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Why do we call it a Shay Model A except that Shay fit the body to a special "Ford" chassis for Ford? It seems to me that the car should be referrred to as a 1980 Ford model A. After all, it "was" only sold by Ford and built to Fords specifications.
I like to use the name "Model Shay" for my car. Of course it could be a 1981 Shay and then maybe again it is a Replica of a Ford model A. Or perhaps it is fiberglass, no matter what I enjoy and the grand kids call it "Taz"
The frame was built by Shay and you cannot call it a Ford Model A or a Ford without Ford's permission. As for selling only by Ford that is not true! Ford was just a supplier of parts and the Dealers were the ones that sold them not the Ford Company. Yes they were built just like the Ford Model A only because Ford Motor Company would aloud it.
Gary M Wood
Shay Model A Website
SOCI Membership Chairman
The Shay was built by Shay Motor Corp. aka Model A & Model T Motor Car Reproduction Corp. Shay was Recognized as a legitmate Auto Manufacturer by the U.S. government. Shay purchased parts from Ford just as other manufaturers buy parts. The Shay is a Shay built with some Ford componants.
Harry Shay approached Ford with the idea of producing the anniversary Model A replica. Ford did not approach Shay with the idea. Harry set up the corporation and negotiated the dealership network, not Ford. In fact, later as the company was having financial problems, other non-Ford dealers were approached to become re-sellers.
As Gary and Ron stated, the car was a SHAY, not a Ford. I have a Chevy Prizm, which was sold by General Motors Chevrolet Division, but produced by Toyota. It was warranteed by Chevrolet, not by Toyota.
I know that the Shay oval radiator shell emblem was still used on the Camelot. All they did was removed the "Shay Reproduction" from the bottom of it. As for the gauges, some had the "Shay A" in them, but some didn't. There again they probably remove or covered anything that was "Shay" named. Gary
Gary M Wood
Shay Model A Website
SOCI Membership Chairman
As Gary and Ron stated, the car was a SHAY, not a Ford. I have a Chevy Prizm, which was sold by General Motors Chevrolet Division, but produced by Toyota. It was warrantied by Chevrolet, not by Toyota.
I was reading this and now I have a new spin on this! If you change the words in the sentence it will make more sense.
As Gary and Ron stated, the car was a SHAY, not a Ford. I have a Shay model A, which was sold by Ford Motor Company, but produced by Shay. It was warrantied by Ford, not by Shay.
Now I know your car is a "Chevy Prizm" because Chevy sold it to you even though Toyota made it like Shay did for Ford. This is the same thing Ford did with the Shay right so why do we call it a Shay and not a Ford?? I would like to think that Ford wanted to have a Golden anniversary Model A and had Shay build them for Ford because it would cost Ford to much money to make it themselves! Then we have the Ford Cobra that Carrel Shelby built for them and it was sold by Ford like the Shay. I say all of this just to get the KIT CAR name removed from the Shay.
The last car show I went to they put me with the old Fords and when I got out one owner told me that I had a nice car. I told him thanks and told him it was a Shay and at first he did not believe me until he looked at it real close. Then he said he can usually spot a Shay right away but not this time.
I guess I did not make myself clear on my statement. My point is that we do not call my Prizm a "Chevy Corolla" or a "Toyota Prizm". In the case of the Shay, it is "officially" a Shay or Camelot Model A. I was trying to make the point that we call them Shay Model A's because they were produced by Shay and not Ford, even though they have a Ford drive train. The body, wheels, lights, gas tank, interior (except the steering column, wiring harness, brake and clutch pedals) were all produced by or for Shay/Camelot, and the assembly was completed by Shay/Camelot.
Ford did not "produce" them, but allowed Shay to copy the body style and the ability to contract with Ford dealers to sell them. We have a letter from Ford that states that they do NOT sanction ANY producer of replica Model A's(there were several) as being an "official" Ford product including Shay.
Ford, of course, saw the opportunity to get people into Ford dealer showrooms, and potentially increase sales of their products because of the innovative marketing system that Shay set up.
