The engine was a water-cooled L-head 4-cylinder with a displacement of 201 cubic inches. This engine gave the car 40 horsepower. Typical fuel consumption was between 25 and 30 mpg using a Zenith one-barrel up-draft carburetor, with a top speed of around 65 mph. The Model A had a 103.5 in wheelbase with a final drive ratio of 3.77:1. The transmission was a 3-speed sliding gear unit with a 1-speed reverse. The Model A had 4-wheel mechanical drum brakes. The 1930 and 1931 editions came with stainless steel radiator cowling and headlamp housings.
Prices for the Model A ranged from US$385 for a roadster to $1400 for the top-of-the-line Town Car. The Model A was the first Ford to use the standard set of driver controls, with conventional clutch and brake pedals, throttle and gearshift; previous Ford models used controls that had become out of date and uncommon to drivers of other makes. The Model A's fuel tank was located in the cowl, between the engine compartment's fire wall and the dash panel. It had an optic fuel gauge and the fuel was distributed to the carburetor by gravity. In cooler climates, owners could purchase an aftermarket cast iron unit to place over the engine's exhaust manifold to bring heated air into the cab. A small door could be opened or closed to adjust the amount of hot air entering the cab. Model A was the first car to have safety glass in the windshield. In addition to the United States, Ford made the Model A in plants in Argentina, Canada, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. The Soviet company GAZ, which started as a cooperation between Ford and the Soviet Union, made a licensed version of the Model A from 1932-36. This became the basis for the FAI and BA-20 armored car, which saw significant use as scout vehicles in the early stages of World War II.
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