Featured in the May/Aug 1994 issue of MODEL A TRADER.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines "phaeton" as a light, four wheeled open carriage, usually drawn by a pair of horses. Henry Ford expanded the definition to include some extra horsepower and a folding top when he introduced the sporty Model "A" Phaeton, in December, 1927.
For openers, Ford offered the car with a choice of seven exterior color schemes, very unusual for a low priced car at that time. Equally unusual was the lack of any outside door handles. Door opening on the '28 Phaeton was accomplished by means of a lever mounted on the inside of each door. Outside handles were introduced on the '29 Phaeton and could be retrofitted to the earlier models if desired. Original Phaetons were also fitted with manually operated windshield wipers until May 1928, when electric wipers became standard.
The top and matching side curtains were fabricated from "long-short" grained black rubber coated fabric. Although foldable, the top assembly was permanently fastened to the rear of the body and not removable from the car. The curtains, however, could be removed and stored in a special metal container located under the floor.
A rear mounted spare tire was standard but special fenders with wheel wells and tire carriers were available as a service item in 1928. Windwings, also obtainable as a dealer accessory in 1928, were standard on the '29 Phaeton.
For more information on the Phaeton Special Interest Club, write Phaeton Club (35-A,B), 1049 Don Pablo Drive, Arcadia, CA 91006 (JY)