By Drew Johnson
Tuesday, Dec 11th, 2012 @ 5:38 pm

The world's oldest known surviving Ford vehicle, a 1903 Model A, has returned home after it was purchased at auction by Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford.

Ford, the great grandson of Ford-founder Henry Ford, purchased the Model A at the RM Auctions in in Hershey, Pennsylvania this past October. But the red 1903 Model A Rear Entry Tonneau wasn't just any old Model A, but what is believed to be the oldest Ford vehicle in existence today.

As the story goes, the Ford Motor Company was on the brink of collapse in July 1903, with just $250 left in the company's bank account. However, the company was saved on July 13 when it received three orders for the Model A - one paid in full and deposits for the other two - giving the company a cash infusion of $1,320.

Ford built all three Model As ordered that day, with the car purchased by Ford believed to be car No. 3 and the only survivor of the batch.

"The Model A helped keep our company going during a difficult time and enabled my great-grandfather to continue pursuing his vision of putting the world on wheels," said Bill Ford. "We look forward to carrying that same spirit of innovation forward as we develop new technologies for safer, cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles."

Ford plans to use the Model A to help kick start a yearlong celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of company founder Henry Ford.

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