The Shay Model A was the brainchild of A. J. “Art” Shay, a successful businessman and car enthusiast who wanted to bring the classic Model A to a new generation of drivers. Shay believed that the Model A was a timeless classic that deserved to be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of their budget or mechanical expertise.
To create the Shay Model A, Shay partnered with Ford Motor Company and used a mix of new and old components. The chassis and drivetrain were taken from the Ford Pinto, which was a compact car produced by Ford from 1971 to 1980. The Pinto’s chassis and drivetrain were modified to accommodate the body and styling of the classic Model A, which was designed to resemble a miniature version of the larger Ford Model T.
The Shay Model A was available in a variety of different body styles, including roadsters, phaetons, and coupes. The body and styling of the Shay Model A were faithful to the classic Model A, with a rounded grille, curved fenders, and a distinctively retro look. The body was made of fiberglass, which was a lightweight and durable material that was well-suited to the demands of modern driving.
The Shay Model A was powered by a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that was based on the engine used in the Ford Pinto. The engine produced 88 horsepower and was mated to a four-speed manual transmission. While it was not as powerful as the original Model A’s engine, which produced 40-60 horsepower depending on the year, it was still capable of providing adequate performance for most drivers.
One of the benefits of the Shay Model A was its affordability. It was much less expensive than an original Model A, which had become a sought-after classic car by the late 1970s. The Shay Model A was also easier to maintain and repair than an original Model A, thanks to its modern chassis and drivetrain. Parts were readily available and could be found at most auto parts stores, which made it easier and less expensive to keep the car running properly.
However, the Shay Model A was not without its drawbacks. Some enthusiasts criticized it for not being a true classic car, since it used a mix of old and new components. Others criticized it for not being as reliable or durable as an original Model A, although these concerns were largely unfounded.
Overall, the Shay Model A was an interesting and unique car that was designed to appeal to enthusiasts who wanted a modern interpretation of the classic Model A. While it was not without its flaws, it remains a popular choice among collectors and enthusiasts today.
Source – Shay Owners Club International