Working for your father can be a real task as Edsel Ford found out. Old Henry was man driven to greatness by his own demands, wanting to be included in a virtually every aspect of the company’s products. Son, Edsel Ford and other company managers saw this as a limiting factor the company’s growth and worked on many covert projects that Henry only got to know about when they were close to being done.
Edsel made it part of the Model A commercial vehicle line in January 1929. Apparently under great pressure from his father, Edsel chose not to have the bodies built at Ford in order to limit corporate liability if it failed to make its sales objectives. At the same time, Edsel realized that Ford could not produce the quality product needed to make the station wagon a success within the short timeline he had set. Edsel’s solution was to use the Mengel Company in Louisville, KY, to build and finish all the exterior body panels and have the inner pieces made at the company’s woodshop in the Kingsford plant at Iron Mountain.
All these wood pieces were then brought together and assembled at Murray Body Company in Detroit and tagged as such. Once Murray had the whole body structure ready, it was shipped for inclusion on the production line. An initial short run of five Model A station wagons were assembled in December of 1928 and then another 4,959 were built and sold by the end of 1929.
The next generation Ford Station wagon would come along in 1932, becoming an even more loved American classic. Below, we see this second generation station wagon in a staged PR photo. This publicity photo with its uncomfortably positioned models appears to have been shot at the Pontiac, MI. township railway station in the summer of 1932.