Henry Ford is known to be the man behind the transport revolution. He started off by giving the world the Model T (Tin Lizzie) produced by Ford’s Motor Company from September 1908 to October 1927.
He then entrusted the design of the Ts successor to his son Edsel and his team who came up with the Model A. This model is the first vehicle to have conventional clutch, brake pedals and gear lever. The only exception is that the accelerator pedal is on the floor. This can make it a little confusing to drive.
When meeting Antoine Vella, executive director of international operations at Express Group, last week, I was greeted by a beautifully restored 1928 Ford Model A truck in the lobby of the Express Group offices. Its cream paintwork and cream wheels, complement the black wheel arches, leather roof and wooden truck-bed perfectly.
“Vintage vehicles have their own added value and as a leading provider of logistics and transport services in Malta, we felt it appropriate to have a small vehicle, which represents transport in our reception,” Vella said.
Vella speaks enthusiastically about how his company got hold of this model. A shareholder of the company was inthe UK and came across a vintage car dealer. He fell in love with the Ford and bought it.
“It was a perfect fit and Ford has such a history,” he said. This particular truck is a rare, right-hand-drive model, built for the Australian market where it was a workhorse for 50 years until it was retired to a museum in South London.
Although the vehicle was in a relatively good condition it was not quite up to the standards desired.
For this reason it was completely dismantled and fully restored with most of the metal work carried out by company employees.
Nothing had to be done to the three-litre, four-cylinder engine which pumps out 24 hp.
Even though the car is part of the furniture at Velbro House in Luqa, its engine is still started frequently. Vella enjoys seeing people outside the offices staring inside at the truck.
Nowadays, with cars and trucks becoming ever so more powerful and comfortable, it is heart-warming to see such an old piece of transportation history given a home in full view of current and future customers of Express Group.