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 : F-100 F100 Swb 1967 Ford F 100 Swb Patina Project Offered By Gas Monkey Garage No ReserveFord : Other Pickups F-6 1951 Ford F 6 Cabover Truck Coe Flatbed Dually 1 Ton F 6 Pickup Vintage PatinaFord : Model A Roadster 1930 Ford Model A RoadsterFord : Other Deluxe 1934 Ford Deluxe Three Window Coupe 32 33 MilesFord : Model A Coupe 1930 Ford Model A Hot RodFord : Galaxie Starliner 1961 Ford Galaxie Starliner 6.4 LFord : Model A 1930 Model A Pickup Truck All Steel BodyFord : Model A None 1928 Ford Model A Coupe 29 30 31 32 Y Block Hot Rat RodFord : Other Roadster 1930 Ford Roadster Hot RodFord : Falcon Futura Sprint 1964 Ford Falcon Sprint GasserFord : Fairlane 500 1970 Ford Fairlane Torino Non CobrajetFord : 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 : Bronco 1977 Classic Ford Bronco GreenFord : Other 600 1978 Ford 600 WreckerFord : Other 1933 Ford Tudor Sedan Henry Ford Steel Hotrod 1934 1932 Rat Rod Street Rod 1940Ford : Other 1932 Ford Summit Racing Quadradeuce 406 Cu In 594 Hp 450 Ft Lbs Torque AwdFord : Other Custom Cab 1956 Ford C 800 Big Job Coe Cab Over Engine Truck No Rust With Title Rat RodFord : Other 3-window Cpupe 1933 Henry Ford Coupe Original Steel Body Doors Trunk Lid Traditional High BoyFord : F-100 F-100 Pickup 1956 Ford F 100 Shortbox Truck Complete Original Hot Rat Rod Kustom GasserFord : F-100 Custom 1968 Ford F 100 Seams Removed Custom Trim Lowered G Machine Restoration CleanFord : Other Pickups 1950's Era Shop Truck 1940 Ford Pickup Steel Body 283 V 8 5 Spd Disc One Best Driving Trucks AroundFord : Other Tudor Sedan 1940 Ford Tudor Sedan Deluxe Barn Find Flathead Flat Head OriginalFord : Other 1952 Ford F 2 Marmon Harrington All Wheel Drive Truck V 8 Flathead Hot Rod ShowFord : Other 1932 Ford Tudor SedanFord : Other 1932 Ford RoadsterFord : Mustang Gt 1965 Ford Mustang Original Gt Coupe 53 K MilesFord : Galaxie 500 Xl 1963 Ford R Code Galaxie 500 Xl Trailer QueenFord : Other Coupe. Original 50's Hot Rod Found: "touché Away" 1932 Ford Coupe Original 1950 S Hot Rod Found Touché Away See VideoFord : Model A Just Cool Old Hot Rod Chopped Channeled Steel 1931 Ford Model A Street Rod Hot Rod Bbc 9" Currie RearFord : Other Base 1932 Ford Model B Rat Rod With 350 Cubic Inch Chevy Motor Automatic TransmissionFord : Model A Model A Ford 1930 Coupe In Red And Black.looks Great And Runs Well ! OutstandingFord : Mustang Gt Fastback 1967 Ford Mustage Gt FastbackFord : Other Original , Handles, Bumpers 1935 Ford CoupeFord : Other Grabber 1971 Ford Maverick GrabberFord : F-100 F100 Big Window 1956 Ford Big WindowFord : Other 2 Door 1937 Ford Slant BackFord : Bronco Sport 1971 Ford Bronco Sport 351 Automatic TransmissionFord : Thunderbird M Code Convertible 1963 Ford Thunderbird Convertible Rare M Code Tri Power Car Very Solid NoreserveFord : Other 1932 Ford Roadster Street Rod Buily By Alloway 350 Auto Wilwood Brakes Currie 9Ford : Other Deluxe Coupe 1938 Ford Deluxe CoupeFord : F-250 Ford F-250 4x4 1973 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1974 Ford F 250 4 X 4 Crew Cab Highboy Excellent Condition Fully RestoredFord : Other 1937 Ford Business Coupe Flathead 37 38 39 40 Hot Rat Street RodFord : Other Deluxe 1938 Ford 2 Door Sedan Hot Rod Rat Rod 1932Ford : Other Pickups 2 Door Rare 1938 Ford Truck Rat Rod, Hot RodFord : Other 1932 Ford 5 Window CoupeFord : Mustang Mach I Fastback 2-door 1970 Ford Mustang Mach I Fastback 2 Door 351 ClevelandFord : Mustang Convertible 1966 Mustang Convertible V 8 5 Day No Reserve Auction 1968 1967 1965 FastbackFord : Mustang Mach1 1969 Mustang Mach 1 351 W AutoFord : Mustang Fastback 2+2 289 C Code Stick!! 2 2 Fastback C Code 289 Ci Parked In 1976 Tx Car Very Original Great FindFord : Thunderbird Base Convertible 2-door 1957 Ford Thunderbird Base Convertible 2 Door 5.1 LFord : Bronco 1976 Ford Bronco Project Needs Restored Not RunningFord : Ranchero 2 Door Beautiful 1971 Ford Ranchero GtFord : Other Roadster 1932 Ford Roadster Original Henry Steal Fiberglass FindersFord : Bronco Xlt 1978 Ford Bronco 400 4 X 4Ford : Crown Victoria 2 Door Coupe 1956 Ford Crown Victoria Blue And White Interior Needs Total RestorationFord : Thunderbird Simply Breath Taking The Best Ive Seen In Years. The Best Low Mileage Bird In Country 1964 Ford Thunderbird Convertible Loaded.Ford : Bronco Sport 1971 Bronco 302 Auto Ps Nice Paint New Chrome And Interior Solid Western RideFord : Other Pickups Stock 1940 Ford Pickup Street Rod Hot RodFord : Fairlane Skyliner Retactable Hardtop Convertible 1957 Ford Fairlane Skyliner Retractable Hardtop ConvertibleFord : Model A 1929 Ford Model A Pickup Aaca Senior Winner