I'm sure you know much more then I do about the Shay's . I'm only writing here so that I can learn as much about them as I can and this is the best way I know how to do that. Are you saying that Ford did not make any money selling the Shay's? Are you saying that on your owners card it does not say that your car is a Chevy? If some company like Shay went to Chevy and told them they want to build 1955 chevy's and put the body on new Corvette rolling stock that GM was to supply what would that car be called? A Corvette a 55 chevy or a Shay . I'm just trying to sort some things out so please hang in there with me ok.
1. You have a couple of things wrong. Ford motors did NOT sell Shays, Shay sold Shays thru Ford dealers. 2. Ford did NOT warrenty the Shay, Shay did. Shay was a recognized manufacturer that sold there product thru Ford dealers. I have been told one could also buy direct from the Shay factory.
Are you saying that Ford did not make a cent when they sold a Shay? Also I thought that Ford warrantied the chassis,in fact we all have the paper that Troy sent us.I'm new to this stuff so please hang in there with my ideas!
Just as today there are manufacturer's that produce specialty automobiles (I can think of some trucks that have specialty bodies for specific activity like dock loading), they buy the chassis from a truck manufacturer, slap their custom body on it and sell it apart from the maker of the chassis, but the chassis and it's components are warranted by the chassis maker, not the 3rd party.
Again, Ford made the drive train ie: engine, tranny, rear end and front end. From what I have been told (Gary Wood is a better source for information) the Chassis was built by Shay. The drive train was purchased by Shay and the car was assembled at the Shay factory. The only money Ford Motors made was from the sale of these componants to SHAY. I'm sure the dealers made a profit. As far as the warrenty goes from what I have read there was a conflict because people thought as you do and wanted Ford to repair there cars under warrenty. Ford motors wanted nothing to do with the Shay. If you look at the sales brochures and invioces you will not see Ford motors mentioned anywhere.
I thought that Ford built the chassis for shay? In 1929-32 at least 2 body builders made bodies for some of the models ford made .One was Murray and the other was Briggs! Shay did the same thing for Ford so why didn't they call them Fords? I think if the Shay co did well for itself Ford would take it over . I'm glade they didn't because I think that because Shay only made 5000 units and the older they get the more they will be worth in the future!
This is all very interesting, BUT! I have the orriginal invoice and mileage statement on our car. It is a very early cat for it has the MOMIEX VIN. I don't know what the first car no. was, but I'm sure curious for this one is 223.
Both the original invoice and mileage statement specify it as a 1980 Model A Roadster. Makes sence to me:-)) Next time I get to Town and the bank, I'll have to get into the safty dep. box and check the title to see if it says Ford.
My title is like yours...It lists my 1980 Shay as a 1980 Model A but there is no reference to FORD seeing it isn't a FORD....
The previous owner, also here in Florida had it also titled as a 1980 Model A....This seems to be the norm....We can change all of the emblems on our Shay's and Camelot's but they are still not 1929 or 1980's FORD'S.
Going back over some of the history in the FORUM, it's interesting how many owners have taken their cars to shows and have received awards for the best ANTIQUE or the BEST OLD FORD....Different show, different judging standards.
The only thing antique about my Shay is the OWNER!!
I know that our Shay's are called Shay's and are Shay's but I just like to get the car some credibility when people think that it is a kit car like they became after Shay and then after that Camelot motors went out of business and speedway motors started selling the shay in kit form. If we all get all the facts we all know about and talk it out we can defend our cars against the people that say it is a kit car!
Below I got this information from Nathan Shay's letter. I think it tells us that Shay got pinto frames from ford [ it had to be cheaper and faster to buy the frames from ford then to set up a whole shop just to build them] and that Ford dealers made about $1600 per car sold though them!
However, Mr. Shay could not build and deliver every car himself, but instead required the cooperative coalition that would become Shay Motors. The extensive experience earned from working for the big three auto producers provided Mr. Shay with the ability to integrate a 1929 Model T fiberglass body with a 1980 Ford Pinto engine and chassis.
