Ford Model AA Truck

1929 Ford Model AA truck a beefed-up response to earlier models

| July 2011

  • Leon Bray’s Ford Model AA truck with the ownership ticket still on the window
    Leon Bray’s Ford Model AA truck with the ownership ticket still on the window at the Nowthen (Minn.) threshing show. “The green color was a surprise,” Leon admits, “but some of the old guys who worked with them, or whose dads had them farming, said that was the correct color, green and black.”
    Photo by Nikki Rajala
  • Leon with his 1929 Ford Model AA truck
    Leon with his 1929 Ford Model AA truck. He didn’t have to do any body work when he bought it, but some mechanical work was needed.
    Photo courtesy of Carol Bray
  • Interior views of the Ford’s cab
    Interior views of the Ford’s cab. 
    Photo courtesy of Carol Bray
  • The heavy-duty rear end on the 1929 Ford Model AA truck
    The heavy-duty rear end on the 1929 Ford Model AA truck.
  • The bed of Leon’s Model AA truck shows the truck’s simple construction
    The bed of Leon’s Model AA truck shows the truck’s simple construction – and tiny rear window.
  • A front view of what Leon’s grandchildren refer to as “the big truck.”
    A front view of what Leon’s grandchildren – who delight in rides in the vintage classic – refer to as “the big truck.” 
    Photo by Nikki Rajala
  • Leon’s 1929 Ford Model AA truck is in very good condition
    Leon’s 1929 Ford Model AA truck is in very good condition.
    Photo by Nikki Rajala
  • Rear view of Leon’s 1929 Ford Model AA truck
    Rear view of Leon’s 1929 Ford Model AA truck. Leon would like to add a cattle rack to the back end.
  • The front bumper of Leon’s Model AA truck is probably not original
    The front bumper of Leon’s Model AA truck is probably not original.
    Photo by Nikki Rajala
  • Thanks to its simple construction, the Model AA is easy to work on
    Thanks to its simple construction, the Model AA is easy to work on, Leon says. 
    Photo courtesy of Carol Bray
  • Another of Leon’s prized possessions: a 1957 Desoto Firedome
    Another of Leon’s prized possessions: a 1957 Desoto Firedome. The third owner of the car, Leon has had extensive body work and interior work done to the car. It has been repainted in its original color. It has a 330-cubic inch Hemi engine with a push-button automatic transmission. “People seem to like the big fins and the Hemi engine,” Leon says. “You don’t see many Desotos at car shows.”
  • Tires on the Model AA truck needed some work, including replacing tubes
    Tires on the Model AA truck needed some work, including replacing tubes. The silvery-white ring around the edge of the rim is part of the split-rim setup to hold the tire in place.
  • Crowned fenders and acorn-shaped headlights were among the distinctive design features of the Ford Model A and AA trucks
    Crowned fenders and acorn-shaped headlights were among the distinctive design features of the Ford Model A and AA trucks.

  • Leon Bray’s Ford Model AA truck with the ownership ticket still on the window
  • Leon with his 1929 Ford Model AA truck
  • Interior views of the Ford’s cab
  • The heavy-duty rear end on the 1929 Ford Model AA truck
  • The bed of Leon’s Model AA truck shows the truck’s simple construction
  • A front view of what Leon’s grandchildren refer to as “the big truck.”
  • Leon’s 1929 Ford Model AA truck is in very good condition
  • Rear view of Leon’s 1929 Ford Model AA truck
  • The front bumper of Leon’s Model AA truck is probably not original
  • Thanks to its simple construction, the Model AA is easy to work on
  • Another of Leon’s prized possessions: a 1957 Desoto Firedome
  • Tires on the Model AA truck needed some work, including replacing tubes
  • Crowned fenders and acorn-shaped headlights were among the distinctive design features of the Ford Model A and AA trucks

In 1926, when Henry Ford realized that his Model TT truck had become obsolete, the stage was set for more than a mere replacement. The truck he unveiled in October 1927 – the Model AA truck – was a stronger, more powerful vehicle, well equipped to conquer rural roads. 

“You have to remember most of the roads – dirt roads – were terrible at the time,” says Lee Young, librarian/archivist at the American Truck Historical Society. “If you loaded down a truck with any kind of weight and you got on a dirt road with mud, you needed all the power you could get to move it. The Model AA truck was tremendously important on the farm and an awful lot of them were used there.”

Though the Model AA’s production run lasted only four years, the choice proved propitious for the manufacturer: In 1929 Ford set a new record for truck sales. And one Model AA truck is still going strong in the collection of a Minnesota man.

Rescued from the barn

After watching a 1929 Ford Model AA truck languish in a pole barn for 15 years, Leon Bray, Crown, Minn., couldn’t take it any more. He finally asked the owner what his plans were for the old relic – and Leon ended up as the truck’s new owner. “By that time the truck hadn’t run in over 20 years,” he says.



The son of a truck driver, Leon grew up with trucks. “My dad drove Mack trucks and I have a Mack truck,” he says. “They’re a lot harder to work on. When my friend decided to sell this 1929 Ford, I knew it would be a lot easier to work on. Also, you don’t need a CDL commercial license to drive it in Minnesota, like you do for the Mack. So I said, ‘This Ford is the one for me.’”

Retired from the farm

Originally a working farm truck in the Chamberlain, S.D., area, the Ford was already restored when Leon’s friend bought it from a museum that was closing. Use of authentic Ford parts was apparently not a top priority in that restoration. “I don’t think the headlights and the grille shroud are original, because they are chrome or nickel,” Leon says. “The only others I’ve seen on these vintage AA trucks are painted black. I don’t know if somebody changed those parts or what.”