Model A

Ford Garage

Twenty Millionth Ford

The Twenty Millionth Ford is a 1931 slant windshield Town Sedan 160B. According to the archive records in Dearborn, engine "☆A20000000☆" was stamped at the Rouge at 9:55 AM on April 1, 1931 after completing the run-in test.

The completed car rolled off the assembly line at the Rouge on April 14, 1931 in a company ceremony with Henry and Edsel Ford in attendance.

The engine and frame serial numbers of this car were stamped "☆A20000000☆" and it was the only Model A Ford numbered in such a way (as a total of all Ford cars produced, as opposed to Model A engines produced). The other ~4.8 million Model A's were numbered based on their Model A engine production number, starting at number "1", and generally with the A or AA prefix.

After the off-line ceremony in Dearborn, this car was put on an extensive goodwill and advertising tour across America by Ford during 1931 and 1932, and collected many "20 million" state vanity license plates along the way (as seen in the stereoview above). This Keystone stereoview slide number 32768 is one of the era records of that national tour.

Below is a great 1931 news film of the 20 Millionth Ford posted on YouTube by "EThomasWood". The film clip was shot on June 26, 1931 in Nashville and Lebanon, Tennessee.

Check out the 1931 Town Car Delivery also shown in the film!

The video below from the Seattle Municipal Archives is of the 20 Millionth Ford on tour in Seattle.
Footage starts at 67 seconds.

This exact original car, "The 20 Millionth", was later sold as 'surplus' by Ford in the 1940's after it had outlived its original purpose and glory. It subsequently found its way to a small town in Michigan's upper peninsula, where it was 'rediscovered' in the 1990's after many years of private ownership, quiet storage, and local legend.

Ford Motor Company then made a lease arrangement with the owners to re-acquire the car by special lease agreement for restoration and use for the 2003 Ford Centennial celebrations.

The Twenty Millionth Ford was then completely restored by Terry Deters for the Ford Motor Company for their marketing use. This was completed in time for Ford's 100th anniversary activities in 2003. It was returned to the private owners in Michigan after the specified ten year loan period and terms of use with Ford had been completed.

The reintroduction of the 20 Millionth Ford took place at Iola, Wisconsin, July 2002

Here is the 2002 Press Release issued by the Ford Motor Company about the 20 Millionth Ford:

100th Anniversary Releases
Dearborn, Mich., June 10, 2002
A Legendary Car is Found

After more than 40 years of storage in a garage in northern Michigan, Ford Motor Company's 20 millionth vehicle, a 1931 Model A Fordor Town Sedan, has been found and fully restored. The vehicle will be reintroduced to the public at the 30th annual Old Car Show and Swap Meet in Iola, Wis., July 12, 2002. Both Henry Ford and Edsel Ford were present when the 20 millionth vehicle rolled off the Dearborn Assembly Plant line. A few days later, the car led a convoy of 20 new Model As on a nationwide publicity tour, where it visited Ford dealers and was greeted by governors, mayors, and other dignitaries — including Eleanor Roosevelt, who drove the vehicle.

While the vehicle was thought to have been destroyed in a museum warehouse fire in the late 1930s, along with several of the company's milestone vehicles, it was actually sold in the 1940s to an individual who took it to Michigan's upper peninsula. It had been stored it in a garage there until it was discovered in 2000. Because of the vehicle's distinguished history, Ford agreed to finance the frame-off restoration with the agreement the company could use the vehicle for displays and exhibitions over the next ten years.

During the full restoration process, which was handled by an expert in vintage automobile restoration, the serial number A20,000,000 was uncovered. Further proof of authenticity came when the paint was stripped off revealing evidence of the "twenty millionth" lettering that was originally on the car doors.

"This treasure of the company's legacy will not be lost again. We are thrilled to have it back for the company’s 100th anniversary in 2003 and the opportunity to share it once again with Ford and antique auto enthusiasts," said John Rintamaki, chief of staff, Ford Motor Company. After the public unveiling in Iola, Wis., the 20 millionth vehicle will be displayed at the Model A Ford Club of America's national convention in Riverside, Calif. on July 21, 2002. The vehicle then will be used at various events, as part of the company's 100th anniversary in 2003.

More related information on Ford Garage:

  1. The History and Resurrection of the 20 Millionth Ford
    (The Restorer back story published by

May 2008