This is a 1932 Ford Model AA. The Model A and Model AA Fords served as replacements to the famed Model T and Model TT of the early 1900s. A’s were cars, AA’s were trucks, like this one. This is the oldest and least powerful car on Forgotten Metal so far, developing only 40 horsepower through a four-speed manual from a 3.3 liter four cylinder.
Now, some of you more eagle eyed readers may have noticed that this particular truck features an open-air wooden passenger compartment on the back, which I’m told can hold eleven people. It’s kept in beautiful condition (a difficult task, considering what ocean breeziness can do to old wood), which is not all that surprising considering it’s owned by a hotel, and used occasionally as a tour bus around the island.
And that’s what I like about vehicles like these: their owners care enough about them to keep them clean and in good condition, but still find time to use them for their intended purpose. Plus it has no windows, and it is an important and popular fact that cars without windows are far better in every way than their windowed counterparts. That makes it perfectly suited for an island.
It’s a car for occasions; for a healthy bit of showing off. A truck like this wouldn’t make sense in the more built up parts of the world, and as Martha’s Vineyard attracts more and more people every year, eventually it will become out of place here as well. So it’s living on borrowed time, certainly. But for the next few years at least, it can still put a smile on a beach-going child’s face, can still pose for a photo-op, and can still lend itself to the illusion of those old souls who want to pretend they’re in a Fitzgerald novel. Whoever those weirdos might be.
-Ford licensed the production of the Model AA out to a Russian manufacturer called GAZ, who produced nearly a million in the USSR from 1932 until 1950 (American production of the truck ended in 1932).
-Amazingly, these trucks are still very popular in Cuba, nearly 80 years after their debut.