Instead he said, "Too many dealers pressured Shay to produce cars too quickly and were too greedy and properly prep the vehicles" (BCI Nov 15, 1982). Robinson sold more than 80 replicas and had experienced little more than minor regular maintenance problems. "I took delivery of the first ones and wasn’t overly impressed with the quality; but considering it was a hand produced car, it was worth the money." Robison personally oversaw the prepping of all Shay replicas and created a 32-point checklist of prepping job which cost an average of $200 a car. He felt this was a small price to pay for a vehicle that brought an average of $1,600 profit, after prepping cost, on a $9,000 car. He said that it was the largest profit margin he had seen in his 25 years as a dealer. Further he expressed how it was in the dealers’ best interest to help keep Shay Motors afloat. "The dealers were making more profit on this automobile than any other Ford car in history," he said. Robinson personally sent out a letter to dealers telling urging them to prep the cars and to stop litigation because it was taking more time away from Shay’s ability to produce.
One of the easiest ways to defend against people insisting that it is a kit car is to refer them to the GOVERNMENT issued VIN. Most kit cars do not have unique VIN that is specific to that builder. Some kit cars may be titled under the VIN of the chassis they use, or their state issues a special number to them, but in the case of Shay/Camelot the VIN's were ONLY for Shay or Camelot, not Ford,Chrylser,GM ect.
Do a search on this forum for NHTSA. In October of this year I posted a page from The NATIONAL HIGHWAY & TRAFFIC SAFTEY ASSOC web site. Which is the Governments department that controls the auto industry. They list Shay as a Manufacturer. Print out the page and show it to anyone who doubts. I spent several months helping prove to the state of New York that Shay Motors was in fact a licensed manufaturer and the vehicles should be titled as "SHAY". Also if I'm not mistaken Pinto was a unibody car and thus had no chasis.
i have four shay-two model a which is title in the state
of florida as 1980 fords-two tunderbird-one is listed as
a rebuild real 1955 t.bird in the state of florida the other one is listed as 1955 shay t.bird- it just depends
on what state you in-i have also owned a camelot in the
state of florida -it was listed as a replica-i sold the
camelot because i could never get use to the steering-
i have a 1925 model t listed as a horseless carrige with
a lifetime tag as long as i own the car-i really do not
care how there are listed-as long as i get to drive and
enjoy them-just my thoughts
As Gary's article points out they made their own frame but when demand was high they had outside venders make them also.
My frame has a plate welded behind the left rear wheel:
SELLERS MFG INC
WAKARUSA , IND
SERIAL # ID 00067
I guess they farmed it out to many different venders as time went by.
The bottom line is , Shay was the manafacture and we get to enjoy them and put any name we wish on the car. Our various state goverments do the same.
But it is a GREAT car to have fun with!
I love to just drive around and have the kids yell " blow the horn" makes my day. These kids have never seen a car like this . But us old guys remember driving them with those GREAT brakes and saving our money to get a newer car.
YES , them were the years!!!!!!!!!!
A rose is a rose no matter what it is called. Our Shay is great to drive and enjoy.
The great state of Arizona titled our Shay a 29 Ford Roadster, despite all of the paper work and the
a Shay VIN. TBut they did use the VIN number.
Their reasoning is the car should be titled what it looks like.
That was okay because no more emissions testing and the coolest Solid Copper license plates.
Hagerty Insurance recognizes Shays for what they are
Thanks again for all the good comments and information. I whole heartedly agree that when all is said and done it is certainly a fun, reliable car to drive. I bought ours because my wife always said she liked the older cars like the Model A better that my '51. She was interested in driving it and I knew she would get very discouraged driving a real Model A, besides the safty aspects (brakes, steering, non syncro transmission) so I began the search for a Shay Model A. This is "her" car and she loves driving it. She never went to car shows with me. Now she does, but in her "A" and me in my '51. She does let me drive it. I talked about changing the seat to a couple small buckets and was informed that it wouldn't look "right" if I did that so I'm going to see if I can angle the back somehow.
When people ask what year it is I tell them it's a 1980 Model A.