Big Improvements for the Little Banger
When Ford introduced the Model A in late 1927, it was remarkably different from other automobiles offered at the time, even Ford’s own Model T. In many ways, it was a clean sheet design when compared to Ford’s previous line. Many similarities abound, but the Model T and the Model A differ in more ways than they are similar. And four years later, when the Model B came along, the story was very similar. If the brass at Ford at the time were learning things as they went, it was pretty obvious that they were incorporating those things in real time. So, it should come as no surprise that as the new models came out, hot rodders borrowed parts for their older Fords. Wheels, brakes, shocks, transmissions, engines, even complete frames were common swaps for the earlier T and A models as better components were introduced on Ford’s latest offerings.
One of the early hop up techniques for the Model A was to swap to the larger 1932 Model B Zenith carburetor. Equipped with a similar, slighlty upgraded flathead four-cylinder engine, the Model B Ford was fed by a slightly larger updraft carburetor (1 1/8-inch) than that found on the Model A (1-inch). While that small difference in size may not sound substantial, it actually equates to a 26% increase in area which translates into more air and fuel that can be fed into the A engine. That small increase can yield upwards of 4 horsepower. Another inconsequential sounding number, but when added to the A’s paltry 40 horsepower, results in a net gain of 10%. Not too shabby for the 1930s!