford F 600 Coe Pickup Truck Cab Over Engine Must See V 8 Very RareFord : Fairlane Convertible 1969 Ford Fairlane 500 Convertible Resto Mod No Reserve Mustang CougarFord : Torino 2 Door Coupe 1970 Ford Torino Cobra 429 4 SpeedFord : Fairlane Stationwagon 1963 Ford Fairlane Ranch Wagon Stationwagon Surfwagon California OriginalFord : Mustang Fastback 1964 1 2 1965 Ford Mustang D Code 289 4 Barrel Factory Disc Brakes Power SteeringFord : Other Vintage 1934 34 Ford 3 Window Coupe Traditional Hot RodFord : Mustang Gt 1968 Ford Mustang FastbackFord : F-100 Custom 1957 Ford F 100 Short Bed V 8 StickFord : Mustang Fastback 1966 Ford Mustang 2 2 Fastback S Match Factory Air Low ReserveFord : Model A Delux Coupe 1931 Ford Model A Deluxe 5 Window Coupe All SteelFord : Other Pickups None 1940 Ford Panel Truck 1940 Ford Ford Panel Van Ford Panel Truck Ford TruckFord : Model A None 1931 Ford Model A Rat RodFord : Other 2 Door Coupe 1937 Ford 5 Window 100 Steel Old School Hot RodFord : Other 1933 Ford Deluxe 5 Window Coupe 1933 Ford 5 Window Coupe Street Rod Sbc Hot Scta 33 34Ford : Model A Tudor Sedan 1932 Ford 2 Door Sedan Project Hot Rod Tudor Frame Grille 32 DeuceFord : Other Panel Truck 1935 Ford Panel Truck Hot Rod Rat RodFord : Mustang Fastback 1966 Mustang Fastback Original S Matching A Code 289 65 000 MilesFord : Mustang Mach 1 1972 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Documented Survivor California Car At No ReserveFord : Model A Rumble Seat Roadster 1931 Model A Ford Roadster Indented FirewallFord : F-100 Short Bed 1966 Ford F 100 Shop Truck Rat Rod Hot Rod LoweredFord : Other Phaeton Antique Automobile 1936 Ford Phaeton No Reserve Original All Henry Ford SteelFord : Other Coupe 1932 Ford Coupe Street Rod HotrodFord : Mustang Mach 1, 428 Cobra Jet, Q Code 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 428 Cobra Jet Q Code 52 K Original MilesFord : Other Pickups Steel And Chrome 1941 Ford Pickup Beautifully Restored To Original ConditionFord : Other Custom 1951 Ford Deluxe Custom Classic Cruiser Lead Sled Street RodFord : Bronco Custom 1978 Bronco Low Mileage One Owner Family No Rust Ever A C Ps Pb New Paint NiceFord : Other Sedan 1949 Anglia Project Rat Rod Gasser Hot Rod Perfect PitiniaFord : Bronco Na 1971 Ford Bronco Pick UpFord : Other F-600 1953 Ford F 600 100 Rust Free All Original Sheet Metal Dually V 8 No ResrveFord : Model A 2 Dr Sedan 1931 Ford Model A Hotrod Hot Rod Rat Rod Ratrod Traditional RodFord : Other Pickups Pick Up 1938 Ford Pickup TruckFord : F-250 F-250 Lariat 1978 Ford F 250 4 X 4 No Reserve Lariat Xlt Custom F 250 F 250 Pickup TruckFord : Mustang Fastback 2+2 1965 Mustang Fastback 4 Speed Manual Pony Interior No ReserveFord : Model A 5 Window Coupe 1931 Ford Deluxe 5 Window Coupe W Rumble Seat Nice Older Restored Ca ExampleFord : Other Deluxe Sedan 1934 Ford 2 Door Deluxe Sedan All SteelFord : Model A Wide Bed 1931 Ford Model A Pick Up Late 31 Wide Bed Ratrod Hot Rod Street Rod PatinaFord : Model A Doodlebug 1932 Ford Model B DoodlebugFord : F-250 Custom 1978 Ford 12 Valve P Pump Cummins 6 SpeedFord : Galaxie 500xl Sport 1964 Galaxie 500 Xl Factory Z Code 390 Big Block Buckets Console Very Nice Red