1927 Upton Co. Model A, The New Ford Tinplate Promo

1927 Upton Co. Model A, The New Ford Tinplate Promo

The little known Upton Machine Company, St. Joseph, Michigan produced this accurate representation of the"new" two door Model A sedan. From my research it was the very first toy built specifically to publicize the introduction of a new American made vehicle. The Model A replaced the Model T which was first sold in 1906. It's the first and only toy I've ever found from this company and is in amazing excellent+ condition.

Originally selling for only 10 cents, Upton Machine Company toys were manufactured very inexpensively from folded light weight tin, using tab and slot construction. No soldering was used which reduced their cost and sped up assembly. No "motor", or packaging box were produced for their toys.

The Upton company was known for their introduction of the toy air dart rifle in 1912 and had begun production of a small line of inexpensive tinplate toys only a few years before this promo was built. By 1929 the company was no longer in existence. The quality of the construction, lack of box, and short company life span explain why finding an Upton Machine Company toy today is a rare occurrence. Even more scarce are their promotional vehicles.

This example of the Model A sedan had to closely represent the actual car. It's very accurate despite the off-centered lithographed spoke wheels. In particular, the radiator and front hood look almost identical to that of the new 1928 Model A. The entire toy is tinplate including the free spinning tires. The axles are stationary limiting its movement to straight lines.

Like many actual Model A's the body is two tone. In this case green and black with embossed yellow trim. The radiator was probably plated, but the parallel horizontal lines embossed into it can clearly be seen. The front two windows, including the windshield were die cut. The three rear windows were lithographed. The large red and yellow "The New Ford" logo was lithoed boldly across the roof and is 100% complete. The "Upton Mach. Co." circular logo appears on the back of the car below the rear window. "STOP" was printed through their logo in large capital letters appears.

Upton Machine Company is listed by Lillian Gottschalk in her book on American Toy Cars & Trucks. Specifically, the Model A promotional automobile manufactured by Upton is listed as the very last toy in Joe & Sharon Freed's book on American Transportation Toys.

Size: 7" long, 3-3/4" tall, 3½" wide.

Sold: Feb. 2008 $520

Price Sold: $ 520


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Subject: 1927 Upton Co. Model A, The New Ford Tinplate Promo

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