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    

1934 Ford Other 1934 Ford1932 Ford Other 5 Window Coupe 1932 Ford 5 Window Coupe Hot Rod [the Champagne Coupe] So-cal Speed Shop Built1970 Ford Mustang Fastback 1970 Mustang Fastback Sportsroof V8 M Code Project Car1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Drag Pack Mustang Mach 1 428 Super Cobra Jet V8 4 Speed 3.91 Traction Lok Drag Pack1976 Ford Bronco Sport 1976 Ford Bronco Sport1932 Ford Other Original 1932 Ford 3 Window Coupe Body Scta1954 Ford F-450 1954 Ford F-450 Coe1971 Ford F-250 Xlt 1971 Ford Highboy 4x41967 Ford Mustang Deluxe 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback1967 Ford Mustang 1967 Mustang Fastback Project- C Code-289 Manual Solid Body! Needs Restored Barn1969 Ford Mustang 1969 Mustang Fastback Mach 1 Project1974 Ford Bronco Sport Uncut 1974 Ford Bronco1967 Ford Mustang Chrome 1967 Mustang Fastback1973 Ford Bronco Roadster 1973 Ford Bronco,classic Bronco,early Bronco,66-771932 Ford Other Henry Ford Trim. 1932 Ford 2 Door Sedan, Real Henry Ford Steel, Barn Find1969 Ford Mustang 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1, 351, Auto, Factory Ac Car! Trades?1928 Ford Model A Roadster 1928 Model A Roadster. 18,485 Original Miles, Award Winner1969 Ford Bronco White 1969 Ford Bronco1951 Ford Other Victoria Mild Custom 1951 Ford Victoria 2dr Hardtop Extremely Straight Rust~accident Free1933 Ford Other 1933 Ford Phaeton Hotrod Tub 1934 Deuce 1932 Streetrod 1940 Truck Coupe Sedan 361940 Ford Other Pickups Pickup Truck 1940 Ford Pickup Truck W/ V8 & 3-speed On The Floor - Restored1956 Ford F-100 1956 Ford F250 F100 Shop Truck V8 Barn Find Patina1963 Ford Galaxie Xl 1963-1/2 Galaxy 500 Xl1976 Ford F-250 Ranger 1976 Ford F-250 4wd Highboy Southern Oregon Survivor Barn Find No Reserve1946 Ford Super Deluxe Convertible Restomod Rare 1946 Ford Super Deluxe Convertible Restomod Hotrod Custom Modified Rare Perfect1932 Ford Other 3 Window Coupe 1932 Ford 3 Window Coupe Street Rod,350, Auto. Air,one Off Color,all New!!!!1946 Ford Other Panel Truck 1946 Ford Panel Truck, Recent Repaint, 350, Auto, Clean Truck, Look1957 Ford Thunderbird 1957 Ford Thunderbird - Hardtop And Convertible - Runs And Drives1956 Ford Wagon Parklane 1956 Ford Parklane Wagon1951 Ford Other 1951 Ford 2 Door Sedan Custom Hot Rod Kustom Rat Rod 350 Chevy 1949 1950 Mercury1968 Ford Bronco Br Icon #32 1968 Ford Bronco Icon #321956 Ford F-100 Pick Up 1956 F100 Pick Up, Custom, Hot Rod, Classic, Resto-mod, Collector, Vintage1968 Ford Mustang 2dr 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback1966 Ford Mustang 26 1966 Ford K Code Mustang Fastback Gt350 Clone1971 Ford F-100 2 Door 1971 F-100 Ford Sport Custom Truck1932 Ford Other 1932 Ford Coupe 5 Window "steel"1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 0 Candy Apple Red Fastback 351 Windsor V8 3 Speed Autom1980 Ford Model A 1980 Shay 1929 Ford Model A1951 Ford F-100 1951 Ford F-1 Rat Rod Pickup,restomod, V8,auto,pdb,ps,patina,nice!! F100 F11931 Ford Model A Roadster 1931 Ford Model A...roadster Deluxe...1967 Ford Mustang Convertible 1967 Mustang Convertible 289 Perfect Winter Project!!1957 Ford Ranchero 1957 Ford Ranchero1931 Ford Model A 1931 Ford Coupe Hot Rod Hignboy1969 Ford Mustang Buckets With Console 1969 Ford Mustang Convertible Raven Black Match#s 351 Factory A/c Recent Resto1964 Ford Thunderbird 1964 Thunderbird Convertible Beautiful Repaint Restored1962 Ford F-100 F100 1962 Ford F100 Uni-body Pickup Short Bed Custom Cab-part Of A Private Collection1965 Ford Mustang 2+2 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback 2+2 Restomod Daily Driver Efi 5 Speed Ready To Ride1967 Ford Mustang 1967 Ford Mustang Convertible1964 Ford Fairlane 500 1964 Fairlane 500 Wagon Amazing Restoration V81966 Ford Mustang Coupe 1966 Ford Mustang 289 - Classic Coupe - No Reserve!1932 Ford Other 1932 Ford 5 Window Coupe, 3" Chop A/c & Heat1973 Ford F-100 1973 Ford F-100 Ranger Xlt - 1 Family Owned Camper Special;clean, Ready To Go !!1971 Ford Mustang Documented Restored Investment Grade Mustang Boss 351 4 Speed 3.91 Ps Pb Disc1958 Ford F-100 Pick Up 1958 Ford F 100 1955 1956 1957 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1965 1966 1967 Corvette1940 Ford Coupe 1940 Ford Coupe Steel Car 350 Vintage Ac Ps 4wpdb Rack And Pinon Street Rod1965 Ford Mustang Beautifully Restored A-code Coupe With Ac No Rust Beautifully Restored 1965 Ford Mustang A-code Coupe Dry Western No Rust W/ac1962 Ford F-100 Custom Cab 1962 Ford F100 Hot Rod Rat Truck Pickup Shop With Chevy Motor1965 Ford Mustang Protouring Fastback Gt Highly Modified 414 Stroker How Winning 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback Gt Pro-touring Rhs 414w Stroker Extreme1960 Ford Thunderbird Convertible 1960 Ford Thunderbird Convertible1969 Ford Torino 428 Cobra Jet 1969 Ford Torino Cobra Formal Roof 428 Cobra Jet