The photograph to the left is an example of a Ford AA service car with the 229-A service body. The 229-A body was supplied in primer by the Briggs Manufacturing Co. for shipment to the various assembly plants for final painting. The service car was offered for $715 from January 1931 through February 1932. Out of an inventory of 1000 bodies only 521 sold. As a result of this poor sales volume, the service car was discontinued for the 1932 Model BB’s and was removed from advertising literature. The remaining unsold bodies, however, were sold through 1934 by adapting them to other chassis.
According to the book “The Ford Model A – As Henry Built It” the service car production began in December 1930 with shipments starting in January of 1931. On May 1, 1931 the deluxe pickup with body type 66-A was announced. This body was a smaller version of the 229-A service body for the 103-1/2” standard A chassis.
Three advertising brochures have been found for the service car which promoted this unit for tire dealers, garages, service stations, and repair shops doing open road mechanical work. The January 1, 1931 brochure shows a prototype of the service body which included belt and sill mouldings on the sides plus on the rear panels. The February 1, 1931 brochure incorrectly shows a service car with flat side panels. An April 20, 1931 brochure shows the production service car like the one in the photograph above.
A “Briggs Manufacturing Company” body number tag was located inside of the tool box on the upper right corner of the back wall (i.e. the wall next to the cab). This tag was stamped with the Briggs body id of 117 followed by a dash and the number for the body off their assembly line.
Starting with body number 251, a redesign of the service body occurred. The most notable change was the wood tool box being changed to a stamped steel design. Almost all of the body parts were modified in some way (extent not known) and were assigned a “B” suffix. The old part id’s were assigned “A” suffixes.
The service body sides extended to the door openings of the closed cab and were bolted to the cab with four carriage bolts on each side. A chrome-plated hand rail was mounted on top of each body side. The sides and rear of the body were constructed of wood pillars, rails, and sills covered with sheet metal on the outside and paneled with boards on the inside.
The rear of the body had an opening which was 3” above the cargo floor which prevent small tools from rolling out. The opening was approximately three feet wide. A built in tool box was located at the front of the body just behind the cab. The tool box lid for the “A” style body was wood. The “B” style body had a stamped steel tool box lid.
In early 1931 the location and design of the wheel carrier was changed from a right side mount on the right running board to a front wheel well mounting on the left. As a result of this new wheel carrier design, the left door was modified to include recess providing clearance for the spare tire and allowing the door to be opened wider.
The Body Parts List for April 1, 1932 is the only listing found containing 229-A service body parts. The interior finish boards, tool box wood, floor boards, and various small parts are not listed. Therefore, these parts were not available as service items by that date.
In April of 1931, a new style frame was placed into production for use with dump bodies and the service body. The new frame was 1-1/2” shorter than the prior version.
Optional equipment available for the 229-A service car included the following:
- Towing Assembly – released in February 1931. The assembly included a clevis, clevis pin and chain assembly, clevis bar, and clevis brace.
- Crane Assembly – released in early 1931. This Marquette supplied crane was $74 when ordered with the service car.
- Rear Tail Gate and Step – released in May of 1931.